Thursday, 28 July 2011

You are Absolutely Topeless!

Gethyn Owen is one of Wales best skippers and I recently enjoyed four days fishing aboard My Way. After talking to Geth I decided to target a cuckoo wrasse, tope and spotted ray for my species hunt. Rather than recounting on a daily basis the fish I caught I thought that I would take the opportunity to give the reader a flavour of what the fishing is like off Holyhead.

With the exception of the superlative smoothound fishing available in late May the fishing here falls into three main categories.

I have a soft spot for wrasse fishing and most days will see an hour or two spent drifting over a variety of rocky marks around south stack or behind the breakwater. The lead should be heavy enough to keep the line vertical, every rock can be felt through the braid and line should be given or retrieved as necessary to maintain contact with the bottom. Expect to lose some tackle but lifting the lead a couple of inches every five seconds miminises snag ups. Resist the urge to strike the rattles and merely lift into the wrasse when the tip pulls right over.

A section of ragworm is the best bait, I added a three quarter inch strip of mackerel to increase the chance of a cuckoo wrasse. After Geth demonstrated how to catch a cuckoo wrasse on the Monday, I finally caught a female cuckoo on the Tuesday. Mackerel strip results in pollack and coalies. During my trip the crew caught ballan, cuckoo and corkwing wrasse, poor cod, pollack, cod and scorpion fish on the drift. Although we spent some time feathering up mackerel they were thin on the ground, I managed a sprat (literally), others added codling and the largest launce I have ever seen.

Colin the seal has visited the boat on a regular basis over the last few years and associates Geth with a free meal. Talking of free meals a trip on My Way includes lunch, sausage butties, chilli, cake and cheesecake were on offer during my visit.

The banter on board is excellent. Don't leave a rod unattended..... you never know what you might catch. Young Ryan's running commentary on the fight with the rubber chicken that Geth had put on the end of his line was priceless.

During neap tides if the weather allows, it is possible to fish the Holyhead Deeps for a few hours around slack water. According to Geth the fishing was poor, despite this on the Monday most anglers aboard managed a double figure bullhuss. A couple of spurdog and three pack tope were also landed. Tuesday was slower, again three few tope were landed. I was still waiting for my tope leading to Geth commenting that I was absolutely topeless at fishing. On Wednesday I was part of a three tope tangle, mine was the smallest by far. We all had plenty of bites although the dreaded LSDs abound.

Ever noticed that when ladies are on board they usually outfish the blokes. I am sure Annie's huss is bigger than mine. Geth had a photo of a huss with the number 17 on it's flank which I refused to accept as genuine, after seeing the number 3 on another huss I am now not so sure!

When the wind or tide doesn't permit a trip to the Deeps there is a variety of inshore fishing at anchor available. As I was aiming for a spotted ray I fished with a three hook flowing trace with size 4 aberdeens baited with a three inch thin strip of mackerel.

As well as a couple of spotted rays, I managed red and grey gurnards, LSDs, codling, dabs, whiting, bulhuss and a starry smoothhound. I had thought that I had jammed out a common but on closer investigation it had faint spots. Other anglers added plaice and thornback rays to the bag. After the rays I scaled down and fished baited size 12 sabikkis hoping for a dragonet.

A light boat rod covers the inshore work, I used a boat quivertip which both maximises fun and gives great bite indication. A twenty pound class rod covers the deeps where up to two pounds of lead are required to hold bottom.

I would recommend a trip out with Geth to anyone, as even a poor day's fishing is entertaining aboard My Way!