A glorious Sunday morning awaited us as we prepared to head out of Brighton marina with a full crew to drift some of the wrecks in search of some good quality fish. It was ideal conditions for enjoying a day out with the sun shining, a beautiful calm sea and dolphins joining us for part of our outward journey. Lines, rigs and lures chosen and ready for action on our arrival at the first wreck of the day saw most of the crew set up with rhubarb and custard or black and red sidewinders. These have been the most productive lures for us on Grey Viking for the last couple of weeks so they were the two lures that we would be starting the day with. As it turned out these once again proved to be the right choice as we enjoyed a steady flow of fish for most of the day.
Before the fishing started the crew which consisted of a couple of small parties and one or two individuals put a pot together and challenged each other for the first catch of the day, the largest catch of the day and the heaviest fish of the day. A £10 prize for each category created a really good banter amongst all on board.
Daniel was the first to take a prize landing a Pollack and bagged himself £10. He was thrilled with this a made a point of letting everyone on board know about it throughout the day.
The next fish netted was also caught by Daniel and was another nice Pollack and a little bigger than the first.
Going for the hat trick it was whoops from Daniel that were heard again and this time he was bringing in a bigger fish and this time it was a cod but whilst he was shouting for the net there was drama unfolding at the back of the boat. Howard also had a fish on and it looked like it was a case of who was going to get it to the surface first. Ray was at the ready as Howard got the first glimpse – he had also reeled in a Cod and it was a very nice one too weighing in at 14lb.
Despite having caught many codling in his years of fishing this was his first ever Cod and he was delighted.
To Daniels dismay whilst the net was busy elsewhere when I reached down to lift his cod onboard it slipped off the hook. (Sorry Daniel and it was a nice fish of around 9-10lb) He was disappointed at not getting the fish onto the boat and also at having missed a chance to take his fish count to three.
Peter was the next to catch bringing in a gurnard a beautiful looking and tasting fish. Howard brought in a pouting – the only one we saw all day and Dan reeling in a very nice rock!!!!
With all the action happening in two opposite corners of the boat up until now it was time for Cornelius to step up for some action. With a very nice bend in this rod and line nice and tight we all waited to see what the next fish would be. A very nice Cod was landed weighing in at 9.5lb and he was very pleased with his first fish of the day.
James was next with a good Pollack and with it safely tagged and placed in the fish box he was immediately reeling in his next. This one bigger but once again it was another fish lost at the last minute.
What happened next really put the icing on the cake for Howard. We looked around to see that he was into a fish and next to him his son Sam also had a take on his line. Together they reeled in and net at the ready Ray scooped up Howards second Cod and Sam’s first. Both father and son brought in almost identical fish and both weighing in at 11lb exactly. No sooner had these two fish hit the deck Ray was running over to James who also bringing home a very nice Cod. A 10lb fish in the bag. Nice one James!
It was starting to look like the battle for the prize for the biggest catch was going to be a race between Daniel and Howard. We could see Daniel in the other corner set a determined look on his face – he was not about to be outdone. With fish showing in the bottom 10 metres everyone dropped their lures to the bottom and reels were being worked. Everyone hoping that the next fish hooked would be on theirs. Daniels determination paid off and once again he was calling for the skipper to bring the net. It seemed he had bagged himself the lucky corner today and although it was not going to beat Howards Cod in weight he was thrilled to be holding a lovely 13lb Pollack.
The next few drifts didn’t produce any fish at all but with the tide still running and plenty of fish showing on the sounder we decided that we would stick it out here for the next 20 minutes before moving the boat onto another wreck at slack water.
Just as the boat drifted over the scour that had produced all the Cod they guys were shouting that Sam was into a fish. Taking his time to reel in his fish he was soon the proud owner of an 11lb Cod. Way to go Sam!
Another drift, which failed to produce a fish, gave us all a chance to grab a coffee. During this time and whilst I was having a chat with Cornelius bang went his line. This was going to be the best fish of the day. You should have seen the smile on his face. He had a really good fish on and we could all see the effort it was taking to get this fish moving towards the surface. He knew as we all did that this was “a fish”. A quick high five proved to be a disaster and the words that followed cannot be printed but the smiles turned to groans of anguish as he felt the fish fall from his hook.
This was in fishing terms to right time for all to stand for a few moments in silence to mourn the loss of what should have been the best fish of the day.
Time for a move and almost time to head back to port. Ray headed for a wreck between the one we were fishing and home. This gave everyone time for a quick bite to eat and a snooze in the glorious sunshine. More signs that summer is on its way was evident by the amount of jellyfish we passed floating on the surface of the water.
Daniel bagged the £10 for the biggest catch by landing yet another Pollack and a Whiting which not to go uncounted. Howard was pipped at the post despite catching a nice Pollack right at the end of the day.
Daniel taking the prize for first fish caught and the biggest catch of the day and Howard taking the prize for the heaviest fish. Well done to both of you.
A big congratulation to Howard and his son Sam who both caught there first ever Cod today (in fact they both caught 2).
What a smashing day out guys. Well done to all those on board who made this yet another enjoyable trip.