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Monday, January 23, 2012

A turn up for the books as the bass play ball in January!

                                          A MARK IN THE STRAITS 23/1/2012

As you can see, we had a very nice surprise today on our trip out. The venue chosen was a mark in the straits which I have fished a few times in summer with good success and although now being winter, I thought it was definitely worth a shot. Myself, Ed and Jon headed off to fish the tide up from mid-water. Using standard 2-hook flapper rigs baited with lug and rag I waded out as far as possible before launching a bait onto the clean ground at range. Walking back to my tripod I just had a feeling that it was going to be a good session and within 15 minutes a little tap on my rod caught my attention. As the bite developed I thought it could be a tiny pin whiting but then from nowhere the tip slammed down and before I had time to strike it was gone. Hooks re-baited I repeated the procedure again and stood waiting, only this time with my hands poised over the rod handle. Tap....... tap........ tap......... then BANG, wasn't missing it a second time though and striking almost immediately the fish was on. Now at this point there was only one fish I had thought it would be, a codling, so when the silver flanks and spiny dorsal fin of a bass (species 10) appeared on the surface my face lit up. Definitely a turn up for the books and as it was just legal at 37cm it was going home for tea! It wasn't long before Ed had a nice bite and eagerly anticipating seeing a bass show in the surf, he was thoroughly disappointed when out popped a whiting. His face told a story :) Soon after I was in again, this time a double-header of a whiting and another bass although this one was undersized and was released. Then Jon managed to get in on the action landing his first fish of the night, a whiting before then catching a small bass which was released. Nevertheless he was deighted as you can see from his cheshire grin (picture top right). Getting close to high tide we made a decision to have a few more casts before leaving and luckily for me this resulted in another two bass, one of them being just in size. Unfortunately for Ed though his last cast would see him miss an absolute clanger of a bite, just not his day. We ended the night with a total of 5 bass and 4 whiting which is more than we could have asked for in just a short session. Will definitely be returning soon for another bash!

Hope you enjoyed the read.  Tight Lines, Ross!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Was this the night of a real monster?

 Point Lynas 22/1/2012

First of all a big thankyou to anyone who posted advice on WSF for us. Was much appreciated.

 As this was an unofficial Bangor Uni Sea Angling Society (BUSAS) meeting we had a few more than usual. A couple of the lads decided to opt for moelfre whilst myself, Ed, Jon, Martyn, Mark and Ash headed upto to Llam Carw and some deep water. None of us had fished this area, so before unpacking the rods we decided to have a wander around the headland. The area looks superb for a spot of deep-spinning! Can't wait to get the lures out up there when the water warms up a bit and the clarity is better. Unfortunately though the conditions on the day were not so good; fairly strong winds, a big swell and very murky water, so we decided to take a short drive to Point Lynas in hope of shelter. We set up on a couple of the ledges to the right, further back towards Llaneillan Bay which as hoped for were completely out of the wind. Fishing commenced at 3ish, just before low water and it didn't take long for myself and Jon to start pulling out the whiting on rag baits. For us at least, this continued throughout the remaining hours of daylight. For the other lads however, a slow start with no fish between them for the first couple of hours. It was just as dusk was approaching that the bites started becoming a little more interesting. Ed and Jon who had started fishing for conger close in were getting strong rattles from time to time but upon
striking would hit nothing but fresh air. Ash and Martyn fishing a little further along had managed to hook up a lobster as well as a few whiting and a solitary doggie between them. My first and only doggie was also caught during this period as well as a tiny poor cod I persuaded using a baited feather rig down the side. With the scratching rigs having now gone quiet is was time for a tactical change. Out with the 2-hook flappers and in with the beefed up conger rigs. As I was rigging up Jon had another knock on his conger rod and this time had managed to hook the culprit, this 3-bearded rockling pictured right. Greedy bugger had taken down 3/4 of a mackerel mounted on two 6/0 hooks lol. I had opted for a different bait though, freshly caught whiting. I've not had much luck with whiting in the past but as I had decided not to buy mackerel it was my best option. Half an hour past by and nothing, when out of nowhere whilst tidying up my gear the line started stripping off my reel, I was in on my whiting! The tell-tale head shakes were there and
from the off it had conger written all over it. After a short tussle, battling it from a snag it was free and on the surface. At roughly 6lb it was only a small strap but nevertheless a conger and my 9th species of 2012. Shortly after this Martyn, Ash and Mark decided to call it a day and head home whilst myslelf, Jon and Ed, who was desperate not to blank fished on and hallelujah he managed a couple of fish. Firstly a semi-decent poor cod and then a tiny whiting. Having now made everyone happy and with it nearing high tide, it was time for us to leave. On the way home Jon suggested as a bit of a laugh to text Martyn to tell him about a huge 33lb Conger we had landed last gasp. Martyn took the bait! Little did we know he'd taken it so seriously he had posted it on WSF. Now if that isnt fuel for the banter wagon I don't know what is :) So as you can figure the beast was not tamed tonight, it was merely rumour. It is out there somewhere though and one day just maybe!

Hope you enjoyed the read, Tight Lines, Ross

Monday, January 16, 2012

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM

                                     Ty Croes/Ravens Point 14th/15th Jan 2012

Well it seems the strong westerly winds of last week have been taken over by south easterlies recently, which although bitterly cold, provide us as anglers a great opportunity to get over to the west coast of the island and fish comfortably. Our chosen marks over the past few nights have been Ty Croes and Ravens Point, two marks where fish are pretty much guranteed. On Saturday we headed to Ty Croes on a mission for huss and rays. Arriving about an hour before low water,we were happy to see just the one car in the car park and had high hopes that our usual ledge was free,which fortunately it was. So myself, Ed and Jon tackled up with a mixture of pennels for the rays and heavier duty rigs for congers close in. Baits used were sandeel and mackeral to start with. I was first into a fish but knew from the bite it wasn't anything decent and sure enough in came a whiting. Then a moment of madness,as whilst Ed was setting the ratchet on one of his rods the other arched over his tripod and started ripping line. What on earth was this we thought! As Ed lifted into the fish we could see his line had moved a good 30 yards right of where he had cast and had gone across my lines. Still heading off to the right the fish had gone round the rocks infront of us and after one hell of a head-shake the line went solid. Ed tried his best to pull free but his 30lb mainline eventually gave way and the fish was gone. Our only guess was that it must have been a late season tope! With that excitement out of the way, we continued to target rays and congers but before long we were overun by whiting and dogfish (species 6). It was getting late and our excitement had faded somewhat before I eventually managed to hook something that felt a tad better. Keeping it quiet, just incase it turned out to be doggy I slowly brought it to the edge where upon surfacing my eyes lit up, as in the swell was a little thorny (species 7). A few more doggies and whiting were caught before we called it quits and headed back to the warmth of home.
Ravens Point - On the Sunday myself, Stevie G and Gav headed to Ravens point. Word of mouth had suggested that there wasnt much coming off but we thought we'd have a bash anyway. To cut a long story short, we should have listened. We had plenty of fish though so it wasn't all bad. I even managed this double header of doggies(pictured left) on my pennelled sandeel. Was gutted when they surfaced as I was sure it was going to be a huss/ray due to the weight, oh well :p. We fished the tide up from low until a few hours before high but had nothing of substance. The only reasonable fish caught being a 32cm whiting and a couple of nice dabs for me and Steve. Gav had a steady catch of whiting all night on light gear and even had a bonus when he managed to foul hook 3 gripper leads from the bottom, bonus. We called it a night when are hands decided they were no longer able to function and headed home for some nice hot coffee.

                                                       Hope you enoyed the read, Tight Lines,
                                                                             Ross

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A LITTLE CLOSER TO HOME

 THE MENAI STRAITS 13/1/2012

It was nice to get out again on Friday and due to good tides we decided to stay local and fish the Straits an hour either side of high. We had intended on fishing Menai Bridge pier but after seeing that the RV Prince Madog was moored up we had a walk to find a new mark. It wasn't long before we had found a likely looking spot and so myself and Ad got the rods set up. To start with, I had a quick cast with a small gripper lead to check what sort of ground we were fishing and to my surprise it was fairly clean and had some depth, without having the problem of the current, fantastic! Rigging up with 2-hook flappers baited with a combination of fresh lug, rag and sandeel, we cast out hopeful of a good session and we were not disappointed. Within a minute I'd had my first knock and before Ad had even set up my first double header of codling (species 4) were on the bank. The fish kept coming one by one for the duration of our session. The main surprise for us, was the lack of whiting (species 5), just 2 between us in 2 hours. Very strange for the straits this time of year. The final tallies were 12 codling and 2 whiting. Not bad for a short session in the straits. The only other thing of note, was this crab (pictured bottom right) that had latched itself to my sandeel bait. I study marine biology and have never seen this crab in the straits before and after having a gander online at British crab species, couldn't identify it. It had a very pale abdomen and a very distinctive blue tint to the dactyl section of its swimming legs.
Does anyone have any idea what species this is, as I woudn't mind doing a bit of research on them?
                            
                                  Tight Lines, Ross






A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER

HOLYHEAD BREAKWATER 10/1/2012

Having blown a gale since the start of the new year, it was nice to finally have a calm in the storm and we were not going to miss out on the chance to fish. So myself, Jon and Ben headed to the North West of Anglesey to fish at Holyhead breakwater. Arriving two hours before high at 21.40 we got the rods set up and ready to go. Now I know alot of people fish the calmer inside wall of the breakwater but as we were not there to catch whiting and dogfish. We braved the rougher ground on the outside wall in hope of something of substance. We were using 3/4 mackeral mounted on 6/0's on rotten bottom pulley rigs, intended for congers and seperate 2 hook flapper rigs with worm and fish cocktails in hope of codling and coalies. The session was not prolific and the conger rods remained still throughout the night. However the flapper rigs were kept reasonably busy and saved us all a blank. Jon and Ben were first on the board both catching 3-bearded rockling and then I managed a shore rockling (species 3) which funnily enough was the 50th species I caught last year and took me until 15th December to catch, so I'm glad that ones out of the way early. Before we called it a night there were a few more rockling caught as well as a scorpion fish, a coalfish and a couple of pollock to Jon. Unfortunately my camera was left at home so no fish photos but the picture above shows the rough ground we were fishing over.

Tight lines, Ross!









Tuesday, January 10, 2012

AND SO IT BEGINS!

 AMLWCH BREAKWATER 8/1/2012

The first outing of the year saw myself, jon, ed and gav head over to the north east side of anglesey to fish amlwch breakwater, a spot which has always been good to simply catch a fish whatever the season.

 We had a reasonably early start time, leaving Bangor just after 9am in order to catch the high tide at 10.30. 
We had a quick stop at malcolms on the way for some fresh rag and lug which was very beneficial as he kindly donated us a £10 voucher for the individual who managed the largest codling. Cheers Malc!
So off to the mark it was. Upon arrival it was clear that we had made a good decision on where to fish, the breakwater was empty, the wind was non-existant and the tide was nearing high. B-E-A-UTIFUL!
The rods were set up and launched out on either 3-hook flappers or a 3-hook baited feathers rig and within ten minutes Jon had broken the deadlock with a triple header of a whiting, a poor cod and an octopus. That was soon followed by a couple of poor cod for Ed. Meanwhile myself and Gav stuck it out fishing down the margins in search of pollock and coalfish which was very unproductive for the first hour or so unfortunately. It was Jon who managed to add a few more species to the list after bringing in a tompot blenny fishing down the side and also a couple of codling. Ed also managed a different species by catching a long spined scorpion fish (pictured left). Still having not managed a bite myself and gav switched spots and fished the outside wall of the breakwater, again down the margins and it wasn't long before I finally hooked into a small pollock. My first species of 2012, relief! After catching my first fish of the session it started to pick up a bit and before the end I managed to catch another 3 pollock as well as a couple of small poor cod (species 2). Having been on the breaky for roughly 4 hours and with the wind picking up we decided to pack it in. This was not the last of it though as Jon reeled in his rod to find a dab hanging on the end, jammy bugger.

 All in all it was a decent start to the new year with conditions as tough as they were. Hopefully the weather will improve soon so we can head over to the west coast in search of the huss and the rays.

2/50 species down!
  


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Looking back at 2011 and looking forward to 2012

 

19lb 10oz Pike
Living in Bangor, North Wales I currently have close access to a number of brilliant fishing marks in North Wales. Over the past 12 months which have, by far been my best to date, I have managed to catch 50 species of sea fish from the british shoreline far surpassing my start of year expectations. Among them, plenty of new species, a number of PB's and some fine specimens(pictured). The fish varied from mini species such as leopard-spotted gobies, to much larger species such as bass, rays and conger eels. As well as sea fishing, I spent a good number of sessions targeting coarse species such as Pike, Carp and Catfish. Pike have always been one of my favourite fish and this year I narrowly missed my 2011 target of a second 20lber by just 6oz. I did however, after targeting them for just 2 sessions, manage to catch my first catfish. At 23lb 11oz it wasn't huge but nevertheless it was a first for me and I was well chuffed.          

 
14lb 1oz Bullhuss (New PB)                1lb 5oz Cuckoo Wrasse (New PB)

9lb Bass, Menai Straits (New PB)             5lb 5oz Ballan Wrasse (New PB)

So whats on the cards for the year ahead? Well with trips to Irelands gold coast, South Devon, West Wales and a return trip to Jersey firmly on the cards, 2012 has a lot of potential for being a very good year. Hopefully that 10lb Bass that has so far eluded me will finally be slipped over the net. I will be posting regularly on here so if you are interested in reading up-to-date catch reports please follow this blog.



Tight lines to all over the next year! Cheers for reading, Ross.