As predicted, wind took apart any prospect of sailing for the last four days. Kept myself busy on the bass in the local rivers, on lure and I'm pleased to say my first shore based bass on the fly this year. Katie, her son Otto, and David, all first time on BIF1, plus Andrius returning for his second play, all felt the effects of four days of bounce, as there was still some residual swell on an otherwise mirror calm sea. Not too bad, and dropping all the time.
Unlike the fishing, which on paper was great. But sizes and numbers, less so. Although actually, Andrius is a bit of a species on lures hunter, so he wasn't too unhappy with his end result. And Otto, had never caught a shark before. I will explain.
We of course chased bass the first half of the session. With a strong flood still happening, I must admit I was expecting good things. We certainly marked a fair few bass. But they were mostly ignoring our offerings, with just two landed, I seem to recall both to David. And with a lad on board, we had to do better than that, so onto the plaice. These were feeding reasonably well, but sizes were not so good. Bonus species though. Both Otto and his mum Katie caught small thornback rays. Otto nailed a small hound. Andrius got his plaice, which he hadn't had on a lure before, and also caught a bream, which I must admit we don't usually encounter on this particular sandy bank, with very few rough patches on it. Also, on a whole isome, whereas we normally catch them on tiny pieces.
Not a lot for the table from that session though, although I think everyone enjoyed it, and new skills were eagerly absorbed by all. Breakfast at Cafe Zio, then onto round 2, with Mark, Mitch, another Mark and Peter. All pretty regular. And another bit of a grueller. Again just two bass for the first part of the session. Then onto the plaice, but with the tide dropping back fast, not so good for them. Two crackers for Mark though, which made up for it a bit. Small gurnards and dabs made up the numbers a bit. Sitting here writing this, I see I got that session back to front. Should have targeted the plaice on the flow. Hey ho. As I say, all regulars, and all realise I am only human.
One of those regulars, Mitch, was staying on for the final sailing, where he would be joined by Swapnil and Jon. I had told him that this would be the best one, as it had the last of the ebb, the low, and the first of the flood. And I had a mark where the bass were not obsessed with pin fry, but ate pouting like good little basses. And pretty big basses. He of course, did not believe a word of it. Which is why, it was particularly rewarding, when it happened as predicted.
The one mark, we fished pretty hard, for two of the three hours. And it only gave up five fish. Two smalls. A fish of 59cm for Swapnil, and fish of 68cm and 70cm for Jon. Then, for the final hour with the new flood, we headed to some rock, where there were that many bass, and so much baitfish, that we even managed to trigger another twenty five or more. Plenty on surface lures, but the better quality fish were closer to the bottom, and for a change, had mood to hit the shads. Really great fun fishing, that was still going strong when the alarm went for end of session. A great end. And all I could think, was how much young Otto from the first sailing, would have enjoyed a session like this. The way the cookie crumbles I guess.