More and more quality fish moving into the inshore. I'm rather hoping it builds to 2019 standards, where 5lb + fish were more common than schoolies, and had to wait for the net because it was busy with the 8lb + fish. Lets see. First up, in near perfect conditions, were Tim and Dan, who had chartered the whole boat that they might mix up lure and fly.
Lure was the better technique by a long shot, and more specifically. surface lures. The most exciting method of hooking bass perhaps. So visual. The guys nailed the technique very quickly, and were rewarded very quickly also. And with the early start, peaceful seas enhanced the experience. Fifteen was the final tally, with a fish apiece for the table, and a cracker of 62 cm, which of course exceeds BIF maximum kill size, and was released.
Second and third sailings ran back to back, and as the 0500 start allowed some flexibility, we also started early. On board, a friend from way back in the good days of Worldseafisihng.com Jon, had dragged along his friends Dean and Ray along. Both super keen anglers, Dean is well known for presenting a popular mainstream TV carp fishing programme. I personally hate the alien invasive species, and wish the monks had acquired a taste for black bass when they were selling their religion on our barbaric isle. But some people like them. Tackle manufacturers especially.
I actually knew of Dean (Macey) a long time before that. He was an olympian, with the Decathalon his chosen event. Long before it became an outdoor and sporting shopping chain. That pretty much sums him up. One event just not enough. Pah..!! Thats not a challenge... Give me more... And this is because he is from Canvey Island. I observed the rise of his career, including a commonwealth GOLD in 2006, mostly from the pages of the Evening Echo when I visited my parents on "flying visits" that of course now, as an orphan, I wish had been much longer.
Benfleet (Beamfleote of Viking fame) long ago dug a big ditch to keep the people of Canvey away, creating Canvey Island. That ditch was called Benfleet Creek, and it financed my childhood sweets and cigarettes by housing the peeler crabs I collected and sold to the angling mad taxi drivers at the station. You see how everything is connected? No. Me neither.
Normally I waffle to fill a poor session. Today was pretty good though, and I need more characters that I can use more pictures. Dean and Ray both ticked their desire for fish on surface lures. And Jon was properly rewarded for calling on the trip. No less than a 74.5cm fish, although a little lean. Weighed somewhere between 9 and 10lb, so likely 9.5. But likely is as good as you can get when a stiff SE has sprung up, and you are a little rock and roll.
The second half of the sailing was much slower, as by then the sea was very busy with people and personal watercraft, with bright sun and clear seas. And yet, the final tally was 20, and likely more as fifteen was counted more than once we were fairly sure. Yet, it didnt matter. Everything returned as these guys are purely in it for the curiosity of seeing if they really can trick big fish with tiny pieces of rubber.
If you follow this blog, you might be wondering what has changed. Its actually very simple, and all about seasons moving along. Those micro fry, arent micro anymore. They are well on their way to becoming the sprat and herring they grow into, and have grown to sizes I can mimic quite easily and accurately. Add to that the spider peel has dwindled a lot, and now the bigger fish are more inclined to ambush the small fishes,. rather than hunt the bigger crabs as they pop out of their shells.
Basically, we are back in the game. Another 35 quality fish felt steel unleashed from BIF1 today. But far more important, even than the cash it generates, is the memories left ingrained. Both Tim and Dan, and Jon, Dean and Ray, left buzzing. And that leaves me buzzing. Much needed after so many weeks of hard.