With a stiff NW wind replacing what had up until a day ago been forecast as a gentle NW breeze, I had originally, yet again, cancelled the days sailings. But when those bloody annoying seagulls started stamping on my roof at first light, I knew something was up. They are only ever on my roof in a light breeze... Opening the door, I could see some residual swell down there (I live up the hill from the marina) but zero whitecaps. A starling sitting on the telephone wire, wasnt having to hold on tight. I ventured further down the path, to view my wind-cock. Hardly turning. So, I would take myself out. But wait... First sailing was two dead keen locals. Wondering if they too had got up early to action some shore based plan? Without expectation, I pinged a text. The reply took seconds, and was full of enthusiasm. Will and Ran were going breaming.
Breaming I hear you say? Absolutely. I love it. Until we do it too much, and then I endure it. But while the bream are concentrated, is the only time I allow bait on BIF1. We can and often do catch them on lures. But we dont get the big bream such as inhabit the Kingmere reef out from Littlehampton, which has always surprised me, as it is similar ground. And for fast action, bait rules. 2oz leads and size 8 hooks complete the outfit. Snag is, would the bream be there. I had a look a fortnight previous, and none to be found. The cold water seems to have held their annual inshore invasion back, as well as others.
They were there. Indeed, we had good fishing. But in common with reports from around the coast, sizes this year seem distinctly down. We boated 35 fish, which for 3 hours, 3 rods, is nice fishing. Plenty bumped as is often the way with bream. And four bonus plaice. But, from all of those, for the table? Not a single fish. I guess it is possible this is some kind of vanguard, and that bigger fish are still travelling to get here. I hope so. Because the other explanation, is that bream stocks are very broken.
The stiff NW wind of course materialised as soon as we got there, but we managed to hang in for the full three hours. Just meant getting a little wet on the way back in. But, even cold seawater wasnt enough to wipe the smiles from Will and Ran's faces. Bream they wanted, and bream they got.