January passed all to quickly, well for me anyway for most not soon enough. I managed to get out fishing a couple of times, once on the Pembrokeshire coast the other an afternoon out with fishing guru Robin Howard off the Sussex Coast in his boat in somewhat cold conditions, however it was an afternoon of catching several species.

Robin Howard is a fabulous fisherman and Guide he possesses an immense amount of knowledge and experience, he is also a great teacher. On the day I went out on his fast boat from Brighton Marina it was calm, bright and cold. Opting for a rig of small feathers on light tackle we were targeting herring, however there were none to be seen although the conditions we right and a few days before these delicate ladies of the sea were a plenty. Having covered a couple of good marks it wasn’t long before we were into fish, Whiting to start with then several small bass. Switching rigs to a soft Shad set above a heavy lure which acted as weight we manage to get down to some larger fish within minutes a large Wrasse took the soft bait and after several casts larger Bass and Pouting took the time and time again. What was a surprise was to catch a Mackerel, the first for me in 2019 and possibly the boat.

It never ceases to amazes me the diverse species of fish off the Sussex Coast especially so early in the year, possibly down to a warm summer maintaining higher water temperature late into the year. Now in February we are seeing some of the lowest temperatures across the nation and over the last couple of days some heavy snow for the first couple of days of February.

This morning Mrs H and I spent time on the allotment I have been given to look after. Having spend a good six months getting it back into a workable state, over the winter months raised beds have be dug and prepared with the enrichment of stable manure, garlic, shallots, onion and broad brand sown. The fruits trees and vine all pruned and the area of woodland and riverbank beside Beverley Brook is now being prepared to turn into a woodland garden planted up with Hostas , Ferns , Hellebores ( Lividus White Marble) , Digitalis, Snowdrops, Ivy and some ground cover such as Bergenia Harzkristall and Eroica, Liriope Muscari ( Moneymaker), Ajuga Black Scallop and bulb planting of Scilla. I can’t wait to get this area sorted in order to sit among it and watch the Chubb and Dace in the shallow of this tributary to the Thames.