First sailing, with Simon and Martin on board, and it was all about a coddie hunt. On paper, it seemed realistic. Last bit of the ebb, slack, and first of the flood. Good coddie times on certain spots within my range. Shame the coddies dont read this blog though. Then perhaps they would co-operate with my strange lateral considerations. Actually, something is shining through to my mind at the moment. But it is going to have to be a thought in my head, until at least another fortnight of getting out there has passed, that I might confirm it. One thing I did confirm today. Just because it is a cod hunt, doesnt mean there will be cod. Some accidental bass, but zero whiskery fishes... Im perhaps the one that most wants to see the CAT number move, especially as local beaches are producing the goods. Chesil, another indicator for me of local cod movements, has advanced to producing even on warm, clear, sunny days. This to me is further evidence we might quite possibly have a great cod winter. I just got to perfect a few things at the expense of current customers. Which is all a long waffly way of saying, zero coddies today. Mackerel were another byecatch, including a proper lump for Simon.
As we neared the end of the session, Simon informed me he was in Brighton for the day, and might fish the marina walls. It sat on my mind. For the last hour we switched over to bass. Nothing where I had found them the previous evening. It took a run back to Brighton, and a little extension of the session, to make sure some were hooked. Martin, a boat owner with a vessel in littlehampton, was perhaps far less impressed with the bassing than Simon, who, living in Twickenham, gets to play with them far less often. I noticed his expression of pure pleasure in his face, with a 2lb fish... My mind works quite quickly on fish orientated matters. "You loved that didnt you?" I inquired... I didnt really need the affirmative to my question that I got. You would have to be a seriously good poker player, to hide the pure glee a lively bass brings to a face. I already knew the answer to my next question... "If you come fish next session, and do not catch a bass over 3lb, I wont charge you..." This is a different kind of fishing, driven by sadly far too often half full, or quarter full, sailings... But I am very accurate with my cast, and my bait, is immaculate... And today, it felt like a very safe bet.
Joining Simon were husband and wife Neil and Jamie. Without a shadow of a doubt the smiliest couple we have had on BIF1 to date. They are clearly enamored with each other, and didnt stop laughing, and thrilling to every fish, all the way through the session. Indeed, the pair of them positively exuded a passion for living that was truly quite uplifting. Simon also was on top of the vibe. It made for a very happy session.
We started on the bass. It was actually much slower than I had hoped, and I suspect the end of the velvet peel that had most likely bought the lumps from last week in. Something about velvets. They seem to all peel together, within a few days of each other. A fact verified by a recent reef shore guided session. But bass there were, for all, except, sadly, Jamie, whose rod refused to bend to anything other than rocks. Simon nailed a couple, and happily, one was clearly over the 3lb mark, so my wages were safe. Neil also marvelled at the power and determination of these fish. And still nothing for Jamie. But aware of the couples desire for mackerel to take home, I decided to hedge bets, and replace the HTO Mighty minnow for the 35gm HTO Frolic. It was long before a very happy and excited Jamie was declaring a contact with a fish. The first of a procession of perfect table sized mackerel. And appropriate end to a real fun time for all of us I think. And I suspect all will be returning at some point in the future.
On the way back, the wind bounced up, and with some ebb getting away, quite lumpy,. I decided, with the forecast for the wind to only ever increase, to cancel the final sailing.