So May/June time Me and Paul visited Lillypond with our mate Dylan, who was fairly new to fishing and was eager to learn. We got him set up and explained a few things and he was into fish from the off. It was whiting and doggies all night for us all but it got Dylan used to the feel of detecting bites, when to strike, feeling the fish on the end as well. He came along for a couple more sessions over summer, unfortunately the weather and the fishing didn’t quite play ball, and it was mainly whiting and doggies all the time but good experience in any case. We’ll get him catching some bigger fish next year!
A good part of early summer was spent trying for smoothounds. The grapevine was pretty quiet, so either they were a bit late turning up this year, like the bass, or people were keeping it hush hush. I believed the second of these options and hit various marks such as Penrhos Head at Holyhead, and Church bay at the top of the island both on my own and with Paul. Unfortunately the hounds must have been late because there was no sign of them. In between a ridiculous number of dogfish I managed a lobster, a codling, and a tiny huss. Small but they all count again, meaning I wasn’t so bothered now about losing big brother!
Almost out of desperation I went back to Llanddwyn Island mid July, to the place where 3 years to the day, I had taken my only smoothound to date. It proved a master stroke as second cast the rod arched over and a tiny pup came skating through the water, punching well above its weight. The tompot blenny added extra variety.
I decided to return the next weekend and fish over night for a bigger specimen. This proved to be a bit of a mistake. As soon as the tide got going, it was a big tide as well, I was continually just pulling in weed all night. For the most part casting short avoided the worst of it but that and the spider crabs made it a very frustrating session. Relief came in the form of a solitary mackerel to feathers which allowed me to try something different. A drop down the side of the cliff with the head and guts resulted in a decent conger and made the trip worthwhile. I don’t plan on fishing there many more times on my own though!
Given our limited bait success I fancied a bit of a change of scene and tactics in August. With a lot of old bait in the freezer I decided to make this into a goundbait and visit a mark on the island which produces garfish at the right stage of the tide. I got the timing right with me and Paul getting there just as the water started to flow. Using a float and braid is by far the most fun way to go for these fish who don’t half fight hard. There was a lot of them around, and they were even jumping clear out of the water as they moved through the groundbait slick. I managed 5 gars in total, and after a change of float Paul managed to get one out himself. With the weather as good as it was there is far worse ways to spend a couple of hours on your day off!
So that’s the highlights of the summer, a very picture heavy post I must admit, hopefully will have some decent coalies and or codling to report soon!