“Saturday morning, knowing the weather wasn’t going to be great, we left Chichester harbor at around eight and headed Selsey way to Medmery. we had a drift over to try for any flatties willing to take mackerel or squid strip with beaded traces and small hooks. After a long drift with no action we decided to anchor by the street buoy north of boulder bank. After we dropped anchor more boats turned up which seemed promising. However, even with the near neap tides the weed was a problem covering out baits and rigs in massive lumps although my dad did manage a nice edible crab. It was far to big for bait so it was thrown back.

After a while with no bites and weed on every drop we decided to up anchor in the slack and try the gully to the east of Medmery for the flood. There were a few charters trying the same thing. After a while still with no bites and my dad feeling a bit queasy because of the wind against tide chop we decided to head back to Northney. The night before we weren’t able to get a berth as it was so busy so had to get a travel lodge for the night. Our mate who works at the marina had saved us one for tonight. But with a few hours of daylight left we decided to get some more fuel from the garage and head back out to the mouth of Chichester Harbour to get some mackerel as we only had frozen and now defrosted fish.

After about an hour we had almost 20 mackerel which was plenty. They weren’t coming in thick however we had some spaced out strings of ones, twos and threes. And to make it a bit more interesting there were a few scad mixed in. My dad also had a tiny bass and little bream which looked slightly red which made me excited for a new species. However, we decided it was a black bream after a closer look. He had put some small strips of squid on his feathers which i feel could have brought these extra fish, even if they were tiny. We returned back to the marina glad we hadn’t blanked on the day and optimistic for the Sunday with fresh baits.

Sunday morning the alarm went off at five, we tidied the boat and we left the marina at 6am. We went straight to the south nab banks by the cardinals for the flood tide. We were interested to see what we would catch as we’d never fished here before. We had a mackerel flapper on a trace and a few normal running ledgers with squid, prawn and mackerel as bait. First drop i had a small 1-2lb tope on my new rod (12/20lb gx2 ugly stik boat rod) before i even got my second rod in the water. Quite happy with that.

After a few missed bites and some dogs my dad got a nice run which resulted in a nice low double tope. Soon afterwards I was just checking my rod to see if i was holdong bottom . I lifted into it and if felt quite heavy. I didnt see the bite but there was something on. As it came up i wasn’t quite sure what it was as it did take a little line. So I was quite surprised to see that it was a ray. Usually, i find, rays are just a weight to reel in with minimal fight. I had that few seconds of excitement as the ray came up upside down, so i didn’t know what species it was but was hoping for a blonde or even a small eyed as I’ve yet to catch either of those. However, it was an undulate which weighed bang on 10lb. It took a large mackerel and squid bait.

After this my dad lost a heavy fish that was banging its head on the way up on the wire trace rod. Soon when the tide started to slacken I hauled in the anchor and after a quick chat we decided on going south to what we think is Cuba bank as we had the small tides rather than go east to utopia. I dropped the anchor over a nice slope into about 35 meters as the ebb tide doesn’t let you fish the deeper side. I dropped my rig down and a few minutes later as I was boiling the kettle in the cuddy I saw a small few knocks on my big mackerel side and squid bait. When you start eating on the boat you’ll always end up getting a bite bite which lead to a small thornback. That was the last significant fish of the day. We waited out the strong tidal flow for two hours and as it slackened we only had more dogfish. It was good to try some new marks and go bit further than we usually do because of the smaller tides. A fun weekend, I should give reports more often during August as I have six weeks off school for summer holidays and my dad’s promised me lots of fishing!”