June Update

As just over a month has gone by, I feel it is time to write up another blog. I don’t feel like I’ve fished anymore than usual, however there have been so many sessions this month its all gone a bit hazy. There has been a few guided fishing sessions for customers, and also I have increased my effort on the species hunting, resisting the temptation to get the lures out for bass at every chance in this fine weather.

Rolling back towards the end of May, myself and Paul looked at having the first serious attempt at getting a tope from the beach. I felt fresh bait would make the difference, and with mackerel being unreliable at the time, I decided on trying to get a garfish as tope bait the day before. It took time, and I’d almost given up of them, but I happened to look up and see the beak of a garfish thrashing the surface. Winding down the slack I was relieved the fish was still there. It came in fairly easily, water temperatures were still down so the fish was quite lethargic but as I lifted it out it was quite clearly something special. I didn’t have scales with me but this garfish was as thick as my wrist and close to 3ft long. Eventually back home it weighed in at 1lb 13oz which, as it turned out, is about 4oz off the Welsh record! If only I had scales at the mark! I added another smaller garfish, meaning I had more than enough for bait, and dinner.

Three of us hit the tope mark, myself and Paul were joined by Richard who I’ve met at Cymyran a couple of times. We fished long into the night, wading, casting then retrieving pretty well until we could take no more. Spider crabs were an absolute nuisance, if fact we were wading through hoards of them that were stationed in 2-3ft of water. A couple of doggies troubled us, before I managed to find a couple of huss on low tide. Unfortunately the piercing sound of a screaming ratchet wasn’t heard on this occasion.

The tope quest has taken us to the end of the Llyn Penninsula. On the day we fished conditions started perfect, my flimsy wire was bitten through on the second cast and we were full of optimism. However, apart from doggies we couldn’t buy a bite from any pollack or mackerel, before conditions rapidly deteriorated. 20mph+ crosswinds and a steadily increasing swell made things very uncomfortable so we sacked it off a bit earlier than planned. A few small wrasse close in provided the only variety.

A month to the tide almost, myself and Paul tried the beach for them again. This was summer solstice night, and with the clear sky it never got truly dark. It was a similar pattern to the previous session here, except the life that we saw while wading back and forth was incredible. We saw bass, mullet, smelt, weavers, doggies, thornback ray, hermit crabs, spider crabs and a squid all in about 3ft or less of water. Fishing wise we had a couple of doggies and Paul had a small bass on some fresh dug lug. I missed a good run, due to being distracted chasing weavers and smelt for my species tally!

The guided sessions I have had this month have been very tough going. At the beginning of the month I had Kenneth and Dan for some guidance on lure fishing. Despite admiral persistence on what should have been an ideal tide no fish showed to them, or indeed any of the other anglers further up the coast. While frustrating to draw a blank, it was slightly reassuring that the lack of fish wasn’t solely down to our methods.

Next up for some guided fishing was Danny, who after trying beach casting had turned to LRF fishing and had some success, though wanted to know if there was anything he could improve to catch more consistently. I admitted that I was still on the learning curve for “pure LRF” but I hoped that with enough different lures or methods I could get him into a few fish. The tides weren’t ideal, but the chopping and changing worked and on a dropshotted sandeel section, Danny landed his first pollack. I was disappointed with the lack of action, so I invited Danny out a week later when I would be fishing myself and I could show him how I approach light fishing close in. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas with the wind picking up to the point you could barely stand. All in an effort for 3 wrasse and a pollack over 3-4 hours.

Phew!.. Still with me? There’s more..! In between all that I had a few sessions targeting individual species and managed to dink out a cuckoo wrasse, goldsinney wrasse, a tidy flounder to name a few. Oh and on lets say an emotional night, three of us crammed on a rock where there’s barely space for one; tripods were kicked, rods dropped, lines tangled, tackle snagged and words sworn
, but the fishing came good. 12 smoothounds between us and a handful of doggies made another late night well worth it!

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