Quite a bit of action to report from the last fortnight. I'll start off with a session on the wrasse and pollock on the ranges. Myself, Ad and Jon headed off to catch the tide from mid-water up to high. We had opted to fish with a deep spinning method for the pollock using weedless hooks to avoid snags, but had brought a pack of rag as back-up just in case the fish weren't taking lures. I gave Ad and Jon a few tips on how to best rig up and off we went. I was into pollock from the off with this 3lb 5oz fish coming on just my 2nd cast. We had a little wager between us which involved the last man to catch a 40cm + fish on lures would have to eat a ragworm :s Luckily my 1st fish went over 50cm so I was safe early on. The best laugh I've had for a while came courtesy of Jon though shortly after, when on his first cast his rod snapped in half. The noise and his reaction were absolutely priceless and left myself and Ad in stitches whilst he stood rather devastated staring at his shattered butt section lol. I lent him my LRF rod and let him go off with some baited feathers to try for some wrasse though to keep him occupied. After the first half hour I'd managed 6 pollock whilst the others remained fishless (we like to call this situation pulling a 'federer') but before I managed number 7 Ad finally managed to get off the mark with a pollock of his own. Jon was then into his first fish of the session on my fairy-wand of a rod, 0-5g casting weight :) which is always fun to watch and eventually this ballan popped up. I caught a few more pollock before deciding I'd have a go on bait and stole back my LRF rod from Jon. I left my plugging rod set up for Jon with the deep spinning gear and he got his first pollock first cast on my set-up lol. Meanwhie, I'd moved round the corner and was getting a wrasse a chuck on rag with Ad watching on looking confused as to how I was catching so many lol. The best catch on the bait though was this double header of rock-cooks, my only double of the day. Ad eventually succumbed to my tactics and started getting a few wrasse of his own. We called it a day though just after high in order to get back in time to watch the England game.
A Sunday session saw me and Eddie (EddiePara from WSF) have a go on the lures at a few of my marks. Unfortunately the conditions were far from perfect at either of the marks with the clarity and weed being a massive problem and we both ended with a blank despite our best efforts. It was an enjoyable day out none the less and special mention goes to eddies 2 dogs, Jasper whose gas problems on the day left me with no nostrel hairs and Whitby whose little legs had a proper runout on the big boulders and steep descents/ascents to the marks. The day was rounded off nicely though with a quick stop at the pub on the way home but due to the heavy drinking the night before I had to be a big girl and stick to a coke lol. I'm 100% sure the next time will be more productive and look forward to it.
My next session took place up at bull bay. It was another session on the lures, this time with big wrasse in mind. I was using my plugging outfit as usual with a 12lb fluoro leader and a small 3" grub on a weedless hook at the business end. I was getting plenty of plucks for the first hour or so with just a few small pollock and micro-ballans to show for my efforts. As the tide neared high though, the fish started getting bigger and bigger. I had a few around the 2lb mark first before hooking into something a little more substantial. My rod bent over nicely and the fish was taking a good bit of drag, which I had set loosely due to the 12lb leader. After the initial rampage though the fish started moving up in the water and I was poised with the net ready to land it. In it slipped and it was a nice fish, lovely orange and red colours, weighed 4lb 1oz and measured 45cm. Photographed on the measure, back it went and powerfully surged back down to the depths to get larger for next time. It had only been a matter of minutes before I got my next slamming take. This was another quality fish and again fought like a demon on its way to the surface. It gave up though mid-water much to my joy making it far easier to net. It was the biggest so far and was a completely different colour to the other one with green and brown patches all over. It measured just 1cm longer than the previous one at 46cm but it was solid and weighed in at 4lb 7oz, a new lure caught wrasse PB by an ounce. I had six 5lb+ fish from this mark though last year so it won't be long before hopefully I get one that size on the soft plastics.
My last session to report came just yesterday. I set my alarm for 3am in order to get to my Lleyn plugging mark for first light. My plan was to do a few hours lure fishing for bass and then skip to pwllheli beach to have another go at these black bream. The bass session was reasonably succesful with a total of 4 fish being landed in the 2 hours I was there. Nothing to shout about though with the biggest being roughly 1.75lbs. I was in fine spirits though as I moved to the beach and unlike the last time I was there, the water was gin clear and like a mill pond. I used a self-made 3 hook flapper with 12lb fluorocarbon snoods and 3 bright yellow beads positioned above size 6 sakuma hooks. Above the rig I put a small float to pop it up off the bottom, a recommendation I'd had from a few more experienced species hunters :) With the hooks baited with slithers of squid, I cast out around 60 yards and set the rod vertical to avoid the weed. After 15 mins, I saw a little movement on the rod tip followed by a number of rattles and then a couple of much stronger pulls. I took the rod off the stand and after a few more taps I lifted into the fish. There was a heavy weight on the end and I thought I'd missed it and pulled into some weed, but I noticed whilst heaving in the weed in the taps were still there and the fish was still on. I must admit I got a little excited and as it got closer the weed dropped off leaving me with just the fish connected. I was constantly staring at the water for any signs and as the silver flanks appeared in the surf, I knew I had my target at the 3rd attempt (Black bream - species 43) I was extremely happy and did my best to get some photos as I was on my own (not surprising though considering the early start) Managed to get this nice one with the dunes in the background so without further ado I slipped it back into the surf. I was feeling the early start though by now so instead of continuing I left feeling very satisfied with a cracking mornings fishing. The species are getting harder and harder to target now but theres still a small number I am confident of catching. After that though I'm gonna need as much help from the weather and fellow anglers as I can get.
Thanks for reading,