First up, Chris, with son Terry, and Ronnie, after several wind blown attempts. All first time on BIF1. But I suspect, all will be seen repeatedly before too long. Indeed, my head is a little inflated, as I was recommended to Ronnie by none other than Keith Arthur, whom many might remember from Sky sports "TIGHT LINES" program. Ive met him just once that I can recall, when I came 2nd in the Brighton Pollack comp, about a decade ago. Pipped by that git Garry's boat... (I so know you are laughing out loud about now...) So, nice to know someone with such regard within angling journalism, is confident in my little boat...
A stiff NW wind was present, but actually, not as stiff as I had expected. It made lure contact more difficult, but the guys managed it. We lost a lot less lures than I expected with those conditions. And the fish were in very tight patches. But happily, we pushed a few of those patches and managed to get a total of nine fish landed, the biggest at around 7.5lb (67 cm) to a very happy Chris. Just deserves, as this was his birthday trip. Neptune, often surprises me with his desire to grant birthday wishes. All caught good fish though, with only two under the 42 cm.
Next up, and a Fins&Forks experience. This is where, chef and proprietor Mike books a slot for his cookery class customers, that they experience the whole process, from capture to eating. His kitchen is on the beautiful Sompting estate, which makes the whole experience rather awesome. As long as I fulfill my part, which is to ensure the capture of exactly his requirements. No pressure then...
The clients for this trip, were a very lovely couple, who had traveled down from Northampton for the day. Marcella and Dennis. And chef had specific orders. A brace of mackerel, a brace of cuttle, and a single bass. No problem at all on a normal day. But this day, was no longer a normal day. As I had my breakfast between trips, over at Cafe Zio next to the Harvester, I was horrified to find a significant shift in the forecast. The wind was now set to be a very stiff northerly until early evening. And this lovely. expectant couple, new to boats and fishing. I felt a little up against it.
First job, as we had a nicely ebbing tide, was to get the bass. We managed four, with one nice one selected for the cooking experience later. Some weight off the shoulders. Mackerel, well, we got the brace as bye-catch while bassing. This just left.... the cuttle. And I had remarked in the morning to the first crew, how few cuttles were around today.
But actually, circumstances fell in our favour. We tried fishing for them in a couple of places, but wind eventually limited us to just one. And this one, had cuttle on it. We managed the brace. and bumped many more, with just five minutes of the session to run. I have never been more happy to see one of the inky little monsters in my life. And boy, how they have grown.
Midway through the session, I rang the organiser of the following trip, to inform him that the sailing would be quite safe but that good lure fishing was pretty much impossible, with data feed from the lure being less than is reasonable to expect results. He was happy for my honesty, and I hope to see his crew on another future date.