With a camping and surfing trip to Abersoch with a few mates planned, I didn’t have much hope of getting any fishing in. However. when one of the lads was keen and asked if I could bring a bit of gear down I figured it would be a good bit of practise for future tuition sessions.
I spied a decent looking mark online that might produce some mackerel and pollack, as one of the aims was to get a few for the BBQ. As is often the case there were slight time constraints, so after a bit of advice from Abersoch Angling, we opted to try Gimblet rock in Pwllheli. This offered a chance of mackerel, but we could fish in comfort, close to the car and cook on the beach as well.
With a heavy rod cast out looking for any bream or dogfish for a bit of variety, I set up some feathers on a spinning rod to get the guys used to casting. I give all of them a demonstration, talking through what I was doing, before handing them the rod and talking them through the cast. None of them had ever held a fishing rod before so I was having to think carefully how to explain things so it would make sense to them. Fortunately everything went without drama. They were all able to put the weight in the sea. The distance varied as they got used to timing the release of the line but for complete beginners it couldn’t have been much better.
As we fished on it was clear there weren’t many fish about. Crabs were hammering all of the larger baits being cast out, and I was slightly unprepared not bringing any pop up rigs. Gradually the light began to fade and baitfish activity started to increase. This usually means one thing, the mackerel are on the hunt! We missed a few opportunities, mainly as the guys were concentrating on getting the cast right but Joe managed to plop the feathers in the sea just as the baitfish broke the surface again. After a couple of turns on the retrieve there was a shout of excitement as a mackerel had taken one of the feathers.
Keeping a nice steady retrieve the fish was soon on the sand, only a small mackerel but it was a fish and a bonus it was for the bbq! As you can tell from his face, Joe was over the moon with it, and had the added satisfaction of being able to tuck into a fish he had just caught. They don’t get much fresher than that and it tasted amazing!
I hoped we would be able to get a few more but it didn’t happen, the shoal seemed to move further along the beach and out of our range. There was one more surprise in store though, as I was going through casting with Luke a small bass launched itself at the feathers not two metres out from where we were stood. After a quick photo it was released, being far too small to be kept for the bbq. That was the last of the fish action, the light faded completely and the mackerel went of the feed as well, but very satisfying to be able to get complete beginners to experience catching a fish at the first attempt.
Had a call mid day yesterday from guest, Amanda asking if I could fit in a lesson for her son Reece (aged 7), before they were due to leave later in the week. A quick dash back along the A55 via Pensarn bait and tackle for some quality ragworm, I threw the gear in the car at met them at Holyhead Breakwater. It wasn’t an ideal time with the tide dropping, but Reece was super keen to do as much as possible I was hoping we would still get a few bites. I dropped the first rod down the side as a demonstration, and set up a second for Reece to use much by himself.
With a bit of guidance, and supervision from Mum, he was able to swing the baits out just away from the wall. It wasn’t long before a shake of the rod tip indicated a bite, and up the wall came a corkwing wrasse, resulting in big smiles all round! He was able to add a second wrasse before bites dried up so we filled the time discussing which sea creatures would win if they were fighting each other, and doing a little overhead casting practise. Overall a great way to spend a couple of hours and thank you to Amanda for the positive feedback on the session.
Having some ragworm left over from the previous days lesson I had a couple of hours scratching around off the ledges at the back of my work place near Penmon. Bites came steady, but never frantic and in a couple of hours I managed a mix of shannies, ballan wrasse, corkwing wrasse and the smallest pollack I’ve ever seen. Most of the fish were small but two of the better ballans were pushing towards 1lb. Not a bad way to finish off a pack of rag. Gear was the usual 2-hook flapper with size 6/8 hooks keeping things tight to the rock ledges. I hoped to get a few mackerel out as well but a shoal had appeared and passed through before I had chance to get the feathers rigged up.
Frustratingly the weather is playing havoc with plans at the moment, a session after tope Thursday night has been postponed. Hopefully will have a chance and find some shelter during a couple of hours tomorrow morning before work.