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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lure session down the lleyn produces the goods

 The Lleyn 28/03/2012

With all this glorious sunshine at the moment, the urge to head down the lleyn has been far too tempting and this session was my fourth outing in 5 days. After 3 previous blank sessions on the plugs at my usual spot, I opted for a change and headed to the North side of the Lleyn. I had originally planned to fish the tide up for the last few hours and then down a few hours with bait but this idea was scrapped when, upon peering over the headland, I could see a shoal of fish rising to take sandeels off the top. Getting a haste on back to the car I felt very optimistic about my chances, however when I returned the fish on the

surface had vanished. Not sure whether they were bass or mackeral I climbed down on to the ledges and whacked a sun sprat coloured baby patchinko on. After half an hour of nothing I ditched the surface lures and instead opted for a 4.5" original ayu coloured x-layer. First cast and before the lure had even hit bottom I had a twitch. On the retrieve I had another couple of knocks but no hook-up. It was only when the lure was visible through my polaroids that I realised it was small schoolie bass having a go; about 20 of them following the lure until they spooked after catching sight of me. Brilliant, bring on the bass I thought. 2nd cast, knocks again and this time a fish on. Not what I expected though when a ballan wrasse of about 1lb popped up in front of me (top left). This was a first for me at this mark as its clean ground with only the odd patch of rock. Has anyone else had wrasse over reasonably shallow sandy ground? Anyway after a quick picture it was back out with the lure and would you believe it 3rd cast, a spirited little schoolie that was followed in by 6-7 of his mates. Only 35cm but a bass and after the blanks of the previous sessions it was a very welcome one. I couldn't believe what was happening and the fishing continued at this pace for about 15 minutes in which time I ended up landing 4 bass all between 34-39cm. Crazy stuff! I even decided after this mad period to set up my camera on video mode to try and record the fishing. I'm glad I did aswell because whilst it was recording I managed a first for me. A turbot on a lure (species 24). I have had turbot before but never fishing lures so this was brilliant and I have video proof of it as an added bonus. I'll try and upload it to the blog if I can but the last time I tried it took hours and I decided not to bother with it in the end. I have it stored though. Bass numbers 5 and 6 came around 20 minutes later on consecutive casts but then it went dead for about an hour.
I think this was the slack water period. Whilst it was quiet though I took the opportunity to scout the coastline further down. There was an abundance of small sandeels in close all along this stretch for about 1/4 mile so no wander the bass were here early. On my way back I noticed some splashing on the surface in the distance. As I got closer I realised it was the bass again shoal feeding on the sandeels. I dropped everything bar my rod and a few lures and bolted down the cliffs only to find the ledge I wanted to fish was now an island surrounded by what looked like waist height water. Without hesitation I leapt in to find that it was actually chest high water and I now had to swim to the ledge. Dedication was the key though as after putting in the effort to reach the ledge where the fish were it was party time. The baby patchinko was back on and I couldn't wait to whack it onto the fish. For the first few casts I literally watched the fish taking it in turns to have a go as the lure danced across the surface but they kept missing the hooks. It wasn't until the 4th cast here that I finally got a hook up. Still only a schoolie though of about 35cm but it didn't half give me some stick. Back he went and after a few more casts, bass number 8 was on, safely landed, unhooked and returned to grow a bit for next time. Then I made a bad decision by deciding to go and get my camera to try and make another recording, this time with the surface lure. Sod's lure though as by the time I was back the fish on the surface had again disappeared. I tried for a good 20 minutes but they had gone and that was the last action I saw for the day on my rod at least. For the following hour I sat on the cliff tops surveying the water as my clothes dried off and the bass made a few appearances nailing the sandeels again, unfortunately far beyond casting range though. I left feeling well and truly satisfied and I can't wait to get back there for another crack, hopefully with some bigger fish showing.

And for the record, all fish were released.

Hope you enjoyed the read,
Tight Lines,