The last time we had had a week of wind, including some big gusts, and half a months rainfall in an afternoon, the first sailing after was very tough indeed. This time, I was very happy, as were my first crew Neal and his grown up son Zak, to find good clarity and very flat seas. Very first trickle of flood so we joined a couple of other boats, and got our eye in with a few smalls among the big bait shoals that sweep the reef on the entrance to the marina. But it was quickly clear sizes were not good, and no chance 8lb plus fish this time.
Onward. A few stop before we found enough fish to captivate our interest. However, the biggest change since I sailed, is the sizes. There are a lot more smalls now. From a total of nineteen bass landed, only three made the well of death. But quality smalls, all just below, suggesting some efficient commercial harvesting.
Silver linings though. Towards the end of the session, Neal spotted some Dolphin. I gave the guys the option to see if they would interact with us, which the guys jumped at. I angled my boat to intercept, and as we got close, I dropped the rev's and turned the boat in the same direction as they were travelling.
It worked a treat. The dolphins came over. A fairly large pod of mixed sizes. Possibly as many as ten. And they were very happy to interact, hogging the void at the rear of the hull, and leaping off the wash. Most entertaining, and a great way to end the session.
Rather than do my usual cafe routine, I opted for the second sailing to be an hour earlier, at 1100. This was because the wind was forecast to swing southerly and increase early afternoon. I wanted to at least get the bulk of the session in before the wind bumped the sea up too much. Joining me were regulars Max, Mark and Damo, who snagged a last minute cancellation.
Back out, and the tide was still moving fast. First drift and five fish to the boat. That.s the way I like to play. However, then the tide died very quickly indeed. In all the holes I usually find bass at this point, we found just a couple of bass, but rather a lot of Gurnard's. I also suspect some very delicate plucks were squid. But the tide quickly got moving again. It doesn't hang around on a big spring. And again we were catching. A grand total of fifteen fish, with a brace for Max who was the only one taking. Pretty good fishing. And as I rinsed down BIF1, the wind came, and began gently rocking the masts all around. Perfect timing.