Fantastic Pembroke : Part 1 - First day goes smoothly
I have to start off by saying a massive thanks to Ben Edwards for putting me on the fish all week. Without Ben I would have been struggling on where to start, with the coastline in the area being so diverse. Also thanks to his parents and brother for putting me up for 4 nights and keeping me well fed, was much appreciated. Now for the report!
The 3.5hour drive down from North Wales was made bearable by the thought of catching my first smoothhounds of 2012 and having never caught a common that was my main target during our hound sessions. I had crab leftover from a few previous sessions saving us the job of bait collecting so after making a few rigs and offloading all of Ben's uni stuff at his house, we headed off to the mark. Single 3/0 pennel was the chosen rig with a 5oz gripper to hold bottom. After missing my first decent bite it was Ben who was in to the first
fish of the session and it was a gooden. His rod nicely arched over and the fish taking line at will when it decided to run. The fish came into view around 10m out and it was a cracking smoothie, at an estimate in the 15lb range. The fish stayed deep as I stood at the waters edge poised with the net, it was so nearly up and then disaster, the hook pulled, the lead shooting past my head in the proccess. This got me very excited so re-baiting I chucked out again and sat waiting. I was rewarded as soon as the tide started running with just my second ever shore caught hound, a starry of around 3lb equalling my PB (Species 37 - top right) The hounds were now in a
feeding frenzy and I was only left waiting 15minutes or so before I'd have another fish on. The second fish being another starry at a slightly bigger 5-6lb and another PB. My third fish though would smash my PB for the 2nd time in three fish and was this Starry pictured right. The fish wighed in at 9lb 15oz and put up a cracking fight, annoying though that it was just 1oz short of a double. As if things couldn't get any better, I then managed my first ever Common Smoothhound (species 38), only a small one at around 4lb but yet another species to add to the list on my hunt for 60. We did have a dabble for tope whilst we were there but after catching some fresh macky for bait we failed to even get a run on the tope front. Maybe still a bit early but a species I'm desperate to tick off this year so I'll be putting in alot of time and effort to get one.
Still on a bit of a buzz and with crab leftover, we decided to head out again the same night, choosing a different mark but targeting the hounds again. Again we were into fish from the off, the first of my 4 coming very early on, another small common. This was shadowed though by my new PB Common the cast after. It was only 7lb 13oz but I was absolutely ecstatic. Not to be out-done Ben was next into a fish with a little common of his own, which I think I was more excited about than he was lol. He's used to catching smoothies you see so unless its a double it doesn't really matter to him. He managed
his starry soon after as well (left) A fish of around the 4-5lb mark which was around the average on the night. I landed a couple more small ones including one of each species before we decided to call it a day. What a first day! 2 new PB's, 2 new species for the hunt and 1 species I've never caught before. I went to bed a very happy man, all be it a very tired man also having been up for over 20 hours.