First up, Wagy, Mazen and Ellie. Out on a flat calm sea. Lovely overcast skies meant two things. Good bass conditions, but some rain, occasionally quite heavy. Everyone had been warned, and come prepared, so apart from the pain of rain hitting your face at 25 knots, all was well. The bass continued to play hard ball though.
After some hunting, with no result, we agreed to play with plaice. Here, much better, with plaice happy to feed. And much giggling, as plaice do make you giggle. However, I could see Wagy really wanted to keep trying for the bass. With half an hour of the session to go, I floated the idea. All agreed.
Off to deeper water, and actually I did begin to mark bass shoals. Confirmed when one smashed my HTO mighty minnow on the retrieve. A table fish, kindly modelled by Ellie. Wrasse were also active, and their initial attempts to return to the safety of the reef, truly are impressive, requiring the drag to be set else tackle loss is inevitable. Mazens grin when he landed one, was warming, especially important as the constant grey sky kept intermittently spraying us with precipitation. The consolation however was the mirror calm sea.
Saying goodbye, I couldnt help notice, how happy they all were. Never once, did I hear them complain about the miserable grey and damp. They were so happy for every fish they contacted. I was almost sad to see them leave. But happy they were happy, and happy they had a good fishy feed to take up the road. Without any worms being hurt in their harvesting.
2nd sailing, Richard, Paul and Gary came out to play. The 2nd boat load of 3 same householders. I must admit, I struggled much less with these groups, and was able to keep them away from myself by that apparently critical 2 meters for all of the time. Perhaps 3 on the boat isnt so bad after all. I will keep mulling it over. As we boarded, something did not look right. It was the polished interior of a Penn Spinfisher VI spool. It wasnt obscured by 270 meters of 0.20 nanofil. I had come back in at speed, and not heard the protests of the drag on the sturdy Penn over the engine and wash noise.
It really stresses me when this happens, as I have done it before. My mind instantly turns to how many crustaceans I have just condemned to a horribly slow death. But as I write this, I am happy. Fellow skipper Terry Lee, who works with "Sea Breeze III" was also kept in by this afternoons wind and lumpy seas. And managed to pick up the line, complete with lure, and remove it all from the sea. Cheers Terry!!
Another bass hunt was asked for, with plaice as the plan B. We returned straight to the deeper water mark where I had been marking shoals/ Fish were still there, but the zero breeze of the morning session had become a stiff southerly, which made for bouncy seas. This really does make good lure control hard work, and Richard did well as he hooked the first one, and landed it after a really good battle. Landed, no problem,. Great job. The problem came as Richard hoisted his intended dinner for the photo. It flipped, then flapped, and then, splashed. Straight back into "la Manche". He isnt the first. Ive seen it done with a 6lb cod...
It wasnt the last one though. I was especially happy for Paul, as his rod smashed over to a silver beauty. It was really a special fish for him. He had expressed interest for a bass on the fly, but a boat with four people on it, creates issues when the fly rod comes out to play. Better a 2 people boat max for that fun. Lures were happily being eaten by wrasse, which also kept everyone on their toes. And so so fat, almost certainly enjoying the same spider peel as the bass are.
We came in for the plaice. And the plaice were really having it. It takes a while to get used to the subtleties of the methods being deployed. But once in the zone, the plaice can be quite suicidal in their attempts to eat the fake worm. Some good table fish and a fair smattering of smalls. And many many giggles. I do enjoy the reaction of plaice newbies on the lure rods. Not having lead weights in front of them really gives them the chance to show what they can do, easily doubling the 20-60gm Okuma Helios SX rods as they crash dive for the bottom.
I had already cancelled 3rd sailing, and popped home to fall asleep in the bath for an hour. Multi tasking, I call it... Wrinkly, I got dressed and headed back to the marina to meet Mark and Armando to run the 1800 sailing. .
Back out to the deeper mark, and here, Armando shone. In the first hour and a half he managed 3 bass, biggest around 50cm, to Marks 2, and my one. Top bombing !! In for the plaice, and they were in cagey mood. Many dropping off, still more badly hooked. But plenty for a feed.
Bouncy seas though. It was a painful and very wet ride out to the spot. The boat, is a very capable boat, and her weight helped keep her firmly planted. If you master standing and fishing with your feet over the spine of the boat, then your lure control is much easier, simply because your body is in the place with the least up and down. or roll.
. I really enjoyed today, which has given me lots more to dwell upon it must be said. And sadly, likely to be the last for a while.Tomorrow is cancelled, and the weekend looking not good. Time will tell. Perhaps some time for isolation, at my syndicate trout water.