My approach to charter skippering is much the same as my approach to shore guiding. Even if I do not have customers, I need to keep in touch with what the fishes are up to, and I am always striving to improve my routines to make the best of what fish are available. To this end, I invited my friend John out for a days fishing. First target, big Tub Gurnards . It had occurred to me whilst in the bath the previous evening (a place of great inspiration for me) that the gurnards that day were caught on Isomes when fishing for plaice. What might happen if we set out to fish for Gurnards? HTO frolics in 30gm quickly gave us the answer… 13 big tub gurnards in two drifts and it was time to do something else.
Plaice have been quite patchy this year. Find one, find a few. But finding the one has been tough. They are often missing in the places I would expect them. So, I wanted to try some new spots. A single small fish on the first drift, then nothing for two consecutive drifts. Time for something different. I was about to head down to the coddie spot when I noticed one of my berth neighbours approaching from offshore. On board he had two good cod, which he had taken in the time we had been gurnarding and bassing. He began to explain where he had caught them. He is an older guy, and still uses line of sight to find his inshore marks. I think he saw my lost expression… “Would you like me to take you to it?” he said. “Please….” We motored off.
I noticed the mark was close to another that I had taken from a dive site. I had looked at the area, but not seen so much in the way of ground I felt cod would like to dwell in. And yet, always people will take a few cod in the winter on baits on these spots. It had always sat in the back of my mind. Cliff stayed for a drift down with us. First drop down, on an HTO Mighty minnow, a chunky codling resulted, battling all the way up. That was us for the rest of the day. I wanted to micro chart the whole area. Cliff waved us goodbye, and I began to run longer drifts, running further up the tide. What I found, was a very slight protrusion of flat chalk, which just had enough on it to hold a good sized shoal of pouting. A coddies favourite food. I also found a great run of sand up to another rocky patch, and here plaice were readily taking isomes, if a little small.
No further cod resulted, but I am quite sure it was because we arrived as the tide dropped away. Something to work out tomorrow I feel. Ready for Saturday. Because, I think Saturdays customers are going cod fishing… with big tub gurnards as backup…
As always – 07970 112774 to get on board. Two sailings with myself currently tomorrow. And I am very fired up to work out more about those cod.