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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 25th July 2023

First sailing, and Omar and Gabriel were back on board, accompanied by Max and Kas. The first time Omar and Gabriel came to visit me, they wanted a bass on the fly. Omar got a cracker, around 5lb, almost first cast. Then the rod smashed, and I managed to end up with a mighty minnow deeply embedded in my hand. I was hoping for better things this time round.

It was a bit of a few here, a few there, until finally we settled on a decent shoal. Max and I are fairly certain that one fish, that bounced off, was a cod. "Too early" I hear old timers saying. Old timers need to realise that the gradual upward creep of sea temperatures means things changing all the time. Local beach marks all saw codling caught on the last few tides, with many in the 4-5lb range. These are what is left of those 1.5lb fish that swarmed everywhere last late summer and autumn. How many are left? I suspect a fair few. Time will tell.

As for bass, we ended up with 25 in the boat. Just two were killed, and one by Omar, at 62cm, exceeded the maximum kill size of 59cm that you sign up to when you book a session with me. Ive been doing this for over six years now, but very few do, and now we are missing an awful lot of 5bl+ fish. It takes a long time for a bass to get to that size. I would argue, slot sizes should be added to bass protection measures, and implemented across the board. The only people really affected by a lack of supply of commercial caught and sold big fish, are the restaurants and hotels that like to buy them to display them, slowly rotting away in the display chiller. I think they might as well put a big farmed salmon in there. The sort of clientele they get are unlikely to notice the difference.

2nd and final sailing thanks to the wind, I welcomed aboard once more Mathieu, and his friend Bob, Bob's ten year old lad Oliver, and friend and work colleague Laurent. Laurent and Oliver were first timers. Which is why it was the wrong time for the fish to switch off. Plenty there. Wouldnt open their mouths. For a long long time. Indeed, it was close to the end of the session, when the wind assisted drift pushed us that bit faster, before the fishes really started to play. 11 bass landed, plus a couple of nice mackerel. And yet sizes were missing. Poor Mathieu. He already had the wine in the fridge ready. Which is why I guess, on the very very last drift of a few bonus, post alarm drifts, he got a 46cm. IMHO the perfect table size.

FOOTNOTE. The last image, highlights why, when you are a crab about to leave your old skin, you should never do it on an ebb tide...

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