So, why am I working? Several reasons. Im not sure I was ever told to stop working. The problems were, that to go fishing, was not a reason for travelling. Non essential. My clients could not come to me. It was STAY AT HOME time. Boris said to me "Robin, me ol mucker, if you cannot do your job from home, go to work", but there wasnt much point. I ran the engines a few times, got her serviced (marinas and ports were closed to leisure craft owners, so quiet facilities) but each time I did put a rod on board, after five minutes, even R & D wasnt appealing. Just not the same without a face to put a smile on.
Now, with STAY ALERT and the government scientists advising we can go queue up for bedding plants as well as for food, they have also acknowledged that the risk is low enough we can fish, among many other things. A mention should be given to the Angling Trust in this. Without their knowledge of how to access the parliamentary system, the government might likely have overlooked us. And now, we are on the first wave of activities permitted if these strange times. The rules are, you may fish, either alone, with members of your household, or, with one non household member. This gives me a legitimate in, to my best understanding of the rules and regulations. Especially with Boris now saying "really Robin me ol mucker. I need to begin getting some income to the treasury now it is bare... Sorry we gave your industry absolutely nothing at all, and really sorry for royally shafting all those charter operations where single angler is uneconomically viable whom we continue to shaft for no good reason anybody anywhere can make out, but be a good lad and switch the economy on".
So, as you all know, I will always do what my government asks of me. It does mean a whole different regime though. Changes to operation listed below...
1. PRICE - £100 per session (3 hours actual fishing time)
2. GREETINGS - Sadly, the big hugs and sloppy kisses will need to wait till ano vaccine.
3. FISHING AREA... You have the forward half of the boat to yourself. Once underway, you remain there until we are berthed again
4. INTER SESSION HYGEINE - The forward half of the boat, including all grab rails and seating areas, are washed in a 5 percent bleach solution between clients, as is client rod and reel. A lifejacket will be waiting for you on your seat, and you are asked to drop it to the helm footwell on leaving the craft. Lifejackets are cycled that they are only used one session every 48 hours. PERSONAL HAND CLEANSING IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CLIENT. Fish will be netted for you, but deposited at your feet for you to unhook.
5. COMMONEST QUESTION - already is, "Can I come with my two lads". Answer is, YES. BUT, I will have to come and live with you for ten days prior, at my hourly rate of £33.33 per hour. If that is not viable, then I am afraid single anglers only at this point in time.
6. THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS - so please be patient, and comply with your skippers requests. He needs you to live forever, because even at these exorbitant rates he is now running at half turnover. You are at one point only five feet from me at launch, but we have our backs turned to each other. And underway, you are protected from me by a) 25 knots of wind and b) the spray screen.
7. MESSAGES AT SEA. I have probably had around 150 messages by people bursting to know what has been caught today. I am afraid, at £33.33 an hour, my customers have my full attention, and my new turn around procedures fill the other gaps. On returning home I have admin, and then this blog to attend to, before feeding, bathing and sleeping to awaken at 0400 to do it all again. Please dont feel hurt if I do not reply. I will try very hard to update the blog post session same day.
Now, what you really wanted to know...the fishing... First up, young Peter. Headed out. Hunting. Been so long that I really had no clue what to do other than bomb around everywhere looking not just for fish but less algae infested water. Regular readers can likely recall my frustrations with the annual green gunge event. So far this year though, it isnt too bad. Certainly seen it worse. And watching a shoal of whitebait in the marina happily feeding despite heavy sediment, gave me some hope. But it was hard, and there was much running around. It works though. Bits here... bits there... wrasse, pouting, but bass didnt want to be found... Whiting, tiny gurnard... By the last hour I was concerned Peter might not be having tea. "Plaice Peter?" A question well received. And bang bang, the only two of the session hooked at the same time. Session just saved. But as was a common scene. After so much insanity with so little fishing, just being out was the biggest reward.
Next up, was Tim. Same deal really. Except it was looking really really bad, as the plaice didnt want to play either. Went east side to a real concentrated soup of algae. Happily, a spot offshore finally gave us some silver, with a bass of 47cm heading home to make Tim some more happy time with his smoker. A couple of smaller specimens followed, but that was that session completed.
Final session, and suprise. Out with Armando and the water most places was suddenly so less rotten with the new flood. But... actually the fish vanished with it. Went west, all the way to my operating limits. Working spots inshore and offshore all the way back. Nothing at all. I threw my eggs into my Corona secure basket and headed east, also to my limits. Not sure why i did that, and it was initially looking like it was for nothing. Then. happily, a move tight inshore came up with the goods, and four more silver bars messed up and tried to eat our HTO mighty minnows. That bought the session to a close, with a 45cm fish heading home to make his wife happy.
And now, I am slightly more on the pulse. What should happen, is I will put more info together from my observations, and catches will rise. Although a lot depends on water quality. Time will tell. Apologies for not so many photos as well. Im all disconglobulated from being out of the saddle so long. It will come together.
Some spaces next week - as always, 07970 112774 to get on board.