Hello, my name is Ian Firkins and I am a very ordinary angler. If there was a school report for fishing, mine would read "tries hard, could do better"! See below my attempts to catch big fish (well, any fish!) of various species from the rivers Trent, Derwent, Dove and Soar.
The brother-in-law was booked to go diving over at St Brides
Bay today, so took that as an opportunity not only to meet up, but also to have
a recce as it’s a venue I’ve been meaning to visit for a while.
After a quick trip into Pembroke Dock to get some quality ragworm from J & M's Tackle we loaded up the car with fishing tackle, wetsuits, kayaks and body boards and headed out west. Arrived to find the car park absolutely rammed with at least
three diving parties and the beach already busy with families. After a quick
chat with the brother-in-law I left the others to claim a spot on the beach and
headed out on the coast path to find a suitable fishing spot. After only a
short distance around the headland I found an easy access onto a rock platform overlooking
some deep gullies that screamed wrasse. The water was gin clear and I could
clearly see thick beds of seaweed several feet below the surface. Set up a
float rod that was cast out to drift over the weed, whilst the other rod was
rigged with a twisted boom paternoster with a size 2 Sakuma Mini Manta and a
Dropped this down the side of the ledge into the gully to the right of my rock perch and was soon
getting some knocks and pulls on the rod top. Whatever was responsible, they were just big
enough to strip the ragworm off, so I was initially kept busy re-baiting before I finally managed to hook
into a couple of small, completely contrasting ballan wrasse.
Switching to the gully on the other side of the ledge
I was again pestered by bait robbers before my frustration got the better of me
and I swapped the rig for one with a size 6 Aberdeen. Almost straight away I
hooked into a nice female corkwing wrasse and thought I’d cracked it, but was
made to regret changing my rig immediately afterwards. Briefly putting the rod down
to take up some slack line on the float I saw the rod tip lunge violently seawards
out of the corner of my eye. Grabbed the rod to feel a real lump thumping away
on the end of the line before everything went slack. Wound in to find that the
fine wire Aberdeen had snapped, almost certainly costing me a very good wrasse.
Feeling like a right idiot, I immediately switched back to the twisted boom rig and hopefully dropped it down
into the same spot again.
However, whilst I didn’t get a second chance at that lost monster, I did
add several more quality, “hand-sized” corkwings including some stunningly
colourful males, fittingly looking more like tropical fish in the sunny, blue
water setting. Didn’t have interest on the float cast out into open water,
where I had hoped that it would have been intercepted by a pollack or two. The
possible reason became clear when my lad paddled ‘round on the kayak to see how
I was doing. He’d been sat in the bay for only a couple of minutes when a grey
seal popped up behind him. They had a game of cat and mouse for a few minutes
as each time my lad tried to get close the seal would dive down and pop up
behind him again. The seal must have got fed up in the end as it eventually
disappeared, but it could also explain the damage to the tail fin of a couple
of the larger corkwings I caught as well.
As the tide came in I got pushed off
the rocks, so I made my way back to the beach where the family was looking
decidedly uncomfortable, compressed onto a narrow strip of shingle surrounded
by screaming kids and keen to get off home, so we called it a day. Certainly a
stunning venue with big wrasse potential, but one to visit again when it’s less