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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mid-February gathering : Part 1

Having planned for a 4-day fishing marathon about a month ago, myself and mates Lee Goddard and Scott Hutchison were all eagerly anticipating a nice relaxing break from work and some long hours on the rocks species hunting. Our chosen venue was Anglesey, which being my local area was ideal and would give me the chance to show off what North Wales has to offer in what most people refer to as the worst month of the year for fishing.

Scott was first to arrive late Thursday night but no fishing was done, instead a few pints, a takeaway and the Inbetweeners movie was looking the best option. Friday morning came round though and the first port of call was a trip pike fishing. Terry had reported to us that he'd had a number of fish that morning at the mark we were going so expectations were high, but on arrival conditions seemed against us with bright sunshine and only around 6" visibility in the water. Perhaps we should have been up earlier as we had definitely missed the best of the fishing, the only action being a small pike I'd hooked on a yellow kopyto which threw the hook at my feet, can't say I was majorly bothered :)

You have to love tompot blennies, such a cool fish!
We sacked the piking off around midday and headed to the power station for a spot of LRF. Due to the constant flow of warm water, the mini-species tend to hang around all year at this mark, so it's a good banker spot when fishing elsewhere is a struggle.
When down at the preferred spot, I first chucked in a few ladles full of chum hoping to see some mullet show up. Sure enough, they did and before long I'd hooked and landed one of the thick lip variety freelining a small piece of breadflake on a size 12 hook.
Though that turned out to be the only mullet of the day, we were both kept more than busy by the masses of Corkwing Wrasse and Shannies down below and I managed to winkle out a few tompots as well, a good way of spending a few hours :)

Scott gets 1st new species of the trip
That evening our third member arrived and was keen to get straight into some rod bending action. As neither of them had ever caught a rockling of any form, I decided to take them to a spot on the North Coast where I've had a good number of 3-beard and shore rockling, all be it usually whilst I've been fishing for eels. The tide was not ideal with what I considered to be the prime time falling at around midnight, but as they were so keen to wet a line we got there a good few hours before hand on the off chance of catching our target. I first showed Scott and Lee the most productive spots and then went a bit further down the rocks myself to see if I could tempt an eel. As it played out the first few hours were very slow with Scott managing to land the only fish, a small codling. As the prime time got nearer, the bites started coming, myself and Lee both losing Congers in quick succession and all of us missing a few rattly bites which I believed to be lobsters. Just before midnight though, Scott hit the jackpot and got his first ever rockling, a nicely patterned shore rockling. That would be it for the night, not a hectic session but we'd got what we came for so job done!

The next day I was back in work so I had to leave the guys to it for the majority of the day. When they visited me in Menai though they had nothing fishy to report, but they had caught plenty of crabs and had found that enjoyable, each to their own I guess lol. When I was finally free to go at 6, I'd had enough time to check the tides and was set on a trip conger fishing at my favourite conger mark on the island. For one reason or another though, the lads were determined to get out with the LRF gear. I did my best to convince them otherwise and pointed out that it was low water, at night in February but that just seemed to spur them on more to prove me wrong. So in the end, I dragged my mate Steve out with me, who is yet to catch an eel and I dropped Scott and Lee at Amlwch breakwater, which would be there best chance of a few fish........... they wisely took some mackerel fillets with them!
Fishing was not to bad for them, Scott turning to the bait and landing a good variety of fish including whiting, poor cod, codling and another shore rockling whilst Lee stuck it out with the lures for the majority, managing a lonely poor cod for his efforts before also switching to bait and landing a few whiting as well as a codling himself.

In the meantime, myself and Steve headed over to my mark, nicely sheltered from the wind and almost spot on tide wise, I was very confident of a few eels. I was right to be confident as well, for at the end of the night, I had landed a brace of eels, one of which already had a trace down its throat and a scorpion fish, also dropping a third eel, whilst Steve had dropped what was surely his first Conger ever and landed a cursed doggie. Not a bad night all round!

So with two days down, we'd notched up a total of 10 species but there was more to come!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part 2,
Tight Lines All,