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January 2007

Friars Point, Wed 3rd Jan, High Tide 18.56 (14.0m) strong W

 

The start of a new year and with 2006 now a quickly fading memory the SWFF headed out to open the accounts for 2007. Unfortunately 2007 didn't welcome us with open arms. The weather was some of the worst weather the SWFF have ever dared to go out and fish in. Despite this Elpez2k and Shane B headed down to Font-Y-Gary to meet up with WSF member Rockling. The lads arrived around 6.00pm at quickly located Rockling and fellow WSF forum member Seahawk fishing off one of the ledges in very strong winds. Seahawk had already managed a nice codling but with only another 3 hours fishing at the ledge and the SWFF fancying a few hours more they headed off to a mark on Friars Point suggested by Rockling called "smelly hole".

 

The lads arrived at Friars and were welcomed by a monster down pour of rain while making their way to the point. Smelly hole was quickly sniffed out and gave some excellent cover from the westerly wind. The lads set up a rod each and first casts hit the water at 6.40pm. The rain stopped almost as soon as the lads hit the water but the wind was incredible, it was easily the strongest winds the SWFF have ever fished in. Luckily Elpez2k and Shane B were tucked up against a rock face out of the wind, the rods weren't so lucky the tips were bouncing around and bite detection was going to be very difficult. Smelly hole was very smelly, there was empty bait packets, cans and bottles everywhere. On top of tis there was a massive amount of line strewn all over the place. This really pissed the lads off and they went about clearing up as much as they could, shying away from the pissy rock pools only.

 

High tide came around 7.00pm and the lads were feeling a little unsure as to whether this opening night was going to throw up any fish. Although they were armed with lug and crab prime bait for cod, a few mackie and a box of squid would have been good as this mark is known for throwing up the odd good conger and whiting. Around 7.30pm and the prime cod bait showed its worth despite the SWFF's concerns. Through the strong wind Shane B had a good bite that turned into a consistent rattle on his rod tip. He struck and made connection with a fish, he reeled in to around 25 yards short of the point when the rig became snagged. After a brief struggle Shane B managed to free the snag and brought a nice codling of 1lb 4oz to the shore. "First of the year it’s going back" was the cry from Shane B and after a quick photo the fish was released to fight another day.

 

The first fish of the year raised the hopes of the lads and they doubled their efforts to try and put a few more on the board. Elpez2k changed to a stiffer rod hoping to dampen down the effect the wind was having on the tip and Shane B went about constructing one of his monster baits, hoping to hit his double figure fish challenge on the first trip.

 

Into the ebb and no more bites for our intrepid duo, the only action was the lifeboat leaving Barry Harbour on an exercise. Despite the wind the rain had now cleared completely and tucked up in smelly hole it was feeling like a mild night. The lads decided to fish on and try and get rid of the bait that was left and hopefully a few more fish.

 

9pm and a little slice of action for both members in the form of a lost rig, Shane B's snagged on the way in and Elpez2k managed his 1st birds nest of the year trying to "blast one out there" and watched his rig crack off and fly towards Bristol. By 10pm the lads were getting fed up, not a single good bite despite a few small knocks for both members. 10.45pm and the SWFF decided to end the 1st trip of the year. Not a great night to start 2007 but I’m sure there will be others like it. The lads packed up and took the windy walk back to the cars, Shane B with a spring in his step and Elpez2k carrying the sardines of shame!

 

Shane b - 1 codling

Elpez2k - blanked

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Mumbles Pier, Sun 7th Jan, High Tide 8.35 (11.7m) Str SW/W
 

With a poor first trip to start the year off, the SWFF made plans to try and get some fish on the board by taking an all day session at Mumbles pier. Plans were made midweek despite the nasty weather fronts approaching to head down for opening time and fish until the pier closed. A similar trip was taken back in September last year with some good results, unfortunately the weather was not as kind for our 1st trip west of 2007.

 

Elpez2k, Shane B and Wanna headed off at 6.30am and after a fuel up at McDonalds they reached Knab rock by 8am. With the pier not opening until 9am they sat back and chilled in the Bongofury and watched a few other anglers fishing, to pass the time Wanna showed off his stab wound from his last trip off 2006 and talked about his harem of women folk. A decision will be made in the next few weeks as to whether we should change his name to Sugardaddy, Hue Heffner or Stringfellow. At 8.30 am the lads headed over to the pier and waited for opening time with several other anglers.

 

9am and the gates were opened, despite a very slippery surface even Wanna made it to the fishing platform without falling arse over tit. The lads had the sacred right hand corner and quickly went about setting up. The wind was horrific to say the least, luckily the rain had held off but it was going to be hard work in such strong winds. The lads didn’t mind the weather, armed with mackie, squid and lug felt optimistic about the day ahead and their optimism was repaid almost instantly. Elpez2k saw a bite through the wind 10 minutes after casting; a strike made connection with the first fish of the day a chunky looking dogfish of around 1.75lb. Soon after Wanna also landed his first fish of the day, a good bite resulted in a healthy whiting of around 12oz.  It didn't take long for Wanna to open up a lead and by 10am he had another whiting and a dogfish on the board too. Elpez2k and Shane B could only look on while Wanna started pulling away.

 

By 11am Elpez2k also had a whiting to show for his efforts quickly followed by another dogfish. Shane B sat back and watched the action and slowly unpacked his deadly scratcher knowing his time would come. Around 11.45am there was a flurry of activity, Elpez2k landing yet another doggie, Wanna landing his 3rd species of the day in the form of a Dab and finally Shane B joining in the fun with 2 dogfish in quick succession.

 

Midday saw a bit of a slump in the fishing, the bites dropped off and the wind picked up causing tackle boxes, bait bags and rod rests to start sliding around. To add to the lad’s frustration the guy next to them was using sparkplugs for weights and was constantly tangling lines with Shane B and Elpez2k. The SWFF had set up a bit of a base camp against the back of the platform using Elpez2k's fishing umbrella which was by now starting to collapse under the immense winds.

 

By 12.30 things were picking back up, wanna had another whiting taking his tally to 3 for the day. Shane B had unpacked the black bream rig of death that was so successful last year and was dangling it over the side. Elpez2k got in on the dab action landing his first ever of the species, quickly followed by another whiting. By 1.00pm Shane B had got the rig of death working, not black bream this time but pouting.

 

2pm Shane B had managed 3 or 4 pouting and Elpez2k and Wanna joined in the scratching action as the bites on the big rods were drying up a little. Despite this Elpez2k pulled in a nice dab on the beachcaster although the bite wasn't detected in the now full on gale that was blowing. Shane B was now pulling in pouting at an unbelievable rate by 2.30pm he was up to 10. Wanna and Elpez2k tried their best but just couldn't get a look in, then all of a sudden Elpez2k had a clonker of a bite on the light gear which resulted in his first ever pollack.  

 

3pm and Shane B's one man demolition of the UK's pouting stocks continued, he was now up to around 15. The other SWFF members were having no such luck on the scratchers. But Elpez2k was still managing to pull the fish in. This time it was a pouting that could of easily eaten several of the little buggers Shane B was catching. Sparky the mental caster had caused more mayhem and Elpez2k managed yet another birdie making one rod redundant.

 

By 4pm Shane B had pulled in another 5 pouting taking his tally to 20 and also managed 2 pollack. Just to stamp his authorita on the other lads he also pulled in a dab on the zippy. Wanna looked on in dismay he had started at a phenomenal rate but had peaked by dinner time, if only he had eaten a mince pie to keep his strength up things could of been oh so different. 4.15pm and the lads called it a day, the only thing more decimated than the pouting stocks was Elpez2k's fishing umbrella tied to the railings. It was now nothing more than a twisted pile of metal looking more like a chimney sweep. Despite the harsh weather, sparky the magic caster and a knackered umbrella the lads managed more species and fish in 1 day than the SWFF managed all of last January, and a good day was had by all. Wanna still in one piece after a session? Wonders will never cease...

 

Shane B - 20 pouting, 3 dogfish, 2 pollack, 1 dab

Elpez2k - 4 dabs, 3 dogfish, 3 whiting, 1 pouting, 1 pollack

Wanna -  3 whiting, 1 dogfish, 1 dab

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Knab Rock, Fri 12th Jan, High Tide 00.24 (9.8m) strong SW/W
 

January has been a bad month in terms of weather; despite this the stats were looking good mid month thanks to the trip to mumbles. With the weather still playing havoc Elpez2k, Wanna and CKK (1st trip of the year) headed out to Knab Rock to escape the strong winds and hopefully catch some fish.

 

The SWFF headed off around 8.30pm in strong SW winds and patchy rain. The hour long drive was taken to Knab rock a new venue for the SWFF but many members have fished here individually before. The lads arrived around 9.30pm to find the water already hitting the wall and a few other anglers out braving the weather. Knab Rock offers great shelter from the strong winds and tonight was no different, the wind was much lighter but there was a heavy shower of fine rain to welcome the lads. They set up on the right hand side close to Knab Rock itself and 1st casts hit the water around 9.50pm. The lads sat back and waited for the first call to action...

 

9.51pm Before Elpez2k's weight had chance to settle on the sea bed a bite came along. A quick strike and a missed fish, a quick rebait and a cast and another bite within 2 minutes. This time Elpez2k landed his 1st doggie of the night, a good size too around 1.5lb. Elpez2k turned to CKK "another Porthcawl night on the cards me thinks".  By 10.00pm CKK had landed his first fish of the year, yep another dogfish and again a healthy size of around 1.5lb.

 

By 10.30pm Wanna also had a dogfish on the board, Elpez2k had managed a double hit doggie and whiting on the same rig. CKK had landed another 3 dogfish including his first double hit of the night. The rain was coming down but it wasn't heavy, more of a drizzle.

 

11.30pm the dogfish onslaught continued, they were falling to anything you chucked at them. Elpez2k and CKK took a break and had some food and a cuppa, both members were tied on 9 dogs and a whiting; Wanna was behind on 5 dogs. The weather improved and the rain died off, the other anglers were fairing the same with only dogfish being caught all along the wall.

 

Midnight and the rain stopped completely the SWFF fished on and spent an hour hammering the fish out, the dogs were unstoppable nothing else got a look in. Only CKK was managing the odd whiting instead. Elpez2k pulled away as Wanna and CKK discussed router problems for 20 minutes or so. Double hits were coming in for both CKK and Elpez2k one included 2 dogfish tangled in the rig neither hooked. There were all sizes of dogfish coming out from some of the smallest the lads had ever seen to some good fish of 2lb.

 

By 1 am the lads were both well into double figures of dogs with Wanna trailing with 7. Elpez2k and CKK issued Wanna with a warning, unless he made 10 fish by the end of the night he'd be going home with the sardines of shame. Wanna sprang into action like a gazelle, instantly pulling in another dogfish to take his tally to 8 for the night.

 

1.30am and Elpez2k and CKK had brought in a rod in each and continued to pull in doggies on the other rod while packing away. Wanna was getting a sweat on he pulled in another doggie (number 9) just as the lads gave him a 10 minute warning. He threw the rig straight back out without changing the bait, just as Elpez2k and CKK put the last of their gear into the van Wanna had another bite. After a minute or two holding the rod he felt a kick and wound in to find his 1st whiting of the night and escape his sardines of shame challenge. A good night had been had by the lads and a total of 50 fish had been added to the month’s total. Where would we be without the humble dogfish?

 

Elpez2k -  21 dogfish, 1 whiting

CKK - 15 dogfish, 3 whiting

Wanna 9 dogfish, 1 whiting

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Porthkerry, Sun 21st Jan, High tide 20.40 (14.7m) strong W

 

Its official January sucks! Not in terms of fishing but the weather, all month the SWFF have been forced to fish wind "friendly" venues. Strong South West/ Westerly and heavy rain have plagued the entire month with only a hand full of dry days unfortunately falling on the days when the tides were at unsociable hours. Despite this the SWFF headed to Cold Knap in Barry hoping that the bad weather would not cause too many problems...

 

Elpez2k, Wanna and CKK arrived at Cold Knap to find a few brave anglers out fishing in strong westerly winds, the direction meant that the night would be spent casting into the wind and the lads didn't fancy this one bit. After a quick discussion they headed over to Friars point hoping that the point might offer some cover. The lads arrived at Friars and the weather seemed much calmer, after suiting up and unpacking they took the short walk out onto the point. Around halfway along the point the wind picked up and by the time the lads were at the end of the point it was hard enough to stand up in let alone fish. The only option left was the snaggy ground at Porthkerry; the SWFF packed the Bongo back up and took the short drive over to Porthkerry meeting up with The Codfather and Tezza on the way.

 

By now over an hour had been wasted scouting around different venues and it was nearly 7pm and into the golden 2 hours before high tide. The SWFF set up at the end of the path not wanting to waste any more time. First casts hit the water around 7.20pm, the weather was much kinder than the other venues visited and at least if the lads were to blank it was in comfortable conditions.

 

To be honest the fishing was terrible, by high tide not a single bite had been reported by any member. To make matters worse every half hour or so the heavens would open to shower the lads with rain or hail. It was also much colder than recent nights and the weather and lack of fish were putting the lad’s patience to the test.

 

By an hour down only Wanna had recorded a bite despite the lads putting in their best efforts. Squid, mackerel, live peeler and ragworm had been tried in various combinations to no avail. Elpez2k, Wanna and CKK had lost rigs to the snaggy bottom. Another down pour of hail signalled the end for The Codfather and Tezza both members blanking on their 1st trips of the year, not the way they hoped to start their 2007 campaigns.

 

Wanna, Elpez2k and CKK fished on in hope of something, Elpez2k had switched to a 3 hook flapper usually a tactic he would have strayed away from over such rocky ground. At last with half hour to go a few bites came the way of Elpez2k, unfortunately the first two came to nothing. The lads went about packing up slowly and as Elpez2k pulled in his last rod a small pouting appeared out of the sea attached to the bottom hook of the flapper. Only a small fish but it saved the embarrassment of another blank so early in the year.

 

This month is turning out to be very different from the same time last year. A lot of this is to do with the weather forcing us to fish venues we wouldn't have dreamt of fishing last January. Luckily this has provided us with a good tally of fish considering the harsh conditions. With the month coming to and end and the weather apparently turning much colder are we going to get the chance to hit some quality winter species before February? Watch this space.....

 

Elpez2k - 1 Pouting

CKK - Blanked

Wanna - Blanked

The Codfather - Blanked

Tezza - Blanked

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Knab Rock, Tues 21st Jan, High tide 21.31 (12.0m) light W/SW
 

Finally a break in the terrible weather and a chance for the SWFF to take new member Buzzsaw on his first SWFF outing. Elpez2k, Shane B and Wanna decided to break the new member in gently with a trip to Knab rock in Swansea, although Buzzsaw has some fishing experience he had never caught a dogfish, with the SWFF managing 45 in their last trip to the Knab surely it wasn't going to be a problem managing that?

 

The SWFF left Newport at 6pm and after a quick sprint down the M4 the lads were at Knab rock by 7.15pm and quickly went about setting up. The weather was good with hardly and wind and the sea like a garden pond. By 7.30pm most members had at least one rod in the sea, the lads were optimistic with a bucket load of bait including squid, mackie, sandeel and rag they were looking forward to a good night.

 

First to strike was new member Buzzsaw, after a good bite he wound in his first SWFF fish, a small whiting of around 2-3oz. Wanna joined him landing a whiting of similar size shortly after. By 8pm Shane B had managed a pair of whiting biggest around 6oz, and Buzzsaw had also landed another a similar size. Wanna had managed to attract a bunch of teenie groupies, how he does it is a mystery.

 

Just after 8pm and Wanna managed to break his pouting duck by landing his first of the year, finally ending Shane B's pouting jokes. Elpez2k then got in on the action by landing his first whiting of the night, again only small biggest 4-5oz followed by a plastic bag. With a few fish now showing Elpez2k and Shane B went about unpacking the lighter gear hoping for some action close to the wall.

 

By 9pm Buzzsaw had added a third whiting to his tally, Shane B had managed a pouting and dogfish and Elpez2k had landed a very nice "baguette de jour" plastic bag that put up an awesome fight. In amongst the bag was a double hit of whiting to go with it. As the tide approached its peak a few more fish were landed including a nice pollack for Shane B and another whiting for Elpez2k both caught on the lighter gear. Shane B also managed to hook a large tree which put up a good struggle; it came off at the edge of the wall if only they had a drop net.

 

High tide and Elpez2k and Shane B headed off towards town in search of a chippy leaving the other lads to fish on. A few bites came the way of Wanna and Buzzsaw but no fish to show of it. The other lads returned around 10pm bringing with them kebabs and chips, after a quick chow down it was back to the fishing. The bites were slowing down and only the odd small knock would come along every 10 minutes or so. Elpez2k did manage another plastic bag to add to the 2 he had already caught, although they fight hard they're not easy to unhook and are dead as soon as they hit the shore.

 

By 11pm the bites were getting very rare and only Buzzsaw seemed to be getting any. One good bite did come his way that seen him leap to his rod and strike like he was hitting a mako shark. No fish on when the rig when it broke the water, that fish will think twice before eating again if it’s got a bottom jaw left that is. Shane B had got so desperate he tried some kebab meat which did result in the slightest of knocks, we do think it could of been BIG E in scuba gear.

 

 By 11.30pm there were still no more fish and the lads went about packing up slowly. It had gone quiet all along the wall and even though there was a good hour and a half left to fish most people were packing up. By midnight the lads had pulled in the last of the rods with no more fish to show for their efforts. 

 

Not a bad night overall, if it had fished as well as it did for the first two hours it could of been an excellent night. At least their were a few new species on the stats for Shane B and Wanna and no one had to go home with a blank. Poor old Buzzsaw missed out on his dogfish but I'm sure we'll have the odd 1or 2 before December.

 

Shane B - 3 whiting, 1 dogfish, 1 pollack, 1 pouting

Elpez2k - 4 whiting

Buzzsaw - 3 whiting

Wanna - 1 whiting, 1 pouting

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Trannie, Wed 24 Jan, High tide 22.56 (13.2m) Mild N/NW
 

With some mackie and ragworm left over from the trip to Knab rock on Tuesday the SWFF decided to try the transporter bridge in Newport for a couple of hours. An excellent mark for whiting and flounder back in the day, the lads hoped for a few fish and maybe a new species or two.

 

Elpez2k, Shane B and Wanna arrived around 9.30pm and set up on around half way along the railings. The wind was a bit stronger than Tuesday’s excursion and it was bitterly cold. This didn't put the lads off as the easy fishing of the "trannie" means you can fish from the car, and this is exactly what the lads did. The gear was scaled down for this trip and all the lads were on flappers with smaller hooks. All the lads threw a beachcaster out too, but the light rods were the main point of concentration. First casts hit the water just before 10pm.

 

Just after 10pm and a phone call from The Codfather to say he would be there shortly, Shane B and Elpez2k had both had small bites on the scratchers but they had come to nothing. 10.30pm and The Codfather arrived to take the SWFF meet to 4 members, he quickly set up and chucked out a rag/mackie combo. Another small knock came along for Shane B around 10.45 and then a good bite for The Codfather resulting in his first fish of the night and year, a nice sized flounder of around 10 - 12oz.

 

The Codfathers arrival seemed to of triggered a feeding frenzy amongst the sea dwelling creatures and all of a sudden Shane B and Elpez2k were getting good bites too. Shane B was next to land a fish, another flounder of similar size to The Codfathers, this was followed by another for Shane B on the lighter gear and another decent size this one around the 12-14oz mark. Elpez2k had a good knock on the beachcaster at the same time and pulled in a double hit of flounder, 1 around 1lb the other much smaller.

 

The fishing continued to impress as both Shane B and Elpez2k carried on catching, Shane B managing another good flounder of 12 -14oz and Elpez2k another slightly smaller at around 10oz. Wanna finally got in on the action around 11.20pm with his first flounder of the evening again a nice size of around 12oz. All the fish had come in a short space of time roughly 20 minutes either side of high tide, the bites were now dropping off slightly. Elpez2k lost his 2nd rig of the night making the beachcaster redundant.

 

As midnight approached The Codfather, Elpez2k and Shane B all started to pack up, even though there was 2 hours fishing left 2 trips in 2 days and work commitments had taken there toll so the lads headed for home leaving Wanna to fish on. No more fish came Wanna's way even though he fished on until nearly 2am. Despite this the lads had an entertaining night with some quality fish from local venue. It may not fish like it used to in the old skool days but it was well worth the visit.

 

Shane B - 4 flounder

Elpez2k - 3 flounder

The Codfather - 1 flounder

Wanna - 1 flounder

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Cold Knap, Fri 26th Jan, High tide 00.23 (13.1m) light NW
 

With a January coming to an end the SWFF have managed a healthy bag of fish and are enjoying the good fishing. The lads were out again after just 2 days break to take the months trip count to 7 and with only 3 fish needed to set a best monthly record for the SWFF the lads headed out full off optimism.

 

Wanna had already headed down to Cold Knap and Elpez2k, CKK and The Codfather arrived around 10.30pm, around half an hour behind Wanna. The lads quickly located old "jelly legs" and set up next to him more or less in line with the toilet blocks. There were a few other anglers fishing along the beach but it was reasonably quiet for such a nice night. The wind was almost non existent and it was mild considering recent days. Wanna had been fishing for around half hour with his brother Mark but had no fish to show for it. The rest of the SWFF quickly joined in hoping for a few fish as high tide approached.

 

The hour up until high tide went by quickly and without much action. Wanna did manage a good sized whiting of around 12-14oz as did Mark. Apart from the two whiting not a single bite was registered by Elpez2k, CKK or The Codfather. Elpez2k also went about losing his first rig of the night after a nasty snag.

 

Into the ebb and a slight improvement, The Codfather managed his first fish of the night around 40 minutes after the turn of the tide. Shortly after Wanna landed a small pouting, Mark also managed another small whiting. CKK was concentrating on the conger using a small whiting and pouting caught by Wanna and Mark for bait. Elpez2k was fishing for ray as a few had been caught here recently, but was having no luck.

 

1.00am and thing weren’t going well, Elpez2k had lost another rig and was yet to have a bite as was CKK. The Codfather had managed to pull another whiting all the way to shore before it fell off in the surf. With no other bites showing the lads called half hour until pack up. Just when all seemed lost for our two blankers Elpez2k managed to pull in a tiny whiting when going to change the bait saving his blushes. Then with 10 minutes to go and Elpez2k ready to hand over the "dines" to CKK he manages to pull in a nice size whiting caught on whiting to save the day.

 

Elpez2k, CKK and The Codfather headed for home leaving Wanna and Mark to fish on. No other fish were landed by Mark although Wanna did manage one other whiting. Not a great trip but enough fish to make it our best month on record.

 

Wanna - 2 whiting, 1 pouting

The Codfather - 1 whiting

Elpez2k - 1 whiting

CKK - 1 whiting

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