22/08/17 – Mission Blonde

Been very busy lately so this is the first chance I’ve had to update the blog.
Last Friday, on the 19th myself and Paul had a crack at a tope on the north coast of Anglesey. It was fairly uninspiring, just a single dogfish for myself, but Paul managed a number of mackerel and pollack after I had left for work.
Tuesday just gone though, I set out on my now regular quest to a blonde ray. The plan being to fish over high on a big tide and he mark, and while the big rods were out I wouldn’t want between float fish for pollack and feathering for mackerel.
The forecast was ideal, however on arriving at my fishing mark the swell was slightly larger than anticipated, most likely left over from the Atlantic storms. Pretty soon I had double sandeel baits in the water, all the while watching the swells closely as there was still 2 hours till high tide. I was moving my gear out of the spray hen one of the ratchets sang and there was a couple of pull downs. On lifting in I could feel a fish, and the little resistance it offered suggested that it was a small ray. Sure enough the obvious diamond shape emerged from the deep, but being small I imagined it to be a spotted ray. However on lifting it out I noticed the different pattern of spots on its back and identified it as a blonde ray. Only small, maybe 2lb in weight at most but what a relief, and around 2 years of hard work putting in the hours in the area.

Unfortunately at the time I wasn’t able to enjoy the catch too much, with the ray back in the water my focus went back to concentrating on not getting wet. In fact I packed up for three quarters of an hour, waiting and watching the water to see how much higher it would rise. While the swell was splashing up onto the lower part of the ledge, I had a dry spot where the overhang deflected the swells back out to sea. Feeling confident that the water was not rising anymore, I slowly set up and continued fishing. As the tide ebbed away, so did the swells, and with it any fish action. I should have packed up sooner but with so much bait left I decided to use up what had already defrosted. Just pollack showed on the float, and even they were a bit finicky with the takes. Most were around 1/2lb but one better one was probably over 1lb, and have a good account of itself on the braid.
Now that I have finally managed to catch a blonde ray, next mission is to get a decent one in the 10lb+ kind of size. The rest of the week was spent planning and organising trip for a group of four clients on Saturday, details of which are coming up shortly.
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