I arrived in Swansea the evening before the trip and spent a little time familiarising myself with the location, finding the tackle shop and Kevin's pickup point ready for the morning. Rogers tackle in Pilot House Wharf opens early enabling anglers to purchase bait prior to boarding your charter boat.
I phoned Kevin after 7pm to check whether the trip was on and although the forecast wasn't great we would be able to get out. Unfortunately Thursdays planned trip was cancelled as stormy weather was forecast to arrive wednesday evening.
Swansea Marina is joined to the sea via a lock and we joined a small flotilla of boats in the lock eagerly anticipating a day at sea.
As the muddy waters of the Bristol Channel are shallow I set up an uptider and lobbed my bait away from the boat, to get out of the scare zone.
Fish baits produced a string of LSDs with the odd small bullhuss. As smoothounds were being landed to crab, I baited up with crab and had three in three casts. The biggest hound just into double figures fell to Ray. It appears that the smoothound fishing is prolific with the larger hounds, fish to fourteen pounds being caught in May and June.
Our second mark offered a chance of a small eyed ray so I set out my stall with a large sandeel tipped with a strip of squid. It was tempting to go for the hounds as other anglers landed fish to just into double figures whilst my beautifully presented sandeels attracted a string of LSDs.
Ray joked that he had small eyes and therefore was a "small eyed Ray".
We anchored on the slope and fished down the bank, within minutes I had a series of slow taps as a ray maneuvered its body over the bait. I had expected the rod to pull over but the taps continued. I wound down and my first small eyed ray of around three pounds was boated. The next five casts produced a further five small eyed rays to nine pounds. I was surprised how well these fish fight compared to other rays that I have caught.
Thanks to Kevin and David for a super days sport out of Swansea. I will be back for a crack after a trigger fish.