To all those caught by the fly...
Late Season 2015 (October)
It's coming to the official end of my season although I have taken provisional bookings into November as last year the Herring bite was aggressive into Christmas. As a summary, the wind hasn't stopped blowing since April, in fact I don't think I saw one reference to a high pressure system laying down on a stable sea state for more than one day, sometimes you can take a look and you know you're "Good to go" for a week!, this never happened....
The Early part of the season was on track for a better than average year, although last years numbers were the best we have experienced for more than a decade so it was a difficult year to follow. June and July were lower than average and we are starting to catch up in October with better than average fish showing on the inshore fishery.
Dave Roberts with a nice Female
Pete Simpson working the Ebb rip in late September
An interesting observation this year was the distinct lack of birds to be found working anywhere. Some marks which are renowned for holding Bass were simply not there in any number at all. And yet other areas which are not so renowned have yielded better numbers of fish and better sizes. The wind, which is always a factor, since September has been largely offshore, which allows the sea to flatten and is always welcome this time of year, however don't underestimate the impact of this wind direction on the bait stream.
How much has this held up the fry and consequently Sprat which is prevalent from now on into February - I am a great believer in the food chain and the consequences of the variables which affect it. If the bait moves then it is common sense the assume that the predator will move with it. In the general scheme of things it maybe worth noting that if the bait can move it's transit say 50 miles (which is a speck of a distance on the Ocean's Atlas) then it is perfectly feasible to expect that the bait stream could miss us completely or certainly take the biomass away from the commercial/sport-fishing fleet's area of operation?
Terns working over Bass & Bait
Let me know if the black headed Gulls, Terns and Gannets have been thin where you are working, I would be interested to hear from you.
From September through until now we have been working both Brown Cockroach and Olive Deceivers, the latter looking similar in colour to the young sprat which we are finding North of Selsey Bill. When the wind is up and the fly is hard to work we have been using the herring softbaits which were developed last year to great success.
Herring Soft bait
Last season was a very productive year with one particular year class, namely 7 & 8. This year we are seeing a better class of Bass starting to show but we still need more. I have always said that what you take needs to be above the MLS (presently 42 cms) but below 50 cms as Bass don't mature until 45-47 cms and consensus leans towards a fish of that size being highly probably male so the present legislation is wholly inadequate if a sustainable fishery is to flourish.
I was boarded this season by IFCAS for only the second time in 12 years or the equivalent of over 3000 guided days!, which is a damning indication of the lack of resources at their disposal but not only did they board a professional IFGA guide but they didn't even check my lockers for Bass - I ask you what was the point? - I agree with the sport fishing quota of 3 Bass / rod but fishery officers need to spend their time far more intelligently on the sea both day & night to limit the abuse which happens in front of my own eyes, at the moment they are merely playing lip service to the issue.
The trip this season was successful seeing Bass to 30lbs coming to Paul Drake's fly, plenty of double figured Bluefish and some False Albacore, although certainly the little Tunny run wasn't as hot as previous years. Next season we are scheduled for the 19th September through until the 23rd so let me know if interested.
Paul's Drake with a fly caught 30lbs Bass
Anthony Cope's big 16 lbs Blue Fish
I flew into Perpignan in April to fish for the Bluefin Tuna which was quite an experience considering that I thought the Mediterranean had been emptied of fish. We saw hundreds of Tuna and although I hooked up, the Tuna were very fickle but Paul Drake managed 3 when he revisited in October, his face says it all - bitter sweet I think!
Kit sales have been consistent this season and the new 4 piece IM12 "8 weights" are due very shortly, I will then be taking delivery of the new prototype 9,10 12 & 13/14 weight "Seawolf" range - my wish is to price these all at the same level as the 8 weight so I will inform you when the new website is up and running which will concentrate on just Saltwater fly rods and Lure rods for fishing here and abroad.
Link to shop
"Tough, Reliable Kit - Biult to do the job"
To surmise, it has been an interesting season and the hardest one I have worked in terms on consistency of catch and weather but that has always been the challenge when guiding. As per last season my Facebook page is updated as much as possible which from the response has been well received. I will be opening the diary for 2016 in Mid November so I look forward to hearing from you then. Thank you all for visiting the South coast this year and especially to those who repeat book or travel further than average, it was great fun seeing you all.
Heads up, tips down!