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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 3rd September 2023


First sailing, and joining me were Lee, Scott and Stuart. Why just three? Well, some clients enjoy that bit more space, or have national security secrets to discuss while fishing, and they buy out the spare space. Or spaces. A few of my clients choose to do this. Being a charter skipper is a bit like being a lawyer, only the pay is less. What goes on board, stays on board. Other than table fish obviously.

It was a piece of tide that screamed topwaters. Too big a spring low to do my really close spots, as they were already too shallow. But the slightly deeper spots, were viable. And with the ebb backing off, I knew exactly where I wanted to go.

Three very experienced lure anglers, the fish were always going to be in trouble. Sizes were mostly good also. I have decided that the policy on BIF1 going forwards, on topwaters, is if you use trebles, you unhook your own fish, and deal with any aerial by-catch yourself. Why? I include some photos to show the damage trebles do, especially to small fish. The chances of such damage becoming infected is very high, and I suspect mortality quite possible. The problem is the lure lays alongside the fish in the battle, and all six points can be in the fish, three in the mouth, three in the flank, often tearing.

Is there an alternative? I am very very happy with the 3/0 cox and rawle barbless inline singles that I replaced the trebles on my heddon one knocker spooks with.. As long as you work the lure well enough that the bass actually takes the lure, rather than nudges it and gets hooked anyhow, the hook ups are good. As long as you keep a solid bend in the rod, the drop offs are zero. But when you come to unhooking, it is rapid and with zero danger for you or the fish (or feathered alternative).

Final tally was exactly 20 fish, and some crackers among them. Biggest, I think Stuart's 58, but some others going that way. Laughs a plenty. Stuart and Scott do like to wind each other up a little. But its all from the buzz. From the bug that is in the tug. Happy smiley people left, and indeed, Lee hadn't had enough so went and bagged a few more from his kayak.

Joining one of my regular Marks on the 2nd sailing, three new to BIF1 anglers. Martin, Lonnie and his son Emmanuel. Lonnie and Emanuel quite new to fishing. And sadly it was a bit of a bitty session. We had to run around a lot to find just ten bass. There were five for the table among that haul though, so fairly good. Plus mackerel, and my rod was lucky enough to find a bonus cod. So, not all bad.

Third sailing, and this was at a different pace. Sadly, my regular Joe is a very busy guy, and doesn't get to fish nearly as much as either of us feel he perhaps should. He is bundle of fun, sometimes quite destructive, but always uplifting. Which is why his super model and rock star clients keep booking him for his photographic skills. But today, he was bringing his Uncle Eugene once more, and I was also going to meet his lovely mother Bernadette, along for the first time.

This session was not to be hardcore. A family session, more about the cruising than the fishing. That said, of course we gave it a go. I did try some proper stuff, and from it Joe nailed a very pretty bass. But rocks and tides were not fun to contend with, and this was to be about fun. With everywhere close awash with ... lots of wash from every kind of vessel imaginable being driven at high speed in all directions, I took us out to a sandbank away from the madness. And here we launched frolics and Isomes to catch gurnards and plaice.

No sign of the autumn beasts that can occur, and no sign of any bonus thornbacks despite numbers again being caught from the beaches. Yet gurnards, mackerel and smallish plaice absolutely ticked the bill. We likely had fifteen between us. It noticeably got better as we dropped from 1.4 knot drifts to under one knot. Lots of fun. Session was actually only running 2.5 hours, due to Joe and his camera gear having to make it to a train to somewhere or other, so all too soon we were saying out goodbyes. A very enjoyable session.

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