Another early start to make the most of the flooding tide. Anybody used to regular charter fishing who books BIF1 is in for a bit of a shock. We time our trips around tides, and fish. We don't do nine till five. And we reserve the right to change the start times according to the previous days trip. Our aim is simply to put you out there at the very best times for catching, according to your criteria (i.e which species you wish to target). And to give you the most fun you can have with a rod. Which is, shallow water light line lure and fly fishing... With this in mind, I had decided the best chance of fish were when the tide had the most pace. Which is why I was removing John from his comfortable abode at 05:45 this morning... I had two other things to investigate. HTO Mighty minnows which I had recently heavily invested in. And finding the better fish when the small ones are creating havoc. I have been doing much thinking about this situation, and had a solution I wanted to try.
First fish of the day..
He certainly wasnt complaining when less than 2 minutes after we slipped the floating dock, his rod slammed round to the first fish of the day. A schoolie, but the first fish is always a big relief. Another plus of BIF1. The combination of fast boat and excellent marks within close proximity,might be the ideal solution if your regular charter trips phase you with the often lengthy travel time.
Proper one on for John
We had half an hour of fun, with fish up to about 1.5lb, before I called it. We could have followed that shoal all day, and ended up with a fish count into three figures. Not the reason we came though. So, a little reluctantly as it is very hard for a guide to leave feeding fish, I put phase 1 of my solution into practice. This particular reef, I think of as three reefs. Although it is all hard rock, there are three areas where the rock is much more lumpy. Much more obstruction in the flow. Much more where bass like to take advantage of the break from the flow, whilst able to put that big tail into action the moment breakfast is swept overhead. My theory was simple. I have learned over the years, that large shoals of small bass positively force better bass to other areas. Too much competition for food is possibly the reason, although to find out for sure, you would need to ask a bass. I simply moved to another lumpy area. And first cast, again Johns rod arched over.
The bending rod revealed a super fighting fit fishy...
The first of a dozen fish in the 3 -3.5lb range. And in 20 feet of water, with a 28gm lure on (thats 1oz if you were still thinking of getting into the metric system... do we still have to do that now?? ) they go like crazy. The rod and reel balanced to the fishing enhances the affect. Truly excellent. We were giggling like children. And then... I called it... because I wanted to test phase 2 of my plan. Get out to one of the offshore rocks while the tide was still racing in.
The plan had failed. We spent too long on the inshore, and the tide was down to a dribble. A dribble that did bump our fish count up to 33. With John one fish in front of me. And a dribble that did give us the best fish of the day, at a little under 5lb which headlines this catch report. Happy for that action, I wanted to try a spot much further east when the ebb was running a bit. We headed over there, and I was delighted to find many times the screen filled with bass marks. But could we touch them? No. Well... yes, John managed one, to bring the final tally to 34, and John winning the morning two fish ahead of me. But whatever those bass were obsessing about, they mostly refused the minnows. On the way back in John said to me "Thats the best days bass fishing I have had in 18 years of fishing for them". We think that is going to be a fairly standard six hour session...
UPDATE: It has been great fun practicing "Skipper". But with the massively increased running costs of BIF compared to SCOOBY, it is time to take advantage of the legal situation regarding accepting payment in return for boat time. We are very close to being fully qualified and legal, and able to charge our business rates. Capt Bruce is complete, and awaiting his endorsed certificate to be returned. I have just the sit down radio exam to complete (3rd June) and then I will also be in this situation. In the meantime, not charging has meant a much bigger hole in my Russian trip fund than I expected. Future "guests" can legally pay £40 towards the days running costs. For this, you might, as Steve Roberts did yesterday, get as much as 15 hours boat time. The cost for that once we are up and running would be £300. If I know you, and we consider each other friends, and you are prepared to tolerate my sometimes strange requests to simulate potential situations, please do drop me a line, as I have many other solutions I wish to test.