27/07/2021 - Pembrokeshire Part Two (corkwing chaos at Milford)

Got up bright and early again on Monday despite not having a particularly restful night's sleep. Had woken up freezing cold in the camper in the early hours of the morning and had to scrounge a share of the wife's duvet, so wasn't really surprised to see that the temperature had dropped by ten degrees overnight. 

However, the sun was already making it's presence felt, so it didn't look as if it was going to remain cool for long. Had a quick cup of tea and then headed off to Milford Haven to a spot I'd discovered this time last year, the plan being to fish an hour either side of high tide. Threaded my way through the docks past the abandoned seal hospital to the stone jetty at Hakin, parking up next to the pub recently frequented by the moody Luke Evans in "The Pembrokeshire Murders", but now undergoing renovation. There was a fishing boat moored up on the right hand side of the jetty, so I set up on the left near the steps. Changed my drop shot rig for a scaled down two hook flapper tied up with size 10 sabpolo wormers. 

Baited it up with sections of ragworm and dropped it down the side of the wall, feeling with the lead for the clean areas between the patches of weed. Had to wait a couple of minutes before I started getting the tell-tale taps on the rod tip and on the first positive pull down I struck into the first corkwing wrasse of the mornning. If Hobbs Point is the domain of the rock goby, then Hakin stone pier is the kingdom of the corkwing as one after another soon followed - both brightly coloured males and drabber females. 

Was into double figures before I added to the species count in the form of a pretty ballan wrasse. 

Another flurry of "corkies" followed before pattern was broken again by a couple of small pollack and a shanny. Carried on in the same vein whilst getting through my precious ragworm at an alarming rate as I was having to re-bait every cast. By 1030 I'd had 41 corkwings, 14 pollack, 12 ballans and three shannies. Sun was extremely bright and hot by now, so I revived the remnants of my bait with some fresh seawater and called it a day. After my disturbed night and early start I was in need of some reviving myself, so headed home for a strong coffee and a bacon bap!

After a much better (and warmer) night's sleep I headed off to Milford Haven again this morning to use up the remaining ragworm. I had intended to fish from the "bull nose" near the marina this time, but I arrived to find some building works going on and my access blocked by site fencing. 
Therefore made the quick trip over to the jetty at Hakin again. Unwrapped my bait to find it was already a bit worse for wear. 

However, wasn't concerned as the fish don't seem to mind it when its a bit stale and falling to bits - keeping it on the hooks is the problem! Baited up and swung out the rig and basically carried on where I'd left off yesterday. Whilst initially there were a few more little pollack about it didn't take long for the corkwings to catch the scent of manky ragworm and move in. Again I also had a few shannies and ballans, their subtle green hues matching the colour of the dominant weed growth. Carried on until I'd used all of the bait up, at which point I'd had another 35 corkies, 13 pollack, 10 ballans and 4 shannies. Did briefly see a shoal of sand smelt flashing on the surface, but they were moving at speed and disappeared as quickly as they arrived.
With the tides neither here nor there for the next couple of days I'll be putting away the LRF rod for a bit, but hopefully it'll soon be bass time!


  1. Blimey, plenty of fish about then. Hope the weather holds for you and you get a bass or two.
    Pics of the camper next time...its the law you know.

    1. Ha! Nothing as grandiose as yours. We’re in our “Covid Cocoon”, aka our Pennine camper on the in-laws lawn!