Out with Mark for first sailing. And further testimony to how much the service on BIF1 has changed, as a result of the Corona virus. As every boat now, is a whole boat charter. This means you, the customer, have a much larger element of input into the plan. Something Mark had always wanted to try, was Breaming with squid bait inshore on the light gear. I saw this as very welcome, as I would stay with the lures and use his results as my control.
Part of the reason I do not do bait on BIF1 is she simply isnt designed for it. A good bait boat allows plenty of room for anglers to prepare bait, and perhaps sit on a seat box or Engine cover while watching their rods. This is what the big catamarans excel at, and the reason those skippers have invested in those vessels. I would much rather my clients used their services, and get the best value for their money, from a purpose built craft. BIF1 is about lures, and fly, and speed, and covering ground. I have to carry 2 anchors for safety, by law, but they didn't get wet for years.
Sadly, these big vessels, are currently pretty much unable to run at the moment, as to take a single angler is really looking at prices you could have got a week in the canary islands for, in the days you could have a holiday in the canary islands. Although, I do personally feel that some ports offer potential for inshore fishing such as we are blessed with in Brighton, and and some of these craft might be able to offer short trips in the same format as I do. As there is no government support for the continuing costs of being a charter boat owner, I think some may begin looking at offering different products, with the alternative being going under. Time will tell.
So, I agreed. But, I want to get away from knives and bait wrappings etc. Wherever possible, I want you to prep bait at home. Squid is very easy to do. Mark came with a bag of strips already cut, from a squid he caught on board last year. This is perfect. The only other scenario I guess people will want to try, is dragging fresh mackerel over select sand banks. If this sounds good to you, please be aware, you will need to bring your own terminal tackle, cutting board and filleting knife.
Well, I am really happy for Mark. And really saddened for the fact that in this situation, Isomes and Stink pots, my two rated Bream lures, exhibited a fraction of the fish pulling power that Marks squid did. I have got thoughts to amend the presentation a bit though, so I am saying the battle was won by bait, but lures are still in the war. Final tally for Mark was 13 bream, to my single fish (on Isome). Not bad for a 3 hour trip. He dropped a few as well. I did manage the only Wrasse when I went onto an HTO mighty minnow, and I think I won on Pouting which actually did seem to prefer the isome, with us both taking some pretty big ones by inshore reef standards. Mark had the first Horse mackerel of the year I have seen, but no sign of the real ones on this trip.
2nd sailing, and I pretty much dragged Arthur all the way from Bognor, for a trip along the cliffs. We did find one really good shoal of bass, but no matter how many times we went through them, we couldn't get them to open their mouths. I made a move West, but by the time we reached the marina, it was clear it was becoming too unpleasant with a stiff SW breeze, to call fishing it fun, We went in.
Other news... signs of the may rot finally dying off. Shores will begin to have it packed in to the edges with a run of SW winds, and it wont be pleasant. But off a little way, fingers crossed seas will be once again clear very soon.