The day was written off by the wind pretty much. I did attempt to stick my nose out around lunchtime, but spun round and got back in pretty quickly. The blow, although not nearly as strong as XC had forecast, had still left a significant swell, that was just too much to be fun. However, with the forecast for pretty much calm in the evening, I left BIF1 attached to the visitors berths, ready for a poke on the new flood tide.
I invited Jon along. A regular BIF'fer, and also happy to take the chance that the sailing would actually be viable, as none of the cancelled parties were able to re-schedule to such a late time (1700). A real shame as it turned out. We headed out, and although there was still a fairly big swell, it was a swell on oily calm seas. The wind had died out as predicted. In the distance, lightning flashes as some very dark skies crept around Eastbourne. but on us, weak, yet warm, early summer sun. A welcome change after recent chilly times.
I had one master plan, which I wound Jon up with, calling it "the main event". But it was not all jest. I fully expected that, after analysing results since I returned to BIF1 on 11th April, was likely to give the best results on the new flood tide. Snag is, it wasnt pushing hard yet. I took us to one of my little holes, where the fish often seem to congregate while also awaiting for some flow. Good call, and we were off the mark with two quality schoolies, and one dropped. Eventually though, the boat began to move East as the new tide increased in strength.
"Ok Jon, onto the main event"... Jon grinned. "I've heard that before..." Off we went. The positioning for this drift is critical, as it needs to pass over some very specific ridges, Happily, with still zero wind, it was a doddle to creep in, and put on the brake. Very very quietly. An essential secret of fishing 20' waters that so many vessels dont seem to grasp. Very wild fish, and we want them to feed, not hide.
In the distance, that dark cloud seemed a little closer. I saw another distinct lightning fork, but it was a good five plus miles away. A very light breeze sprung up, from that direction. "Im in" said Jon, as my own rod slammed down. Four fish on each short drift. Plenty over the 42, although biggest only 48cm. While running up one drift, Jon let out "wow"... I followed his gaze to a flock of seagulls hanging in the air. And then I saw one. Dolphins, feeding hard, following the new tide. I came off the throttle that we could admire them. But not for too long. The fishing was good.
We got to 17 fish landed, when a combination of things happened, The light breeze, turned into a stiff Easterly. The dark cloud, was now much closer than Eastbourne. And those dolphins, returned and split around the boat, half the pod North of us, half south. And that was the last drift where we saw bait and bass. Next drift, barren. And the wind, was not letting up, and the sky, getting no lighter. We agreed, after an hour ans a half of really fun fishing, to head back in.