So The Bro arrives on the doorstep, looks over his shoulder at the leaden sky and the heavy rain and says “Are you sure about this?” I reassured him that the rain was to clear from the west by around midday so we headed off for the first trip of 2018. Sure enough the rain eased off and by the time we were setting up it was still dull but dry and it got milder and calmer as the day wore on. High tide around 4pm wasn’t ideal but Saturday looked the best bet for the next week or so and I was determined to get the 2018 ball rolling; I was beginning to think said ball had been designed by Picasso! We both set up two rods with 2 and 3 hook flappers baited with mackerel strips. The Bro was trying out his new reel and was obviously keen to break it in, I was just glad to break out of the house. It was very slow to start; an hour in The Bro had a few rattles which came to nothing before I landed my first fish of 2018, a 35cm coalfish, first cousin of the last fish of 2017 which was a 35cm pollack. This one’s for you Hugo if you are out there! Last trip of 2017 produced about 16 coalies during daylight so I thought we might get a few more; no, it was a shoal of one fish. An hour later, just on high tide, The Bro had a good determined bite and tightened into a nice 33cm flounder and as he was reeling in, I had a good bite too and swung in a nicer 34cm dab which registered bang on 1lb on the scales; a very pleasing 2oz heavier than the flounder. I’m not really being nasty, just getting my retaliation in first as The Bro set off on a run of 6-7 good dabs from 28 to 33cm while I couldn’t buy a bite. I don’t know how much longer he can play the Born Again Beginner’s Luck card. I eventually managed a small dab showing signs of some net damage and proceeded to land another 4-5 small dabs including one which managed to take two baits. As dusk came, a bat flew past a couple of times, never seen one this early in the year. A couple of poorcod came to my rod while The Bro managed a 34cm whiting which sadly was another shoal of one. With the tide ebbing, the bites ground to a halt and after an uneventful hour we packed up. We managed some good flatties, The Bro christened his new reel and above all, we got out; all in all a most enjoyable day.
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