31/07/2016 - Gobies, gobies and more gobies!

A family celebration combined with a "staycation" meant two weeks down in Pembrokeshire this summer and hopefully plenty of opportunity to wet a line. Mini-species hunting was definitely on the cards again and I'd already made up some light rigs at home in anticipation.

Rather than fiddle about tying these up from scratch with my fat fingers and failing eyesight, I bought some Flashmer "mini sprat" rigs from Alderney Angling. With a couple of extra swivels, a few beads and some hooks hooks to nylon out of the tackle box I got three "two up, one down" rigs out of each packet, which for £1.30 each I thought was a bargain.

First opportunity to put them to use them was the morning of the family do. With things not kicking off until the afternoon, my son James, friend Simon and I were allowed a couple of hours down at Hobbs Point. Things didn't get off to a flying start when we called in at Raven Trading to find that their last two packs of ragworm were already spoken for. However, after a quick stop at Tesco we had some raw tiger prawns as back-up and headed down to the dock. We'd timed our arrival to co-incide with low tide, so we could fish in comfort off the end of the old car ramp.
Tackled up the rods and baited the mini-rigs with slivers of prawn. James was first in with the ubiquitous rock goby, the first of many!
                                                                                                   I was soon into the action with some rock gobies of my own, with the occasional black goby also making an appearance when they could get a look in! Could see a few fish darting in and out of the weed on the side of the ramp and a bait dangled in front of their faces soon confirmed these to be little pollock. Simon had been struggling up to this point with his heavier gear and bigger baits, so I swapped rods with him and it wasn't long before he was into the gobies as well!
Carried on being pestered by the hoards of "rockies" (the seabed must have been covered with them), with just the occasional pollock and small wrasse thrown in to break the goby monopoly. However, by the time our couple of hours were up, we'd all caught fish and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The next trip down I was by myself. The weather had also taken a turn for the worst, with a brisk wind blowing straight up the Haven, bringing squally rain showers and white horses with it. Figured the best place to be was down on the temporary mooring, tucked out of the wind. The downside was that it was like fishing off a boat with the swell pushing up the estuary rocking the mooring from side to side!

Fortunately the weather hadn't put the fish off and I actually managed a couple of other species apart from the ravenous packs of gobies. Dropping the rig off the end off the mooring platform into open water I had a couple of sand smelt in quick succession, almost translucent when held up to the light apart from a solid line of silver scales along their lateral line. Moving around the corner I tried something different, scraping the lead down the face of the wall until it found a ledge. The reaction was instant as a greedy little shanny, or common blenny, grabbed one of the baits. Tried the trick again only to feel a familiar "pluck, pluck, twang" and a dead weight as a crab seized the bait instead.

Had had a few of these bait robbers when a particularly vicious little shower came through and  effectively called a halt to proceedings. Called into Raven Trading for a pack of rag on the way home looking like a drowned rat! Had one more session down at Hobbs Point the following day. Fished the first hour with the heavier rod and bigger baits hoping for a bigger wrasse, pollock, but didn't get a sniff. Switched over to the light rod, but couldn't shake off the gobies, or add to the species tally. Time to follow up a hot tip..........?

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