Two brace before I stepped aboard, as my crew for the first sailing consisted of a pair of Mark's, and a pair of John's. All new to BIF1, and much talk of cod. It actually suited the timing to go and have a look for one, and adding the jigs, codding becomes a little more interesting. Because, if you are not going to catch a cod, you can still have some fun.
Actually, they became a big of a game saver. Cod we did not get, but squid, we did. Onto the bassing. Where, in fairness, we did get bass, but not a single one that could be legally retained. But. the shads were harassed by squid, so jigs produced more food fodder.
It is interesting to see the edges draining of fish. But there are still a few inshore patches holding some silver. I tried another of these with my next group. This was a Fins&Forks booking, with Nathan and Tansy being joined by business owner Mike. The idea with these sessions is that we catch stuff that top chef Mike then shows the guys how to cook at his very well prepared unit on the Sompting estate.
Nervous that we wouldn't get the bass, we started on the squid, to ensure something super fresh was available to cook. It went well and so quite soon we were again on the trial of bass. First one was on my rod, and a good one. Not huge, but deffo table sized. Momentarily forgetting my clients mission, I opted to lift it in on the leader.
Big mistake. As I lifted, the fish did a big spin and roll, and dropped off with a big splash. I stated after it in shock. What a twat!! When Mike then nailed another, sightly smaller, I took no chances and used the net.
Also for the chunky wrasse that came up next. And more squid. Quite a few as well. .I said my farewells as the super fresh food was hurried away for preparation purposes. leaving me to prepare for my third sailing. My second darkness charter, again with a paid skipper with a licence allowing night passage in attendance. It started really well, and then got hard. Well, patchy is perhaps a better descriptive.
We would move spots, and catch one, or two. But finding any concentration of them was a lot harder than the last time we did this. I thought we had cracked it a couple of times, to find that we really had not. It reflected in the final tally of just 21, compared to the 64 on the previous one.
Social media revealed a similar consensus. As a result, I cancelled a proposed shingle session. Too cold to do anything but get a big hit. And I had planned it perhaps a little too early in the tide anyhow, as the best of it seem to be the two hours each side of high. However, I am now preparing to pop down there. Just to make sure I was right. Not because I have to be right, but I do need to know. Because perhaps the legend that squid love the full moon is true, and the numbers are declining as it wanes. The only way to find out, is to get out....
FOOTNOTE : so, I went and fished from midnight to three a.m. for just five squid. They have peaked on these tides. Is it moon, or tide height...Find out next new moon tides if weather happens to be settled and calm. A big iff that though.