First up, Steve and Julian, returning once more for a double session. Wish I had a crystal ball... Joining for this trip, returnee's Bruno and Mitch, Or, as he described, the IT mushroom is out... Off we went. I tried to repeat the rock worm trick over the low tide
period. Except it tanked spectacularly. Just a few mackerel. Another boat on the spot before us, but I didnt notice anything landed there either
With the new flood, a poke around the rocks, but very little showing. To the point that with an hour to run, I suggested to get rods bent, we go play with plaice. And plaice were happy to be played with. Just sizes were a little small. Plaice amaze me almost as much as bass. Where have the half meter fish of a week ago gone? I would really like to know. On returning to port, I had some excellent news from Chris from Aquatech.
My failure at sea on BIF1, was simply to do with two bolts having worked loose and dropping off, meaning a clamp that the cables pull against to make the selectors work, was no longer a clamp. Very pleased, that it wasnt the gearbox itself, but as I had already shelled out £350 for a lift, wash and block, and with BIF1 only about ten hours away from her 600 hour service, we have that happening Thursday instead of getting BIF1 back in. Besides, I am really enjoying working with Tony and "Kestrel Warrior". 24 knots cruising on the way back in tonight. I am also very happy I found "Aquatech", a lancing based marine engineering company. They really understand the stress of me not being able to work. As does the boatyard at Premier Marina's, who are as flexible as can be fair, again understanding the lot of a commercial mariner.
With not seeming to play ball, I was almost dreading the following session. Joining Steve and Julian, were Peter and his son Leo. You know that saying "once bitten, forever smitten". Well, Leo got the bass bug badly on BIF1, with previous good catches. Even squid were not going to change what he wanted to catch. Bass, of course. Yikes.
We really gave it a proper go, and actually, we did catch some. Cant even remember how many now. Eight is a number sitting in my head. Including a brace of ingredients. However, it was very slow, and even Leo did say yes when I said plaice. He was rewarded with plaice of course, but also a lovely little smooth-hound which are also suckers for an isome, as are cuttlefish it turns out. A little maid thornback to my rod also.
Third sailing, and again all about bass. Yikes!! I did manage Paul, Bill and Ben's expectations, by explaining the bassing was terrible, but of course, there is always a chance. There were actually very few chances. I managed what I think was the only one, on an Axia Glide, a quite excellent surface lure. The only other fish landed, was when the guys agreed, lets try for bream. One, to Bill. A really terrible session. They joked as they got off, that likely our fourth session, a 2 hour stint, would be fruitful. Except... They were spot on.
Mark and his regular fishing buddies Jame and Gareth (well, one is his future brother in law) had already be warned. I had phoned them, explained that if bass were important, perhaps better to abandon. They claimed squid would be ok. That was good enough for my conscience, especially as 1.5 hours of the 2 hour session would be on the slack low. A great time for the egi though, Squid agreed, and as the tide began to pull, five good squid and a cuttle in the fish bag.
Tide now too fast for good egi technique, we spent the last 30 minutes looking for bass. No less than five!! With potential keepers as well, had the squid and cuttle not turned up. By far the best session of the day, and enough to lift Tony and my spirits, after 3 very tough ones before. Even better, it felt much more bassy this evening, which means I have far more confidence for the likely only sailing of the day at 0630 tomorrow, as a stiff SW breeze forecast mid morning onwards.