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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 30th July 2020

First sailing, and out with new to BIF1, Michael and Pete. Pete actually hails from Glasgow, but is down staying in touch with friends, and Michael is one of those friends. Having not been out for almost a week, I wasnt quite sure what to expect. What I didnt expect was to struggle to find baitfish. After all, this is July. The whole ocean laid eggs just a few months ago. Where have all the offspring fled to? However, inshore this is not unusual after a spell of low pressure and associated winds. The huge balls of whitebait tend to get broken up, and spend the next few days of calm scurrying around trying to find each other. In turn, this can split up the predators. Or make them vanish almost completely, as is currently the case with mackerel

However, the initial conditions, top of the tide, and first bit of ebb, were pretty much ideal for an offshore spot I have been keeping an eye on. Well, offshore for me. Just 0.03 inside my max limit of 3 miles. And I am so lad we did. It took a few tries to get a good drift, but when we did, both the guys hooked up at the same time. A cracker for Michael, and so very unlucky for Pete as his fish decided to throw the hook as it queued for the net. Happily the smaller of the two though.

It was pretty tough, and we had to go hunting. I do feel a little for the clients who come out with me first sailing after a prolonged absence. I have no hunches or feelings, being so long away from what has been going on. I literally charge around through a mental tick list, for which marks are likely to fish at that state of the tide. I was very suprised with one that didn't fish. And I chanced my arm at a flood mark, and here, Pete got his very own fish, thankfully, that there wasn't too much bragging rights in the car on the way home.

The bassing was that slow, I mentioned the "P" word. Both were keen to have a go. Not because they wanted plaice, but because the idea of consistent plaice sport on lures, does seem a big leap of faith. However, after a few drifts, they were both very aware of its effectiveness. The only two mackerel of the day also quite enjoyed the frolics, which was cool as only one plaice made the grade for the table.

2nd sailing, and a return of AnnaMaria, sadly minus her other half Ross. Some crap about busy as hell building stuff. I guess that lets him off the hook. Stuff needs to be built I suppose. But really? On a fishing day... Anyhow, to keep AnnaMaria company, we had Paul on board for this sailing and the final one.

The fishing remained pretty hard. We did the offshore mark again. It was looking good, until two other boats arrived. Even between my first and second drifts, I watched as the shoal lay flat on the rock. Another observation of bass. On some marks they seem totally finicky when reacting to craft. And on other marks, they really do not even take it into consideration. Likely often the same fish as well. Must be some reason for it. Maybe a pattern will emerge. Maybe...

I took a stab at re-visiting the mark I had been suprised was empty earlier in the ebb. Hunch. Paid off as well, as it was now stacked out with fish. Nice fish, but actually, a suprising number of smalls in among them, as we havent been seeing many recently. More changes. But not all small. Some better fish in among them. Biggest to Paul likely around 4, maybe 4.5lb as it was one of many with bulging spider crab enriched fat reserves.

AnnaMaria we traded for Max for the third and final sailing. This one was much easier for me, as early flood offers several options. First one, just one fish. 2nd one, and we settled into the drift for much of the session. Usually something happening each drift, to keep the attention. I personally was not fishing well, missing tug after tug that my usual coiled spring would not miss. But Max and Paul, were ticking along nicely. Paul especially, was I think taking recent blown off trips personally, and hardly missed an opportunity. The first trip for a while to push through double figures in three hours as well.

Another first though. Max landed a very pretty ballan, which he remarked was his first ever on a lure. Im quite sure it will not be his last however, and with coddies imminent, wrasse will begin to feature more in by-catch.

I think the best thing about today, was all who wanted fish, which today was all, went away with fish. The worst thing about today, is knowing it will likely be the last sailing for at least the next eight days, based on the current forecast. Thanks Autumn, for allowing me to remember how much I love my job, before you smash the wind in once more. I guess its ultimately a good thing for the fish in the long run. If I cant sail, it usually means the local commercials cannot either, and the bass stock gets some reprieve. But not really much of a silver lining. I would rather have a long spell of high pressure, and settled weather, like summers were supposed to be...

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