I had spent the previous day buddy boated up with Neil, hunting for some kind of routine to put on for today. The big Southerly wind had, I suppose predictably, blown all the may rot onto our inshore, and fishing on lure in the massively reduced viz was very difficult indeed. If it hadnt been for some improvement in the afternoon, and the buzz of losing what I think was a good bass, I probably would have cancelled todays clients. However, Paul, Lee and David have been trying to get out with me for a while, with the wind putting paid to all prior attempts in 2018. So, I crossed my fingers, downplayed the prospects, and they were still keen. And so, at 0530, bang on schedule, we slipped the quay and headed out.
To.. well, the first interesting thing of the day, was perhaps the biggest "run to the Rum" or whatever events boatie folk put on. It looked really impressive as a huge flotilla of sailing craft headed South out of the marina. But the irony. It was flat calm. Hopefully they all have full tanks of fuel. We admired, and then picked a hole to speed through. And onto the first lump of rock. There was clearly far too much rot inshore, and even out on the 1.5 mile line, it wasnt ideal. A few feet. Just enough if you can manage to jump your latex or metal around right in the fishes face. which brings a whole modification of technique.
Seemed to work as well. When the rot is here, the mission is to get action. Any action. And by burning a lot of fuel buzzing around to holes in the rot, complicated by needing to find holes in the rot, on spots at the appropriate state of tide, we managed to creep together a tally. First on board were pouting, which are one of the few fish to seem not to be so put off by the algae bloom. A few small shoals of bass on the sounder were verified when Lee managed to get one on some metal. Indeed, for the first hour, metal (HTO Frolics in this case) A whiting added to the species tally. A 2nd schoolie popped up. Some jumbo pout to get the rods bending. Lee mentioned he had never seen a plaice caught on an isome. So we went and did that. And suddenly, the morning session was over.
We headed back, turned around, with David remaining on board. I wasnt happy with the mornings action, but suggested that the new flood might well bring cleaner water, and better fishing. And that is exactly how it happened. We went out to the plaice drag we had finished the earlier session on, and nailed three in quick succession. Gurnard also came over the gunwhale. Then, some commando raids on rocks. Two nice reef pollack lifted things, giving a great scrap. David mentioned he had never caught a wrasse. A change of location saw two come up, including one nice one in the 3lb bracket. David got repeatedly attacked by something (we were on the shads now. For whatever reason on the new flood, the fish were simply not playing with metals). It was briefly hooked, then dropped off. On his hook point, small scales that I reckon were bream. Perhaps the first nesting bream, which chase off HTO Mighty minnows as a defensive action to protect their nests, with so much enthusiasm they often get hooked. Always males.
More rocks produced more missed opportunities, including plenty of squid and cuttle briefly attaching and then releasing. The session was much more full of possibilities than the first sailing, mostly with the clearer water. And I am very much happier about the prospects for tomorrows sailings, with the water far clearer even quite close in on our return to port.