First sailing, and returnee's Richard and Mark, were joined by new to BIF1 Wayne, and his lad Alfie. A very lovely morning, with super calm seas. We headed out with the new flood, and I began a long drift, to give plenty of time for Wayne and Alfie to master the, admittedly fairly straightforward (in such light winds) technique, which they quickly did.
Then, onto the main event. We hit the same shoal of 1kg fish we have been plundering of late, as they shoal together to smash the whiting shoals. Fishing was consistent, and we managed twenty fish with max kill before the tide slackened back and the fishing suddenly went quieter. I took BIF1 onto some very heavy ground, to see if any better fish might be lurking.
And lurking they were, with the final three fish of the session, being 8lb (weighed on board), around 6lb and around 5lb. Mark had the big one, the best of his season so far, which it has to be said, has been not great for beasts. Even 8lb fish have been few and far between this year. Alfie nailed the one around 6lb. And these fish are real barrels, having fed extremely well, with no let up in sight.
Final sailing, Mark remained, and we welcomed back Peter and Nathan, and welcomed for the first time Tim. We still had the curse of slack tide to deal with (although at some times of the year, slack tide is THE time for some techniques on some marks) and we began with a cod drift. Which, for a change was successful, with Mark nailing a pretty little one on the first run through. Subsequent drifts were not productive, so I tried a second cod hole. This one threw up the first bass of the session, but no cod, and finally, we got some ebb tide beginning. I went out onto the bass reef.
Fish from the go, with the intensity of the fishing increasing with the pace of the ebbing tide. Snag was, also increasing was the intensity of the wind, which, opposing the ebbing tide, was producing a very horrible short chop. A swell, we can manage, but a chop, on the drift in a small boat, is simply horrible. With the wind showing no sign of abating, and the sea state continuing to deteriorate, I had no choice but to call an early bath with an hour still to run.
Still, pretty good fishing, as we had been bassing for just one hour, and in that time, boated 23 bass (a consistent number) with again, a max kill. Pretty good fun fishing. Nowhere near the 300 sessions of previous years, but with the sizes bigger, ultimately a lot more fun than abusing schoolies.