I'll admit i tend to struggle a bit with early mornings especially after I've finished a tour of duty, and then working through my first rota day immediately afterwards.Fortunately, it's all for a good cause- a new part time training job that hopefully will be suitable for future employment once I retire from the Fire Service.
Getting up at 4-00 to catch the best of the ebb was therefore no easy task, but it did mean that by 5-00 i was out on mark 6 and, having caught mackerel and scad on the first drop of the feathers, had a lively live bait under the usual float rig, and a full bait tank.
Clive had mentioned to me that bass became more difficult to catch on live baits in the middle of summer - he wasn't wrong.I thoroughly scanned both ends and the middle of the reef with my float rig, whilst simultaneously lure fishing on a second rod, but not one single fish showed.
As the slack set in I moved over towards Bognor to explore the area around 9 and the Bognor rocks with lures but only the wrasse and pout were caught. Interestingly, local lure maestro Pete was out with a couple of mates in his 'Regis', fishing what looked to be soft plastics . I should find out how he fared shortly as I'm being taken out this evening by Mark(another Bognor lure angler) to find out how these boys do their thing over there.
Feeling a little deflated, and not a little tired,I decided to return to the middle reef and set down the anchor to fish with big mackerel dead baits. Alan and Ted were in attendance and did do rather well, both catching decent bass on fillet and head baits as i later found out, but only a doggie,and the bream(on a 4/0) fell for my baits.
By the time the flood proper had set in, and with little action on the middle reef, I upped sticks again, and returned to #9 thinking that the better flow would give me more action with lures. I was wrong. Despite Pete and his crew still fishing the mark, only one more wrasse took a fancy to my jigged shad before I decided to give in and return home just after lunch.
So, a hard days fishing for little return but some valuable lessons learned as ever.
I met up with Ted and Alan this morning as Ted needed to use my trailer to lift his Orkney out of the river to carry out anti fouling.With the boat on dry land i had some time to pick their brains.Both these guys have been fishing locally for many, many years and certainly know their onions and yet, their methods are simple in the extreme. I doubt if either of them bother with lures or live baits-too much hassle.What they seem to be able to do is fish in the right place at the right time , for whatever species is about and that's where their experience counts.
For big reef bass they use mackerel baits(fillets and heads) on a 6/0 leger-much the same in fact as Alex does, but they cite the period around low water as being the hot time which is very interesting indeed.Perhaps this is the way forward with Clive's 'summer bass-who knows.
Tide- HW 0406 5.2m