One hell of a session including a PB equalising ray!
Ty Croes 12/03/2012
How do I even begin to describe how epic this session turned out to be. I met Captain Calamity and the danger squad ie, Ed, Ad and Gav L in Ty Croes car park for 4.30am making sure unlike last time, we caught the tides perfectly. This was in the hope that Ed and Gav, being ray virgins could bag themselves there first thorny. Having made camp on one of the lower ledges we rigged up with pennnel pulley rigs (as shown in rig section) and cast out just after 5am baited up with a sandeel and squid wrap.
Within 5 minutes of touching bottom and before the others had set up I had this little pecker (top left) at 3lb 1oz. Cracking start! Within another 20 minutes I had ray number 2 on the bank, a little smaller at 2lb 13oz but still a nice little fish. Then it was Ad's turn to hook up with this small ray (top right) at 2lb 10oz before he had one a little bigger at 4lb dead (right). I do believe I told him what seems to be a funny joke just before I took the photo hense his silly face lol. The best fish of the morning was soon to be on my rod though as just after low water and as the sun made an appearance on the horizon, a classic slack liner lead to this fish (below). A nice thorny of 7lb 11oz :)
This was the last of the rays for the morning session but as this was planned to be a long day it was really just the opening ceremony for what was to come. At around 10.30am I left the others to go home, have a rest and get some supplies for the team; bait, food and drinks etc. I didn't return until gone 4pm when the tide was getting to that stage again where the rays come out to play. The other 3 had now been there for nearly 12 hours and in the time I was gone, it was only Ed that managed a few fish in the form of ballan and corkwing wrasse. Having not ticked either of them of the species list yet, I spent my first 30 minutes trying my best to get one and got my reward when I got a small corkwing to a small rag bait (species 18). By the time I was done it was prime time for the rays again so back down on the bottom ledge fishing commenced.
After thornies number 4 and 5 for the day I finally hooked into another decent ray (pictured left) and after a good scrap close in it was in my hands. It was a very nice fish and equalled my PB of 8lb 15oz beating my own 2012 record list fish by 4oz so theres the new target :)
The evening session would prove to be far more productive than the morning session and the next into a fish would be me again but whilst I was playing my fish, Ad had a drop back and was also into a fish. The fish were going mental! After both safely landing our fish we had a nice team photo taken. My fish on the left weighed in at 5lb 13oz and Ad's on the right came in at 5lb 3oz (picture below)
This session was proving to be a right clonker but as Ed and Gav were still to land a ray it left me thinking what they were doing wrong. They were using the same rigs and bait but weren't getting any fish. They couldn't blame the spot they were fishing as Ed was in between myself and Ad and Gav was fishing in the spot I would usually opt for. Anyway we continued fishing and ray number 8 for me came in at 4lb 3oz before Ad manged his 4th ray of the day at 2lb 10oz. Then finally after nearly 17hours of fishing Ed managed his first ray ever. Hurraaayy! It was only a pecker at 2lb 5oz but a ray none the less.(pictured below) Now it was only Gav who needed a ray.
Ed having now landed his maiden ray
was on a roll and landed his second fish
10 minutes later at a slightly bigger size
of 3lb 3oz.(right) Desperate for a 10lb+ ray I continued fishing hard in match style, rigs baited up at the ready and when I felt a decent fish on my line soon after casting out I was praying for it to be the biggun. It wasn't to be though as per. It was another cracking fish though weighing 8lb 8oz (below). I just can't seem to break the 9lb barrier and this is my 9th ray now between 8.5lbs and 9lbs. Soon this 10lb ray mission will be succesful though if fishing stays like this or at least I really hope so. The next fish out was
to be the largest of the evening but was not our usual suspect. The fish came to Ad on a nice sandeel and squid wrap and was giving him some strong head bangs leading him to think it was definitely not another ray, and he was right. After the fish had managed to cross his other line and one of Gav's lines it was in sight and it was a cracker of a huss. It looked a certain double and after clambering down to the waters edge in my rockhopper boots the fish was safely on dry land. Ad's face lit up ten-fold when he saw me emerge up onto the ledge with his fish. It was truly a beast. After taking a number of photos we weighed the big fella. It came in bang on 11lbs and beat Ad's PB by just under 4lb. Some fish and the biggest huss I've seen landed fom Ty Croes...... so far! (picture below)
Ad then set his sights on congers determined to achieve whats known to us as 'the ty croes grand slam' which involves landing a ray, a huss and a conger in one session. Myself and the other 2 stayed at the bottom but after seeing Ad's huss I changed to a large Mackerel and squid bait fished at short range. When my rod bent over again I was sure it would be a huss but it wasn's unfortunately. It was however ray number 10 of the session for myself. My last fish came again on the large fish baits and was another clonker of 8lb 10oz.( pictured below)
Unfortunately for Gav L the session came to an end before he had managed a ray but with the fishing being this prolific we'll bag him one soon thats for sure. The final tallies were as follows:
Myself : 11 rays, 1 corkwing and numerous dogfish
Ad : 4 rays, a beasty huss and numerous dogfish
Ed : 2 rays, a few ballans, 1 corkwing, a dab, whiting and doggies.
Gav L : A hell of a lot of dogfish and some whiting.
We then proceeded to the pub for a quick reflection pint on the evenings fishing. This one is going to be a very hard one to beat was our conclusion. The evening did have a somewhat sickening ending though when just as I'd started my pint I had a phone call from my mates Steve and Ben who had been out near mackerel rock. Ben's car had been horribly vandalised and the guilty party had tipped his car on its roof smashing most of his windows in the proccess. Why people think this kind of thing is funny or clever I will never know but as I hadn't finished my 1st pint I went to pick them both up and bring them home. Ben was obviously fuming as this incident means he probably will be without a car now for a few years. I hope that the culprits are caught and are made to pay for his inconvenience. So ending on a downer, just be careful if you leave your car somewhere secluded.
Hope you enjoyed the read and get after those rays whilst there in numbers!