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  • Writer's pictureRobin Howard

Brighton Inshore Fishing - Catch report 9th August 2020

First sailing, and a return of uber regular uncle / nephew crew Mark and Damo.

Conditions were not ideal, with a wind that was a long way from the 15mph NE forecast. Indeed for a while, it was frothing the water badly, with white horses all over the place. That direction though, means tight inshore hardly any wave height, even in 35 mph (Yes, I tried it... ) . We were very limited in our choices of places to fish by it, which worried me initially. Today though, some fish returned to the inshore.

Quality fish, I suspect likely feeding on the immense cuttlefish packs currently out there. They are a plague such as I last witnessed in 2012. The offspring from what was clearly an excellent spring spawning. Likely why yesterdays cod was also here early. That cuttlefish plague back in 2012 directly contributed to my divorce, so I always look at these small (fist sized) sepia with an element of uneasy nostalgia. The story can be told on request onboard BIF1.

Damo however, became obsessed. And actually, answered many questions I could never be bothered to do the work to find out about what makes Cuttles tick. He claims he hooked 10,000 of them. I suspect it was nearer 50. But it was rare he wasnt leading one in. And by observing his lure changes and how the hook up rate changed with them. I believe he gave me some valuable lessons. He also showed me my number one plaice technique, also without realising it. Remember, if you step on board, I am always watching. And thinking.

If you are someone that wants to catch cuttles, either for some bizarre recipe, or in the belief there will be a winter cod run on baits, a good time to book up. Note the availability ticker on the home page here on this site. As Damo got into cracking Cuttlefish culture, Mark and I focused on the bass. Now, considering the fact our marks were limited, and that there were 20mph winds, being funnelled by the features of the coastline, that we maintained the 8 fish per session average, was really something. And what was really something else, was that these fish were inshore, where recently there were none.

Seeing the link? Cuttle invasion inshore... Cod arrive... Bass return. And further thought. Bass are bigger. Might even be another velvet swimmer crab peel happening with the warmest seas (22.6 inshore today) so far this year, plus unbroken sunshine and settled weather. If I were a crab, I would choose these times, to get hard as quickly as possible once the protection of the old home was replaced by quivering jelly. As Mark hit his first fish of the session, a near 8lb fish chased me to the boat and then refused to commit.

2nd session, and we simply returned to the boat having enjoyed an amazing toastie and coffee at the cherry tree cafe, in the marina village. While we rejuvenated, the wind dropped, and I was able to get out to some of the deeper reefs finally. Heaving with cuttle also, I was shocked to find the first spot not really happening. I think likely due to the drift patterns I was having to adopt, as there was still some of the offshore wind. I simply thought of a reef which suited the angles, and headed to check it out. A bit of a stab. But as soon as Damo led the first cuttle to the boat, I knew we had a chance. Another 8 fish, best around 4.5lb.

Final sailing. and a birthday present for young Frankie, aged ten just yesterday. Accompanied by best friend Lukas, and father Jim. As soon as I heard the news, I telepathically begged a break from Neptune. As it turned out, he listened. Im stll a bit shaken by the last father and son on board, where a solitary mackerel was the end result. These guys had to catch. I began with the plaice, which are fat, fit and a lot of fun. It also gave me an opportunity to assess everybody's rod skills.

First drop, and a plaice popped up in seconds. Phew... Kids were instantly that bit more attentive. And then, I think it was Frankie bought a fish to the surface. A fish I wasnt letting them get anywhere near. A lesser Weaver. This weather brings so many to the shallows you can triple shot them on baits. Low water swimmers beware... With safety in mind, I reset the boat to a deeper area. Plaice catching continued. Until a gin palace managed to do what nobody has managed to do in a long time. Really pissed me off at full pelt 300 meters off the beach, with that area heavily laden with yachts at anchor, small craft, sibs and kayaks. Let alone the effect on the toddlers paddling in the edge, on otherwise calm seas with the offshore wind. We headed to deeper water, and peace.

More plaice followed. But I detected the initial wow factor faded with the routine of the plaice. Even some foul hooked tub gurnard croaking were not enough. Time to assess casting skills. Birthday boy Frankie passed, as he has had the benefit of tutorage from dad Jim. But poor Lukas had nobody to do this duty in his household. A situation that now identified, I feel will be rectified. Frankie has an excellent descriptive manner. A born teacher. I think he will be the one to get Lukas going. Sadly, a busy boat with 2 wee ones, is not a coaching arena. But, we had depth. He would simply vertical jig.

We had about an hour to run. I had held off to get the fastest part of the tide. It was a good call. We all caught fish, including both the boys, completely unaided. to that magic number 8 figure. I was very proud of how they managed. Father Jim must have been bursting. And that present from Neptune, was weighed roughly on the bounce at 6.5 - 7lb. Happy birthday Frankie. A good strong release as well. A pretty much perfect day.

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