Fish of the day for Garry.
Something that has been playing on my mind the past few sailings has been the size of the fish. Focusing on the marina marks, at this time of year, tends to mean wading through a lot of very small fish, to get to the few better ones that are happy to compete amongst the smaller schoolies. This morning, other than one small patch that marked up on the sounder, there were not so many fish around there anyhow, and the visibility was still quite poor, despite it being the first of the ebb. So, I decided to head West. And it was a very good decision.
Classic wrasse for Pablo
Many more fish marks were apparent as we maneuvered into position for the first drift. A lot of bait fish, and some smaller groups of bass smashing them. A positive sign. Just Pablo and Garry were with me this first sailing. And the bass counter began clicking steadily right from the off. Even better, the bass here were of a good average stamp. It was more a case of getting through the 1.5 - 4lb fish to get to the smaller schoolies. And other fish too, on this very craggy ground. Some really good wrasse, including a classically marked stunner for Paul. Pollack, two of which were in the 3lb class, which are great fun and even better eating. Reef pollack rarely grow much more than 5lb along these spots.
Much better bass today...
And then, what has to be the fish of the day. A John Dory, Garry was the lucky guy on the rod this incredibly interesting fish chose. A first for BIF1, but I hope not the last. I could gaze at their beautiful ugliness for hours. Garry chose to release it, despite their reputation as first class eating. More bass followed, regularly, although the fish drifted out from the rock onto the sand as the tide decreased. By the time we headed back in, the bass counter was reading 33, and mostly in the legal plus range, although obviously, we abide happily with the maximum one bass per angler per day regulations currently in force. Garry also lost perhaps what would have been the other fish of the day. Two very big runs from a very powerful bass, which then crash dived into weed, successfully losing the hook. Perhaps from previous experience?
Some of these...
For the afternoon sailing, Garry was happy there was a space, and decided to have a second session. Pablo already was booked to stay on. Capt Bruce put in an appearance, and Stuart took the final space. We headed straight back west. We did try a couple of places I would expect to find bass along the route, but not enough marks to keep us there. We headed back to the scene of the mornings fishing, and were straight back into fish, More pollack, a shad that came off at the side of the boat (good one as well, in the 3lb region). A squid that did likewise. And then the man with the golden rod, scored again. The elusive Codling continuing the species experience. And, to top it all, a classic autumn sunset. A pretty much perfect day. Perhaps the best day yet on BIF1. Certainly a new bass record, as the bassometer read 81 by the end of the session. And with the sizes much better, it was good to be a charter skipper again...
Spaces this week... tomorrow morning - 3... Wednesday 2nd sailing - 4 Friday tba.... 07970 112774 to get on board.