First sailing, and out with regular Chris, and his delightful wife Sarina. Conditions were idyllic also, with very calm seas, and the promised early morning chill long since sent packing by the power of the early sun. It was actually very warm very quickly.
I headed straight offshore, as already at 07:00 I could see people enjoying horsepower on some of the very close reefs, and with it being very early flood, these shallow reefs would already have had the fish scatter. First stop, and just a smallish schoolie, to get off the mark.
2nd stop became the mainstay of the session. It is an interesting patch of ground, and I suspect heaving with tiny bream from this years spawning. Whatever the reason, it seems to hold small schools of fish, scattered around enabling quite long drifts. And this mark seems also to consistently push out table sized fish, although Chris and Sarina were not fishing for the table, as they planned to enjoy more time in Brighton after the trip.
And that was pretty much how it happened. We managed maybe 9 fish in total. Chris nailing 5 (he was really fishing well. With so few takes, conversion is essential for a result). I managed three. And very happily, Sarina also managed one, which was her first ever bass, and only her 2nd ever fish, although it has to be said, she was fishing very well by the time we all said farewell. I suspect her tally will rise very quickly.
Next up was Ian and Nick, regulars. And a similar story although in a different area. Long drifts, and conversion being a major factor. The difference now was that familiar Southerly breeze was beginning to build. This instantly makes conversion much more challenging. Even worse, the pressure was on, as Ian had already promised bass for a family event on the weekend. Big mistake... We made the same numbers of bass in the session as in the morning, but only one was on the 42 cm, and the captor Nick made the call it was to go back. Consolation was a few mackerel for Ian, including a jumbo. But overall the fishing is still a struggle.
Final sailing and out with Stan and Ben. The wind had now increased further, and with the tide in full ebb, quite bouncy. Forecast to imminently drop, we splashed on to the first mark, where I had high hopes. And it seemed a great call when I nailed one first drift, and another on the 2nd. But that was the last of them, and both were small. We tried a further three marks but at the end of two hours, still just two bass.
It was Stan who made the call that turned a dire trip into one that was a lot of fun. "Can we try on the plaice, Rob?". Ben was aggreable, so we headed inshore. Where the plaice were happy to entertain. Plenty of smalls, but in the end, three plaice each went up the road. And plaice right now are mostly bulging with very filletable flesh. But the best bit about the plaice, is the giggles they create from the person holding the rod. Once you lift them off the bottom, you cannot fail to be impressed with the effort and power even quite small fish put in to get back down there. A few gurnards for variety also.
Looking like wind going to shut me down after 1st sailing on Thursday, which currently still has a space available on it. 07970 112774 if you would like it.