The Grand Tour – Anglesey Style

So this was my long slog of a day on Tuesday just gone. The weather forecasts and the tides on the day didn’t lend themselves to anything inspiring to fish for, however after opting to stay in two previous days I had to get out there.

Initially my plan was to head to Amlwch over high water in the morning for some mini species. This changed quickly when I realised the high tide was earlier than I thought it would be. I could have tried it on the ebb but instead opted to try for herring from Holyhead breakwater. The spinning rod and sabiki’s were packed and I was off up the A55. I was sceptical about how the wind would affect things, having tried a few times before for herring only to arrive with the wind blowing up a chop on the water, and therefore driving the shoal out of casting range.

As I arrived they was a fella just leaving. He’d been feathering away for a couple of hours for herring and just had the one, reckoning it was better for them over high water. This didn’t fill me with confidence at all but I was here now, and wasn’t leaving before my evening session. Thankfully conditions were slightly in my favour, the swell and chop were minimal despite the steadily increasing wind, and the water looked reasonably clear. After a bit of a stomp I pitched up by the second bend, reasoning I the wind was more on my back than from the side, and the water being slightly deeper.

I cut down a long sabiki rig to carry just two feathers and started lobbing it out on my spinning rod. Its a shame they don’t make these on 40-60lb line so you can give them a real good whack out on a beachcaster, as I think the light weights restricted my casting distance in the wind. I’d moved up and down a few yards from my gear, thinking it was a waste of time, and also remembering the last time I tried this I ended up getting whiting on the feathers.

Out of knowhere I felt the tap-tap of a fish pulling back. It wasn’t big, several times I though I had lost it on the retrieve, and coming a relatively long way out made me think it was a whiting. I remained pessimistic until it was on the surface. Its flanks shining much brighter than any whiting I’d seen it was a herring! I held my breath as I brought it up the wall and let out a big sign of relief when I got it on the deck. Success! Quick photo to capture the brilliant colours of the fish and it was back in the water, being on the small side.

Still with time left on the breakwater I carried on with the feathers to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Lo and behold a few casts later at the same spot the rod bent round again. This time two herring! Almost as if it was easy now! The chance of adding a bit of variety to the day was beckoning so I tried using tiny pieces of lug on the feathers and dropping them close to the wall. Unfortunately the dropping tide had exposed most of the rocks that line the wall and the mini species had gone into hiding. Given ragworm on a summers day it would have been a different outcome. A few last casts with the feathers on the way back along the breakwater resulted in the surprise catch of the day, a mackerel, before I was off to my second mark.

Point Lynas can be quite exposed, with the headland sticking out off the top of Anglesey but usually provides shelter in South Westerly winds. As I came over the coast road I could see the sea was fairly flat and I had made the right choice to head this way. I got down onto the mark that has produced for me and Paul in the past, but usually at night. I had another issue in that four lobster pot buoys were sitting in front of where I would be casting. To begin with the buoys were out of my casting range so I was happy to fire out a couple of baits. That was until the tide began to turn and the buoys started moving around on their ropes. Swinging maybe 40 metres away from where they began, now putting them in casting range. After nearly losing a full set of gear to one of the pots I decided to pack up. The swell had increased slightly and it would be better to avoid the frustration of hooking pot ropes all evening. I nearly went for another ledge nearby but instead with a bucket of fresh lug went back around the coast road, the other way, to the Straits to tempt a codling or two (hopefully!).

I revisited Moel-y-don, despite it not having really fished very well recently I would give it a try as this time I would be fishing the flood, not the ebb. Arriving to the full force of the south westerlies, everything felt about 10 degrees cooler than at the north of the island. Crabs were going to be a pain so I rigged up a couple of pop up beads to try and lift the bait above them. In the end I fished for about two hours, it rained, alot (!), its was weedy, and generally a pretty uncomfortable time. However I did get my codling, all 6 inches of it! I did get a whiting late on but by now I was wet through (again!) and just beat a hasty retreat. Until next time, when the cod quest continues.

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