This is a copy of the regular newsletter as posted by Justin Anwyl who has worked as a bass fishing guide in Chichester Hbr for the past ten years.
To all those caught by the fly...
This year so far has been a tale of two halves as the very clement weather in March saw water temperatures get to 11.8 degrees and well above average for that time of year, only to be stalled in April where they sat for nearly a month between 10 and 11 degrees. We didn't manage to hook a Bass in April due to the poor conditions and even throughout early May it felt like winter.
The good news is that the Solent has rocketed in the last 2 weeks by 4 degrees and is now above the magical 14-15 level. Bait is everywhere and school Bass can be seen on nearly every piece of structure you go past. The stock looks healthy enough but so far we are hooking up to year class 6, 7 and 8 with plenty of fish but no trophies to date (300 in the last three days).
A Solent Blitz
Cockroach patterns have been isolating the Bass from the Mackerel, but small red and white as well as olive Clouser Minnows reflect the size of the bait so far this season. Sandeel and small mullet fry are covering the whole of Hayling bay and very large blitzes are seen in the very early morning on the west side of the harbour, this bite is over by 7.30-8.00am as the sun breaks through. The same bite can be seen in the late evening when the thermal pressure drops and the sun comes off its vertical position.
Hopefully as the season gets into full swing the areas we cover will become better populated with quality Bass but I have heard from many sources of the damage been done East of Chichester throughout the Kingmere reef system where pair trawling has been operating since Christmas. This area is particularly important for both spawning Black Bream and Bass and the greatest fear is the physical damage being done to the reef itself - it is beyond me to understand how such an important area can be subject to such abuse especially during late winter when both species are shoaling and easily targeted - the Bass will have been feeding over white ragworm for months and have no commercial value when brought to port - they wouldn't even cover the diesel expenditure -
Sussex Fisheries (Chief Fishery Officer and Clerk: Mr T.M. Dapling M.Sc.tel: 01273 454407 Fax: 01273 454408 email: firstname.lastname@example.org) are aware of this problem but are moving way too slowly for my liking - case study the Eastern Seaboard for a template and start to take control of a resource which is everybody's to enjoy.