First sailing, and Lee had hired the whole of BIF1 for himself, for first sailing at least, as he was to be joined second sailing, by his lovely wife Jackie, plus their friends Elaine and Ed, down visiting from the Cotswolds.
We started looking for bass, of course. Lee is a vey experienced lure angler, and accepted that there were not too many inshore at the moment. But we gave it a proper try, covering a lot of rock marks. We did find bass as well, but just three small schoolies, and they were actually at the end of the first sailing, on the way back to the marina.
Other than mackerel, and pouting, nothing doing. And with nice tide flow, we had a look at the plaice, in advance of the main parry arriving, as that was going to be the main event. And plaice we found. We also found gurnard, and Lee also caught a vey pretty thornback ray, again on the isome. as well as pouting, which actually pleased Lee as he is on a species kick. Also a mackerel, our second of the season, but suggesting a concerted effort might likely find more.
Back to cafe zio for a most excellent breakfast, meeting and greeting, and off out once more. The plaice had become quite finicky with the wind pushing us across an already small tide. Simply not much pace to make the fish excited. But enough were attacking the starch pretend worms to keep the focus, and for every fish actually landed, two or three were dropping off.
Poor Jackie was struggling a little, and had not caught so much. "Dont worry, you will catch the biggest one" we all told her at certain times. All the time the SE wind was increasing, putting an ever longer swell which is quite a stomach turner if you arent used to it. As such, she rested her rod down and took a break and some water. Neptune was having none of it, and her rod swept round hard. Keeping it in the family, Jackie then went on to land the biggest fish of the day. A nice rhornback ray.
Third sailing, and we had Lee, Sarron and Armando onboard. We agreed we would do a half and half session, bass and plaice.. I decided to have a look at some rocks the wind had previously stopped me looking at, and instantly we found a huge shoal of bait, with what looked like bass among them. Heaven!! We cast, and missed bites. Missed more bites. It soon dawned on me these were not bass. Sarrons rod suddenly banged over. And after a great struggle a reef pollock came to the surface.
Wow. We get a few in April and October, but I still hung onto the idea they were bass I had marked. Five more reef pollock later, it was becoming more clear they were not bass I was marking. Time to try the plaice.
Again tough going, until we began casting up the tide, bouncing it back to the boat. This bought good rewards, with plenty of plaice, a gurnard, of eating size. And guess what? Both Sarron and Armando caught rays. Sarrons was on the HTO frolic, Armandos on the isome. So, that is seven rays in three days. Rays are officially available on request