To all those caught by the fly...
End of Season Newsletter (2016)
9th November 2016 - "Welcome to the brave new world of Trump"!
We're just about finished here on the South coast and it has been a pretty successful season. Further to the last newsletter I can reiterate that the Spring bite was aggressive and I am keen to get early fly fishers on board for 2017 so please call if you want to throw an early line next year.
This year has seen more personal bests caught than in the last few seasons and it's a joy to see hard and fast sportfishermen getting through the 5lbs mark and onwards and upwards, no doubles in the mix but quite a few fish up there at 8lbs plus - it's strange how that number seems to stick for a lot of flyers.
As we speak the Herring run is not even on yet and my belief is that the water temperature is a little too warm at 13/14 plus degrees so I'm leaving Labrax on the berth so we can still "run and gun" if the high pressure gives us benign wind to the east.
Richard Ellis with a beautiful bronze Bass off the reef
Simon Malby with another cracking October Bass
In the middle of August I was waiting to refuel at the fuel bay by the lock in the marina and whilst sitting on the gunwhale I watched as a steady stream of Bass regimentally swam under Labrax and through the lock which was on free-flow during the initial Ebb. This stream of fish was obvious for what seemed an age and was probably only a minute or two until I was distracted, large Bass first and then school Bass bringing up the rear.
Where were they going and why were they leaving?... is what I saw happening in the marina the same as what happens on marks when we are offshore and working through the tide curve and then the bite abates?
I used to think that Bass would feed at the most opportune time on the tide curve and when the tidal velocity reduced they would become less active, however maybe the whole shoal moves to catch the tide up. Afterall it wouldn't take long for a shoal to move a couple of miles - isn't this exactly what we do when we try to find another bite, i.e we move.... why wouldn't Bass or any other predator just turn and smell out another current with greater flow. Bearing this in mind there is approx 2 hrs difference in tide within 2 miles on the east bank area and that will equate on an average tide to as much as 1.5 knts of greater current if you could fish both areas at the same time, so it's perfectly feasible to expect Bass to move into a more attractive tidal area, especially if there's a lack of food in any one part i.e Bass will move to find where food is, maybe they are less mobile if food is abundent but very mobile if it isn't?
Let me know your thoughts but bear this in mind, when we lose the bite, the 1st thing that happens is that the birds elevate to give a wider angle of incidence when looking through the water column at greater height - they are definately looking over a wider area and if they do not find what they are looking for (either bait being harried or blitzing) they generally move to another mark, or are they following a shoal to another piece of ground?
Birds can see an overfall of water very easily at great distances so they must be isolating what Ed Mitchell refers to as an "Edge", if Gulls can't see any visual top water or mid water activity, I'm sure they move to where they see any "Edge" in anticipation of a predator being in the same area albeit below the water line.
Above the water!
Below the water!
Connecticut USA was a great trip with some of the best weather we have experienced for a decade. The lads did well with all species especially the early morning Bass and F/Albacore. Big Blues in the mid double area arrived on the last day. There is one more slot to fill for 2017 and the trip is reserved for September 18th for a week.
Anyway it has been a good season with over 200 client days at sea which is ok and over 2 and a quarter tonnes in the net - thankyou again for working so hard.
The April bite was very good but the October bite gave us better quality but not the volume as I don't think the Herring are in yet.
12 weight Seawolf fly caught GT
Now that’s what I call a Cuda
12 weight Seawolf fly caught Sailfish
Oceansticks.com is going well and I'm thrilled that Andrew Watson decided to do battle in the Seychelles with a record weight Sailfish on one of my 12 weights. A number of good GT's and a monster Baracuda were also on the cards - Awesome!..Let your friends know that if you need a 4 piece rod in AFTM 8,9,10,12 & 14 weight under £300, Oceansticks.com will provide you with the best IM12 blank money can buy.
For now, enjoy the run up to Christmas and I look forward to talking to you shortly.
IGFA Guide & Captain