So its the end of the month so that means its blog time! This month I’ve decided to split the write up for the guided sessions and my own, to try and lighten the load on the readers!
This month I had three guests along. At the start of the month Steve and Mark came along to a session on Holyhead Breakwater. Both were wanting a similar level of fishing tuition so I covered all the basics; casting, baiting up different baits, basic rig set ups. In order to keep things simple I suggested that the kind of rigs they should start with are 2 or 3 hook flappers and pulley rigs which would cover 90% of their fishing in future. Holyhead Breakwater was the ideal venue to cover a beginners tuition session, I could spread all the gear out, take time explaining various rigs and items, no chance of getting wet and importantly, a very good chance of catching!
The action wasn’t as hectic as I thought it might be, however bites were pretty steady. once the bigger rods were put out onto the clean ground in search of a few doggies and whiting, I set the guys up with scratching rods to fish close to the wall. After landing his first doggie, Mark pulled in a steady stream of small wrasse, quickly gaining confidence in baiting up and handling the fish. Despite being just 5 yards apart Steve struggled for bites and was hitting some solid snags.
However, pretty well on high tide he shouted over that he had something on. Watching his line in the water it, whatever he had hooked was taking him for a walk. A quick adjustment to the reel drag and he was able to put more pressure on the fish, guiding to the surface the biggest wrasse I’ve ever seen. It was a donkey around 4lb. As it tired we walked it over to the steps where I would be able to grab hold of the fish. As it came close I could appreciate the size of the thing, but disaster stuck! The line seemed to catch on the barnacles and before I could get a hold the fish slipped out of sight. I was absolutely gutted for Steve so it was a quick re-rig and off we go again. After a couple of missed bites, he finally had a wrasse, and on last cast got his doggie as well. A successful introduction for both of them to the sport.
My next guest was Tyson from Australia, over visiting his partners family. A mad keen fisher, Tyson said he fishes pretty much everyday back home and was clearly itching to wet a line while over here. He had two targets, bass and pike. While I couldn’t help with the pike, I could offer some Anglesey bass guiding. Despite the previous month of glorious weather, the heavens opened by the time we started, and never really let up.
I took Tyson out to a mark I visited a couple of times last year, and while I’d never had more than small pollock here, the ground is so inviting and with it getting dark there’s always a chance of a bass. Tyson had managed to pack a few lures that he would usually use for barramundi back home, some of them actually being a Scandinavian brand which are used, I guess, for either pike, pollack, coalies or cod. Rigged on a weighty jig head we heading to promising looking outcrops, fanning casts out to sea and across the little bays formed, working all the gulleys in between.
As we made our way across the terrain, there were some inviting deep holes in the rocks, so I set up a Dolive stick. On dropping into one of these holes I was certain I’d seen a small pollock dart out to investigate. As I was distracted with this I thought I heard Tyson say “fish on” or something to that effect. It took a couple of seconds to register, as it came out of nothing, but the bend in the rod, followed by the splashing on the surface indicated it was indeed bass on! After a spirited scrap I was able to lift the fish out and Tyson had what he came for, and for your first bass on foreign soil it was a fish to be proud of. It was long and lean so I estimated it at 6-7lb, some people fish for 30 years or more and never catch one like that.
Adrenaline now pumping we were keen for more. Unfortunately the dropping tide meant little depth off the end of the rocks, and darkness made it harder to identify potential bass holding points, and we only saw the one fish.
Tyson was back for round two the Monday following. This guided session in the Menai Strait I held a lot more optimism for than before the Friday evening session. It was a promising start, as we arrived down to the mark two other fellas were plugging away, one landed a sea trout, bait fish were shoaling close in and Tyson had an early follow on a deep diving plug. However that was the last of the action we saw. In hindsight, moving down out of the strongest current was the mistake. This moved us away from the bait fish and if there’s no prey, there’s no predators. A disappointing end to Tysons Anglesey angling sessions but that first fish will live long in my memory.
A couple of guided fishing sessions around Anglesey in the next couple of weeks, but plenty of spaces available for anyone interested in arranging a session.