Steve sets up as a truly beautiful wooden sailing ship exits the marina.
The first sailing was with two fly boys. Two fly boys I hope BIF will have association with many years into the future, as Roly and Steve are from Fulling Mill, a worldwide distributor of quality flies across all disciplines. Useful guys to know if you are a new company, eager to increase your fly fishing clientele. So, to be honest, I was positively bricking it as we pottered along the fairway and out onto the very flat channel.
Roly's first ever bass on the fly
My mind was relaxed though, as I sought bass where I found them the previous morning. And the sounder, for once, showed back the same huge shoal of fish. Stacks of smalls, but among them always lurking some better quality fish. And on a fly rod, even a small schoolie is a lot of fun. Steve had already caught bass on the fly before, but I was thrilled to hear that Roly had not. I like firsts on BIF1.
Bass for Will
There was action from the beginning. Too many follows. And rarely a single fish. Often with five or six siblings on their shoulders. I urged the guys to speed up the retrieves. The difference fishing bass, from Trout, salmon, or Pike on the fly, is about as big as it gets. If you are just off the plane from popping GT's on the fly, your success rate will be good. You need to basically, strip strike every pull. That might be forty or fifty per cast. If you dont hurt after a session, your doing it wrong... As they practiced this, the follows became plucks and bangs. "Get angry with your fly line" I advised. As that is the trick to it. Strip it back as if it hates being stripped back fast, and your line has just insulted your mother.
Wrasse for Will
Steve got the hang of it quickest. And was steadily converting plucks to hook ups. Roly was still on follows. We decided to swap the fly for a smaller one. This was instantly successful, as mackerel decided they absolutely loved this fly. The garfish were very happy to chase it back to the boat as well. But Roly took it to the wire on the bass. However, he made me happy with ten minutes to spare, with his first ever fly caught bass. Not big, but the smile was. And we only ever guarantee smiles. Ten bass were proudly recorded on the counter when it was time to head back in for the much anticipated (by me) first ever squid special on BIF1.
For this I was joined by David and his lovely wife Lala. Also on board were Nick and Will Church, who have joined me on a few shore excursions in the past. They would be dedicated to hunting cod and bass on this mark, which they share with the squid and cuttles. Although, sadly, the first dedicated squid trip was a complete disaster. Despite things with tentacles mauling our shads with alarming regularity the last time we were out here, both fish marks and action missing. Two hours jumping around deeper rock marks, for just a couple of schoolies and two very pretty wrasse to the brothers. For the last hour we came back in close, and found sporadic contact with bass. The counter recorded 17 I seem to recall, at the end of the session. Plus some mackerel, to keep everybody happy with a feed.
Wrasse are loving the latest release of HTO slow jigs. Quality hooks as well.
Final session, I was determined to stay on the inshore shoal, and take the counter up to 70. And it all started so well, with a half a kilometer shoal to play with, everybody (Phil, Charlie, David and Duncan) getting tuned in quickly. However, somehow, half a kilometer of bass can shift and simply not be found again quite quickly, despite how impossible that sounds. I ended up popping west for an hour, where we found a couple, plus a gurnard, and then east, where we found slightly better action with bass and mackerel. Not the 70 fish I had hoped for, but the bass counter AGAIN recorded 36 bass on the day.
David into a bass
Just one sailing tomorrow as the wind gets a bit too much for good luring in the afternoon. 0645 meet at Zizzi, 2 spaces currently available. 07970 112774 to get on board.