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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 16th December 2021

A frustrating time since I returned from windy island. Tried to get out a couple of times, but big swells meant that even though quite safe, good lure control, impossible. Then today, finally, a smooth tide, and a couple of customers to go with it. Just the usual dread that, having not fished for a good while, and at a time of seasonal change factored in with plunging sea temperatures, and a lot of freshwater entering while I was away, would there be any fish at all?

En route to a squid and cod mark, regulars Bill and Max having been very briefed that the entire session could be without even a bite, I noticed on the sounder, a large shoal of what I suspected were herring, later confirmed by scales coughed up by the predators. I marked the fish, and went around and uptide of the shoal, hoping to drift back through it, to see what might be harassing them. Clean ground, the only feature being a slight bank, enough to create a split in the tide speeds. No idea why these subtle features often hold good fish. Another example for shore anglers, is the Burrels at Shoreham. And the fish in this situation?

Very first cast, and seized in mid water, I assumed my first contact was a bass. Although I commented several times it did not feel like a bass. But what else would seize my 28gm Axia Mighty Minnow fifteen feet down, in the middle of a herring shoal. The answer turned out to be a stunning and sleek codling, which will likely within a matter of days, be heading off for an orgy with its kind. This is the herring effect. It makes fish do stuff fish do not usually do.

And then, what I would have to say, most likely the best whiting session BIF1 has ever been involved with. I can understand your sniggering, especially if your experience with whiting has been the pins from the shore, where the 27cm limit is heralded as a good fish. But when they reach a pound plus, they become a very sporting fish indeed, and the beauty of fishing shads, is that they tend to only attract the better fish.

After about forty tings, I suggested we give them and us, a break, and take the squid and cod drift we had been heading for. Nothing doing there though, other than a couple of bass. We had a look at some close in rock, for a bigger bass, but the viz still wasnt quite where I like it in there, especially at this time of year when in there, you really are looking for a single take now. So, off to another cod and squid spot, with perhaps forty minutes of the session left.

Here, happily, we hit half our target, with a dozen squid. Sadly no cod. However, as we headed back in, and especially when I was bagging my foodies fishes, it dawned on me, that for the middle of December, there is still some excellent lure fishing to be had. Hardcore lump hunters likely need not apply, but for those of you up for food or fun, I am now running though until 8th January at least, due to changed travel plans. As always, sms to 07970 112774 to reserve your space, as advertised on the ticker.

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