After not sailing since way back in the middle of November, its always a bit of a weight on my shoulders the first poke around. Things are changing so quickly at this time of the year. And I am nervous to take paying customers on these days, as I am not "on" the fishes movements in the same way that I can be when sailing daily. So when Capt Bruce said he and his friend Adam wanted some boat time, it sort of suited to simply book the whole boat to them, and go see what is happening.
Well, what is happening IS lots of change. Viz was a little against us, and as is often the case in winter seas with a hint of colour, whiting were one change, and was the first fish up. Then, not a lot. Inshore spots were a big no no, with far too much colour. This colour has as much to do with rainfall leaving our river mouths as it has to do with wind and waves.
It took a lot of poking around before I found a small stack of fish on the sounder. Dropping down, I was quite happy to see they were jumbo pouting, fish of the 2lb stamp, from a spot I am not used to finding them in. Every pout fights hard, but when Bruce's rod went over just a bit too far both out thoughts turned to cod, and he found himself carefully leading the fish, unseen, towards the boat. Indeed, it was a coddie, a very good conditioned fish around the 5lb mark.
After that, we focused on catching a bass. Sadly, we did not manage to get one. Not sure if that was because of viz, or because the inshore bass have finally left the building. Water temperatures are still quite reasonable, hanging in at around 10 degrees. Time, and another opportunity to sail, will tell all...