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Mid Season 2008

To all those caught by the Fly...

Well the season is full on and there were no surprises in April, a few fish showing and some nice ones which were had off Thorney point, resident Bass by all accounts found roaming the sandbanks whilst the worm hatches were on. May however has been good, warm stable weather has allowed the water temperatures to rocket from 11 degrees to a shade under 15 in less than 10 days. This has lead to early season fry being able to hatch which in turn has increased the metabolism of our resident fish. Normally we start to see a noticable difference in school bass numbers by the end of May as the second set of “Spring tides” sucks in the whitebait into the harbours and estuaries. This year due to the clement weather we saw the first set of Spring tides bring bait in as the water temperatures have allowed the fry to hatch much earlier than normal – May so far has given us 300 Bass and a few Garfish, the ratio of mature fish is running at 7% which is a healthy start to the 2008 season.

A few pointers for you fly rodders to observe is that it is still not summer and watch those East by North East winds, as you’ll find the Thermocline (vertical heat scale in the water column) can very easily invert. The Low Pressure (Cyclonic) air systems which move south of the West Sussex coast pick up cool air as they rotate anticlockwise and this can chill the relatively shallow inshore waters very rapidly. We experienced this in Mid April when the fishery litterally shut down in less than two days of cool winds. The reason why this happens is that the top 2 or 3 feet of water is highly transient and if is cools quickly the lower layers represent warmer water – this inversion pushes fish out of reach so although you think that deeper water is cooler it is in fact slightly warmer than the top layers for a short period in time - fish deeper with density compensating sinkers on slower retrieves and you should find that familiar tightening once again.

To those of you who I’ll be meeting over the next 6 months for the first time I look forward to seeing you – to those familiar faces who are returning in search of a mature black back we’ll do our best to accommodate and to those who have penciled in dates please remember to return your booking slips and deposits in order to secure your dates.

The Eastern Seaboard trip to Mystic Connecticut is set for the 23rd September 2008 and to those of you who are joing me this season to be guided by Dan Woods, Ken Perry and Ed Mitchell they send their regards and are looking forward to entertaining us – sharpen your hooks and pack your 10 weights as those fish just eat their way through life!

All the best