Had a lazy Saturday and didn't bother to make the trip up to the North East coast as planned, instead sat bored in my house thinking about where to go Sunday. It was close on midnight and having checked a number of forecast sites it was apparent that there seemed to be a drop in the wind between 3am and 9am. That was definitely a site for sore eyes and with the low tides coming at 06.20 it couldn't have been at a better time. I've been itching to get over to ty croes now for a good few weeks and this gave me the perfect opportunity. Now all I needed was bait and as nowhere would have been open at 1am, had to have a quick check in the freezer where as luck would have it was a lovely pack of large sandeels :) I left for ty croes just after 4am and on arrival was greeted by two blokes just leaving the car park. 'I woudn't bother' they said, 'we only had a few whiting and a dab, fishing is poor down there this morning.' Not what I wanted to hear but there was no chance I was turning back, conditions just seemed far too good to me. With not a breath of wind and a decent swell I couldn't help but get excited so setting up in super quick time, the lines went out and the wait began. I opted to use a couple of 2.5ft long home made pennel pulleys with the large sandeel mounted on a set of 4/0's. After 20 minutes I had my first fish on, a doggie and after it had held the bait all the way in, it decided to drop it about 2 foot from the rocks much to my joy. Saves unhooking the bugger! As I was rebaiting, the other rod bounced once before going slack. Slack wound down, the fish was struck into. I thought it was another doggie until right by the rocks when it suddenly became heavier and decided to pull back. Out of the swell popped my target though, a small thorny which weighed 3lb 9oz (top picture) Brilliant, target for the session achieved after half an hour. After hauling in a few more doggies I finally got into another ray, this one slighlty smaller at 3lb 5oz (2nd pic down) I was feeling very tired now and had I not have
had a few fat sandeels left I probably would have packed up. But I do hate wasting bait so out went the rods again. The tide had turned now and first light was just beginning to break through when my right hand rod went competely slack again. It took me a good 10 turns of the reel before I felt the fish and lifted into it to find a good resistance. This woke me up for sure and the fish was giving a good account for itself on the retrieve. When it finally surfaced ten yards out I could see it was a better fish but its hard to gauge actual size in the dark. I couldn't lift this one so clambered my way down the rocks to claim my prize. On picking it up, I could feel it was a solid fish and much heavier than I had thought it would be. Unhooked and photographed using the 15 second lapse on my camera it was time to weigh it, 8lb 11oz. Boom, my biggest fish so far of 2012, not a PB but not far off so was well and truly chuffed and it just about qualifies for the record list, added bonus. The one remaining sandeel resulted in a 29cm whiting. Bait gone it was time to leave. It was daylight now so the walk back to the car was made far easier and yet another spur of the moment decision had payed dividends. I cannot wait til April comes now and the fishing picks up. Reckon this is set to be a very productive year.