31/08/2015 - A mixed bag
After the success with the triggerfish I headed back to Pembroke Dock for a couple more sessions, but for slack water at high tide. Tactics and bait were exactly the same, a two hook flapper baited with raw prawn and/or a strip of squid dropped down the wall to see what was about. The bass certainly seemed to like the prawns as I had three plump specimens on this bait. It's been good to see that the bass size and bag limit is being publicised at various places around the county and whilst the biggest was probably just over the new minimum size of 42 cm it went back nonetheless.
I've had a few wrasse at this venue in the past, so wasn't surprised that a nice ballan eventually turned up one morning, again on the prawn. The ones I've had before have been quite drab, but this one had fine blue detail to the edge of its fins and irridescent green spots on the tail.
I'd been alternating between prawn and squid strip on the top hook, so when I hooked into a hard fighting fish I was pleased that a) it had actually taken the squid and b) the fish in question was a good mullet. I see plenty of these on the surface further up the estuary, but this one had taken a bait in 20 feet of water!
Perhaps if I'd had some ragworm then I would have had a few more fish, but I was happy enough given that I only had a very short fishing window each morning due to the spring tides. Milford Haven has an extreme range of nearly 8 metres on springs, meaning that there's a lot of water moving through it and that slack water doesn't stay "slack" for long! In order to stretch out the sessions I'd therefore taken a couple of lighter rods to use for LRF or scaled down bait tactics for mini-species in the quieter pockets of water.
The most successful tactic of the two was a scaled down one up, one down rig with very short, 6lb fluorocarbon snoods and size 10 wormer hooks baited with scraps of prawn or squid. As usual the rock gobies were all over this, including some real "monsters".
I had so many of these that I almost overlooked the fact that I also had a solitary black goby in amongst them all.
Not a lot else managed to beat the gobies to the bait other than a couple of micro-pollock and a slightly bigger fish which, upon closer examination of the lateral line, I decided was a juvenile coalfish.
No kink = coalie?
Did have a couple of surprises. Had a thump of a take on a tiny bit of squid in some relatively shallow water next to the car ferry ramp from what turned out to be a big mackerel. This gave an excellent account of itself on the light tackle (and later on my plate!). Swapped over to small metal lures at this point, but there didn't seem to any more about.
Another fish that took a liking to a tiny bit of squid and gave me a similar run around was another mullet. I've not got around to specifically targeting these yet, so hopefully they will be equally obliging when I do so.
Oi, read the script!
One bonus from my last session was that I managed to glean quite a bit of local knowledge from a friendly native, including the location of a bait and tackle shop that I'd been driving straight past on the way to the venue. Next time!