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Blanking never felt so good!


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Picture the scene... Sunday morning 5am and I'm gently shaking Thomas awake as it's time to head down to the Hamble for a tope and conger session on Tarlach Too with Neil and Leo. Thomas wakes slowly - it was a late night for us all as we returned from France the previous evening. His eyes are red rimmed and he looks dog tired still. As soon as he comes round and remembers the plan for the day he grins and hops out of bed.

A quick bite of breakfast, the bait is loaded into the coolbox and we're into the car and off.

Neil has a coffee on standby for me when we arrive - very much needed and appreciated! This is the first time Thomas and Leo have met in person - they've previously waved to each other from respective tubs at Browndown - and they click straight away.

We finish loading our kit onto the boat and then we're motoring gently off the pontoon and down the Hamble. As we reach the Solent they boys are talking nineteen to the dozen and sharing jokes and gags.


Even the skipper gets in on the act... this is a dab apparently. Who knew??


We spot some gulls working as we pass Lepe so we make a quick detour in the hope of some fresh bait. The boys get feathering and find a handful of school bass plus one solitary mackerel, which Leo quickly names "Monty". Monty is slipped into the coolbox as we head off to the Needles.


We headed for Freshwater Bay to drop the hook and down went the first baits. They soon came back up covered in thick clumps of weed. Not good. The next baits suffer the same fate. And the next. No hope of a fish here, so we pull the anchor and head a bit further south and drift. A couple of bites that don't convert and one decent bass that followed my bait back to the surface is all we get.

The kids are getting cooked in the midday heat so we decide to head back past the Needles for a couple of drifts on the Shingles before heading home. Despite seeing a few other boats drifting in the same area we find no fish and call it a day. But on the way back up the Solent the fun really starts for the kids, who are having a whale of a time getting soaked in the spray.

Thomas seems to have a knack of taking a wave in the face


but it's all smiles apparently!


As we moor up and unload the boat, Thomas says he's had the best day ever and asks whether we can get a boat like Tarlach Too... I finally clock that this was all part of Fishy's cunning plan to turn me into a ferry owner!

After his late night and early start, Thomas falls asleep within 5 minutes of getting into the car. Big thanks to Neil and Leo for a great day on the water - Thomas really did have the best day ever!

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