Quite a quick report. I cancelled all sailings based on a really not very nice forecast. Wind, strong but from the North, and heavy rain. So, when one of my guys refused on the pretext that real men man up to a drop of rain, it seemed only fair to hammer in my point...
It actually started ok. Winds were strong, and a quick jaunt out to the 2 mile line was quite quickly abandoned, as a short chop and horrific cold wind just made it unpleasant. Plus I didnt see the bass shoal I was expecting on the first two drifts. This trip was always just about bass, and Jon was happy to go and prospect on the close reefs, especially after I explained what had happened the previous day. But today, nothing doing. I couldnt find a single fish. We headed to some inshore reef further west, but here, which is where I had been hoping to score, the may rot was bad and viz was much reduced.
"How about we check out round east" I offered. Mostly because we would get the best lea from the now howling NE wind. Jon was happy to try. "My gloves are in my other bag" he happened to mention. It slowly dawned on me how cold he had got. To the point that he was struggling to retrieve easily. "Just a couple of drifts and we will go in" I suggested. Cutting the session to an hour shorter, but with the rain now quite a deluge, Jon was very happy for the suggestion.
I didnt expect to catch anything. I dont normally lure fish east side until after the rot has gone, and the east side is the place it lingers the longest. But it was quite ok viz for this session. I lined up a familiar drift from last season. Nothing. No, not nothing. Signs of bait fish at least.
I pushed a bit further along the reef and set up another drift. As we hit a sandy channel, there they were. A cracking shoal. "Fish under us" I said, just as my rod slammed over. And incredible battle from a mere 3.5lb fish resulted. Terrible picture, I can assure you my grip is well clear of the vulnerable gill feathers. But this fish is also of interest to shore lure anglers. I was that close, that I would be happy and confident to begin shore foray's already. Although the may rot might well shut it down already quite soon.
That was the only fish. We did one more drift but Jon wasnt getting any warmer and we called it a day. Short, but very sweet. I now have the confidence to give all the inshore a proper look next time I get out. Useful as well, as these strong NE winds are here for a while. This means inshore plaice and bass might be the saviour of trips I might otherwise have to cancel.