Sunday, 29 April 2012

The missing link to gareths report : tricky mark success


Gareth has done a cracking write up of the events before and after my dodgy secret mark, so I won't bother repeating those parts of the session. Here's the bit in between though!
We arrived at the mark around midday and it was looking good, the 17mph winds were off our backs at my mark so we could get a bit of
much needed shelter. I explained to Gareth that it was a bit sketchy to get down to but perhaps on reflection, that was a little bit of an understatement. However after Gareth had successfully climbed down and up the othe side I thought he'd be ok. That was until we reached the final descent. It was obvious that he wasn't comfortable in the situation, so he rightly decided to turn back and head for one of his marks close by. I had said I would come back with him, but after 5
of him assuring me he'd be fine getting back, I continued down the final drop to the mark. Thinking that Gareth would be ok, I started fishing with a small soft plastic and after a few chucks I had a little ballan wrasse of about half a pound. After another 20 mins I decided to switch tactics and use a home made 2-hook flapper armed with size 4 hooks, a few luminous beads and lovely fresh wriggly rag as bait. I was getting a wrasse a chuck for 20 minutes, nothing of any size but alot of fun. Then I had a tiny rattle and brought up a little LS scorpion fish. Back on the ballans then for a few chucks before species 3 came up, a little corkwing. I stayed happily pulling out these wrasse for another 45 minutes and finishing with around 15 ballans, 4 corkwings and 2 scorpion fish before I thought I best go and join Gareth now at his spot. I packed the gear up and climbed my way back over the tops. As I peered over the crest of the hill though, I was shocked to see Gareth stood about 2/3 of the way up the other side. I must admit, at this point I felt a tad guilty and when I reached him I apologised profusely for not coming back sooner. He was fine about it though and said it was his own fault for convincing me he'd be ok. Nevertheless we now had to get up to the top with Gareth way out of his comfort zone. He was adamant that he was going to swim round but I had to stop him doing that, the current is deceivingly strong round this spot and the last thing I wanted after leading him down there, was for him to go disappearing out to sea. So after 10 minutes of calming his nerves, I gave a samaritin like speech (Gareths words, not mine) to boost his confidence in the climb and showed him a number of ways in which he could go about it. It was really a case of mind over matter and after another short calming nerves period he went for it and sure enough had no problem whatsoever. Once up top, I again apologised for putting him in that situation. For anyone that wanders why some marks are kept secret, then here is your answer. Being a confident climber myself, I don't appreciate how difficult it is for others to get to some of these marks I fish and I'd hate to put anyone in that position again. Also Gareth rightly pointed out after his ordeal that if I had of broadcast this mark to everyone, then no doubt people would try and reach it thinking, 'ye, i'll be fine' and someone would end up getting badly injured.
As you know from Gareths's report we then had another couple of hours wrasse and mini bashing at his spot which was alot of fun and produced a fair few fish. 

I went back in the evening to see if I could get a conger, but only managed half a dozen small pollock, a solitary poor cod and this beasty shore rockling which just about makes the record list weighing 270g (roughly 9.5oz) and measuring just shy of 30cm. All fish came on my scratching rig to rag/macky baits.

Cheers for reading,
Tight Lines,

Friday, 27 April 2012

Rough conditions mean one thing - BASS

Having woken up yesterday morning with a slight hangover, I hadn't planned on fishing, but I'd had a message off webbo on the forum asking if I wanted to join him for a bass session and couldn't really say no. He'd offered to drive so come 5.30 I got picked up from Bangor by webbo and his mate John and we headed off to get Hayden(chiefbeef). Once everyone was on board we headed off to the mark stopping only for a much needed greasy takeaway on the way. We arrived around 7.30ish and began our walk down to the spot full of confidence. Conditions were good with the North Westerlies creating a nice swell in front of us, just what was hoped for. Spreading ourselves out a bit, we set up a rod each and chucked out short into the oncoming waves. I opted to start with a Portsmouth loop rig (advised by webbo) with some juicy peeler as bait and after a short wait I had a sharp knock. Unfortunately the bite never esculated though and I had to admit it was gone and reel in to re-bait. Signs of fish though atleast! Further across the beach though, Hayden was having no such problems and had hooked into his first fish of the night. As it popped out of the surf we could see that it was our target species, the bass and we all thought this was going to be a very productive night, especially when shortly after Hayden was in again and bass number 2 was landed. The rest of us started to wander what we were doing wrong but kept at it all the same, re-baiting every 15-20 minutes and just hoping for that tell tale smash and grab take. True to form Hayden was in again around half an hour later, this time though with an annoying dogfish hanging on the end. We had been down there at this point for around two and a half hours and still I'd had just the one knock on my first cast. Another half hour flew by and as the tide had started to push us up the shore a bit, Webbo had a nice knock and struck into his first bass of the session. Hayden had his 3rd bass as well in this period and now around 11ish was when I finally had a good take and was into my first fish of the night. Low and behold though it was not a bass but a horrible skinny doggie, how devastating. I was starting to think this just wasn't my night until shortly before midnight, I finally managed bass number 1 to a crab bait. Then 10 minutes later I was in again and bass 2 came up the shingle and shortly after Webbo also had bass number 2. This was more like it but as soon as they came they went again and we were left waiting another hour for a fish. Then Webbo had another good hit and was into something a little meatier, but unfortunately whatever it was threw the hook in the surf about 2 rod lengths out much to everyones disappointment. We all continued our pursuit and were rewarded with plenty of dogfish between us.
The last bass of the night fell to John, his first bass ever and a much deserved fish for his efforts. Dangling along side his bass though was a pin whiting which I was kindly given as bait. I chucked the whiting out in hope of something decent and hadnt noticed any knocks at all, but on retrieving it there was a definite added weight. It wasn't there long though and I was left to haul in what was now a whiting in two seperate bits, the majority of its mid-section completely gone lol. We called it quits after a few more doggies and now approaching 3am. Not a bad session on the whole and a few more bass for the tally as well as 3 new faces to go fishing with again. They all seemed good blokes as well so I have a feeling it won't be long before were back on the bass together.

P.s Lack of pictures is due to not wanting to ruin my camera in the drizzle and a lack of battery life.

Tight Lines,

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ty Croes gives me an early birthday present

 Ty Croes 24/04/2012

After getting a message from Gav L on Monday night asking when I was next going to Ty Croes, I checked the weather and thought why not go tomorrow night. He was very keen to join me, so we organised to meet at 2.30 in Menai Bridge and off we went. Arriving at about 3ish we noticed another car parked up and were praying they hadn't taken the number 1 ledge. Unfortunately we had been beaten to it though, so for the time being we dropped down on the ledge just the left. It was around mid-water and on the ebb so instead of wasting bait trying for the rays,
I chucked out a scratching rig in the hope of getting a whiting for bait, whilst Gav had some casting practice. Unbelievably I had not a single touch for a good hour and a half so decided to chuck out a sandeel just in case; my rewards, you guessed it, mr dogfish. I gave up with the heavy duty rods after this and instead focused my attention on fishing rag in the margins for some wrasse. Gav had also decided to give this a go but after getting a few knocks he struck into a snag. His rod tip was still bouncing indicating the fish was still on, so I climbed down to get a better angle for to pull from but when it came free the fish had gone, we got his rig back though. Now on a lower level I had a better angle to cast closer to the rocks and almost immediately I had my first ballan of the day. We kept at it for about an hour with myself landing another ballan as well as 5 corkwings. Gav however struggled with his striking and couldn't hook one until finally he had a fish on which popped off on the retrieve Not his day again! Tactics now changed once more due to the 2 blokes on the right of us pulling in a full string of launce meaning one thing, fluff chucking time. First cast I lost a fish but didn't make the mistake twice and on my 2nd cast a couple of average sized mackerel (species 28) That was it though and after 30mins more effort, no more fish were caught. We decided we would now chance it by fishing off the top of the right hand side ledge in hope for Gav's maiden ray. We set up and started by casting out sandeel/squid wraps but we soon found out the doggies were out in force and we brought in a fair few in succession. Originally I had planned to have the mackerel I'd caught for breakfast, but as sandeel was proving fruitless, I decided to use one of them as bait. I chopped two lovely fresh fillets off it and chucked out short for a conger/huss. First fish on the macky was yet another doggie. I'd had enough of these doggies now so began packing up at just before 10pm. One rod was packed up and ready to go when I saw one of the lads on the lower ledge with a nice bend in his rod. I watched them pull in a decent thorny shortly after and this spurred me and Gav on to have another cast. Gav managed then to land a few
his first thing of the session, an octopus lol. He did however on his next cast get himself a doggie. The one rod I had left out then started banging, a typical doggie bite really but when striking and reeling it in it felt a lot heavier than usual. As it neared the rocks it started heading straight left and giving some big head shakes. I clambered down the the sea level and saw my prize, a good sized huss. I managed to grab my leader and start pulling it closer but then disaster happened, the huss bit through my 60lb snood. I stood watching it as it sank down and starting swimming in circles. At this point I was very annoyed but I continued to watch it as it started swimming out to sea before making a U-turn and heading back towards me. Surely not I thought, but with one big wave the fish came to the surface and nose planted the rocks just to my left. I got down as low as I could and the fish seemed to swim straight to me, so with a quick swoop I plunged my hand down and managed to grab its tail. Unbelievable! I then went waist high in water as the swell came up but I had a very good grip on the rocks so was going nowhere and due to having my waist waders on kept dry in the proccess. I climbed back up the rocks with the fish trying its best to bite me and weighed it in at 12lb 1oz, my best North Wales huss (species 29) After a struggle to get a good photo I settled for this one above and climbed down again to release it safely. Whilst Gav continued I packed up and went to have a chat with the blokes on the lower ledge. Funnily enough as I was getting my huss up for weighing and photos, one of them had also had a huss 3oz bigger than mine lol. Its funny how the fish suddenly turn on from nowhere, for 7 hours nothing decent and then in the space of 30mins, a good ray and 2 big huss. I'll never fully understand fish feeding habits at Ty Croes but certainly won't complain. Gav did manage a few more doggies but we called it quits around 11pm and headed back for a quick beer before bed. Not an incredible session on the whole but 2 more species to tick off the list and my first Ty Croes double of the year.

P.s If  this birthday is anything like the last few, I think I'll be having a few days off from fishing :)

Tight Lines,

Monday, 23 April 2012

Last cast hits the 'spotted'

Ty Croes 23/04/2012

This morning was simply a case of early bird catches the worm and with a start time of 4am I'm not overly surprised I was down there on my tod. It was dark when I arrived and walking along the path from the car park, I was greeted by the shining eyes of a herd of young bulls, luckily the opposite side of the fence to me. Conditions were pleasant with a light wind over my shoulder and a slight swell on, so I felt pretty confident of getting my target ray. As I peered over the tops of the rocks and looked down on the ledge I was after, I was disgusted at the amount of s*** that I could see. Whoever had been there had left a number of cans of fosters and red stripe - some half full, as well as 3-4 bait wrappers, a number of crisp/chocolate wrappers, plastic bags and more fag butts than I could ever imagine a group of people smoking in a fishing session. I hate fishing amongst crap so I bunged it all into two of the plastic bags they had left and began setting up my rods. p.s it took no more than 2 minutes to clean up, I just don't get the laziness of some people. Anyway rant over, on with the report. I opted for the usual 3ft pulley rigs with size 4/0 hooks and a large sandeel for bait with a 5oz gripper to ensure keeping it firmly on the bottom. It wasn't long before I had my first bite and in came a very lean and sorry looking doggy. Not what I wanted to see! The tide was still on the ebb though so I wasn't fishing the prime-time period just yet. The doggies came in numbers for the first hour and I think I'd had 8 before first light. It was soon to stop though as on low water the doggies disappeared and I had a tiny rattle. I left it for a while thinking nothing of it and eventually when reeling in I found the culprit, a little pin whiting lol. Again not what I had come for but I decided to make full use of it and chucked it out in hope that something big would have it. My decision to do this payed off after just 5 minutes and as I watched the rod bang over and the ratchet burst into life I thought it would be a gooden. It felt big, staying deep and was giving me a good tussle. I didn't want to rush it but shortly after it was in sight. It wasn't the monster I had imagined to see though, instead a thorny of 5lb 6oz (top left) that  had been hooked through the wing.
Oh well, I'll just have to wait for that biggie and hope all these hours I'm putting in come up trumps in the end. It was now around 6.30am so I decided to re-bait the rods for the last time and whack them out as far as I could. After a further 30mins and no bites I started to reel in my first rod. I had as good as packed it away when out of the corner of my eye I noticed my other rod had started arching over. Striking in an instant the hooks were set but it didn't feel ray like. I was convinced that a doggie was gonna pop up but as I caught sight of it under water I knew it was a small ray. It was only when it surfaced though that I realised it was a little spotted ray of around 1.5lb (species 27) You can't tell from my expressions in the picture due to tiredness but I was absolutely chuffed. I only managed a single spotted last year so its nice to get another and tick it off the list so early in the year. I stuck to the plan though and finished packing up before heading to the car. Now I'm back at home writing this report before most people are even out of bed lol although I think I may just have a few hours kip now to re-energise myself for what is innevitaby going to be more fishing tonight :)

Tight Lines all,

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The depps buzzjet takes a beauty off my local canal!

Macc Canal 21/04/2012

It was about time I had a trip home to visit the mum and obviously this was not just a run home for some lovely home-cooked food and some money to replace my car tyres :p When I'm home though I just can't resist targeting one of my favourite fish, the Pike. Theres just something about Pike fishing that I crave and although there are some cracking Pike venues in my resident North Wales, the sea fishing takes over somewhat. That said I had pike to 19.10 from a lake on Anglesey last year, so I have no excuse not to target them more often locally. My decision to have a plugging session sparked from sighting some fish chasing fry in the shallows whilst walking Cassie, our family dog. I was literally in the door with Cass and ready to head back to the canal instantly, but unfortunately it started chucking it down so I had to temporarily delay my session. I used this time to watch Arsenal v Chelsea and then Soccer Saturday and thankfully come 5pm the rain had stopped, so off I went armed with just my lure outfit, a handful of lures, my camera and a set of pliers. Conditions were not to bad, overcast with a slight ripple but due to the rain the clarity was poor. With this in mind I started off using a fire-tiger coloured rapala J-11, one of my more productive pike lures, but after walking the whole length of the stretch with not a touch it was time for a lure change. Something bigger was needed so I opted for another favourite, the savage gear freestyler, but again after walking back along the stretch casting every few yards, no takers. It was at this time I made a rash decision, it was time for a lure that makes alot of disturbance, the depps buzzjet in black. I had not yet caught on it but had plenty of rises over winter with no hook-ups, Pike are useless at hitting these surface lures lol. I walked the stretch again but this time some hopeful signs, a few big surface swirls and a fish shooting from the margins as I lifted the lure from the water. On my final walk back another fish shot from the margins as I passed, so I stopped for a few chucks.
Casting no more than 8ft from the bank, I slowly retrieved the lure with no takers for the first 3 casts. I turned round, cast the opposite way and slowly retrieved the lure along the margin, adding in the odd pause. Just as it neared the edge of a bankside bush, I noticed a few twigs move and then a bow wave appear on the surface. I stopped the lure and with one further twitch the pike absolutely smashed me, ripping yards of braid from my spool. I knew straight away it was a decent fish and my thoughts were confirmed a few minutes later after one hell of a fight. It popped up in front of me and my face lit up. The adrenaline was pumping through me at this point but I had to compose myself, get in the water and chin the fish safely. After weighing the fish in at 18lb 2oz, a new surface lure PB, I wandered over to a bloke just down the canal from me. He kindly took a quick picture before I slipped her back into the murky water watching her power off to the middle of the canal in an instant, splashing me in the proccess. Unfortunately the picture doesn't show how thick the fish was across the back but I was just happy to have caught and released the fish quickly and without causing any damage. The pike fishing bug is definitely back in my system and I think I may be hitting the North Wales waters fairly regularly for the remainder of the year.

Hope you enjoyed the read,
Tight Lines all,

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Lure fishing followed by a successful flounder hunt

19/04/2012 - Various locations in The Menai Straits

With these strong and bitter northerly winds there was only really one place we could head today and that was The Straits. Myself and friend Jon started off by digging a bit of bait and scavenging for any peeler we could find. After our buckets were full enough to supply us with bait for the day it was off to our first mark of the day. I opted to use a pulley rig due to the ground we were fishing, with two size 3/0 hooks and crab for bait. Jon opted for a 2-hook flapper and lug. Casting short was our plan to avoid the current and hopefully get a stray bass that was rumaging for food in the boulders nearby. An hour went by with just a single doggie to my crab bait being the only thing caught, so we decided on a mark change. A short 10 minute drive saw us fishing completely different ground and for this area, lures were our choice of tactic. Weedless SP's and surface lures were the only viable option due to the shallow weedy nature of the ground, so we whacked a lure to suit on and began our lure chucking. To cut a story short, we didn't have a sniff from anything unfortunately, but another bloke that was fishing just along from us had a bass of 2-3lb, so well done that man. Feeling desperate for another fish now, I decided to take Jon to one of my better spots in the hope of a bass or a flattie. Upon
arrival the conditions looked spot on, but from previous expriences, this is usually a bad omen. For a good hour and a half it looked that way as well, but on slack tide we started noticing life in the water. It may only have been little tiny fish (may have been bullheads) but it was a good sign for sure. We decided to have a little walk, looking all the time at the margins for any better sized fish. Sure enough I came across a flounder perched on the mud and called Jon over for a look. Jon stayed to watch the fish as I went to grab my rod but before I even got back to the gear Jon was following me to grab his rod. He said a bigger one had just come from the depths right next to the one I had seen, making us both very excited.  I got back to the spot with my rod, looked down at the water and sure enough there it was, a decent sized flounder. I dipped my rig in and let the tide sweep the size 4 hook with my tiny crab bait round towards its mouth. The take was instant and ferocious to say the least and to have watched it from no more than two metres away was something else. What a cracking fight they give! I had to give it line as it bolted for the deeper channel and was worried for my braid at one point lol, but sure enough after it had swam round in circles for a minute or so, it was exhausted and was ready for beaching. It was a cracker of a fish and is by far the biggest flounder I've had from the straits and my 26th species for the year. It weighed a very respectable 3lb 4oz and measured 49cm just qualifying it for the record list. I must say Jon managed to take a belter of a photo making it look far bigger lol :) 
After this we continued to scout the margins for more flounder for a good half hour but the fish had gone to our disappointment. This was our cue to call it a night so we packed up and headed for the car. Again another pleasant days fishing and even though we only managed a few fish, watching that flounder hit the bait in the way it did will stick in my head for a good while.

Hope you enjoyed the read,
Tight Lines,

Saturday, 14 April 2012

A few new marks, some new faces and the odd fish thrown in to

This past few days have been brilliant, not due to the fishing itself but because of the new people I have met over the forums. Over the past few weeks I have had some cracking advice given to me on where to target some of the fish I'm after on my hunt for 60 species this year and have been shown some lovely marks in the proccess. Anyway, on with the reports.
Myself and the younger one, Sam, had met with Terry and Billy on Weds for a session and had a great laugh, taking some quality advice away with us as well as a secret lure that Terry has lent me for a particular species I've yet to catch lol. They are both top blokes, full of stories and plenty of banter so it was a very enjoyable session on the whole with a few fish between the 4 of us thrown in. Lets hope I can do that lure justice though!
It was nice though that two days later I had a repeat invite from Terry to go and fish over his way on the island. I had a mark that I've been visiting regularly in the area and had some lovely fish from so I thought I'd return the favour from the last session and show him where it was, hoping it would produce. It turns out he hadn't fished the exact spot but had fished very close by. Having said that though, he mentioned he'd not been there for a good few years so it was a welcome change. We arrived at the mark shortly after first light with pollock and wrasse being our quarry. I was using a deep spinning type method with a small lead and a 3" purple reins rock vibe shad which made an almost immediate impact hooking into a pollock on just my 2nd cast. Not a bad fish either at over 2lb and 51cm. From memory I think Terry started with a prawn type lure but I'm probably wrong. We both kept at it and it wasn't long before I had my second fish, this time a tiddler of about 8oz. However on my next cast I was into a better fish again and thought I had the better of it before a last minute dive saw my braid catch the sharp ledge and ping, it was gone, lure and all. It a good job these SP's are cheap :) Whilst re-rigging Terry lent one of the purple shads I had been using and had a few casts in the area managing to bag a pollock himself. Again a fish of between 0.5-1lb. Set up and ready again, I managed another couple of small pollock on the reins shad before heading round the corner to the mark I've had loads of wrasse from. After 15 minutes though it was clear they were'nt in feeding mode though as usually its a hit as soon as you touch bottom. I returned to our starting mark to find that Terry had landed his 2nd pollock of the morning again I think on the reins rock vibe shad in purple. The last pollock of the session fell to me shortly after on an ecogear grassminnow in red/silver and again was around the 8oz mark. Then all went quiet for 30 minutes or so, so we called it quits. Again a thoroughly enjoyable session and we both got some fish to show for our efforts. I also got shown a few more marks on the journeys there and back to try later in the year so thanks again Terry.

This was only the start of my fishing day though as I was set to meet up with Garethp for a session on the yaks at 10. Having met Gareth, topped up with some bait and set off for cable bay, we were both fairly confident of some rays. From the off it was clear that Gareth was far better prepared than I was as this was the first time I'd been using the yak for something other than lure fishing. He kindly lent me an anchor for the day and we launched just after 11am. After paddling out to our chosen spots, it took me a while to get settled with my anchor being dragged whilst I slowly drifted further away from Gareth. In the end he let me attach myself to the back of his yak using some rope and I fished 20ft behind him. I opted for rag/squid baited feathers on one rod and a simple running ledger with sandeel on the other rod aimed at the rays. It took us a while to get a fish but Gareth was first in with a dab shortly followed by a whiting. I finally got my first whting after nearly 2 hours which was a relief, saving the dreaded blank. It was Gareth who had the tactics nailed though as he brought in a couple more whiting. I did have a spell on the fish for the last 90 minutes in which I landed a further 10 whiting but it wasn't what we were after and the wind chill was making me very cold. Again Gareth was the smart one, wrapped up in a dry-suit whilst I sat there in shorts. I have a lot to learn about bait fishing off the yaks and it was great to get some advice off Gareth as he knew what he was doing as has had some good fish. The last fish fell to gareth, another dab before the cold got the better of me and I decided to call it a day with Gareth following me in. My legs were so cold and jelly like that I could hardly stand when I got out of the yak making pulling the thing up the beach almost impossible. But after a good few minutes sorting my gear out it became much easier. After loading the cars it was time to go home but I enjoyed myself again and met another good angler in the process. A good day all round even though the rays had eluded us. Next time I guess

Tight Lines


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Magic session on the LLeyn

Lleyn Magic

It was that time again to make my weekly night trip down the lleyn to a mark where I've had a number of decent fish in the last few years. That said it had been very quiet on my previous 3 visits all resulting in blanks but there was something in the air last night that gave me a sense of optimism. I'd invited my brother up to North Wales for a session as he had been bored sat at home all week away from the sea. Once again though, this meant I was under pressure to get him a fish after he'd driven for 2 hours to get here. Off to the mark we went and arrived around an hour before low water. Conditions were not ideal at first with a big swell meaning we couldn't access the flatter
ledges I like to fish off at first. We fished the last hour of the ebb to no avail and with not a single sign of a fish either which was a bit demoralising. However around 20 minutes after low the ledges became accesible and the swell had died down nicely. Things were looking up! We both kept at it changing lures every 15-20 minutes or so and working all depths hoping for that nice bit of resistance. I switched to the legendary 12.5cm savage gear sandeel and after 4 casts, BANG, fish on and it was going mental. After a cracking tug-of-war it was at my feet so I careful used the swell to beach it on the rocks besides me. It was a lovely fish and my first decent Shirley of the year. It weighed in at 4lb 14oz and went 62cm on the TLF ruler. Took a few photos and watched her swim off to battle another day. Finally a fish on the board for Team Bassasaurus Rex, get in. This was to kick start another epic bass session of which I've had a few of recently. Withing ten minutes I had my second fish of the evening at around 2lb. Number 3 came a few casts later again at around the 2lb mark before I had a minor tragedy when snagging up and losing my lure. Its a good job I have 3 spares :)  This period however was to prove very rewarding for one sneaky little customer stood to my left. Very nicely, I had pointed him to the spot I had been casting and whilst I was re-doing my leader etc he took full advantage of the opportunity and nipped in for a few chucks. I couldn't believe it when on his second cast he hooked up. This was a strange one though as he said it wasn't pulling much and didn't feel that big.  I had expected to see a schoolie pop up but as it reached the rocks his rod started arching with the weight of the fish and a proper bass came into my sight. I can't believe his luck at the moment. It was landed fairly easily and I knew from the off it was bigger than his fish from South Devon last week which incidently was his new PB at the time. For the second time in a fortnight
he'd outdone me but as he doesn't get chance to fish all that often for bass it's always nice for me to see him catching even if he does get the big girls lol. On the scales she went and after fluctuating a little it settled on 6lb 11oz, an impressive 1lb 10oz bigger than his PB of last week. It would be criminal not to mention that this is only his 2nd fish on his new rod and both of them have been in excess of 5lb, incredible. Anyway we both cracked on with fishing and I went on to land another 4 fish with the biggest again going just over 4lb. Didn't bother taking photos though as they were smaller than my first one and I wanted to release them as quick as possible. We called it a day shortly after mid-water and headed back to the car in a great mood. My brother managed to split his pants though on the way back adding some humour to the night. Think I'm gonna gonna aptly name him calamity Sam from now on.

Hope you enjoyed the read,
Tight Lines,

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Devon Part 2: Persistence pays off!


This morning was a tale of 2 lure nuts (nutters) and 2 PB's, although miles apart in every way.

After helping the grandad with some gardening we set out for round 2. Arriving an hour before low water it was encouraging to see that there was a nice swell sweeping the rocks, just the thing we had been waiting for. We had chosen very different tactics, myself opting for mini bashing in the rockpools whilst my brother continued in his die-hard attempt for a bass with the SP's. The mini-bashing started well with a number of blennies and scorpion fish going crazy for the power isome. After I'd had around 10 fish I moved a bit further round and noticed a good sized blenny perched on top of some weed. Dropping the isome down it wasn't long before its irresistable wavy motion had the blenny chasing it all over the place. A quick jig upwards and it nailed me. After giving a little tussle it was on the bank and it was a good little fish. Measured 16cm beating my PB by 2cm and had a belly on it to match.

I had another move but before I had chance to drop the lure in I heard a shout. Sure enough it was the brother and he obviously wanted me over in a hurry. I dropped the gear and hastily made my way to where he'd been fishing. Walking round the corner I could see him struggling and his rod had a very nice bend in it. 'I'm in!' he shouted and it was no less than he deserved after 4 days worth of effort. He had made his way onto a ledge that was now underwater so I stood in anticipation, camera at the ready waiting for him to get it in. He was obviously getting a bit of stick from the fish but after a few minutes it was near the edge and he was crouched down to gill it. 'It's a gooden' he said and when he pulled it up from the swell I looked on in jelousy, it certainly was a gooden. Nervously making his way back he mis-judged his steps and took a little swim in a deep gully in the process but he managed to get himself back on his feet with the fish still firmly in his grasp thankfully. Sams face was a picture and he was shaking like a leaf whilst I was taking some mug shots for him, partly from the shock of the freezing water but I think mainly from his fish lol. On the scales it went though and at 5lb 1oz it was his new PB by 11oz. It measured 66cm! Cracking fish for early in the year but had it not have been so lean it would definitely have been a good pound heavier; if only he'd registered for the Team Bass competition like I'd told him to a month ago lol. You can also see the size of that paddle on the photo below, no wonder it gave him such a good fight.
After this I had no option but to change to similar tactics but after an hour of lure chucking the tide had pushed us too far back to fish the spots we wanted to. I gave the LRF a final 20 mins before we called it a day and went home so that Sam could warm up a bit after his swim. It's a shame the conditions had limited our success this week but we'll be back soon for another go without a doubt and I think for this time of year we gave it a good go and did fairly well.

On a last note, I'd like to say thanks to all that gave us any advice for our trip and if your ever in North Wales and need some guidance, I'll do my best to return the favour.

Cheers and Tight Lines,

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

South Devon Part 1

Challaborough & Gara Rock Area

Myself and my younger brother Sam headed to Challaborough to catch the low tide on our first day in South Devon. We got there for around 6am just as first light began to show and worked our lures off the rocks to the right of the beach. It was very flat unlike the last time we were here and the water was gin-clear. After spending an hour there with no luck we moved around to the right to fish off a few rocky outcrops and channels. This picture (right) being the furthest we went round. Again we spent a few hours trying various spots with all different depths covered with the lures to no avail. My brother carried on fishing the channels in hope of his first 2012 bass whilst I admitted defeat and got the LRF gear out for a bit of fun. I had a good haul of minis including this shanny and tompot blenny below. All the fish were caught on a 1g size 12 jighead fished with red Power Isome. Irresistable to these little monsters.

 I also caught a few scorpion fish but I'm not sure if one of them is a short spined. I had 3/4 of them and this one was a little different but I'm not an expert with scorpion fish so if anyone can tell from these pictures please let me know. The bottom picture is definitely a long spined but I'm not so sure with the top one.


Gara Rock Area

The next day we decided to try for a few wrasse around Gara Rock. Heading out to hit the tide half way up we were greeted by lovely sunshine and some favourable conditions. We picked a rocky ledge about 400 yards right of the beach towards the estuary and started lure chucking. After 30mins of nothing my brother changed over to a Savage gear sandeel with a sink and draw method. 1st cast and bang, he was in. Gave him a cracking scrap on his new AFAW rod and eventually landed weighed in at 2lb 13oz and measured 40cm. A good start! This was to be the start of an epic few hours. I soon changed over to my LRF gear and chucked out a 3" sawamura one-up shad. After a few casts I was in to my first fish. Not a biggie at around 1lb but alot of fun on a rod that casts 0-5g. We continued to bang out the SP's bringing in a constant flow of wrasse between 3/4lb and 2lb until Sam got another at around the 2.5lb mark. After a few hours, the tide reached high and we were starting to get wet feet from the slight swell that was covering the rcoks we were stood on. My best fish of the afternoon came shortly after high at 3lb dead. Again on the sawamura one-up shad. It took me a while to land as I only had 6lb fluoro leader and this fish was bullying me into the snags. Its my best wrasse of the year so far and measured 42cm, picture below. Other lures we caught on
were Reins rock vibe shads, fiiish black minnows and x-layers in 2 sizes and colours. We finished the day with 14 wrasse, all ballans I may add. 9 for myself, 5 for Sam. Alot of fun on the lures when these bass are proving difficult to catch.

Hope you enjoyed the read,
Tight Lines,