First of four sailings today. I cant actually believe I used to do these long days for 3 months in years past. As I write this, I am really feeling every one of my fifty two years. One more to do on Monday, and then the daylight doesnt really allow for it anymore. Phew...Joining me on this individual trip, Mark, Damo and Mitch, all regulars, and new to BIF1, Stuart.
Heading out, there was a fair Northerly wind. Certainly enough to limit visiting the outer reefs. And at times, gusting very hard indeed, enough to make me wish I was still in bed, except... The guys were catching fish. Had we not had such tough conditions, which make keeping in touch with the lure so very much harder, I should imagine the final tally, of eleven bass, might have been double. Perhaps more. Certainly no problems in finding good fish marks. And, many of the fish were good fish. Some smalls, but also fish in the 45 to 51cm range, with both Stuart and Mitch going up the road with a brace apiece. Mark and Damo abstaining, as usual. During this sailing, we witnessed a very large bass, silver, so not a reef dweller, smashing bait about two feet down in very clear water.
2nd sailing, Much less wind, and once more, quality fish. This time, I was joined by Paul, Scott, Ryan and Lee. It could actually have been a mirror of the first sailing, except we fell short by two fish. Just nine landed in this session, but again, quality was good. Signs of change once more. Still some big big shoals of baitfish, but with plenty of pelagic predators around, perhaps bass are getting hungry again. Or perhaps just bored of smashing small stuff. Sandeels again very prominent, with a visual sighting of a big shoal today.
3rd sailing, and Mark and Damo were back again, with, finally, my former neighbour Wayne, and topped up with non other than Phil "the bass". Marina warden extraordinaire, completing the whole boat charter. This one mirrored the first except it did go a bit quiet over the top of the tide. Early ebb made up for it though, and eleven bass was the final tally. And again mostly quality fish. Wayne had been a little apprehensive about casting on a full boat, but he soon appreciated how it all works. and for his first time on BIF1 he did really well.
Fourth sailing, the return, finally, after a long time mending bones smashed in a mountain bike accident, Lee, and his long time friend Ben. This sailing started very well, when I nailed a bass we weighed swinging 8lb 4 to 9lb. So, likely around 8.5lb, and a sign of what is to come. But thereafter, slow, with the final tally of 4 bass landed. One went up the road, the 8lb fish and two smalls returned. Two very big mackerel also. Great to catch up, and a stunning sunset to boot.