As soon as I arrived at the boat, I realised it was to be a very different tide. A shoal of whitebait sat fighting the new flood rushing in to fill the marina, waiting for goodies to be bought to them. The air was less aggressive, and with lighter winds, the feel was much warmer. Shoals of fish marked as we excited to see what would come of this midday sailing. Richard once more on board, along with regular Mark.
Small bass were the first to make an appearance, but not a lot esle. Moving ever further west, I wondered if it wasnt going to be a bit of a struggle after all. Pouting but not in numbers. The odd whiting. A very small pollack added to the species list. But the wrasse, well, it seems they like the big springs at this time of year. Cod eluded us. Heading back east, I was beginning to get desperate. "Plaice?" I suggested. Mark jumped at that.
We headed to some sand not so far from the marina. And almost immediately both Mark and I dropped what we suspected were plaice. Then whiting kicked in. Lots and lots. And then, finally, the first plaice of the year on BIF1 to Marks rod. And importantly, very very thin, one of the first to return from the rigours of spawning. Within a fortnight, there will be many more, and slowly they will fatten, coming into their prime by the end of April. In the meantime, welcome sport, and on the lures, rarely deep hooked so good survival of released fish.
A couple of better whiting for the pan, but a hell of a lot of 25cm fish. All good fun, and without a worm being sacrificed, which helps balance my concience. And also a huge survival rate on return, being from fairly shallow water. I should imagine we hooked and released perhaps 60 plus, to find two for the table.
Most importantly, a really lovely, warm afternoon afloat. Very nice.... Wind shuts us down now for a while by the looks... keep an eye on our facebook page BRIGHTON INSHORE FISHING for latest sailing announcements.