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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 2nd December 2020

A milestone day. Lockdown lifts, allowing me 2 strangers or max 3 from a bubble. This is such a relief as I can drop the fees a little, and earn the difference between treading water and some small profit. Especially with this current lull in the usual SW gales that we are more accustomed to at this time of year. And to coincide with this weather, the fishes are playing hard.

First sailing, Martyn and Tom returned to play. They wanted a mix up of species, and something for the table so an out and out bass assault was not an option, with them now being protected by law from ending up in the oven. Not that there wasn't plenty around mind, and we opened the session with a quick jump to 44 bass, which of course bought smiles to faces. Especially as they were interspersed with mackerel, which Martyn wanted for food, and Tom wanted for pike bait. Tom was happiest, as perfect pike bait after perfect pike bait came aboard. A squid also wanted in on the game, as well as another jumbo gurnard.

The squid fired up the guys. They wanted more. We tried a few with a prospecting rig, set up to take all three. Cod, bass and squid. But no more followed. "I have a spot where cod and squid like to hunt together" I offered. A little tired of bass, the guys eagerly agreed.

Regular readers of the blog will see I have been bemoaning this seasons cod run. They arrived in mid August as expected, but not in great numbers, and mostly erring on small. Today, was a very good cod tide as it turned out. We didn't catch one, or two or three, but no less than four including a double hook up. Sizes also up, with one of 6.75lb falling to my rod. And, I was really really happy to see not just cod, but squid also coming up on the prospecting rig. I have, even since finishing for the day, had a great thought about a better way to work it as well, and cant wait to get back out there, because a further three squid also fell, before the bugger off bugler said time for breakfast.

2nd sailing, and I had Clinton and Jon joining me. Jon has his own boat, and Clint often fishes with him upon it, but both fancied something a little different. Again we started on bass, but the top of the tide was a little devoid. We found a couple up close to the beach, and half a dozen around a 2nd close reef. With the cloud cover , it was likely bass were going to push the herring all the way to the shingle, a thought later confirmed by a friend who was fishing the shingle who did really well. However, those cod and squid were still on my mind. And the guys were up for it.

Which was good, as a further four squid, and a further four cod were the end result, including a new record squid for BIF1, just days after the previous record was broken. Some truly huge forbessi currently hanging around the herring shoals. Cod, biggest was just over 6lb, but the other 3 were small, and released. Jon's first ever cod though, which is amazing as he has had a long fishing career. Too busy with tuna and tarpon in warmer climes I suspect.

And that was that. To take 8 cod in a day in a single sailing, is something that rarely happens even in a better cod year, such as 2018, and makes the tally 28 for the season so far. But was the cod season so bad? Or were my crews and myself so bass hungry we didnt put in the required time? I think the remaining sailings will be heavily cod / squid oriented.

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