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  • Robin Howard (a.k.a. Fishyrob)

Brighton Inshore Fishing report - 29th August 2017

John displays his new PB...

The night before, when checking in with today's clients, I mentioned to one of two fly boys I had out with me, John, that he would beat his personal best bass on the fly on this day. The reason for my confidence was the amount of fish around inshore. And with a mirror forecast of the previous day, surely it would simply mean pitching up at the same spots, right...??

Neil proudly displayes his first fish on his new "Helios"

If fishing were that easy, Guides would not exist. There would be no need for a small niche operations like ours. Everybody would learn the spots, and that would be it. Very similar to my guided shore operations. Where this doesn't happen either. The thing is, it isn't just every day that is different, quite often it is every few hours things are different. Highlighted very well by today's sessions.

As we found the fish again, grumpy John returned to smiley John...

It began oh so well. Mitch and myself on the heddon one knockers, John and Neil on the fly. Mitch and myself had five takes in five casts, with fish apiece landed. And then, they were gone. And I really couldn't find them anywhere. East, west. I got a call from a friend that the fish were smashing up all around the west pier. Never was I so happy to get a call. We sped over there, but saw nothing. We went deep, we went shallow. We went on heavy ground, we drifted over every meeting of different tidal paces that I could find.

The "Helios" performed superbly...

It briefly looked up when Neil christened his new "Helios" which made him very happy indeed, and lifted me slightly, but on the run back in to let Mjtch get on with his world (had the fishing been good he would have stayed onboard). I called a long break, to let the new tide get some pace before returning once more into the breech. John had voiced noises like "I might not bother with the second session" which has me tricking him into thinking we were going to fish for plaice and other species on the fly if I couldnt find the bass in the first hour. It worked. He came back out.

Bass on fly dont just make you smile. They keep you enthralled...

We had a look at the main reef where we expect plenty of fish on the flooding tide. The sounder remained barren. We looked East. Barren. We went deep and shallow. Barren.Not good. Out of desperation, I decided we would blast well away from Brighton to the west. I had a specific mark in mind. As we sped Westwards at 25knts (Without the 5th person on board BIF1 was easy onto the plane today) I kept half an eye on the sounder just in case.

When we were about half way along to my intended destination, I noticed a series of long thin lines. Long thin lines, when you are moving at 0.7knts, become big balls of bait fish, being harassed by bass. I put on the emergency brake, confirmed the marks on the sounder, and whacked in a flag. "Away you go boys". And so began the final hour.

I managed pretty much to stay on the shoal, except for the very last twenty minutes, where I suspect the tidal pace reducing, combined with the guys keep catching, meant that the shoal got spooked and moved on at pace. By the time we returned to the dock, the tally for the session had risen to 12 bass landed. And as for the personal best? Well, it happened. John suddenly found himself attached to a clearly more powerful fish. He played it patiently, without allowing any slack which is essential for his barbless flies. During the battle, in one of many instances where he had the fish to the top, a clearly bigger fish came up and swam alongside to see what the fuss was about. And then it was in the net. We did not weigh it, but it was in the 6.5lb to 7lb region. A triumphant end to what had started an "oh so hard" beginning. And a new technique for me. Identifying bass and bait shoals at 25knts. Next time it gets "oh so hard", make sure your cap is on tightly, should you find yourself aboard BIF1...

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