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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The species tally takes a small boost in the right direction!

 A few different marks 28th/29th February 2012

Managing to fit in an awful lot of fishing at the moment due to it being reading week in uni. This is essentially a free week of fishing with no work or lectures to worry about so I'm making the most of it. I've been unable to catch any new species in the past few weeks though, instead keep coming across the same 4 species almost every session; pollock, codling, whiting and poor cod. It was time to change this. Fished at amlwch again on the Monday and true to form the first half dozen fish to come out were one of the four mentioned above so we switched to Llam Carw in the hope of change. Fishing wasnt brilliant but we did catch a few poor cod fishing about 40 yards out. I then decided to change tactic and just dropped a bait down the rocks to see if there were any blennies knocking about. It was so shallow you could see the top hook in the water. It didnt matter though as after a short wait something showed a little interest. After a couple of minutes of the fish just teasing me a better knock lead to a strike. It was tiny so was convinced it would be something different and thankfully it was. This little LS scorpion fish (top left) popped out of the water (species 14). Finally something different!

On the Tuesday myself, Ed and Ad had decided to have a try on the South East coast in the hope of a herring. We popped into Malcolm's at ABC to see if he'd heard of any showing. He told us that nothing as yet had been reported but that it would be worth a go, after all someone has to be the first. We stocked up with a few tiny sabiki rigs which are killers for herring and a few 2oz leads and headed off to our mark. We thought we'd be at it for a while before we had anything, so when on my first cast I reeled in this herring (left)(Species 15) before the others had even set up, it got us all a tad excited. I then went an hour without a touch, whilst Ad with his slightly bigger sabikis brought in a whiting a chuck on each of his first 5 casts. Ed also got in on the action with a couple of whiting. The tactic we used was to basically bump the lead across the bottom, a time wasting method but very effective. Eventually I managed my second fish of the session, a tiny herring of 8cm. Then a very unusual catch for me, a lesser weaver (pictured bottom)(Species 16). Not only have I never caught one before but to catch it on sabikis was something I hadn't expected. As if that wasn't weird enough though I then, a few casts later bought in a dab lol. Strange! At the end of the session, we'd had roughly 20 whiting between us, and then the 2 herring, lesser weaver and dab for me. Very happy with that and it seems as though everything is going to plan of late. Let's hope it stays that way :)



Thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,
Ross


Sunday, February 26, 2012

3-BEARD SAVES THE DAY

Bull Bay/Llanbadrig 26/02/12012

Not much to report from tonights session. Myself and Steve started at Bull Bay fishing at the back of the hotel over low water. Loads of pots all over the place so very restricted with casting. Gave it a good hour and a half with not a sniff so decided to change marks. A quick drive to Llanbadrig where we fished one of the ledges to the right of the church. Weather had turned miserable on our descent so was only gonna give it another hour or so before calling it a night and cutting our losses. Did pull out this nice 3-beard though of 1lb 13oz. Not big enough for the species list though as I had been pipped by an ounce by Ade Roberts (TSMIIC) Well done mate! Still a nice fish though and definitely better than a blank. Only other point of note was this interesting little bird we saw on the way back up. We think that it may be a Rock Partridge but if anyone has better identification would be nice to know from you. It was fearless and we managed to get within touching distance before it took off giving steve the fright of his life :)
Cheers for reading, Tight Lines, Ross

Opportunist fishing leads to a decent fish!

TY CROES 26/02/2012

Had a lazy Saturday and didn't bother to make the trip up to the North East coast as planned, instead sat bored in my house thinking about where to go Sunday. It was close on midnight and having checked a number of forecast sites it was apparent that there seemed to be a drop in the wind between 3am and 9am. That was definitely a site for sore eyes and with the low tides coming at 06.20 it couldn't have been at a better time. I've been itching to get over to ty croes now for a good few weeks and this gave me the perfect opportunity. Now all I needed was bait and as nowhere would have been open at 1am, had to have a quick check in the freezer where as luck would have it was a lovely pack of large sandeels :) I left for ty croes just after 4am and on arrival was greeted by two blokes just leaving the car park. 'I woudn't bother' they said, 'we only had a few whiting and a dab, fishing is poor down there this morning.' Not what I wanted to hear but there was no chance I was turning back, conditions just seemed far too good to me. With not a breath of wind and a decent swell I couldn't help but get excited so setting up in super quick time, the lines went out and the wait began. I opted to use a couple of 2.5ft long home made pennel pulleys with the large sandeel mounted on a set of 4/0's. After 20 minutes I had my first fish on, a doggie and after it had held the bait all the way in, it decided to drop it about 2 foot from the rocks much to my joy. Saves unhooking the bugger! As I was rebaiting, the other rod bounced once before going slack. Slack wound down, the fish was struck into. I thought it was another doggie until right by the rocks when it suddenly became heavier and decided to pull back. Out of the swell popped my target though, a small thorny which weighed 3lb 9oz (top picture) Brilliant, target for the session achieved after half an hour. After hauling in a few more doggies I finally got into another ray, this one slighlty smaller at 3lb 5oz (2nd pic down) I was feeling very tired now and had I not have
had a few fat sandeels left I probably would have packed up. But I do hate wasting bait so out went the rods again. The tide had turned now and first light was just beginning to break through when my right hand rod went competely slack again. It took me a good 10 turns of the reel before I felt the fish and lifted into it to find a good resistance. This woke me up for sure and the fish was giving a good account for itself on the retrieve. When it finally surfaced ten yards out I could see it was a better fish but its hard to gauge actual size in the dark. I couldn't lift this one so clambered my way down the rocks to claim my prize. On picking it up, I could feel it was a solid fish and much heavier than I had thought it would be. Unhooked and photographed using the 15 second lapse on my camera it was time to weigh it, 8lb 11oz. Boom, my biggest fish so far of 2012, not a PB but not far off so was well and truly chuffed and it just about qualifies for the record list, added bonus. The one remaining sandeel resulted in a 29cm whiting. Bait gone it was time to leave. It was daylight now so the walk back to the car was made far easier and yet another spur of the moment decision had payed dividends. I cannot wait til April comes now and the fishing picks up. Reckon this is set to be a very productive year.

Thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,
Ross

Friday, February 24, 2012

LOOKS LIKE I HAD THE LAST LAUGH!

Amlwch Breaky 22//02/2012

Been a week since I've got out properly to do some fishing. I had a quick chuck with steve to test out a few new plugs and soft plastics but catching a fish was always gonna be unlikely. Nice to see how the lures work with different retrieves though so will take that knowledge with me when the fish do come on. Anyway, decided to avoid the strong South Westerlies by heading up to the breaky at amlwch. I had originally planned on fishing Llam Carw but there were a few chavvy looking lads on the ledge I wanted so gave that a miss. Fished it over high water with the sole intention of catching a few mini's down the margins. Got down there to find another couple of blokes fishing and they had also just arrived. So I set up and went about it my way with baited feathers fished tight to the wall whilst the other chaps cast out there bait into the channel. After having a little chat I realised they were fairly regular to the mark but obviously were not very knowledgable as to the variety of things that show up down the margins. One of them even came out with this, 'I don't know why your fishing the margins, theres no fish there' to which I could only reply with 'We shall see.' It was all a bit of friendly banter and it turned into a little competition with there even being a little stake involved. Anyone who knows me well, will know that when competition is involved I become a different angler, the layed back approach disappears and I fish hard. So now focused on the prize I started fishing. The other chaps thought this was easy money and were laughing at my efforts down the side. There faces soon changed though when after 5 minutes I pulled up a little pollock. 1-0 to me :)  Even though fishing has been slow recently I was expecting the other two to get a steady flow of whiting. They were getting more than enough bites but were failing to hook up each time though which I was fairly amused at. We had agreed that it would just be a 2-hour match so I chose not to tell them to use smaller hooks til after the match, cheeky I know but as there was a £5 in it, I kept stum. The fish down the margins were not biting as much as I'd hoped though and after the first hour I had only managed a measly 3 pollock. The good thing was it was 3 more fish than the others had landed so couldn't complain. I stepped up my game though for the second hour though and having switched to the outside wall I changed rig to something a little more jazzy (tonnes of beads and sequins) with tiny size 16 hooks and dropped down the side. It was much better fishing there and the little pollock were loving the tiny slithers of rag as well as plenty of tiny poor cod and a solitary codling. One of the poor cod measured a whopping 6cm lol. The other lads did manage a lonely whiting but when the final tallies were added up it looked like this.

Myself: 11 pollock, 6 poor cod, 1 codling.
The 2 other lads (I forgot there names: my bad): 1 whiting.

So I left the breaky a very happy man and a £5 up. A good session I would say and I think it was definitely me that had the last laugh. Sorry for the lack of photos, I was so keen to win the match I didn't bother taking any. Hopefully I have opened their eyes to the magic of the margins.

Cheers for reading,
Tight Lines, Ross

Sunday, February 12, 2012

MISSION CONGER!

CONGER BASHING: LLANBADRIG AREA 11/02/2012

After the previous nights disappointment at Porth Eilian it was time for a change of plan. Leaving at 3.45pm we had planned to fish a mark I've heard about for big congers but wanted to get there during daylight to be safe. Now usually I would only target congers on neap tides when it seems they are actively feeding for a much longer period. Last night though, I just had an urge and as Matty had never caught one before, it was time for me to try and get him off the mark. I didn't really plan the walk there very well at all and having parked in the layby for Porth Wen, we set off on what would prove to be an hour long trek. Up and down ravines and sets of stairs we went and by the time we reached what seemed to be a semi-accessible ledge it was getting dark. Finally down on the ledge and realising just how unfit we were it was a quick breather before the rods were set up and ready to go. The bait as you can see pictured top
left is a favourite of mine for congers. The basics are to feed either a squid head or cut up body onto the hooks to make a kind of squid muppet for the main macky bait. This seems to add a nice bit of movement to the bait and has proven deadly in the past. Anyway, baited up and cast out at about 40yards range, it was time to sit back and wait. It took all of ten minutes for something to start having a nibble on my bait and this continued for a good twenty minutes with a small sharp knock every so often. Now I don't know whether this happens to others alot, but when I fish it always seems as one rod knocks away and the other remains lifeless, it's always the lifeless rod that suddenly goes berserk and true to form, having watched mine knock away for so long, it was matty who would get the first real take. A nice knock followed by a short run and he struck. I could tell from the bend in the rod he had something on and as Matty played the fish into the side it was blatantly obvious that it was a strappy. Success! All of a sudden the mission of a walk to the mark seemed worth it and he had landed his prize. Well done Matty! Tipping the scales at just over 3lb's the fish was no leviathan but he was over the moon with his new species. Not to be outdone, I reeled in and re-baited and had a little walk left to cast out onto some new ground. Back to the rest it was and again the wait started. This time it was role reversal and as Matty was starting to get little knocks my rod started arching over. After feeling for the tell tale head-shakes for a minute or so the line suddenly went very slack so I wound down and hit it. It felt a nice fish at first and it gave a very good account for itself in the early stages but after wenching it from the bottom it suddenly started to come in like a heavy log. Matty did the job of grabbing the leader and the fish was mine. This one was a little bigger and weighed 7lb 6oz but still a tadpole in comparison to the fish I know are down there. Happy with our nights work and having achieved
our goals we stuck it out until round 9.30ish adding a couple of big doggies and a nice lobster pictured top right to my tally in the proccess. The walk back we decided to try and find the main road to avoid the ravines again. Taking a path that seemed to lead to a few houses was our best option and after another good 45 minute walk we were back at the car. Feeling exhausted and having had a lack of food I went home feeling a bit nauseous, reminding me next time to pack up with some carbs etc just incase. On the whole though a very successful trip and one I would do again now that I know you can park a good 1.5miles closer :s

Hope you enjoyed the read!
Tight Lines, Ross

Saturday, February 11, 2012

NEW MARK: SAME OLD SPECIES

 PORTH EILIAN AREA 10/02/2012                                                                                        Decided to try out a new mark last night that I have never seen mentioned on the forums. Setting off at 8.30pm, myself, Jon and Matty headed off up to Porth Eilian not really knowing what to expect. Having arrived and parked up at the roundabout where people park for Point Lynas, we headed off left along what seemed to be a coastal path. After 10-15mins walk we spotted a nice looking ledge and so made our way down. Setting up with 2-hook rigs we cast out to find a decent amount
 of depth in front of us which is always an encouraging start. After 20 mins or so and not a nibble between us, it was time to reel in and change bait. Off out it went and this time almost as soon as the lead hit bottom the rod tip started tapping. I left it for a minute or so until a better knock and slight drop back forced me to strike. Fish on! Knowing full well it was a small fish I cranked it in to find this small codling hanging on to my rag/squid baited hook. Blank averted I chucked out again only to be waiting a further 20mins for any more action. In the mean-time Matty had been going about his business and had brought in a little whiting which he said he had not even noticed the bite for on Jon's Beastmaster that he had borrowed for the session. As it was Matty's first session of the new year though, it was good news for him and he had avoided a debut blank. Shortly after his second fish of the session was on the rocks, this time everyones favourite dogfish. Jon kept on going but he couldn't seem to connect to anything leading him to think his hooks were a bit blunt but either way, when he did finally manage a hook-up, he snagged on the way in and the fish came off before the lead came free. Fishing was slow for the night and bites were few and far between but before the night was over I managed to add a further 3 whiting, a doggie and a tiny poor cod to my tally. Matty finished with a dogfish, 2 whiting and a poor cod and Jon unfortunately blanked this time round. Not a brilliant nights fishing but always good to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Certainly better than being sat indoors doing lit-reviews and watching bbc iplayer. Hopefully the weekend will prove far more fruitful!

Tight Lines, Ross


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Martyn's Sea Trout

Better late than never and here's a picture of Martyn's Sea Trout caught on 27/01/2012 from Cymyran Bay.
Well done Martyn!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The night I smashed my pollock PB 4 times!

 South Stack Area 01/02/2012

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.

Hope you enjoyed the read,
Tight Lines, Ross