It has been a while since I last put up a blog post as I was away in Wales staying with my good friend Matt Powell for two weeks.
Firstly if you haven’t already checked out his page at – www.fishingandforagingwales.co.uk
What a nice guy he is and over the two weeks we shared some highs and lows . . . .
Lets start off with the highs …..
The coastline around Pembrokeshire is truly stunning. High, rugged cliffs drop down to sand, gravel and large rock formations creating the ideal ground for Bass to hunt. There is a fantastic network of coastal paths which allow you to roam and wander for miles seeking out those hidden spots where you just know nobody has ever fished. Once you get down and the water is boiling and fizzing nicely you feel the anticipation instantly.
I was shocked and somewhat amused by the fact that Gold as a lure colour works wonders over there …. I am used to candy and red bellied lures in the South of Ireland and even for my fishing on the West coast but I had to adapt and take the advice of Matt who knows the coast, lures and techniques which work with him.
My first Welsh Bass
We were standing at the edge of a gravely cove where the rocks run in a ridge formation allowing the swell to rage over them, creating an impressive stir in the water. I cast out and worked the water methodically and then …. Whack! Fish on! It wasn’t a massive fish but it was my first Welsh Bass. It scrapped hard in the swell and after some careful and somewhat optimistic landing tactics we got the Bass into a rock pool and safely unhooked. After a firm handshake and a huge grin on my face the fish was safely released.
We fished on and landed another school Bass before calling the evening to an end.
The two weeks were peppered with bad stormy weather and what can only be described as cold spells. The water temperatures did not fall in our favour either BUT that is fishing . . . . You can travel 10 minutes down the road or hundreds of miles across the world and you always face the same challenge – the weather.
We chose our battles wisely and made the most of the breaks in the weather producing more school Bass but the fight from these little boys was impressive!
We found that we mostly hit school Bass but perhaps the bigger Bass just hadn’t arrived in yet.
Single hooks on lures …..?
I had hooked up my Tackle House Feed Shallow Sardine Red Belly lure with Decoy 1/0 Pluggin’ singles before I left. I love the lure and the hook size, the action is great BUT I lost the biggest fish of the trip on them. I am not saying the hooks are the reason but it does make you wonder at times. I hooked a Bass of around 5 to 6lb one day in close at my feet and it was a hellish fight. After getting it under control … somehow I got it up to the surface and then the head shaking began and yes it got off! I felt sick but you win some you lose some.
A spot of night fishing in the surf.
We set off on our usual hike over the coastal path to our remote little bay which had produced some fish the previous days. The light was dropping and the surf was gently rolling in. I put on my brand new IMA Komomo 2 and Matt a Duo lure …. Two casts later I had a little school Bass on the gravel at my feet. It was a cracker fight in the surf.
The thing I think we both enjoyed was the chance to experiment and take the time to try new lures, techniques and for me I did a lot more work on Soft Plastics however,though I did not catch any fish on them, Matt did. We had been fishing up some gullies with the tide flooding in through the weed and sandy patches as I watched Matt’s Century rod bend over …. the trusty Sluggo strikes again!
Everyone I met was friendly, welcoming and just generally nice people – Would I go back to Wales? Yes, most certainly and especially now I have made a good friend out of it.
Like I said at the beginning, check out the site. Not only is he a Bass guide but also has an intimate knowledge of foraging and his food skills are sublime.
Who knows …. it may not be too long before I am back.
One last thanks to Matt Powell for a) putting up with me for two weeks and b) taking me and guiding me around the coast. It was an a thoroughly enjoyable experience and one which I won’t forget.