Warning, its a long one
Well here we are at the second “Bonk” (daves words) holiday of the year although it may not feel like the first of May! Tbh it’s dull & grey out there with intermittent moments of sunshine, more like late September if you ask me!…. So Whats happening out there,…
A swifty for the boats including water clarity which simply put with the tiny tides this weekend is okay ish , murky green to deep shiny emerald green, rot is very visible and maybe the cause of slower fishing for the smaller private boats. Known marks are sluggish but that again may be the small tides, plaice a mile out are a little tricky to find in quality amounts and overall a little undersized. The wrecks the private fleet are mostly visiting are less big fish and more early arrived gurnard pout and giant sea slugs masquerading as congers.
While the small boat fleets seem to be having to work extra hard for anything other than conger plaice and bream the charters are having a good time mostly because the skippers not only know the sea they are fishing but are putting the time and work in to put their punters on fish. While anglers are not seeing it yet on the walls im constantly told that the bream fishing is good and signs are good for the summer season with cod now starting to join the pollack catches and plenty of various type of ray out there..
The lure boats are reporting plenty of bass and as most that read here “Bif 1” Robin Howard skipper puts his own blog up that is always an excellent read and indicator of what to expect on the walls in a few weeks because his boat operates often within a mile of the marina. Im sure there is someone out there that could explain that when many species show up they are first noticed by the netting boats and lure guys that work the beach to 2 mile out regions, hence I often refer to species such as mackerel being off shore & then “making the jump” across that sort of gap to show up on the shore line and marina walls.
And with that I can make the jump from inshore to shore and put up a report for the marina.
Yesterday(Sun) I had been sent a couple of messages about “come down & say hi” if I was about … or able to but there had been plans for a family meet that as it panned out has now been rearranged so though, why not & got the quad out of its shed and pootled my way down onto the East wall with a plan to head over to the West a bit later.
A slow trundle and lots of gossiping en route up the wall sayng hi to total strangers fishing and generally asking how they were getting on brought me up to the ppl fishing at 29 had a chat with a dude hidden behind sunglasses who obviously seem to know me, nope, crap memory or his disguise fooled me so my apologies to Mo, a wall regular I should have recognised you and was nice to see and catch up with him, also caught up with Augusto, always a pleasure to see him and friends on the wall, for the wardens a perfect group of anglers. Polite well mannered and always clean their area & take their litter with them but they do so so much more on the wall and as I say , anglers like that make the life of a warden so much easier and enjoyable.
After well over an hour or two I reached the last angler on the wall at bay sixty tinkering with a very very light (for sea fishing) 3lb line on his rod. So a big shout out to “mr computer guy”, see I did quite well Dell on remembering your name which as I said is a bit of a rarity.
Now about now you will have realised that I am rambling a bit (mostly as I have some spare time and sorta enjoying typing this up) you may also be wondering where the marina catch report is and how on earth this ramble is pertinent other than to name drop Dell and John who lives in the marina whom I meet cycling the walls from time to time:),
I only mention them because I now can confirm 2 definite readers of this blog there may be more but tbh I have no idea unless the people tell me they read here ! or I guess drop me an email and say hey I read the blog or summat. Anyhoooo , the pertinence is that this is often how I get catch reports as well as picking up snippets from facebook groups and occasionally the wardens actually tell me whats going on (not so often these days!) thus , and finally thus, we get to the fishy info … or maybe the lack of info for the End of April.
Marina catch reports:-
Overall April has been a bit of a dull one. frequent blows causing close downs and often dirty water for long periods combined with poor temps seem to have caused a general delay and slowdown to common patters. To date I can only confirm a handful of squid caught(may be more but usually they hot news) and likewise the common spring run that I say comes up from the bay of Biscay to date hasnt happened on the walls. Now that may mean that we are getting that run and have had(mackerel) but it has remained offshore due to frequent weather disruption and I suspect this is the case but we are not yet into the “too late” timing yet so that “spring run for 10 days or so on the wall may still occur but as each day ticks off the less likely to happen. next weekend there is a decent mid day high tide and if it happens that is my best guess for a shoal or 2 running the walls until the main shoals from the North Atlantic happens in mid August.
Is the spring mackerel run and the spring squid run linked ? possibly, nature does show us food cycles and breeding patterns so possibly the squid run and early mackerel run are not a coincidence, I do know someone to chat to about the possible links. Anyway , there doent seem to be signs of squid spawn on the shore lines so either its happened somewhere else or is still to occur. Again if it happens I suspect we will see squid as well as mackerel next weekend.
Other catch info is that the plaice are there but many are still undersized and I suspect more are being returned (or should be) than keepers. Bass as always seem to tick over nicely on or close to the marina with a general peak size of about 6lb at the moment. There may be bigger catches but Ive not seen a report to really confirm that.
While walking the marina yesterday there were 3 or 4 small bass reported and a word of caution comes with this news. The IFCA (fisheries ppl) visited the walls yesterday as they often do as a random inspect sort of thing and Im reliably told that one angler was found to have an undersized bass on them. I dont know the outcome of this but the IFCA do prosecute people taking undersized illegal bass and if convicted as well as being hit with a fine you will get landed with the full court costs also that can run into 2-5k costs alone so please keep to the legal sizes and if you dont know the size requirements there is a page of info on this website.
Moving on(as I did:) ) there does seem to be an unusual amount of hound and dogfish pups being caught on the wall at the moment, as I have mentioned already plaice , there are a few dab being caught and also mixed in with the flatties some flounders. Not heard of any sole yet but they are due and possibly a case of not yet put into someones report for me to pick up on.
So far only a few bream have been landed on either wall but again I fully expect the catch reports for black and guilthead bream to increase. One or 2 reports of wrasse mostly on the east wall over the usual rocky areas and the mullet activity within the marina seems to be on the increase so get ready to start packing bread if you fancy a go at landing one.
Now you may notice most of the catch info is for the east, we thats usually where the best of the fishing is at the start of the year, yes may isnt the start I know that ! but often for me May is the start of the better of the fishing year on the marina so to me we are at the start of the year and this results in more reports of east wall activity so lets round up things on the west wall.
The west has atm far less species to catch simply because of the difference in ground type , the east is mostly sand the west is mostly rocky so species counts are a bit slower getting underway. This weekend has produces a few small plaice(trial and error sometimes finding sand patches) mid wall on sand areas that have opened up, bass of somewhat under sized nature, oddly both walls have had small gurnards caught tho usually gurnard tend to be more common over the sand on the east. Pout and rockling still seem to be the most common of catches and a bream or two also. Conger have been had on both walls also although none of any decent size.
The west has been open SAT/SUN at night but other than dogfish nothing has been reported to me in the way of catches. Now that doesnt mean nothing was caught, it just means I have no info on any catches at night.
There will be more night sessions added often with the info posted to the home page a day before it happens so please keep an eye on the home page if you wish to plan a trip down at night. As things get warmer visitor numbers will increase thus making it more viable to open more often at night on the west wall.
An unfortunate reminder now that night fishing will only be on the WEST from here on as the marina have instructed us not to open the EAST once it is dark. Current close time normally is 6pm , but again that will be revised and a later evening time is set once we get to better warmth at night.
Species reported caught over last 2-3 weeks include, bream, wrasse, dog fish pups, hound pups, thornback juveniles, bass, plaice, dab, flounders, conger, gobies, scorpion fish, whiting, gurnard and rockling. Now you may have noticed ive not mentioned mackerel in the recent catches!, well there have been some, but not many. yesterday there were maybe 5 or 6 on the east and 2 or 3 on the west wall but so far they have been few and far between even though there have been plenty a mile or so offshore. Disrupted weather , blows, dirty stirred up water have all added to that “JUMP” so far not happening, may rot is also very visible in the water. The rot may clear a bit over the next few days as the short/small tides get bigger with the result that the 6metre tides next weekend may bring much better fishing although the weather over the next 10 days looks somewhat changeable with wind directions all over the shop. Its been a weird few weeks that havnt done the fishing any good. Lets hope the fishing gods look down and think we deserve a break and something better.
well thats my essay done for today, until next time .. adieu
“bonk” holiday Mon pt2
Warning, its a long one