02/08/2021 - Pembrokeshire Part Three (Bass blanks!)

Lost the first of the days that I'd planned to go bass fishing to Storm Evert. Had gone to bed the night before with the rain hammering on the canvas roof of the camper and woke up in the the morning at stupid o'clock with the rain still lashing down and the wind blowing a hoolie, so stuck my head back under the duvet. 

On Saturday morning the conditions were a lot better, although it was still grey, overcast and breezy. Drove down to my estuary mark near Lawrenny just after first light not knowing what to expect and it wasn't until I was down at the low water mark that I was able to judge the impact of all that rain. Wading into the shallows my boots disappeared from view in the murky water before I was up to my knees, so visibility wasn't exactly brilliant. Coupled with the wind and the chop the conditions weren't brilliant for lure fishing full stop, but I thought it would at least be an opportunity to try out the new Savage Gear weedless sandeels, so started off with the 22 g version in white pearl silver. Had a few wind-up casts to wet the braid then started punching it out into the wind that was blowing straight in my face. Certainly cast like a bullet and on a straight retrieve it had a nice, tight wriggling action......much like a sandeel not surprisingly! 

Worked my way methodically down the beach towards the point, casting every couple of steps. As I did so the tide started pushing back in and the water clarity started to get a bit better, so I swapped to a sandeel in a more natural green and silver. However, it was to no avail as I ended the session fish-less. I was still impressed with the sandeels, my only gripe being that after just a couple of hours bouncing them off the rocks and mussel beds the paint on the jig head was already very chipped.

Was back again on Sunday morning to find that conditions were far better for fishing hard lures and possibly even for nicking a bass off the top. It was still overcast, but with just a gentle breeze that was now coming from over my shoulder and that was barely causing a ripple. Water clarity was also much better, so started off with my favourite combo - an IMA Skimmer with a sandeel fly teaser tied onto a short dropper a couple of feet up the fluorocarbon leader, together giving the impression of a predator chasing a small fish.

Proceeded to "walk the dog" up to the sailing club pontoon and back, casting short initially in case anything was mooching about in the shallows. However, by the time the flood had started I hadn't raised anything on the surface lure, so swapped it for a Megabass X-130 and carried on working my way down to the point. Travelling in the opposite direction now was a procession of mullet, lazily finning along with the current with their backs exposed, some real lunkers amongst them (I've yet to discover where they are actually going!). I was therefore hopeful that a bass might be amongst them. Had a couple of definite "fishy" rattles and at one stage saw a micro-schoolie shoot off the bottom and make a grab for the teaser, but I still reached the point fish-less. I therefore snipped off the fly and replaced the X-130 with a soft lure, alternating between a Snowbee stinger shad and the Savage Gear sandeel. 

Stood on the point casting them across the current and letting them swing round, bumping bottom before retrieving them against the tide. However, despite ringing the changes and covering loads of water I again ended up with a blank. Walked back to the car a bit dejected as I've never failed to catch at this venue before and wondering whether the large input of freshwater into the upper reaches of the estuary due to Storm Evert a couple of days ago had been a factor. All of this left me in two minds whether to return on Monday, but with it being the smallest tide of the week and with this possibly being another influence, the duvet won again! However, still ended up down on the estuary a bit later for a walk culminating in a very nice crab sandwich and a less-than-local pint (depressing given the number of craft breweries there are in Pembrokeshire). I feel a wrasse session coming on now so better sort out some bait!

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