I love this time of year. And how quickly the bait is reforming. And how much more bait is arriving. It is all happening. And when the bait shows, the interesting stuff also shows. Which is really good for my clients, as the one thing that does seem to have vanished from the inshore, are those 5lb + bass. Lots of bass out there, which is very typical for late October, but sizes are a problem. But when the byecatch is cod, John Dory and Bream, not such a bad problem after all.
First sailing, I had now regulars Jon and Jamie on board, joined by new to BIF1, Charlie. Three very good anglers (I worked that out quite quickly about Charlie) and as a result, thanks to perfect calm seas allowing me to work the marks the way I want to, fish fell. Bass were there, and very happily cod once again were happy to fall. One nice one to Charlie, and a smaller version to myself. And, because it is that amazing time of year, a John Dory decided to jump onto Jon's HTO Mighty Minnow. A really great session.
2nd sailing, we said farewell to Charlie, and were joined by Neil and Chris, both long term regulars, and Neil often features in my drunken adventures in central from time to time. Now based in Portugal, where, if you know me on a personal level, you will very likely be hearing about even more such adventures, as I am currently scheduled to hide out there, 3rd January to 28th February 2020... And as the crew was not due to change, we ran back to back for a six hour super session.
It began slowly, in part due to a huge increase in fixed netting on the inshore. I suspect the clearly better cod run this year, is encouraging more of this, as it is the rocky areas that are being targeted. I know the bigger sole like it among the rock, but this concerted effort is something else. Perhaps any Fishyrob friendly commercial could drop me a line to confirm. I know I saw this level of effort when I was learning it all on "Scooby". And they were also better cod years. But this did shut off several areas where the bass like to shoal up. I then spent some time hunting those shoals of 5lb+ fish that were so reliable before the wind. Marks that then showed huge volumes of bait and predators, now showed blank on the sonar. A big gurnard for the time of year (I have now typed that twice in the space of a week... Something happening in Gurnard world? I think yes. Perhaps something to do with the spawning that is coming in four months time? I think no. More to do with bait movements and possibly less food for them mid channel. Supertrawler related? Not impossible) and an accidental squid were pretty much all that was going on.
Yesterday, we followed a shoal of fish East. Noting the state of tide was similar, I put BIF1 into position to anticipate the same movements. This does not always work by any means, but is always worth a try. This time, it was spot on, and the bass tally rapidly increased. A lot of small fish, but plenty of them, and enough for the table for all those wanting them. However, the quest for something bigger spurred us onward. Some more rocks, less netted, and some more bass, plus a HTO Frolic'ed Bream from Neil, and then, he picked up a squid rig which was dangling on the rear. First drop down, rather dictated the final hour of the session. By the end of which, over 40 squid were in the fish well. From small to quite big, although not as big as the Spring males so far. A really fun, and often fast and furious, end to the day. For my clients. An extension to my day. You simply cant boat 40 squid without an element of inking happening...