First sailing, and Mark, Damo and Sam once again stood at the back, to remove BIF1 from her floating dock. And out onto silky calm seas. Bright sunshine though, and baitfish unmolested, other than by horse mackerel and schoolies. Reading that scenario, I peeled off and took a different journey.
Wasnt sure if it would pay off. Maybe today was another tap off day. But... When the shoals of whitebait are feeding unmolested over big areas, it is quite likely. the bass have either got fed up with eating them all the time, and fancy a change, or have consulted with their doctors, and been advised to go on a lower fat diet. Confirmed when we found the first of nine bass, with quality fish the norm. And they were pooping crustacea, or coughing up blennies. Damo nailed a gurnard. Low numbers of quality fish. And as the year goes on, so the numbers will increase in the edges, perhaps peaking in September, Oh, and likely only four weeks or so away from the first cod.
Second sailing, Richard, Paul, Gary and Craig on board. I warned the guys that the first half of the sailing would be hard. and the 2nd half far more interesting. And that was exactly how it played out. Had we thick cloud, I would have been excited for the last trickle of ebb to work top waters. Crystal clear seas and bright sunshine, far less conducive to getting bass to take off the top. Possibly another reason for so many bait shoals swimming around unmolested.
By the half time mark, just a single cuttle in the bait well. And this was a trip with very food based folk on board. In fact, for that very slow hour and a half, much of the conversation was about recipes and restaurants. And then, the tide flooded. What had looked like a real bad session evolved into four very happy foodies leaving BIF1, as from the seven fish landed, five were for the table.
3rd sailing was for me, a lot of fun. Initially, I was concerned that I was turning my back on quality bass fishing as those fish would likely have been there much of the flood tide. And the reason, two mums with sons. A lot to get them all casting, although actually, Katherine, does have some angling experience, from previous times with her grandpa in her native Colorado. Son Robert, however, was looking forward to his first angling experience, as was his friend Jack. Jack's mum Laura, was there in observational and media role, even after I explained there would be no real worms involved.
But for the sake of safety, and actually, observation of how they would get on with the rods, and the concepts, I decided, to keep it simple, with our good friend Mr Plaice. Initially I set up for my usual swim buoy hugging drags, but was soon deciding I wanted offshore banks, as the amount of people in and on the water there, was incredible. Roll on rain, and October, when I can have my office back.
It was a good move, although the only really good fish was lost first drop at the surface. From then on, plenty of plaice but all quite small. A small gurnard appeared, which is always a nipper pleaser. And, just as the bugger off bugler got going, a lone mackerel appeared. And had we been doing back to back sessions, I would have, on the following session, had them casting. And I hope they will return, to target the bass, or perhaps the cod, in the not too distant future.