The first couple of months of the new season have been very difficult for Ian and I on Orca. Our first five trips yielded just a few Bream, Plaice and Rays along with a shed full of Dogfish! Despite going to most of our favourite spots, and trying a few new ones, it just wasn’t happening.

However, despite the lack of fish we have had some fantastic days out, enjoyed being on the boat again, topped up the tan and had a dolphin surface right next to the boat yesterday. Too quick for a photo but a lovely sight with the sun in the background.

Talking of yesterday. We at last had a good day out and some fish in the boat. We started at Bracklesham Bay with just a small Bass (which shed the hook at the net) and then moved to Boulder Bank along with quite a group of other boats. I was immediately into Bream and had five in quick succession on small squid strip before the tide slowed, as did the bites (should have moved earlier!)

We stuck with it and changed to bigger baits. This resulted in my best Bream at 3lb 9oz (photo attached) on squid head and ragworm followed by a very hard fighting Smoothound of 8lb. The Bream was full of roe and was carefully returned to do what comes naturally. Not a spectacular day but one that shows we can still catch fish – which we were beginning to doubt!

Now, you may have noticed that I refer to me catching fish – and not Ian. Why is it that one side of a boat can have a good run whilst the other side can’t even buy a fish? We always fish the same sides of Orca and we regularly have periods with one side doing much better than the other. I am now expecting Ian to have a great time during the summer and me struggling – such is fishing!!!

Gordon Reay