Where to begin... ? Today was kind of awesome, on most fronts. I just dont know if you want to hear the good news, the really good news, or just about the fishing. In situations like this, I struggle. I'm always braced and prepared how to present bad news or bad fishing. Especially with current world events, its very easy to be glum and down, and my mood always infiltrates these late night scrawls. On top of that, I'm suddenly understanding how the bear feels.
Not "that" bear. Im very very upset with him. But the actual bear. I've had almost thee months of doing very little. Eating plenty, but exercise? I do walk from the car to the cafe most non-sailing days. And now BANG... Trudging 80 litres of juice a day once more, from the asda garage to BIF1.. And then 9 hours at sea. From dead stop to three quarters ahead... Starting to be worried about flat out in high summer already. So, you see... its so easy to moan. So hard to present wowness.
Ok, well the fishing first. Its only fair. Especially as I have four eager beavers likely waiting to see how today went. First sailing, just Mark on board. After the difficult sailing the day prior, we decided to swap it around. Fish the plaice until the tide died off the the point they become reluctant, and then go fish some bass. And, guess what? It only went and turned out exactly like that. Actually, it turned into a bit of a species fest for Mark.
The plaice were in a fine feeding mood, and sizes were good. Best one from fifteen fish in the hour and a half we fished them, was a belter of 47cm to Mark. One other was about 42, but I think everything was 30 +. We were not taking, so it didnt matter really. Dabs, Gurnard (Small grey for Mark) and all the stuff you expect to catch here. Including, ever more frequently, a nice thornback of around 5lb for Mark. They really like the isomes.
Eventually though, the inevitable happened, and the tide dropped back. Suddenly the plaice were coming up more foul hooked than fair, a definite sign that their interest has gone. As well as more falling off on the retrieve. Time to move for the bass.
Which happily, were playing. Ive only located one shoal in my zone so far, but everyday more should be showing. And then they begin to spread hopefully. Already I can see it is a more normal year than last year, with the spawning likely happening as we speak. There was ripe roe in one of yesterdays fish. Twenty one we reached, and then the alarm bell rang for end of session. First sailing had been pulled, for reasons you will read about, right after I explain second sailing. We also saw a rock worm free swimming. This precedes 8 billion trillion rock worms free swimming imminently from memory, as they breed, and that brings bass racing in. Very early mind.
Lots about this sailing were pretty cool. Except no bass featured despite a concerted effort. Which was a real shame as both Charlie and Jack really really wanted one, so I did feel obligated to try. But the one shoal moves off on the tide and I have yet to work out where it goes. So, onto the plaice. First spot, we did find some, including two really nice table fish. And the second ray of the day for Jack, which is always cool on 20-60gm gear. And then the whiting moved in...
Perhaps the light had dimmed enough, but that set the trend. Once the ting switch was on, even moving into shallow water made no difference. So, I guess we had a real lot of fish. That is one way you could look at it. But tiny tings are no fun at all. Different the 1lb plus fish. I would catch those all day happily in March, for lack of other stuff on the inshore. However, these were more 1oz fish. Very frustrating, compensated for by one hell of a sunset.
BIF1 completed her five year coding this morning. Some advisories to take care of, but a huge weight off my shoulders. Especially with the tilt test, as if she had failed the 5 people down the side max list 7 degrees test, prices would have gone up as of today. However, BIF1 is a very stable boat, and she breezed it. And better than that, I have added Newhaven to my nominated ports.
Why is this exciting... My range now extends from 3 miles west of shoreham, to three miles East of Newhaven. Seaford bay, and seaford head now enter into my legal zone. I have eyed up the ground for most of the last five years, kicking myself for not having Newhaven included in the first coding of BIF1. Problem finally rectified, and I get new ground to play with. I'm quite excited... This is where the great man himself floated his boat. John Darlings footsteps, are ones I have always tried to follow. That man really understood bass.