1st sailing and out with Rene, young Alec and his father Lee. Seas were settled, although there was a fairly stiff NW breeze, as forcast, just to make lure control a little challenging. Always a dilemma on the first sailing after an enforced break due to weather. Where to fish? Birds were around, so although I rarely chase birds, it did at least give me an idea of which side (east or west of the marina) the nearest bait shoals were.
I would now really like to write about how we dropped straight into a shoal. We did, but it was mostly mackerel, and that rather set the theme of the session. Lots of lightning fast tugs that simply wouldnt connect most of the time, although the odd one did fall foul of the mighty minnow. But bass, they were far fewer. And the majority of them rather small. I think we would have found more fish, but for the wind constantly holding us against the tide, meaning little ground covered.
Rene, the trip organiser, held back for the grand finale, with a nice fish in the 50cm range joining a very chunky mackerel for lunch. And both Lee and Alec caught their first lure caught bass. Always a great feat. So it was very much happy smiley people that left the vessel, to make way for Chris, Andrew and Scott.
Back out, and this time I headed the opposite direction to take advantage of the newly flooding tide. Now we had the reverse issue. With the strong new flood, and wind with tide, we were moving swiftly. Not such a terrible problem when hunting bass on lures though. The guys all share an Arvor in the marina, so were also interested in approaching a mark etc. All the time the NW wind was increasing, not decreasing as the forecast I sailed on had suggested.
A very similar session to the first session. The need to jump around, picking off the odd fish or two among a zillion micro fry and the billion mackerel chasing them. There is certainly no lack of biomass in the sea at the moment, despite the best efforts of the giant super trawlers permanently hammering the mid channel off Brighton.
However, the main aim for the guys was to get techniques to then use on their own vessel, and to this end I think the session was quite successful. A couple of table bass as well, among the mackerel, so culinary desires also achieved. The last hour was quite bouncy though, as the wind had now swung SW and increased some more, and it was a wet and bumpy run back into the marina. Where, sadly, I had to inform the next client, complete with two expectant nippers, that it would be unsafe to return back out there. Likewise, for my 1800 clienst, probably not worth the gamble of coming down from London town on a train for the session/. As I write this, at 1630, my gate is still banging and the white horses are evident from my window. Once again, this July autumn stops play.