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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 17th May 2024

First sailing, and out onto flat seas, with just Steve and Jon for company. A glorious morning for being alive to be fair, if a little chilly. I currently consider that I have just two productive areas with the current green seas and short tides, so not so much running about. Just needed to confirm the fish were there. And then get them to attack our lures. Easy, right?

The thing people find out the fastest when getting to know bass, is that two days often do not compare. Subtle changes in the marine environment can have bigger implications than us land dwelling bipeds can't really get our heads around. To be successful with any consistency, being able to think laterally and adapt can make all the difference between success and failure. Usually, I am on point with that side of things. Today, was a proper challenge.

First mark had accumulated a lot more may rot overnight, which was a shame as I prefer to play in the shallower places. Second mark, was almost devoid of any rot, with great visibility. The sonar confirmed the presence of bait and predators. I expected the rods to bend as soon as they dropped down. But that didn't happen.

It was quite a hard slog. Some takes, very slight and lightning fast. I hit one, and a small bream tumbled aboard. But the sounder suggested bass and bait. We continued. The ebb tide began to push us along a little faster. And finally a rod went over. Steve's red one was nicely bent to a clearly better fish. A cracking scrap, and 59.5 centimetres of bass was in his loving arms.

This gave us some hope. They were there, and they COULD be triggered. Patience was clearly the game. And at the final whistle, five bass had been landed, with two tables. A fraction of what we were marking. What to do with the next session? Likely same again as there were not many other options and at least the fish were there.

Joining me for the second and final sailing was Mark, Nick, Carolyn and Cornish Phil. It was a straight re-run of the first one really, with some very interesting exceptions. Nick was fishing a flyer. I don't like flyers normally as they are mackerel magnets and offer a snag potential. On this occasion it put some more pieces of the puzzle together. First fish on it was a horse mackerel. Next, two sardines in succession. Earlier Mark had a stunning bronzed pout. Sardines hitting a very lightly dressed fly... I still think newly hatched sand eel are at the root of this pyramid. But clearly mixed predation offering all sorts of food opportunities for the apex predators. And yet, on a short tide with little flow, just ten bass were landed from shoals of thousands.

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