18/7/17 – so near!

So after 3 unsuccessful lure sessions in the past week, I planned a change of tactics yesterday. The aim was two fold – starting in the day time I was hoping for a cuckoo wrasse, followed by a late beach session with Paul for a tope.

The daylight session was at a new mark for me near Trearddur Bay, but one I’d seen a lot of decent reports from. All I took down was my spinning rod, a pack of ragworm and plenty of small weights as I expected a few losses. Rig was a short 2 hook flapper with size six hooks, so I had a chance at catching a variety of other mini species that might be lurking around the rocks.

Being a very bright day I thought that most of the fish would be lurking in some shade, so started out casting into a gulley between my ledge and another rock. Initially it was difficult to hold bottom with such a small weight but eventually I got the rig to settle and started getting bites. As expected, the major culprits were going to be Ballan Wrasse of various sizes, and three came in steady succession. Unfortunately bites slowed right down in the gulley, and despite repeatedly casting and re-positioning the baits all I could manage further was a tompot blenny.

With the tide rising I moved a bit further around the ledge, dropping baits right down the side onto a submerged ledge. This must have been where the fish were hiding fishing around this ledge was bite after bite, sometimes not even needing to drop the weight right to the seabed. I was still reasonably confident of getting my target, even if I had to fish through every Ballan or Corkwing Wrasse in front of me.

Around high tide another fella joined me on the ledge, as he would casting further out we wouldn’t get in each others way. We chatted away and while doing so we both had a Ballan Wrasse each. As I was describing what I was hoping to catch the guy had another bite and on lifting it out I saw the unmistakable blue tinge of a male Cuckoo Wrasse. In double quick time I rung the changes and lobed my baits a little further out. As it would happen my first bite after casting out a bit turned out to be my target, a striking blue cuckoo wrasse…success! Two casts later I landed a female of the same species so it was a short but productive session.

For the night session it was myself and Paul, looking for a tope from the beach. After such a long period of settled weather it was expected that the weather would turn, unfortunately it would happen throughout Tuesday. By the time we were fishing strong winds were now pushing on our backs but we thought it would just hold out while fishing.

Big mackerel baits were cast out as far as possible and we settled down for the long wait. We were discussing how long to fish for when there was a distinct zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, as Paul’s ratchet went. He lifted in and it was fish on! The way the rod was bending suggested it was what we came for. However coming on the first cast I think we were a bit unaware and no sooner was it hooked there was a ping as the line snapped. Gutted nearly described the feeling, but incredible for Paul to experience his first tope run. We hoped that was a signal for things to come, but no more bites came, just crabs, shrimps and other scavengers munching the baits to pieces.

Our nerves were on edge for the last hour or so, as over the horizon lightning was showing. It certainly felt like the storm was coming, but while the skies were clear we fished on with a watchful eye. Eventually it got a bit too much, though the lightning had stopped, it was now cloudy above us, the wind had dropped and it had started raining. Not wanting to be caught out by the storm appearing above us we cut the session short, eager to get back for a longer session and hopefully we can land our target.

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