First sailing, and father and son Paul and Josh stepped on board BIF1. Both had boat experience, but I think their curiosity was peaked by some favourable reviews on facebook. And I could see the second that Paul picked up the rod, that it was something quite different for them both.
They both listened well, and I remarked at the end of the session, how they were fishing so intently and focused. They were really into it. We had some early successes , but then, with the tide dying, the fishing got harder. Moving around helped a bit, but sizes were not great.
The final tally for the session was six bass.
But remember, these guys have only just found finger power. The catch rate increases with the practice. Becoming the coiled spring costs fishes that, once coiled, the spring will nail. Overall, it was a really lovely session, as I could feel the enthusiasm growing as each pluck was either hit or missed. I really had a ball, and the guys have already booked their next session, so I don't need to wonder about that. But its not just that. I really enjoy to see the bonds. My own dad, was flat out 6.5 days a week earning to keep his brood. I enjoyed a small handful of trips with him. And a few more than that bait gathering when he realised I had a flair for crabbing. I remember every second of every trip, and my brain is tired and forgetful. To see the same happening in front of me, somehow makes me feel that bit closer to my late father. A kind of bereavement therapy.
Next up, and it was regular Nick, who bought his delightful wife Carolyn along, I think to see if regular boat partner Ian wasn't actually a jinx. I really quite fancied this session, as it took the first three hours of the flood tide. Often a productive time. And in some respects it was, as it isnt everyday a double figure fish graces the decks of BIF1. But not the silver spikey type. More the amazing body paint type. Another ruddy great Undulate ray. And a very romantic story, of a husband and wife who really do do everything together. We were drifting the very edge of some heavy stuff, where it meets sand. I looked round to see Nicks rod, which is quite a light rod, hooped well over. "Rock" he exclaimed. Then Carolyn's rod smacked over. In my head, I suspected a ghost net, until we observed both rods do a "lunge". A double hookup of Undulates? No. One very greedy undulate and a great job of teamwork from the happily married couple. Possibly the most romantic moment on BIF1 to date...
However, the bass we sought were playing hardball. We had to burn some fuel before we settled on an area that was actually producing. And then, nets were an issue, as one local commercial is investing heavily in early season cod catching. Miles of nets over two of the most prolific cod reefs. The price of cod fillet, and the removal of bass for many, means that this will be the inevitable focus for the local fleet. I guess he is getting in early, staking "his" patch more than landing stacks of coddies. I will enquire with a friendly netter I know. I think we touched that figure 8 once more. But just two made it up the road for lunch.
Final sailing, and another very happy couple. Mike and Dudo. The day just got better. So much love in the air. I might rename BIF1 "The Love boat"... ? And further proof of the pheromone effect, as with a couple of tweaks, Dudo became very quickly the coiled spring as Mike and I lagged behind. This was a full on culinary expedition. Mike kicked off the session well, with a jumbo mackerel. But once more it took a few moves, before we settled on some bass. Between one mark and another, I stopped on a marked pile of fish. Strangely, they were jumbo pouting, one of which was taken for sampling.
Next stop, and not just bass, but cuttlefish were added to the tally. Just four. And, from 8 bass, of which Dudo nailed 5, just three of size to take back with them. Unluckily though, as Mike dropped a hell of a fish before we could see what it was. A real shame. But the only down moment of another super invigorating session. Did I mention I love my job?