Quick to the marks... More fishing time...
Continuing the testing of stamina, I had arranged to meet Mitch at 05:00. Mitch is a very lovely guy who's enthusiasm for fishing is immense. And a lovely story as to how I got to fish with him... A few years ago, the parking charges in Brighton pretty much doubled. An incentive to reduce traffic in the city on paper. But of course, actually a revenue raising exercise. I got very vocal about it online, as suddenly a fair chunk of my operating costs had increased. A guy called Paul Woods responded. Turns out, he has business premises right on a prime stretch, and I could park there I couldnt believe my luck... "Whar can I do in return" I asked. "Take my lad fishing" he replied. No brainer then. That was three years ago. I still park there, and it is my great pleasure to take Mitch fishing.
The plan was to once again get out for the main run of ebb tide to the outer reefs, to again look for the elusive bass. Again there was fog around, but already there was at least a mile of viz, and the fog was clearly being burnt away quickly. I was happy to head out, and suddenly excited as we would get the full bore of the early ebb. We got out, in about eight minutes on the glassy calm. But again it was hard work. Mitch was very good at absorbing what I was telling him, and after about thirty minutes I could see he was getting it spot on. And he was rewarded quickly. Not with bass, but with two nice sized wrasse (although perhaps an hours fishing for them - very hard going. We skipped around a few other reefs but it wasnt happening. We came back close for the last of the flood, but more importantly, to stop for a break, get some more water, a coffee to sharpen up, and a change in tide.
Last trickle of the ebb and we were back out again. Inshore. A few small schoolies, but not happening how I expected. Once more time to head out, and fellow pirate owner Iain was around, and also came out. The only significant difference on the flood, was cuttlefish. Plenty of them there. Happily, Mitch did nor want to keep one, so unhooking outside the boat was in order.
This whole thing, taking people out on a daily basis, is to spot the holes in the routines before we start selling the product. We want to sell a polished product. We must sell a polished product. We cannot do the impossible. When visibility is a problem, expect a postponement. But small tides, with reasonable viz, we need to find routines for, and match the customers to the results. All part of the fine tuning we feel we need to effect, to keep the smiles on faces. In fairness, Mitch had caught his personal best wrasse, twice over. And he was very happy. But I know I can do better. More practice required. And there was a smile as Mitch departed. And another pretend "turnaround" to practice. This time my very good friend Dave Lambert. Possibly the best angler I know.
On a quiet day, these are very welcome... Always battling well above their weight
Dave hadnt been out on BIF1 before, and I have been itching to show it to him. Shame on such poor tides for bass. I decided to do something I often do when struggling on the shore. Go somewhere completely different. I headed for some very shallow but very heavy broken ground towards Shoreham. Shallow because Dave had bought his fly rod to play with.
First fly caught bass approaches BIF1
As expected, pretty slow. But Dave did get his bass on the fly. Which makes it the first caught bass on the fly on BIF1. I also fished the fly, and deliberately put myself at the stern, where most issues are likely to show themselves. I found one... And I have the huge bruise and bloody scab to prove it. Whilst giving it everything to impress the guru effortlessly casting a zinc shooting head over thirty yards, I managed to smash my arm into the backrest of the console seat, ... Happily, it is removable... Once removed, I confirmed that it is quite comfortable fishing two, although we will supply a stripping tray for the person fishing the stern, as there is less foot room compared to the bow position. A stripping bin will be forward, as with a tossing boat, without one too many casts will be lost by treading on the line. But as for snaggy bits, there really arent any in the forward position. A perfect fly fishing platform. Cant wait to get Dave back out again before I go to Russia (and at the same time, he will be going to Siberia chasing Taimen... he always has to go one better... or in this case, 800 miles further east....)