First up, and all the way from the Purbecks, Dean (proprietor of Purbeck Angling) and friend Mark. They also have the thick clouds of pin fry over that way, but, the big difference, is the bass down there are nowhere to be seen. Hence the journey across to Sussex for a fix.
It was a very interesting session. The pin fry obsession continues, but this does mean the fish are happy to take off the top. We spent the three hours chasing the pin fry shoals to this effect. Attempted takes were quite numerous., but actually, we only landed four fish, two of which would have been for the table, had anyone been in kill mode, which we were not. But there is still work to be done here. That splashes were often half hearted, so, I'm now thinking small transparent sliders, of the type used to fool ultra wary tailor in Australia. Watch this space.
Next sailing I had cancelled, due to a forecast showing SW 12 mph, gusting 18's. That would make for an uncomfortable trip, especially as it was a birthday treat from a loving wife to a deserving hubby. I want everything perfect for that. Snag is, it was perfect. Said wind arrived, blew for five minutes, and then we went back to light SE winds. I decided to use the time for myself. Over low tide, it is a lot easier currently to sight the bigger clouds of pin fry. And you can also tell by its density, if it is under attack or not.
I also tried a new approach with the drift, to maximise my time on the shoal. And it worked a treat. I took maybe 8 fish landed, and an attack every cast, in an hour. Suddenly I was very unhappy with the forecasters. This would have been perfect birthday treat material. I retired to Cafe Zio to sulk, and eat a really lovely breakfast. And then it was time for my last sailing. A family affair, Steve returning with his kids, Millie and Harry. Millie and Steve also star on the west arm of the marina line recycling facility, which I was very happy to sponsor. Lines, especially lost lines, are a very visual reminder of the impact of angling on the environment, and to be seen to address this problem, is very important for the future of angling, in an ever more environmentally aware era.
We returned to the fry, but with the new flood, it was vanishing. Harry managed one bass and Steve dropped a couple. Millie, we worked out a new way of working the surface lure, as the rail I am legally obligated to have ,is quite challenging for shorter folk. But the lure worked a treat!! Just the one missed take, but all very exciting. Then, onto the plaice. Which happily were feeding. Over 20 landed, with lots of smalls, and just 5 heading back for tea. A quick look for a bream, but with the tide now eased right back, just the one take. And finishing off once more, looking for a bass we never found. Lots of fun, and happy anglers leaving the boat.
A couple of days without clients now, with strong NE winds. These will not break the pin fry however, and I actually cannot wait to get back on them, to continue working out the puzzle. Interesting times for sure.