After the previous nights success at one of my marks with Terry and Den (there reports can be found on the following links http://www.thelureforum.com/showthread.php?t=17320http://www.thelureforum.com/showthread.php?t=17310) I decided to invite Sam (the younger brother) over for a few days to see if he could add a few silvers to his tally. We arrived full of optimism and having overtalked the mark to him, he was eager to wet his line. We arrived just before sunset and began to chuck a few surface lures around, Sam opting for the Patchinko in sandeel colour whilst I went for the Feed Popper which I caught on last week. It wasn't too long before cries of 'fish' came my way, so running over with the camera, I managed to reach him just in time to help land it and take a photo. At roughly 3lb it was a nice start but his day was going to get better. In fact, before last light he'd notched up another 4 taking his total to 5 for the session before I had even managed a fish, but the tides were soon to turn. On went my most productive lure from the day before, the IMA Komomo SF125 in colour 205 and within 10 casts I had my first and best fish of the session which weighed a nice 4lb 2oz. Off the mark finally, it was catch up time and although
A nice 4lb 2oz bass on the Komomo SF125
Sam will claim it wasn't a competition, at 5-0 up I remeber him having a rather cocky swagger about him. Usually you see, its me who gets the majority of the fish with him managing somehow to winkle out the better ones. This looked like a role reversal for a while, but as the bass started to find there way into my casting zone my tally creeped up slowly. Before darkness fell I was just the one behind at 5-4. This was when I changed over to a slightly darker lure, again a komomo, but this time round the Komomo II in joker flashing plate, an absolute killer in the dark. On my first cast after the changeover I was into a fish, but this time it was no silver, instead a little pollock, got to love variety. As the tide was changing I moved to a spot where the waves were creating some white water around a few rocky outcrops. A few chucks either side then a few down the middle and bang, bass number 5. This was shortly followed by my 3rd species of the day in the form of a small coalie. After 30 minutes the bites dried up so I decided to change back to my previous lure. Although it has white sides and red belly, it does seem to work wonders in the dark, probably due to the rattle from the bearings within. Anyhow though having told Sam it was time for a few last chucks,
I had readied myself to go when another fish hit me and went on a nice run. I took my time playing it to the side and another nice long looking fished appeared in the swell. Not as big as my first but at 3lb 13oz it gave me a lovely fight in the dark. It was then sadly time to go, but this mark will produce me a big fish soon, I have no doubts whatsoever, it's just putting in the time to get one that will be the key. So finishing tallies went in my favour after the slow start, 6 bass, 1 pollock, 1 coalie for me and 5 bass for Sam. A good result for both of us!
Tuesday brought rise to my first trip to Shell Island. The trip was not fishing related but in typical style, I had to take my rod down with me just in case I saw the right opportunity. After meeting up with Ad and Katie (birthday girl) we hopped over the dunes to play a bit of frisbee. Ad told me about a number of little fish holding in a pool connected to the sea via a small channel. I didn't need to be told twice and I was off to have a gander in a flash. The pool was full of little sand gobies and tiny flounders. After spending a while chasing them round the pool I decided enough was enough and I was gonna target them on rod and line. I only had my bass outfit so it wasn't really ideal, but to my favour I found some 4lb spider line and some size 16 hooks lying around in my boot. Off to the pool I went with Sam who decided not to target the beasts. I put the smallest bit of isome on you could imagine and dropped it in turn on their noses. They were hungry and within seconds each one would have a snap at it but the hook was seemingly too big. I shifted the isome right onto the tip of the hook and tried again. By this time they had found shelter at my brothers feet, so I kindly asked him to remain still whilst I dropped the hook next to his toes. One popped up from its hiding spot in an empty oyster shell and thrashed at it. I lifted the rod to find it was hooked, whhooopppeeee! It will probably go down as my smallest sea fish ever but I don't give a monkeys, its my first ever sand-goby and my species tally rises to 36 for 2012. Chuffed to bits we headed back to where Ad's tent was and had a BBQ to round off a cracking day. I will be back there soon to hopefully get this seemingly impossible sea-trout off my list.
Day 1: Having had a few pm's from some fellow LRF'ers about the bumble, I'd happily agreed to pick both Lee and Scott up from Bangor station at midday with the intention of heading straight out fishing. After a meet and greet, we headed for Ravens point, with the prospect of some new species for the list. It was slow going in all honesty and the flow made it hard to get the lures down deep enough, but after some perseverance we managed a few fish. Scott was first in with a pollock of around 1lb before I had a tiny pollock on the ever faithful isome. The next fish went to Scott again somewhat fortuitously, when a mackerel I had hooked on a dexter wedge had thrown the hook only to head straight for Scott's isome lol or atleast thats what seemed to happen. Lee got his first pollock of the day after a small climb to a ledge just next door, another fish of around 1lb. Whilst there though we also rescued a seagull that had been caught in a rig some mindless moron had left fully baited on the rocks. One hook through its beak, the other lodged in its wing and a 4oz lead dangling from it, no wonder it was struggling to move. As the tide started rushing, we headed off to the ranges to a nice spot where I've had some success in the past. I realised once parked up I'd left my camera on ravens, so I made sure to show the lads the mark and where to get down before bombing back to get my camera which was luckily still there, phew! Upon arriving back, Lee and Scott had a sly grin on their faces, both had had a few fish including Lee's first ballan of the trip and a number of pollock. I went with a little IMA trilobite and was into a few pollock fairly quickly with the biggest going around 1lb again. We stayed for a few hours with myself and Scott both getting ourselves a ballan each in the proccess and all 3 of us getting a few more pollock each. On the retreat though we realised we'd been cut off. As I'm a confident climber I made my way over the rocks without to much bother but for Scott and Lee it was a case of trying to limit how wet they were getting. In the end I took a soaking to help them both safely off the mark, after all I had led them there in the first place.
Day 2: The saturday morning was the first chance to meet up with all the bumblers. We all met shortly after 9am and were greeted by hot drinks and bacon and sausage butties as well as Billy's car boot lure shop (which was very good I may add) It was nice to finally put a few names to faces and it was a good turnout. We headed our seperate ways though around 10.30. This time it was myself, Ad and Ben and we had planned to go to a difficult access mark again on the ranges. We arrived to a lovely flat sea and first drop I had a pollock on the way up. This mark had some incredible depth with around 50-60ft of water less than 2ft from the rocks. It was a bit more productive than the previous day with myself finishing with 3 ballans and 2 pollock with the biggest ballan going 2lb 5oz whilst Ben managed 2 pollock and a ballan as well. Ad unfortunately blanked but had a few of his x-layers munched by wrasse and dropped a number of pollock as well. After this we headed for what we thought was a meet at the pub at 6pm but when we arrived it was only us and Haydn there.
We were joined by Terry, Lee and Scott shorty after but where everyone else was is a mystery. Oh well, we had a chat about marks and decided to hit the straits. We all met in the carpark, joined by Den and a few other bumblers and walked off down the beach. We left the group and had a wander a little further round. This turned out to be rewarding for me as I landed a little schoolie on my feed popper after around 10 casts. Ads day got worse with sea trout jumping right in front of him and a bass lunging for his lure and missing, no luck for him on the day. After an hour we headed back to the group, stopping for a few chucks on the way which resulted in Ben's first bass of 2012, finally off the mark and again on a surface lure We called it quits and had a chat with the others.
As far as I'm aware Scott, Den and Terry had all had a fish, I don't know about the others though. I offered to take Scott and Lee back to Amlwch to save Terry a drive, who had in fairness been a taxi service for the day and I know the lads appreciated his effort a lot.
Day 3 : Picked Lee and Scott up and headed for Wylfa power station, home to all sorts of wee beasties expecting a few different species from the previous day. It started well with blennies galore much to scotts delight. He happily sat pulling them in on little bits of isome whilst I tried down the bottom for a mullet. The bloke previously on the ledge had left a bit of bread so I sneakily pinched some on the hook throwing the rest in as grounbait and had a mullet almost instantly, didn't count though of course. Back on the isome we all persited, Lee also getting in on the blenny action.
The first new species fell to Scott though who managed his first ever tompot, well done that man. He was clearly delighted and finally a new one for his species hunt. The rest of the day went very well for me. First off I had my first lure caught corkwing, followed shortly by a second, then a few tompots but finally to set the record straight I had a thick lipped mullet on my isome. It was my turn to be happy as it's my first mullet on a lure and one I hadn't really expected.
We stayed in the area for a while ending with around 40 blennies between us (20 for me) before moving slightly round the coast to some deeper water and big pools. Scott was the only one who managed to catch at that spot though with a nice ballan of over 1lb. We then headed off for a drink at Terry's were we again discussed a few possible marks, cheers Terry.
We ended up at the ranges though near the fangs.
A lovely little pool that Lee and Scott had found the day before on their recce day. I managed one small ballan and Scott got a few blennies, including one good sized one. I think Lee had a ballan too. We finished the day on holyhead head breaky, down at corkwing corner. It turned out to be pollock corner though with each of us catching 2-3 pollock each before calling it quits for the day.
Day 4: It was the last day of Scott and Lee's visit so I treated them to a trip to Porth Wen, a lovely mark up on the North Coast of Anglesey. I picked them up from Amlwch again and had a quick food/drink stop before heading off. We walked down to the mark and I could see the lads eyes light up when they saw it. Not only is it a decent fishing venue, it also has some stunning scenery which almost makes you happy to be there. I spent the first hour climbing up some rocks to get a few decent photos of the fishing action. After though it was down to business. Today was Lee's day and he managed a little ballan to take first blood before getting himself a better one just shy of 2lbs. It put a lovely bend in his rod though and he deserved it for his weekends efforts.
I eventually managed one myself, only a tiddler though. Today was not Scott's day though and I watched a wrasse take his gulp after bumping it over a boulder just to run and snap him. It was a cracking site to watch from my high vantage point and something I'd love to see again. We left the mark though quite happy. We tried a few more spots to no avail eventually finishing in the pub for a nice refreshing pint. After the pub though it was time to say goodbye and I dropped Scott and Lee off at the station. I had a cracking few days and enjoyed every minute of it, it was a real pleasure fishing with them both and I look forward to some trips over the next few months to visit them both.
Mission Sea Trout continues: Tried again for a sea trout the other night with no success. However did pull out 6 schoolies, a pollock and a codling all on lures. The lures used were the IMA calm 110 and the faithful toby in silver and red. The codling takes my lure caught species for 2012 up to 20.
Uwchmynedd : The most recent session was one a bit further afield. Decided to try a new mark in the uwchmynedd area. We arrived at around two hours before high and fished it up. First cast resulted in what turned out to be my best fish of the day at just under 4lb (pictured right)
Fish fell to a carolina rigged storm sandeel fished weedless and put up a cracking fight on my plugging gear. The session was a great success and can't wait to get back to the mark. The finishing tally was 5 pollock and a wrasse for me and 3 pollock to Ben. I have a feeling theres some monsters at this mark though so hopefully the next time will produce a potential new PB.
So as you can see, the lure fishing has picked up considerably. I guess for the majority of the summer now my lure rod will never leave my side. However with Pembroke looming next week, the chance of a shore smoothie and tope is on the cards as well as a chance of black bream, red mullet and a few other targets for my species hunt. Hopefully I'll hit the 40 mark before the 2nd week in June. Fingers crossed.
Its been a fotnight since my last post so this report will come in two sections. This first one will cover all bait fishing and the second all lure fishing (which is going to be far better :p )
Part 1: The bait fishing sessions over the past few weeks have been few and far between but I, along with a few mates have managed a couple of crackers. The pictures on the right are of a rock-cook wrasse caught on the ranges using baited sabikis. This fish stood out from the others due to its fantastic blue patterns and is the most colourful rock-cook i've caught ever. We did land a number of other fish including ballans, corkwings, pollock and scorpion fish but nothing of any note so they all went straight back without a photo.
Some of you will know that myself and mates have recently been on Myway with Gethyn. We've had 2 trips out recently with the first being a bit of an epic. We had been scheduled for a 10 hour trip but after 5.5 hours we were heading into port, not due to the weather but because one of the lads Andy had taken a turn for the worst. What had started as sea sickness had esculated into something far more serious, with Andy getting very painful chest cramps and pins and needles down one side of his body. Gethyn made the decision to get him to shore which was definitely the best option. After a short whizz back we carried him off up to the air ambulance which was now waiting for him due to Gethyns radio calls. Off he flew to ysbyty gwynedd to be examined (he was in there for neary a week :O) whilst we unloaded the boat of our gear and headed home. No smoothies but lots of doggies, codling and a handful of huss as well as plenty of banter. The second trip out though produced a clonker
for Martyn and being the only person to not be on the first trip I think he is a jammy git. Nevertheless it weighed 15lb 15oz which is one lovely fish and got to admit I think the rest of us were a tad jelous. This photo on the left is the best out of around 10 I took and was the only one in which I managed to capture Martyn smiling lol.
The last bait session proved a little more productive although all the bait used was freshly caught using feathers, technically meaning it wouldn't have been possible without lure fishing. Ty croes was the venue and it was such a nice day it would have been criminal to buy macky for bait so we decided to chance it and turn up with a plugging rod armed with feathers and the bigger rods for when we caught. After 2 hours or so feathering I'd managed 16 launce and 5 mackerel, one of which went out as a livebait just on the off chance of a passing tope. With plenty enough for bait though. we changed to our preferred ledge and got underway. Going big was my plan, 3/4 mackerel on a size 10/0 shaughnessy fixed to 50kg wire. I was hoping for tope, still early I know but no harm in trying. After 20 mins or so though I had a take. It looked very doggie like at first so I ignored it but then the bites became more aggressive so I struck. There was some weight there so I got excited but not much fight. When it finally reached the surface a few yards out we could see it was a nice huss. Steve did the honours of landing it and we weighed it in at 10lb 13oz and pictured it before chucking her back.
No more huss were landed but a number of doggies and whiting fell to Ben's spinning rod with a one up rig and macky. Me and steve also had our fair share of doggies before Steve got his best fish of the night in the shape of this 5lb 6oz thorny on the right which fell to one of Ben's freshly caught whiting. We gave it another hour before calling it a day shorly before midnight. Believe it or not when back in the car my temperature gauge was reading 19C, this was midnight, its like being in Greece at the moment.
Hope you enjoyed reading and Part 2 will be up in the near future.
With the horrible winds blowing from the South West, my ideal species bashing mark was unfishable. Undeterred though I headed to find some shelter up near Amlwch and found a cracking little spot. I arrived there a few hours after low water and was hoping for some more species to tick off the list. I started off with LRF tactics, fishing a small piece of power isome (rag immitation) on a size 10 jighead and used in conjunction with a 0.5oz lead. The first fish of the day came after just 2 casts, a little pollock. I caught around 8 pollock before switching to more conventional mini-tactics. Now armed with a 3-hook flapper of rag baited size 12 sabikis it was wrasse time. I lost count of the amount of ballans and corkwings I caught, probably close to 20 of each in the end, but nothing of any decent size, will have a go with hardbacks soon to target the better ones. It was coming to high water and I still hadn't landed anything new so I moved a few hundred yards to another nice looking spot. The usual small ballans were there in force as well but after a while they turned off and I started to get a few more interesting fish. First off was a couple of small LS scorpion fish and then a few casts later, my 2nd rock cook of the year, which was a right fatty for its length. I kept at it, pulling in almost a fish a chuck for a good 90 mins and finally I got one of the species I was after, a gold-sinny wrasse (species 34) I could go home rather happy now but knowing there were at least a handful of species down there I was yet to catch, I continued. Only one more species came out and
unfortunately it was one I'd already ticked off, a rock-goby. Though it was caught on unbaited sabikis, s new one on lures :) Last time the camera decided to pack in before I could get a photo so heres some proof of this one.So after 4 hours or so of mini-bashing I left the rocks a very content fisherman, with 7 species for the day and one new one for the tally. Just cuckoo wrasse to tick off now then from the wrasse family, unless I can somehow blag a baillons from Jersey later in the year, not holding out for that one though. The next report will hopefully involve a few smoothhounds from a boat trip we have planned for the 16th, weather permitting of course but I have faith in Gethyn to get us some fish regardless as long as its not called off, fingers crossed.
Session 1: Myself, Ad and Colin met at tesco carpark and headed off in hope of some fish. Colin had never caught a sea fish on a lure, so I took him and Ad to a mark that is fairly prolific down the Lleyn for pollock and wrasse, usually with bass in good numbers as well. We set off at 5pm in order to reach the mark half an hour before low water and with it being huge spring tides the rock ledges usually inaccessible were easily fishable. I started with a metal fluttering sandeel and first cast got my first lure caught launce of the year. I kept at it for 30 mins before changing to one of my favourite lures, the megabass x-140 in LZ High Waka. The water was around 8-10 deep where we were so this lure working at around 6ft was the perfect choice, especially as it looks just like a launce in the water. It payed off after around 10 mins with a nice little schoolie, and a few casts later another take but no hook up. 50 yards from me Colin was making the most of the mark and got his first ever lure caught fish, a little pollock. Brilliant effort and a lure addict was born :) Shortly after I had bass number 2, another schoolie, whilst Ad a good 100 yards from me had his x-layer destroyed by a wrasse which took half the lure with it as it escaped the hook. We had a move an hour before dark which resulted in 2 more schoolies for me to 1lb 8oz, but the highlight of the night was Colin's first lure caught bass. He was working a 12.5cm pearl savage gear eel rather fast, so I told him to slow his retrieve down and would you know it, about 5 casts after he was in. A fantastic effort and he was a very happy chappy! Well done that man. Lack of photos due to batteries going dead in my camera. I'll just have to take Colin again to get some more, sure he won't mind lol.
Dexter Wigglestick : Best £6 lure ever!
The other sessions came yesterday. The first was a big fail as I managed not even a touch after 2 hours on the plugs in the straits with Eddie and Matthew, two lads I met for the first time this morning and had some fun pumping lug with. Unfortunately no fish between us but always nice to meet new people and we had a good laugh in doing so. Pleasure meeting both of them and I'm sure another session between us won't be too far down the line. The second was a return trip to the Lleyn mark from a few nights previous where Colin had his maiden lure caught fish. This time it was just me and Ad though and he had a point to prove after his blank during the previous visit. It was raining the whole time so I chose to leave the camera in the car to avoid it getting ruined. We tried a few spots with no luck so moved to where we'd had some luck the previous session and hit a few fish. Ad was first in and landed just his 2nd lure caught bass ever and first on hard plastic, a nice plump fish of 50cm and around 2.5lb. It was caught in somewhat fortunate circumstances though, as it swiped his lure off the surface whilst he was sorting his reel lol, guess he deserved some luck. After this though he switched to a Patchinko in sunsprat colour and around 5 casts later had another fish on, again a schoolie but his first surface caught fish, a cracking day for him already. I don't like to be beaten so I upped the anti, my baby patchinko came off, the fantastic Dexter Wigglestick went on and it was game on. I manoevered my way across a few gullies to a little rock that was surrounded by water. I just about managed to get on it and 1st cast resulted in my first of the day. 20 casts or so later number 2, level peggings lol. With just 5 mins or so left before I was swimming back I had a few more chucks which resulted in bass number 3. Now very happy and having made a Man U like late comeback it was time to head off home. Both of us very pleased with our evenings plugging. Once again the wigglestick had proven it's worth as a deadly bass catcher. The best £6 I've ever spent
First of all I'll apologise for the picture. I don't like blanking bits out, but as the mark I fished is a spot I've been shown, it's only fair I white out any features in the background that may be a giveaway. Anyway, I set off for the mark at 3.30am to catch first light which was set to be around 4.45ish. It was around 4.30ish when I actually was at the mark and ready to fish and I was full of optimism. I had come to try and land a sea trout which I know are in the area and I'm desperate to get one for the species hunt. I started plugging with a special little lure I was lent by Terry, one which he's had the majority of his sea trout on so I had a
decent chance of getting into one.if they were there. After 20 mins it was clear they were with a couple of fish jumping around 20 yards out from where I had waded. I cast the lure to one of the rises, 5 turns of the reel and a take. I got excited but remembered what Terry had taught me, which was to keep the drag loose, as they have delicate mouths and you can pull the hooks easy. So I did that and played it carefully to the beach. As it got closer I could see silver and was convinced I had my first sea trout but realised after I'd beached it it was a schoolie. I don't think I've ever been more disappointed at catching a bass lol. It was a fish all the same though so it still got the adrenaline going. The rises disappeared shortly after my capture but I did manage another fish and another species for my growing tally, a sandeel, all be it foul hooked through the gill, still counts though :) (species 32) I called it a day then and headed off to mostyn to meet Colin after a quick stop at Menai angling to pick up some bait, which to my great delight was open at 7am, good effort Gareth and a big thumbs up!
My sole purpose of fishing Mostyn was to get myself a plaice for the tally. Thanks to Stewart (sasnacks) and Webbo for putting me on the mark. I met up with Colin at 9am and we headed for the ship area. After walking a bit further down to realise the tidal pull was too strong we walked back to the ship positioning oursleves in the centre of a nice eddie that had been created by the flow. We both rigged up 2 rods and began fishing. I opted for a one up one down rig baited with a selection of black lug/squid, crab or rag. We both were getting bites fairly often but were missing a fair few each until eventually I managed a pin whiting to get me off the mark. As we were fishing from mid-water up, we were expetant of a few flatties coming up out of the channel to search out our baits but after an hour we were struggling. It was near midday before the next fish came out which was a little dab for me. The last hour though as the tide hit slack was the most productive. Again we both had plenty of bites but whilst Colin was struggling to hook up, I had a few more whiting before on what turned out to be the penultimate cast I managed to get my target, a plaice (species 33) It wasn't a big one at about 28cm but it made the trip worth while for sure. We packed up shortly after and headed back to the cars. I know Colin enjoyed himself and I look forward to fishing with him again soon, next time hopefully getting into some good fish.
It was the day after my epic bass session and I'd arranged for another bass session with webbo, his mates John and Dean (i think) and haydn (chiefbeef). I met webbo, John and Dean at the mark at around 3.30, which was just after low water. We fished crab and rag baits in the surf with just 3 doggies a piece for myself and Webbo, who also managed this fat turbot at 13oz, whilst Dean had a spider crab to show for his efforts. At 7ish Haydn came to try and get himself a bass, but by 9ish when I left due to tiredness (no sleep in near 48 hours), there were only a few more doggies landed. I think Webbo went on to get a bass after I'd left but I'm not sure about the others. I'm sure they'll update you in due time.
After a day of rest came the next session which was at ravens point. Inspired by Gareth's species session a few days prior, I set off with the intention of getting a dragonette. I made a few 2 up 1 down rigs with a luminous bead above a size 6 hook and baby ragworm as bait. I arrived to find 2 other blokes fishing so after a quic chat to see how they were getting on, I set up my rod and cast out. For 2 hours the only interesting catches were a spider crab and a tiny octopus, with the usual hordes of dogfish and dabs getting to the baits before anything else had a chance. After a couple of hours the other blokes decided they'd had enough of the dogfish and went home leaving me the mark to myself. Time to experiment! I chucked out my scratching rig at range and then set up a set of sabikis on my plugging rod. After a few fruitless casts I finally
felt a little nibble. Not the mackerel I wanted for breakfast, but my first new species for the day, a launce (species 30). I went on to catch 5 of them with this one on the left being the largest at nearly 28cm. The feathering died off for a while as did the scratching so my attentions turned to fishing the margins. I opted for a one up rig with a rotten bottom link. The hook length was 12lb fuorocarbon and attached to the end was a size 4 hook and rag.
The bites came thick and fast with plenty of
corkwings and small ballans falling victim to these deadly tactics. In the mix though was the odd tompot blenny and a few micro-pollock. Every so often though I'd get a tiny rattle and wasn't able to hook up. New tactics were needed. Same rig only this time with a size 12 hook. Again the ballans and corkwings came out in steady numbers but eventually after wading through them came that little rattling bite I had kept missing. With the size 12's on though I had no such problem and up came this little fella (left), a rock-cook wrasse (species 31) It was now getting late and after a few more chucks for the mackerl I called it quits. On arrival at the car though I was approached by an elderly chap who was part of the community watch. Apparently I looked suspicous even though I was wearing a bright blue billabong hoody, shorts and had a fair amount of fishing gear on me. On a serious note though, the reason he was checking up on me was due to a number of burglaries in the area by individuals posing as fisherman. After a nice chat though he realised I wasn't a yob and rather nicely said I seemed an intelligent young man (good job I make a good first impression), though he had said it was officially trespassing on private land and therefore strongly discouraged me and anyone else from venturing there. Just a warning for anyone thinking about a session there soon.
My last session to write about was today. After yesterdays warning, I stayed clear of ravens and instead headed for ty croes. It was a similar story to ravens to start with with dabs a plenty and dogfish making up the large part of my catch. There were the odd whiting in there though and a solitary codling for good measure. I again tried for a mackerel and again failed, only managing another 6 launce.(Maybe I need to bulk up my fluff so its more noticeable to the macky). Then I had a lovely surprise when a huge slack liner on my scratcher led to me hooking what felt a good fish. I hadn't a clue what it was and at the time I thought it may have been a triple header of doggies. To my great relief though not a doggie in site, instead a double header of pin dabs and this lovely 8lb 7oz thorny which visiting angler Colin arrived perfectly in time to photograph for me. Cheers Colin! The amazing thing was it was landed on a 12lb fluorocarbon snood and a size 6 hook baited with little bits of rag. Amazing how strong those sakuma hooks are even in that tiny size and my first ray to rag, bonus. After a further 30 minutes I was joined on the lower ledge by another angler who I had said could come down and have my spot as I was leaving shortly. After a few more dogs, dabs and whiting I called it quits, left the launce for the other chap now fishing the ledge and headed back to the car with Colin to show him a few spots I fish in the area. The rest of the day was spent hopping from mark to mark with plugs, meeting fellow plugger Paul Abbott along the way who was a pleasure to meet along with his little dog. Unfortunately this proved useless but found a few more nice marks for next time.
So the last few days has seen me reach the half way point on my species hunt which is pleasing and leaves me with just shy of 8 months to round up 29 more. This is when it starts getting tough though. If anyone has any suggestions on where to target the rarer species I'd appreciate any info possible. Thanks!
I'm writing this report now, at 5am in the morning because I just cannot sleep after what is probably the best bass session I've ever had....... to date. I'm a great lover of night lure fishing for bass and think it is a very under-practised form of the sport and lethal as well, as this report proves. After a fruitless few weeks though on the plugs at night, I was getting a little disheartened and was desperately in need of a fish, or even just a take to wet my appetite. I left Bangor just before midnight to catch low water, which from previous trips to this mark have proved more successful than any other state of tide. I arrived at roughly 1am and started making my way down the steep climb to the mark, travelling light on this occasion with just the one lurebox due to difficulies getting up last time. I could hear the odd splash coming from down below me which made me quicken my pace somewhat until after 15 minutes I was ready to go. There was no point me using hard plastics as I don't like to risk my more expensive ones on what is essentially blind casting, so my lure selection consisted of a number of savage gear sandeels, a selection of sluggos and a pack of x-layers in original ayu. I had to wait
a good 40 minutes for my first bit of action and it was my favourite savage gear eel (12.5cm variety in sandeel) that did the business tempting a schoolie of around 1&3/4lb (top right) Another 20minutes flew by and then another hit, this time a fish of a bit better stamp at 3lb 3oz (right). I was so chuffed I can't describe and I wasn't even started. I switched to a large green red-gill to see if I could get a bigger one, but after half an hour and just one knock it had to go back in the box and back on went the savage gear eel. I'd only had around 5 more casts when the lure got smashed and the drag started making that sweet sound that all fisherman long for. A spirited 3 minute tug of war ensued,
but there was only ever gonna be one winner and unfortunately for Mrs Bass it was me that prevailed. I
landed the fish on the shale patch around 20 yards from me and hauled
her up to be pictured and weighed. You can see from the picture she wanted that savage gear sandeel bad, unfortunately so badly the hook had gone into its stomach so I had to make a decision. She was bleeding badly so I decided it was best to keep her for tea, after all out of the 58 bass I've had this year so far, I've only kept 5. She was a good fish though and even after losing a good few ounces worth of blood, she weighed in at 4lb 10oz and went 62cm on the TLF ruler. I then had 3 more schoolies of around 1lb 8oz before on a rediculously slow retrieve I had another storming run. This fish was going mental, splashing on the surface trying to throw the lure at every opportunity. Fortunately she did not succeed and after what is arguably the best fight I've had from any fish this year, she was flapping around on the shingle at my feet. I could see straight away it was bigger than the one earlier in the session so without any messing around I quickly unhooked her and put her on the scales......5lb 13oz..... my best bass of the season so far. Next job was to quickly measure her and as expected she was bigger
than my fish of a month ago, a whole 5cm bigger at 67cm. Now in a complete dreamworld, I couldn't bring myself to keep fishing so after releasing her to grow big for next time, I had a little wander along the coast looking for new ground. It was getting on for 3am at this point so I didn't want to go to far. I probably went along for 10 minuted before I decided I was back to normal and had a few more chucks. Now that my savage eels had been well and truly fu***d, I had no alternate option other than to stick on one of my x-layers. Being a tool I had forgotten any suitable jugheads so I just had to use them as they were with a weedless hook. I couldn't have been casting any further than 25 yards and on the retrieve I could feel the lure bumping over the boulders that are in numbers in this particular area. To my great surprise though after 20 mins of nothing, I had yet another thumping take. I had expected the fish to take me into the boulders and snag me up but the kind fella swam straight at me. All I had to do was reel in the slack until 5 yards out the fish realised what a fool it'd just been and threw all its weight into on final run. I honestly was just so overwhelmed at what had been happening that I didn't realise the size of the fish I had just landed until it went on the scales. It wasn't quite as big as the previous one but went 5lb 6oz on the scales and measured 64cm. With only a few lures left suitable for fishing with I decided to call it a night and made the long upward climb back to the car.
So the session ended for me at 3.45am having landed a total of 10 bass, 5 of them being between 1&2lb, two between 3&4lb, one at 4lb 10oz and two fish over 5lb. What can I say other than, holy sh*t, has that just happened lol. I don't think I'll sleep until tomorrow night now and with fishing like that I may have to go for a return visit. Maybe I can get that double I've been searching for.