First sailing, and out with Tim, Jason and Paul, all returnees. Indeed, on this day in history a few years back, I took this crew out for a shore session, along with... erm, I think Tim's lad. And we nailed fifty in the session, which isnt too shabby for shingle. Since then the guys have been out on the boat a few times, and here we were again.
I started close, on a patch of quite reliable fish, especially early on in the flood as we were. And the fish were there. Usually they err on the smaller side, but on Paul's very first cast he nailed a nice table fish of around 45cm. Then, more the expected quality schoolies. But a great way to get everybody sharpened up. I then floated the idea of leaving the action, to pursue bigger fish at a far slower catch rate, with the chance of a coddie into the mix. Cod. That word... Gets people very excited now they are apparently virtually non-existent.
And so we did, and we found the fish on the second spot we visited. With some really good fish among them. Jason nailed a couple of crackers, as did Tim, with the biggest taping 62cm. Suddenly, we were having fun.
As the tide eased back, so did the fishing. We were up to fifteen bass by now, so the guys had all had a good workout. I suggested we try full on codding for the final part of the session. Again, the guys were happy to do it, despite me pointing out it is the most boring fishing in the world until you hook one, and that hooking one is extremely unlikely. Well, I hooked one, but it didnt wish to stay on very long. Indeed, the only fish raised was a plump pouting. But, with a brace a piece for two of the guys who were keen to eat, and some great rod bending memories, it was a group of buzzing lads that left me. Smiles on faces guaranteed. The biggest being mine I think It's so nice when a session goes well.
Next, it was floating gin palace owner Gary, and his very good friend of many years, Pingu. No... that wasnt it... Ringo?? No. Dingo. That's the one... Dingo. The very first dingo I have ever met to my knowledge. Having spent most of his extensive angling career chasing things way out past the horizon, it had recently come to Garry's attention the quality of fishing to be had in the first 500 yards. So, he bought a rib, and now wanted to fine tune techniques for in the edges.
I started very in the edge, way in close, where the splash of beach anglers lures was audible. And we snagged a couple straight away. But then, not a lot. The middle reef, the tide was a bit wrong. We gave it a drift for a couple of tiny's. Onwards. Indeed, it took a few miles of here and there before I finally got BIF1 into the swing. Some more quality fish also, the biggest, of course falling to Dingo, around 5.5lb. Really good fish. And due to the guys dinner plans, the fish were in luck, all being released. The final tally was 12 fish, with 8 of them being quality. A really good session, and another three big beaming smiles.
But that was not the end of the fun. An overworked Bruce, co-founder of the entire BIF plan, rang, asking for some fishing, in the way of a man that needs some quiet time. So, after a very quick coffee, we set off again. Fuel was low, so for the two hours of fishing we had, we kept it close. The middle reef and the inshore reef was not yet happening, just a couple of smalls, so I suggested we did a few cod drifts. As is so often the way, 1st drift and my rod buckled over, and this time it did not drop off as a plump codling made the net. the 13th to visit BIF1's decks since they showed in August. More drifts, but nothing. And close to low, time to check the middle reef again.
Which, despite a couple of spear fishermen working it, was now full of fish. Biggest was just 45cm, but it didnt matter. Total was around 30, and a real lot of fun. Just what the doctor ordered for Bruce, I suspect, although he was that revved, he shot off to squeeze a bit more off the shore the second we docked.