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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 18th July 2023

A very topsy turvy day. And first sailing for nine days thanks to our lovely July's now seeming to be THE windy month of the year. I dont mind as long as Neptune guarantees me a flat December as the fishing is better then. But I suspect it wont be. Yet, there is nothing that can be done. I will keep running, as long as you guys accept the reality of light line lure fishing during the end of days. Even in summer, there will be more trips cancelled than sailed. But why was today topsy turvey?

I wasnt sure this morning. But now I am on the home end of three sailings, I can confidently put rhyme and reason into the days proceedings. Other than lack of co-efficient in this mornings tide that is. I have no idea why there really wasnt any power to the flood. Not seen that weak a tide in the six years I have been afloat daily, or where possible, daily. But it didnt matter. The bass simply were not shoaled up inshore. And that I can explain. Nine days of wind, colour and weed, had scattered the bait shoals, and early this morning few had found each other. And the effect scattered bait shoals have on bass, is they are also scattered. Whereas after long spells of settled, (you know, like 48 hours. Long gone seems the weeks on end) the bait shoals are often merged into super shoals, with equivalent shoals of predators in attendance.

How do I know all this? In part, my recent investment in Lowrance HDS LIVE, which has given me a down scan with far more detail. I can easily separate bait fish from predators, which my HDS GEN2 and its CHIRP down scan does less easily. And in part, the sequence of events that happened today. First sailing, and four of my very well trained rods out with me. David, Loz, Martin and Nick all hopeful of great things, as on paper, the morning session was the winner. But paper is not bass.

Instead, we did a fair bit of running around for just seven fish, with two killed for the table. A struggle to find much at all really, except weed which was plentiful. It did not bode well for the rest of the day. And so it seemed, as I took out Mathieu, returning, and his friend and colleague Rob along. Rob, who had never fished before... I was almost despondent at the prospects. But Mathieu's enthusiasm is infectious, and Rob was a dream to teach, his casting being absolutely amazing at the end of the session. And during that session, we finally happened upon some good bait holding in position. And from that, thirteen bass were landed, with quality meaning a max kill of table fish and more released. Biggest at 57cm. A triumph where I had only seen potential failure.

So what would the last sailing bring. Joining me, Kas and Simon, on a sailing that had looked fifty fifty all week, but the forecast improved literally on the morning. Usually it goes the other way around. So, we were off and out there. We did two spots for not a lot. But on the 2nd spot, there was a lot of marks of both bass and bait. And yet, we werent getting a single tap. It simply didnt make sense. I changed method completely. Bang, missed one. Bang, missed another. Bang fish on. "Guys, you need to be doing it like this...."

Which is why we went on to catch twenty fish, with max kill and more tables released. One after an adventure with a seal by the looks. The perils of swimming much further east than Brighton, as seal numbers are increasing rapidly around the Eastbourne area.

We did lose the fish, for perhaps the last forty five minutes of the session, but smiles all round for what had easily been the busiest three hours of the day. And tomorrow? Wind just too much for me. Big boats will all be fine.

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