First sailing, and that man Mark was back, at the beginning of a days holiday. First sailing was with me, then he was off to the beach for some spotty action. Joining him was Mose, also on a day off, but after sailing with me he was off to do some hard core medical studying. Both wanted bass, but both agreed to hit the plaice if the bass were not having it.
We did find bass, but just three smalls. So, it was on to the plaice fishing. Kind of perfect conditions, as the initially brisk NW wind had now swung N and dropped to light. Plaice were a bit iffy still, but we had plenty. No half meter fish today though sadly.
Second sailing, and it was my pleasure to welcome aboard BIF1, Shinji, who had bought his two daughters Alice and Micha along with their friend Jack. The girls were regular anglers with their father. Jack was along for his very first ever fishing session. I really like when that happens.
Why? Well, because he has not been spoiled by poor techniques or owning his own theories. I could completely get him fishing my way, without question. Casting was first, but with someone that has never cast before, it is a lot easier than correcting someone who had been casting badly all their life, as one example of "not spoiled". And he had that sorted in perhaps five or six casts, He went on to catch fish all by himself, although sadly, not the bass that the group had requested.
I must admit, with the bassing being hard, I had already rigged the rods for a plaice session. I was also expecting wee girls instead of teenage ones. So, when the request for bass was made, I couldnt say no. All I could do, was explain it is only April, and very early inshore. And in my head, I was quickly computing state of tide etc. We would fish some flood reefs, and then, take a look at the rock worm spot over the high tide slack. Not something I had tried since I began again this year.
The reefs were hard. Really hard. Nothing really doing at all. I could feel the pressure rising. Stress was one of the reasons I left the city of London, seventeen years ago. I try very hard to keep my world simple, and stress free, in the hope of working until I am a centenarian. I really didnt want it today.
The tide backed right down. If I am right, this is the key for the rock worm to get active. Else they would be swept away, being my thinking. Although they are surprisingly agile, and fast, and certainly hold their own in a light current. I could be completely wrong about this. These are my thoughts, from observations , I even managed to get a bit of a blurry picture of one today. As well as a baby garfish, in the marina, enjoying eating some tiny white eggs that were all around. The seas are suddenly very rich. Cue the hatching of just about everything.
Once I was sub 0,4 knots on the sounder, I headed to the spot. And engaged a technique I have been developing specifically at this spot. And it only went and saved the session. Two cracking bass fell. First one, to Shinji, a nice table fish over 3lb. A big relief. But the second, by Micha, a cracker, perhaps closer to 5lb. Other fish caught, were just some pouting, on the reefs, which is something at least.
Third sailing, we welcomed back Jon, who normally runs his own vessel, but was on a tight timeframe, and wanted maximum fishing time from it, Not to spend it cleaning down his boat after a session, which I completely get. Along with Jon, were Max, Tim and Dicky. It was agreed that we would chase the bass, and throw in some plaice fishing also, as Tim was keen to see the technique in action, that he might try it with his own boat, over at Eastbourne,.
Once more the reefs were tried, on a nice run of ebb tide. But they were a struggle once more also. Until we found one tight patch of fish, where we extracted some quality fish, around the 3lb mark once more. But that was enough to disturb them, and after a few blank drifts, time to go on the plaice. They were caught, in numbers, but sizes were small. A nice dab to Tim, who really nailed, and more importantly enjoyed, the method, and is keen to try it on his home patch. Jon managed a double shot of mackerel!!!
With forecast, and an accurate one, for very calm winds into dark, I had once again announced a 2 hour squid trip yesterday, and once again it sold in minutes Amazing. And that is with spring squid, which are rarely bagged in numbers, as they are very well spread out. The autumn squid being in big packs, leads to big numbers when you find them.
Another Tim, Bruno, Kieran and David, all returnees, headed out, with the standard promise. If no squid are landed, no fee. If a single squid is landed, everyone pays.
After the first hour, with no squid landed, when somebody mentioned, half joking, bassing, and with dead low slack, which is when I had fun on my own a few days back at the rock worm mark, being imminent, I agreed, but on one condition. The same rules. If just one bass gets caught, all pay. If no bass get caught, all pay.... They all went for it, except Tim who was determined to catch a squid, and kept at it. Which was really cool, as the scrubby ground where the rock worm are, is also a place for squid. He was exempt from paying if only bass were landed.
Tiny bit of a loaded hand. This mark had yet to let me down, and with quality fish. The money was mine quite quickly, as David's rod slammed round from the new technique. As well as being an expensive fish, there was further irony. It went 67cm , 7 cm over my maximum kill size on BIF1. However, I picked out a nice table fish a few minutes later, and killed it as a gift for him, for allowing the big girl her freedom.
Everyone bumped one, and had takes, but that was it for bass landed. Back to the squidding. It was looking like Tim had got away with it, until David exclaimed "ooh". Which was short for "SQUID ON". A little girl, that was worth £40 to me...