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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing Catch report 31st May 2020

One of those grrr days. Cancelled all sailings on a grouchy forecast that was breezy anywhere from E to ESE. The former, 50/50. The latter, no sail. I was happy for the lay-in, and had treated myself to a peering trying to spot my fly kind of darkness, which at this time of year is around ten pm, the previous evening, at my trout club water. And when I awoke, after a most excellent and deep sleep, and finally opened the blinds, the Grrr moment came. Sea was flat. Wind was NE, straight off the land.

Too late to salvage 1st sailing, I rang Ben who had booked 2nd sailing, to see if he still wanted to come. He was at that moment fishing over Southampton way. But readily agreed to run along the coast to Brighton. He actually made excellent time, another silver lining of the Corvid 19 situation.

As we slipped out through the other boats, a brush of air hit my face. I looked up at the anemometer of the tallest mast in the marina. ESE. My heart rather sank... We pushed out of the mouth. Not too bad. As I would expect, with the tide still ebbing. Wind over tide, meant the flattest period of the tide.

We began. Not a lot happening. Usual story of stacks of bait, and not so many predators. I headed further west, with the wind. Knowing full well, we would have to smack back against the swells. But although the wind was quite strong, the swells were still very within the Pirates tolerances. She has a heavy build, and runs best at speed in small to moderate waves. The fish did not warrant the effort though. The gusts began to increase. I ran back to a lee drift. Finally, some action, as I snagged two small fish in quick succession. Then, something unexpected. The wind veered, ENE, and backed a little. The sea responded quickly. I responded almost as quickly and took us to an early flood spot out in deeper water. And here, finally, we fond better fish. Ben landed two fish in the 3lb bracket in consecutive drifts.

That forecast, now began to come true. The growly one with the E to ESE winds gusting strong. At the same time, the new flood began properly, and the swells became wind opposed rolling ridges. Not pleasant, and not condusive to good lure control. I pulled back inshore for another couple of smaller fish, and then it was time to head back in. And happy for it, as the sea state had now deteriorated to moderate.

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