Best fish of the day - just over 6lb for John Cremer.
Three on board for the first session. Martyn, and his lad Harry, and one of my regular fly boy's John Cremer. I made the decision to pick up where I had left off the previous day and headed straight for the mark, across a suprisingly big swell. I got the Martyn and Harry on the surface lures, and John and myself got the fly rods moving. The fly rods scored the first few, but for the first time on this mark, they were small schoolies. We continued, but not a lot changed. This was worrying. Martyn and Harry both had takes, and landed fish, but again small. Whereas on the two previous days, nothing existed smaller than 1.5lb here.
Double hook up for Martyn (left) and Harry (right)
After an hour, and still no big fish showing, I decided to go looking further West, to let some water drop off the mark, as it occured to me I had yet to fish it at this state of the tide. This was a good move, as everybody suddenly enjoyed tugs and pulls, and my rod screamed over with a beautiful bronzed fish a little over 5lb.
Some more drifts, but not a lot happening, so I took us back to the original mark for the next hour (actually an hour and a half, as I had the luxury of over-running with only John booked in on the next trip) and it did feel the spot was warming up. We managed to bring the tally up to 15 bass landed, and the sizes now were close to the target. Pan sized. But when it was time to head back in, pan sized had shown itself (a cracking fish probably too big to kill charged down Harrys lure right next to the boat) but failed to put itself on the hooks.
Pied wagtails - the latest species to adapt to marina life and forage for crumbs...
A leisurely turn around, including a wonderful Cafe Late at the laughing dog cafe in the village square, and we headed back out. I totally regret not turning around straight away as events turned out. But of course, it is well recognised that hind sight is a wonderful thing... Straight back to the mark, across a now rippled sea, as the forecast SW breeze kicked in. It actually sent us on a straight line across the mark, which was quite good in some respects as it helped me mark the northern and southernmost boundaries of the bait line. Good info for when the windless days arrive, and I can drift purely on the tide.
We managed an hour, when the wind freshened a little. In that hour, we added another five fish to the days tally. Nothing under 1.5lb. Biggest... If it wasnt for that fish earlier in the week, it would have been Johns new PB. But this one, weighed, was not as big. Not to be sneezed at either mind, as a 6lb 2oz bass on the fly in 20' of water is one hell of a lot of fun.
The wind freshened some more, and something caught my eye. On the horizon, white horses were highlighted by the bright sunshine. Even as I watched, I could see them spreading, racing towards us, although still a mile away. "Reel in John, and sit down. We go to run". Behind the white horses, was a towering cumulonimbus. Below it, a grey curtain meant I could no longer see the wind farm. A squall, and powerful winds with it. With John seated, I pushed the lever forward, and pointed the nose at the marina, full pelt. I bought the lever back a little as she went through 25knts on an already bumpy sea. The wind caught up with us just before the palace pier, side on. I kept the speed on, which meant every crashing wave, BIF1 pushed the spray outwards, for the now very strong wind to push it back all over me. I have to say I was loving it. BIF1 was loving it. I think even John was loving it. As we reached the reverb swells from the marina, I had to bring the speed down, but we had pretty much beaten the weather back in. Passing many small boats whom I am guessing will have a slow and arduous trek back to the marina. My confidence in BIF1 grows with every trip.