Decided to fish a mark I found last year whilst out on the kayak in the south stack area. I had fished it a few times last summer with a few of my fishing pals and had a lot of success, catching 3 species of wrasse including ballans to near 5lb and pollock upto 4lb 9oz as well as many other species. With that in mind, I thought that it may be worth a try for the pollock/coalies this time of year. Myself, Ed, Jon and Martyn set off at 8pm aiming to get to the mark for low at 10.30 and fish it up to mid-tide. I had warned the others that the route to the ledge was a bit sketchy and to bring minimal gear which was definitely a good idea. After a short 10 minute walk it got interesting, scaling down one side of a ravine then up the other side just to have a small interval walking before the final descent to the mark. This took a further 20minutes or so in total. Finally reaching the ledge and everyone looking very warm despite it being below 0, we got set up eagerly anticipating the fishing. Jon and Ed went for the conger option and fished big mackeral baits close in whilst I opted for a 1-up rig baited with cocktails of rag/macky, rag/sandeel to target the pollock/coalies and anything else interested.
My first bite came within 30 seconds of touching bottom and when the fish surfaced from the depths, I was shocked to see a fish I have never caught before, a topknot (species11, pictured top right). What a great start to the evening! Anyway, pictures taken and fish released it was back to the fishing. Again it wasn't long before my rod tip was rattling and up came my target species for the night, a pollock of roughly 1lb. What ensued after this was absolutely crazy. It had taken about 15mins but the rod-tip gave a quick bounce before slowly starting to arch over. Striking the fish I immediately knew it was a gooden but what was it. After a nice battle it was on the surface, a nice pollock. This one was a lot bigger than the first and at a guess was around the 3lb 8oz mark which was a new PB for me so I was chuffed. It was then quiet for thirty minutes or so
before the bites were back again. The rod was arched over again with another good pollock and for the 2nd time in an hour I had a new pollock PB with this one being slighty bigger at 4lb-ish. Thinking this was my lucky day I continued with the same method catching a few more decent pollock and occasionally losing a rig to the very rough ground, but I couldn't care less. It was nearing midnight before I had my 5th pollock, just a baby compared to the two bigguns I'd aleady landed, but still around 2lb. Then finally one of the other lads, Jon, managed a fish, a small shore rockling which saved him the blank. Not really expecting much else I rebaited once more and chucked out into the little gulley I had found at about 20 yards out. Bang almost instantly and again I knew it was decent. After a short tussle freeing it from a snag the glimmering flanks appeared just under the surface and would you believe it, it was even bigger than the others, this one definitely being over 4lbs. I'm on the record list I thought, brilliant but it wasn't over. Having run out of rag now there was only one option, whole sandeel, how could these pollock resist. It took a few casts to find the gulley but sure enough it was found and after a long 35 minute wait a quick knock followed by a tell-tale slow arching of the rod indicated fish-on. This was no ordinary fish though and as the yards of line emptied from my spool I started thinking it could be a strappy.
The fish was constantly diving for the snags as I tried my best to heave it in and with the grating feeling of the line running through the rod I thought I was fighting a losing battle. But, after a few minutes the tides turned, it was in mid water and coming up nicely. One last dive for freedom before it was beached on the sloping rock ledge. My god I thought, its huge. Couldn't quite believe it but it was another pollock (pictured left). The fish measured a whopping 66cm's and for that reason this one was officially weighed at Malcolms at ABC the morning after and came in at 6lb 4oz. What a fish and yet again for the fourth time that night I had a new PB although this one will be a hard one to beat. Bait depleted I resorted to my last option, big mackerel baits to see if I could have a bit more luck than the others with the congers. It wasn't to be on the conger front but I did manage a nice 1lb+ 3-bearded rockling (species 12) to my nights achievements. Fishing now over at around 2am we climbed our way back up and over the steep cliffs to flat ground. A quick stop at menai bridge green to take a quick photo and give some of the other fishing lads some food for the next few days and it was home to bed. A cracking session, with my total being 7 pollock, a topknot and a 3-beard. Unfortunately Ed and Martyn blanked but it was very apparent that they had enjoyed the session and thats what fishing is all about in the end. Jon had saved his blank with his shore rockling but also thoroughly enjoyed the mark. This is definitely a mark I will be returning to soon if the winds are right! Below is a picture of the catch at menai green, the fish being in size order and the smallest being roughy 1lb.