First sailing, and nobody on it. So I fuelled, and spent an hour checking out some of my closest spots. Starting to look viable, and I managed to lure 4 bass from the rocks, biggest maybe 2.5lb. Nothing special. But... it will happen one day very soon where the tightest spots are holding some of the biggest fish. It was really nice to be poking about as well. Able to experiment with stuff without the pressure of required results. Which leads me nicely onto what happened on first sailing.
Regular Peter was back, and also, a lovely couple from London town enjoying a week all around Sussex. Abdul and Arya were complete novices, which on my boat can often be a distinct advantage, as I do enjoy a blank canvas. Theme of the day though, was TOUGH. Wind swung SE and bumped the sea up just as we flooded, which is when I was most hopeful of results. We only managed five small bass, a mackerel and a plaice between us. Which sounds terrible. Except... The plaice...
So... regular Peter is an experimenter. I dont think a session has gone by when he hasnt pulled something from his bag. But... this time he excelled himself. This time, I did laugh, but that laughter turned into screams of excitement (apologies Abdul and Arya once more...) because he did something that I had not seen before. He caught a Plaice on a big RUBBER crab... This opens the doors to so much. Im almost looking forward to my next quiet day. Dont get me wrong. Plaice are voracious predators which show very little caution in most situations. Bass are quite the reverse. When suspicious they are selective, cautious and a long way from voracious. But when shoulder to shoulder with others... That can change. And then, there are those big eyed hounds to think about. We have caught them on fish shaped shads. Endless possibilities... But blow me. I forgot to ask Peter who makes them... I will drill down.
Peter remained with me for the 2nd sailing, and was joined by Chef Hani, returning after a couple of years no less. And the fishing...? Got harder. Really really hard. I went everywhere, but after 2.5 hours, we had just one small bass. But then, Neptune didnt really smile, but perhaps, lightened up, just a little. And all the fault of that man Peter again. He is a bit of a good luck charm. We were marking shoals of moving fish. Like bass marks, but not quite dense enough. Peter was going through his tricks. A couple of plaice came up, including one for the table, and then, on a metal, the biggest bream I have seen in Sussex so far this season. It must have been almost 1lb... Actually, a great size for the BBQ but Peter is also a bit worried for the stock, and promptly returned it. But, having spotted that, I broke out the bream rigs and isome technique for Hani and I. We managed a quick dozen, but none as big as Peters, and all returned. Which left a problem.
Peter needed to leave to attend family stuff. But Hani really had come to get a fish for the table. This I knew. Even though he didnt specifically say it. I offered him an extra 30 minutes, or a table fish. Whatever came first. We nipped in, dropped off Peter, and nipped back out. It came on the first drift. A perfect table fish of around 2.5lb, and Hani's fish for the table. A happy Hani, which made for a happy skipper, and rounded off a tough day nicely.