Something I didnt expect to be talking about so much in the 2nd week of April is May rot. It is here. What I would call second stage. Perhaps I should explain more... May rot is an annual algae bloom that affects the Southern North sea and Eastern channel. We are right on its boundaries, although from time to time it does reach as far as Selsey. Each year, it seems to me, and from this point onward these are all my observations, rather than scientific fact, the trigger is tap clear seas on sunny days. We had these two weeks ago... Then, sediment appears in the clear. This we got last week. Stage 1. Then, the sediment increases, and tidal and wind actions often push it together, when it forms olive coloured clouds. Stage 2. Then, it turns more tea coloured, and gelatinous. Stage 3. This I drilled down on and discovered is its colonization. The algae's reproductive mode, and it does produce a jelly as it all bonds together. This is phase 3 and close to the end. Then, one wondrous day, There is clarity, with foam, which is the dying bloom. Last year, it was last week of April to 2nd week of June. This year, hopefully, with much warmer temperatures, and perhaps not a repeat of the dead calm that was May 2018, we will get a shorter season. I guess only time will tell if it beginning early is a good thing or not.
Why am I banging on about it. Well, there will come a point where the bloom will reduce the
visibilty to the point that fishing might not be worthwhile. That is stage 3 stuff though, and for now, business as usual. First sailing I cancelled very early this morning, as the wind was still howling. But it dropped quickly, and seas were flat by the time of the 2nd sailing.
Out with Mark, Ben, Damo and Paul, first stop was for a bass. And a bass we got, a small schoolie. Another one dropped, but then nothing. Not enough movement on the tide. Off to play with plaice. I was wondering if the stage 2 bloom might be responsible, but this was disproved when we came in close on the 3rd attempt of locating any numbers. Thankfully bingo, and we landed perhaps 30 plus plaice in the last hour. Most are coming up meaty now happily. No monsters, but some good eating.
2nd sailing mirrored the first. Lee, his lad Riley, his dad Gary, and his neighbour Chris taking the whole boat charter (Still the cheapest way to get out if you have 3 other fishy or fish interested friends). Chris got the schoolie, and then it was plaice interspersed with whiting, again after several moves. Less fish, but some bigger ones keeping everyone amused. A really enjoyable day.