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2006 REVIEW

2006 The year that was...
 

2006 and our first full year as the South Wales Fish Fighters and not a bad first year as things turned out. The fishing hasn't always gone to plan but in general the good sessions have outweighed the bad ones. One thing we've consistently had is a laugh, all credit to the lads you couldn't fish with a better group of people. Even when the fishing was shite the constant banter has kept us going. We've had some memorable nights out during 2006 and some good friendships have been made, long may they continue into 2007 and beyond.

 

Below is our review of 2006, it includes brief details on each month and some of the best photographs of the year which can be enlarged by left clicking on them. There’s also some detailed information and graphs on the marks we fished and the fish we caught during the year. The monthly information on the diary page will be left where it is; all other stats for 2006 are now on this page.

 

January - March

 

January - The start of a new year saw us take 5 trips, first up was Cold Knap, then our one and only trip in 2006 to Cardiff Forshore, follwed by Penarth, Sudbrook and finally back to Cold Knap. We managed 5 species and 43 fish, mainly consisting of codling and whiting. The size of the fish was an issue with the biggest fish of the month being pouting, one landed by Elpez2k and the other by Tezza. Both the fish in question were just short of 1lb.

 

February - This month saw us take 6 trips, 4 to Sudbrook and 2 to Penarth. A good month in terms of fish landed with us catching 55 all of which were codling. An excellent month in terms of weather for this time of year and some great early morning trips were taken. Again the size wasn't great the biggest being Gaz407's Sudbrook codling of around 1lb.

 

March - During March we took 5 trips and visited some new venues. We started off at Sudbrook before visiting Friars point and Toms point in Barry. The bad weather seen us move from Toms point after around an hours fishing to Cold Knap to try and escape the strong wind. We then took a trip to Mumbles pier for a charity event before finishing the month back at Sudbrook. Only 2 species this month codling and whiting. We managed 34 fish the biggest being Shane B's Sudbrook codling off around 1lb and Elpez2k's codling just short of 1lb caught off Friars point in Barry.

 

Overall it was an enjoyable first 3 months of the year. The fish were small but at least there were plenty out there to catch. From the reports coming in on world sea fishing not many anglers were doing much better in terms of size anyway. The weather was kind with January and February being mild and mainly dry. March saw a better size fish come along but still nothing like what we hoped for.

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April  - June
 

April - A really good month for the SWFF we took 7 trips starting at Sudbrook, then on to Penarth, Sudbrook, St Brides, Cold Knap, new venue Cods Gulley at Ogmore and finishing the month back at Cold Knap. We were joined by new member Tackle tart at the start of the month and GI Joe joined us towards the end of the month. We saw the summer species arriving in big numbers and mixed with the winter species this gave us a really productive month. We landed 7 species and 119 fish, 121 if we had included the fish caught by Elpez2k's guests Tank and Lloydy. Best night of the month fell at Cods Gulley where nearly the entire SWFF were joined by 2 World Sea Fishing forum members Rockling and Codeye Joe. The SWFF managed 76 fish in one night. Biggest fish of the month had to be the numerous dogfish caught all around 1.5 - 2lb.

 

May - After such a good April the SWFF were looking forward to a productive month. Alas it didn't go that way 5 trips were taken, first trip of the month was taken by Elpez2k and The Codfather at a boiling hot Cods Gulley, then on to Ogmore (lawns area), Cold Knap, new venue Aberthaw and finally St Brides. The SWFF managed 5 species but only 16 fish. Biggest fish of the month was Elpez2k's conger just short of 4lb in weight. On a more solemn note this month saw the death of The Codfathers favourite rod the B-SQAURE Pilkmaster pro.

 

June - An improvement over May but still a disappointing month.8 trips were taken 3 to Cold Knap, 3 to Ogmore (2 at cods gulley 1 at the lawns) and 1 each to Aberthaw and new venue Jackson’s bay. 7 species were landed but only 25 fish. New member SeaRead (who later became the Cold Knap Kid CKK) joined us at what seemed a disappointing time after the summer started so well. A few good fish this month with Elpez2k catching a nice pouting of around 1lb and landing the 1st bass of the year, also Shane B catching the 1st 3 bearded rockling of the year.

 

 

After such a good April to say we were disappointed with May and June would be an understatement. At least the weather felt more like summer and we got the chance to do a little exploring and visit a few new marks. Nice to have a few new members onboard in the form of Tackle Tart, Gi Joe and the Cold Knap Kid.

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July - September
 

July - An all time low for the SWFF, we took 5 trips to: Black pipe, Cold Knap, Aberthaw, Goldcliff and new venue Porthkerry. The weather stayed pretty much unchanged all month, dry and hot with very little wind. The SWFF only managed 2 species and 5 fish all month. 1 bass caught on spinner at Aberthaw and 4 conger. At least the size gave some entertainment with both Elpez2k and CKK landing conger around 5lb in weight.

 

AugustAt last a change in fortune, after 3 poor months things finally started to pick up for the SWFF. 7 trips were taken Aberthaw, Lavernock and Redwick were already familiar to the SWFF. Tresilian, Caswell and Snaples point were new venues. The month finished off with a trip back to old favourite Sudbrook. We managed 7 species and 25 fish. Best fish of the month fell to Elpez2k with his 2.5lb float caught bass and first SWFF tub Gurnard. With out a doubt highlight of the month was CKK pulling a double figure conger from the murky depths of Sudbrook. Unfortunately we didn't get a clear photograph or weight, despite this CKK was ecstatic and has had nothing else but hunting conger on the brain for the rest of the year.

 

September - Over the month we took 6 trips, 2 of which were split into 2 trips. We started off Penarth before a monster session at Mumbles which saw CKK head off to Penarth after leaving Swansea, the big spring tides caused havoc at St Brides which ended up seeing the SWFF move to Lavernock before trips to cods gulley, Sudbrook and Goldcliff ended the month. We managed 11 species and 42 fish 35 of which were caught in one session at Mumbles. Biggest fish of the month was The Codfathers 2.5lb ray caught at cods gulley.

 

After a terrible July at last things improved, I think we realised that to catch large numbers of fish we had to push further west than Swansea as basically there wasn't much to target in the east end of the channel except for conger on the beachcasters. There were some excellent fish landed and lost over this period. The conger nicknamed "The General" by CKK and the Codfather lost a good ray of 5-6lb not long after his 2.5lber was landed. September provided a enjoyable day at Mumbles that finally seen us get some summer species on the board in the form of mackerel, wrasse, goby, plaice and black bream, it was also great fun using the lighter gear and live sandeel baits.

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October - December
 

October - This month saw the fish we'd been longing for all year come all in one month. We took 9 trips trying out new mark Barry waterfront twice, Sudbrook 3 times, Penarth once, Goldcliff, Ogmore deeps and Cold Knap. We managed 9 species and 36 fish. Some great fish were landed this month; Elpez2k managed a 5lb bass at Penarth and a 2lb mullet at Barry waterfront. The same venue threw up a monster 7lb bass for Shane B and BTF landed a fantastic 8.5lb bass at Cold Knap that seen him make the pages of Sea Angler. October also seen new member Wanna join us for his first trip, despite him becoming a regular from October on his catches were not included for 2006 preferring to wait until the New Year to kick start his stats.

 

November - The SWFF attention returns to the Codling with some early trips providing some good fish. We took 5 trips this month, more would have been taken but the weather during November was very rough. We managed trips to Goldcliff, Porthkerry, Penarth, Sudbrook and new SWFF venue the Transporter bridge in Newport. Overall November landed us 18 fish and 4 species biggest of which were Shane B's Sudbrook codling of around 2.5lb.

 

December - The end of the year and the SWFF went out in style.7 trips were taken this month 3 to Porthcawl, 2 Sudbrook and 1 each to Penarth and Cold Knap. This month seen us land 96 fish and 7 species; although most of the fish were small it was enough to take us over the target of 500 fish for the year. Also the first trip to Porthcawl gave Elpez2k, CKK and Wanna a busy night with over 50 fish landed in one night. It also provided us with the biggest fish of the month a 5.5lb small eyed ray for Elpez2k.

 

The final 3 months of the year did see the fishing pick up and the SWFF get some decent sized fish on the board. The codling we had caught the winter before had improved in size and coupled with a few nice bass and the ray this proved to be our most successful quarter of 2006 in terms of quality fish landed. Nice to have new member Wanna onboard at least BIG E will have a challenger for "falling over the most" next year. It was also nice to get most of the lads out for one monster session at Porthcawl before the year ended.

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Fishing Venues
 

During 2006 and we visited 24 venues 10 of which were completely new to any of us. Sudbrook, Cold Knap and Penarth were the 3 most visited but not necessarily the most productive. Out of the newly visited marks Cods Gulley, Barry waterfront and Caswell impressed as did Aberthaw, if you can stand the tackle loss. Barry waterfront also impressed for ease of fishing even if we did discover it a little late in the year. Theres a large chunk of coastline between Penarth and Swansea that we have yet to fish. Some trips have been taken to look at marks such as St Mary's, Marcross, Monknash and Jackstones hopefully we'll get chance to try them out over 2007. Below are some graphs showing details on the venues we visited during 2006.

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The Fish
 

Overall we managed 22 species and 514 fish giving us a combined SWFF catch ratio of 6.76 fish per trip, leaving us more than happy by the end of the year. Although it was a disappointment for us not landing any smoothhound, bullhuss or pollack. Being honest apart from a few sessions targeting the smoothhound we very rarely went after a specific species of fish all year, so we have only ourselves to blame. Size was an issue with the Codling and whiting caught although this did pick up towards the end of the year. Some healthy size fish were landed out of the other species although none were anywhere near specimen size. The graphs below show numbers of fish caught and monthly catch rates over 2006.

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2006 Statistics
 
Below are the catch table, ratio, blank session and Species league used during 2006.

FISH/
NAME
COD
BASS
WHITING
DOGFISH
CONGER
MACKEREL
3/5 BEARDED ROCKLING
POUTING
FLATFISH
RAY
 OTHERS

No of times fishing

Total

Elpez2k
42
7
26
65
7
5
0
8
1 Turbot
2 small-eyed
1 Tub Gurnard,
3 Black Bream,
6 Goby,
1 Wrasse,
 2 Mullet,
2 Silver eel
73
178
Shane B
48
2
17
24
0
2
4 (5 bearded)
1 (3 bearded)
2
1 plaice,
1 Flounder
0
2 silver eel,
 17 Black Bream,
 1 Tub Gurnard,
1 Smelt,
1 Goby
37
124
Codfather
21
0
8
19
0
0
2 (5 bearded)
2
1 Turbot
1 small-eyed
2 silver eel
43
56
CKK
2
3
4
33
8
0
0
1
1 Turbot
1 Small-Eyed
0
29
53
BTF
13
1
8
6
0
0
1(5 bearded)
2
0
0
1 Garfish,
1 Silver eel
11
33
Gaz 407
8
0
10
12
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
11
31
Tezza
4
0
2
3
0
0
1(5 bearded)
1
0
1 Thornback
0
9
12
Silverback
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
9
GI Joe
0
0
3
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
9
Big E
1
0
1
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7
5
Tackle Tart
1
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
4

NAME
NUMBER OF TRIPS
NUMBER OF FISH
FISH/TRIP RATIO
GI JOE
2
9
4.50
SHANE B
37
124
3.35
BTF
11
33
3.00
GAZ407
11
31
2.81
ELPEZ2K
73
178
2.43
CKK
29
53
1.82
SILVERBACK
5
9
1.80
TEZZA
9
12
1.33
TACKLE TART
3
4
1.33
CODFATHER
43
56
1.30
BIG E
7
5
0.71

NAME
NUMBER OF TRIPS
NUMBER OF BLANKS
BLANKING RATIO
SILVERBACK
5
3
1.66
TEZZA
9
5
1.80
CODFATHER
43
21
2.04
CKK
29
14
2.07
BIG E
7
3
2.33
SHANE B
37
10
3.70
GAZ407
11
3
3.66
ELPEZ2K
73
14
5.21
BTF
11
1
11.00
TACKLE TART
3
0
N/A
GI JOE
2
0
N/A

NAME
SPECIES CAUGHT
TOTAL
ELPEZ2K
cod, whiting, pouting, dogfish, conger, bass, tub gurnard, turbot, black bream, goby,  ballan wrasse, mackerel, small-eyed ray, thick lipped mullet, silver eel
15
SHANE B
cod, whiting, rockling(5), rockling(3), dogfish, silver eel, bass, pouting, black bream, tub gurnard, mackerel, plaice, goby, smelt, flounder
15
BTF
cod, whiting, rockling(5), dogfish, pouting, garfish, bass, silver eel
8
CODFATHER
cod, whiting, pouting, rockling(5), dogfish, turbot, small-eyed ray, silver eel
8
CKK
codling, pouting, dogfish, conger, turbot, small-eyed ray, bass, whiting
8
TEZZA
cod, whiting, pouting, rockling(5), dogfish, thornback ray
6
GAZ407
cod, whiting, pouting, dogfish
4
BIG E
cod, dogfish, whiting
3
TACKLE TART
cod, dogfish, whiting
3
GI JOE
dogfish, whiting
2
SILVERBACK
cod
1

So what have we learnt?

Well if we have learnt anything it’s what you are told will provide good fishing will not always provide good fishing. What do I mean? An easterly wind is usually a night to stay in the warm as anglers will often tell you fish don’t feed when the wind blows from the east. Yet some of our best nights fishing have come on easterly winds take Cods gulley in April for example. Also the cod run only lasting from September until January, we were catching codling in good numbers up until April and still seen the odd codling all the way through the year. I think what you can some up from this is that the channel is forever changing and nothing should be taken for granted. I hope that when this website is 4 or 5 years old we might start to see a pattern emerging that may provide some insight into what happens in the Bristol Channel.

 

Some things we have learnt are:

 

Never fish St Brides on a 15.4m tide!

Never set up your gear next to BIG E and keep your hands and feet away from his mouth at all times.

Never expect BIG E to come fishing with less than 20 bags of crisps.

Never expect Gi Joe to come fishing with less than 22 bags of crisps.

Never set up next to Wanna unless you need help unhooking dogfish.

Never expect The Codfather to turn up for a whole session.

Never buy a B-SQUARE Pilkmaster pro fishing rod from Aldi's

Don't expect CKK to be happy unless pulling in the Moby Dick of congers.

Don't expect to hear CKK say "I like it here" when fishing in the Newport area

Don't expect Elpez2k to be the first to pull his rod in at the end of the night.

Don't expect Elpez2k to leave a venue with his rig wallet intact.

Don't expect Shane B to say "that’s too small it doesn't count".

Don't expect Tackle Tart to come fishing if there’s even the slightest chance of him getting laid instead.

Don't expect Gaz407 to say "I’ll unhook that for you"

Never put your spanky new ziplex on the roof rack.

Don’t expect BTF to say "that’s OK dad I don’t mind you beating me"

 

On a serious note, October providing us with a good run of bass all caught on whole squid, the conger around the Newport area of the channel during July- August and fishing west of Swansea during the summer months are all things we'll take advantage of next year.

 

Also don’t ever expect to visit a new venue and everything run smoothly unless you've done your home work first. We took trips to Cardiff barrage and Marcross this year but without some knowledge of either venue both trips turned into disasters and weren’t included in the years reports.

 

One other thing we've learned this year is that not all anglers have respect for their environment or the fish they're catching. We've seen some horrific scenes of anglers harming fish for no apparent reason and some beautiful areas of coastline left littered with rubbish. There's really no need for either of these things to happen, respect should be given to the fish you catch as  if they weren’t there you'd be out of a hobby. As for the rubbish thing, well if you take it there with you how hard is it to take your left overs back home. Most venues we have visited have bins located somewhere near where you would park so what’s the hardship? Thankfully this is only a small minority of idiots who do these things, let’s just hope they don’t spoil things for all of us....

 
 

The Future
 
I think I can safely say we are all really looking forward to 2007. We now have a target of 22 species and 514 fish to beat this year, which I'm sure we'll try our best to better. Some new venues are also something we intend to look into as is targeting specific species like the smoothhound. We had some great fun on the lighter gear in 2006 and the plan is to try and fit more trips in using the float tackle and lures during the summer months of 2007. Also Shane B has set us all an objective for 2007 of catching a double figure fish from the shore.
 
Hopefully 2007 will see more of Silverback, BIG E, TT and GI Joe (now known as "The Dogmiester"). The SWFF would also like to welcome new member Wanner onboard. I would also like to wish the lads the best of luck for the year ahead, tight lines lads.......
 
Elpez2k

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