Just two sailings today. First sailing I cancelled due to a forecast stiff SE breeze, which is not a great one for this patch of coast. 2nd sailing, and Clinton and Darren joined me to see what events today had to offer. Fairly conclusive evidence that there is still plenty of spider crabs enjoying their shallow sea bath to do their moulting thing.
Just a single schoolie, and then an intense squall qualified the choice of vessel for this gig. Back in and queuing for coffee at the laughing dog cafe, within minutes. The ridge of cloud that rode with that wind was passed even before our drinks were ready, and we walked back to the boat to continue the hunt. The break prompted me to suggest that we go have a look for plaice. These were much more obliging, and super fit and super thick with 4 months pretty undisturbed feeding due to world events.
But the bassing, which we tried again, for another small fish, is absolutely off the scale diminished. Almost certainly due to this infernal spider peel and the fishes obsession with them. As I was struggling, so a friend fishing the beach with spider peeler bait, was catching. In crystal clear waters, where usually only something live and active would work.
Not a complete waste of time though. With the miserable weather, and bumpy sea, jet skis, paddle boarders and Kayaks were all missing. Just a few ribs dotted around. And with this calm, creatures that avoid folk take advantage. Darren spotted it. "Whats that over there Rob?" he inquired. "Erm... Plastic bag?" I offered. Then the plastic bag waved. I motored over. A sunfish, which was quite the poser. A first for me anywhere. Well thrilled, and happy the guys were there to see it with me.
Next, it was Gavins turn to join Clinton and myself. And a similar story, with one noticeable exception. We chased around. Not a lot happening. We tried the plaice. They were patchy, but having it. We ran over time. It didnt matter, as I had cancelled last sailimg. The sea got bumpy, but it didnt matter because we were in a Pirate and my guys had sea legs. What mattered, was the lack of bass.
As the tide slackened, the wind eased right back. I shot off to try some deeper water. The reason the spiders migrate into the edges, is the sun warms the shallow water the best. And when you are a crab, about to come completely defenceless, and it is in part the temperature of the water that restores your defences, in a world where everything is looking to eat you in your defenceless state, you really want to be doing this thing in shallow water. But, if you do it alone, you are doomed. So, nature makes you do it en mass, with tens of thousands of your brethren. So, my logic was, deeper water, no spiders peeling, and any fish, likely to be doing normal stuff.
Exactly how it turned out. I marked a lot of fish first drift, and happily Clinton snagged, one, just deserve for all his efforts. But next drift less. I missed one, a super finicky take, and then they were gone. None showed on consecutive drifts. Back to the hunt.
Part of why I endeavour with this blog, is that re-writing the events of the day, reminds my grey matter of the moments, and now I have more time for reflection, I can further analyse. The theory was good, the fact the fish ultra flighty just a reflection of how much the spot is being fished at the moment by a commercial rod and liner. But I will take the theory, and try it somewhere else next time we sail.
Which sadly, is likely to be Sunday. Small chance Saturday if forecast improves. Some spaces next week still. I will get the availability up on the Brighton Inshore Fishing Facebook page.