Quick blog, as it was a four sailing day, and I'm still planning a shower and some food before bed. Just one sailing tomorrow, first thing, and then I am crewing on another vessel, so keen for some sleep as well. First sailing, and welcoming back Damo, Max, Grant, and almost someone else. However, at 0400, he had advised me he had woken up feeling rough.
This gives me a good opportunity to highlight my terms and conditions, that you agree to by booking. All on my website, and all valid in UK law. Happily, this lad values his place on BIF1, and so he paid without even being asked. Two other last minute cancellers have not. Some skippers actually do go through small claims court, successfully, in these situations. But that isnt really my way. My way is simpler. I block your number, and as I only take booking via text (not whatsapp, email etc for new clients) as per instructions on how to book, it means we wont find ourselves in that position again. Happily both last minute cancellers (one of which was diagnosed with "covid" last Wednesday so could have saved himself being blocked, as more than 24 hours is no bother at all. I have a long list of people who just need a call and they are on) have been replaced from said list, and if they read this blog, they simply need to email me (Robin@fishyrob.co.uk) to let me know how they wish to pay to become unblocked.
Its really not the money that I am worried about, but to have to say no to so many of my excellent regulars for prime weekend slots, should not go unacknowledged. So, when I send you that "all good" text the evening before, and you realise you can't make it, please text back, "how do I pay, as I cannot make it?". Simple.
Back to the fishing, which was actually rather good. Ebb tide, but the fish were out on the sand, and all required eating fish were despatched before the first drift was done. Eighteen was the final tally, as we did lose contact with them and scratched a bit for the last hour. But everyone was happy,
Off to breakfast, and then back to the boat, and to one of those monumental moments that you never forger, Joining Damo, who was on for a double session, was Jack, Jamie and Chad. Back onto the bass. We did make contact with a shoal quite quickly. Nice fish. And then Damo, got stuck in a rock. I thought. Reel was screaming. Except. This rock was uptide of BIF1... Then, the other three all hooked up. And yet, I couldnt be away from Damo's side. The fish he had on was absolutely immense. I've had some pretty big bass, up to an ounce shy of 15lb, and this fish, was somewhere in that category. Its power was immense, and yet, its behaviour was all bass. Damo did get it under control, and then, the thing that simply doesnt happen on BIF1, happened. The line snapped, and the fish made free. With the amount of runs, and long runs, this fish had made, some damage somewhere was inevitable, as we fish heavy reef with flint embedded. Im still very upset by the loss as I type this. I'm guessing Damo is perhaps also. He has been trying for four of my five years afloat for a fish like that. And it was so very very close.
The other guys were far luckier, but sizes pretty small by comparison. And after that burst of action, back to scratching. Just ten landed that session, but with such lovely weather, and stunning scenery, again, it was smiles all round. We guarantee those, don't you know.
Next up, Shaun and his lad Harvey, plus George on a whole boat charter. We agreed that if the bassing remained hard, then we would spend the final hour, where we would be enjoying the new ebb, either on the plaice or on the bream. And the bassing did remain hard, although George did manage one table fish among the total tally of five. Not unexpected, as with a busy Sunday due in part to perfect forecast, both my usual slack tide spots were occupied. Onto... Shaun called Bream. Off we went. Not heaving, but ten to the isomes, with two of those big enough to be called dinner. And that was that.
Except it wasnt. Due to the excellent forecast, and the really not excellent forecast for much of next week, I bolted on a fourth 2.5 hour sailing. Scott and Stuart on board. And out into... FISH!!! It started very well indeed, with the first three fish despatched, and only ten minutes gone. Sound familiar? It was a bit of a mirror of the morning session, which wasnt so surprising as it was same time of tide.
And again, after 30 minutes of great action, and the tally at thirteen, it took the rest of the session to match the mornings tally. Actually, I cant remember if we did match it, or fall short. But again, with a majestic sunset, and much mirth, it was actually a really cool session. One more in the morning, and then wind for a while.