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.