Returnee's Mark, Max, Andy and Bill back out on nice flat seas, although the Northerly breeze was reminding us winter is coming. Nicely gloomy and grey, it looked a cracking morning for squid, and squid we did find, although only a couple. The whiting shoal wasn't in the usual spot, so we tried the patch of scrub and happily Max did find what we were looking for. Around 7lb of prime Sussex cod.
But for the bass, it was about picking in among the rocks, hoping for better sized fish. And better sized fish we found, although not in September numbers. Then, a call from a friend fishing the shingle, sent us back to Brighton, where we did increase the numbers, although mostly small fish. A drag across a piece of nearby rock, a virtual island in a sea of sand, did find a better one to finish off the session. Happy folk, and fish for the table. Best one to that man with the golden nad's Bill at a measured 58.5 cm, 1.5cm away from being returned. But a fish that likely had already been consumed as I type this, by Bill's family. His mouth was watering even as I was reaching out with the net.
I brought the midday sailing forward an hour, to beat a wind that actually never came. So, no Cafe zio for me. However, my next crew was kind enough to bring coffee and a sausage mcmuffin, for fear of me starving. This crew, were the Watt's brothers, Mathew and Nigel, and Chris. And we all shared some of the best years of our lives, fishing the lakes, rivers and estuaries of Essex as we progressed from, school., to being mobile, and reaching ever further for our fishy experiences. Lots of stories with these guys.
For the first two hours though, as much as I really enjoyed having the guys on board, I was horrified with my inability to put us on fish. Just one as we entered hour three. We did quite a while on the cod, which I always warn people, is never a given. They are still really quite rare. A couple of squid did come up. Which enabled me to serve, an extremely cold dish of revenge, thirty eight years later. Why is it people assume I am nice?
The story begins, in the days when we were dipping our toes into carp fishing. I was still using a sleeping bag, on the floor, overnight. I really didn't sleep much, as I was usually too busy shivering. Floors aren't great. But when I did finally sleep, it would be deep sleep, the body demanding essential repairs. One occasion, I was joined in my sleep, by another body. Yet, I was sleeping so deeply, I wasn't aware of the near 4lb silver eel Nigel had felt needed warming up for a little while. Oh, and my sleeping bags, the zips were always jamming....
So when I hooked the first squid, with Nigel, completely unaware of my gold medals in markmanship, for shooting the squid, standing next to me, it was a no brainer... And it was a little inky as well, although not in cuttle territory. Bullseye... There you go Nigel...Debt repaid. We did all giggle a little harder than all the giggling we had already been doing at that one.
And then, with the new flood, an old favourite came up with the goods. Some good fish among them, although only Chris was a foodie, so only a brace were dispatched. lots of fun, and plenty of missed takes as well. A great round off, to a fun, but a little slow, day.