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March 2007

Monknash, Sat 3rd March, Low Tide 13.00 (5.2m), Mild S/SW
 

Wanner and Elpez2k decided to fish a WSF meet arranged by Rockling. Wanner had fished Monknash many moons ago but it was another new venue for Elpez2k. With the weather looking good for the Saturday morning trip the lads left Newport around 10am hoping to bag an early ray.

 

The lads arrived at Monknash and took the long walk down to the beach, the weather was perfect and it almost felt like a summer’s morning. The lads reached the beach around 11.30am and quickly located Rockling, after a quick chat they set up close to the pathway leading down to the beach. The lads were only fishing one rod each and quickly went about setting up, first casts hit the water around 11.45am.

 

The lads took in the sights and chilled in the morning sun, there were lots of other anglers on the beach most of which were WSF members. Most of the lads had been fishing for around half hour before the SWFF arrived but there was only one small turbot to show for it.

 

Low water arrived and Elpez2k took a stroll over to chat wit Rockling, not a single bite had been registered by either SWFF member. Rockling wasn't fairing much better and had decided to move down the beach. Both Elpez2k and Wanner were far too lazy to do the same and stuck to their original spot. Elpez2k was swapping between long and low, pulley and flapper rigs and finally a knock came along just after low water. A quick strike and reel in led to disappointment as there was no fish on the end of the rig.

 

Into the flood and no improvement, the last few trips really have been bleak affairs and it looked like this trip was to be no different. By and hour into flood the SWFF still had no fish to show for their efforts and the water was now making its way up the beach and quite a speed. Both members had snag trouble resulting in a lost rig each.

 

2pm and some of the other WSF members were leaving, reports were coming in of the odd turbot but nothing much had been caught. With the weather being so kind the SWFF decided to stick it out as long as possible. The lads fished on until around 3.15pm but no bites came along. The lads packed up and took the long walk up to the carpark. Despite the lack of fish a good day had been had, with the first bit of tidy weather we've seen this year. Let’s hope next time we visit the fishing’s a little better.

 

Elpez2k - Blanked

Wanner - Blanked

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St Brides Bay, Sat 17th Mar, High tide 17.04 (0.0m) Mod W/SW
 

With the fishing being poor for quite a few weeks close to home, the SWFF decided that it was a perfect time to head west and explore some new venues. Shane B, Wanner and Elpez2k headed off from Newport around midday and took the 2.5 hour drive to St Bride’s bay. The weather had been good all week and the drive down was a mixture of strong sunshine followed by overcast skies, but no rain which was a blessing after recent weeks. The weather was forecast to worsen later on in the day, but the lure of a possible bullhuss and a bag load of new species were too good an opportunity to miss.

 

The lads arrived at St Brides around 3pm and after a quick scout around the beach area they took the 20 minute walk to the mark. The lads were buzzing, full of anticipation and all looking forward to a good session. "It’s like something out of and Enid Blyton book, I f**king loves it!" was Shane B's outburst when the lads reached the mark. Old jelly legs Wanner didn't share his enthusiasm at climbing down the dodgy looking pathway to the ledges, but some encouragement from Shane B soon had him on the move. By 3.30pm all the lads were safely down on the ledges and setting up at record pace.

 

First casts hit the water around 3.45pm and the lads sat back and took in their new surroundings. The venue was awesome, despite the lads fishing some cracking venues since setting up the SWFF nothing quite prepares you for the beauty of the coastline around west Wales. The sea was choppy and the cliffs on the other side of the bay were taking a pounding from the waves. By 4pm the lads all had 2 rod set up each and were in the process of unpacking the lighter gear.

 

By 4.30pm the lads were settled and the lighter gear was now out in force. There were large gulleys carved into the rocks either side of the ledge and Shane B had dropped a line into the left-hand gulley while Elpez2k had done the same on the right. Around 4.45pm the first bite came along, Elpez2k turned to see his light rod bending towards the sea and the line being stripped. A quick strike missed the fish and the opportunity to open the account for the day. Around 10 minutes later and the left-hand gulley gave the SWFF an opening. Shane B struck after a good bite and reeled in his first 3 bearded rockling of the year.

 

5pm and Shane B was back in the gulley looking for more fish, Wanner was now unpacking his light gear as the best part of an hour and a half had passed without a single bite for the SWFF on the beachcasters. Elpez2k had managed to lose a couple of rigs to add to the frustration. Just after high tide and Wanner let out a scream to Shane B as the light rod doubled over. Shane B struck and hit into a good fish, with the water being so clear it was soon evident that Shane B had a good sized wrasse on the other end of the line. He worked his way down the gulley until the fish was within grasping distance, finally safely ashore was Shane B's first wrasse a cracking 2lb 10oz ballan.

 

Into the ebb and Wanner and Elpez2k could only look on as Shane B landed yet another species in the shape of a monster 4oz blenny, quickly followed up by another wrasse. This time the fish was smaller but still a very pretty fish that caused some confusion between the lads as to whether it was the same species as the first. Elpez2k was loosing his patience as yet another rig went AWOL on the seabed. Finally Wanner broke his duck around 6pm as he reeled in his first wrasse of the year.

 

Around an hour down and the weather was starting to worsen, the wind was picking up and there was a light shower of rain. Shane B carried on "opening a can of whoop-ass" on the other members by pulling in a small pollack, again on the lighter gear. With the wind picking up Elpez2k moved the beachcasters closer to the other lads and moved the light rod over to the left-hand gulley. At last Elpez2k chance came begging, Shane B shouted across as a bite registered on Elpez2k's rod tip, and after a quick strike he pulled in his first ever rockling to end nearly 2 years of ridicule and humiliation.

 

7pm and the lads fished on despite the ever worsening weather, Elpez2k managed to land another rockling around 7.25pm and quickly followed this up with a 3rd around 20 minutes later. As 8pm approached the lads discussed packing up and moving to another venue slightly less perilous. Finally the decision was made to end the session, as Wanner pulled in the light gear a double hit of rockling awaited him to take his tally to 3 fish and 2 species for the day.

 

The lads left St Brides around 9pm and headed for Milford Haven, after a refuel at Mc D's the lads drove around checking out Neyland and a few other marks in the area. With the weather now looking very rough the lads decided to call it a night and head for home. Despite the lack of fish on the beachcasters a good day was had by all, 3 new species on the stats and a good days banter at a quality venue what more could you ask for???

 

Shane B - 1 ballan wrasse, 1 corkwing wrasse, 1 rockling(3), 1 blenny, 1 pollack
Wanner - 2 rockling(3), 1 corkwing wrasse
Elpez2k - 3 rockling(3)

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Swansea West, Wed 21st Mar, High Tide 21.00 (12.8m) Light W
 

The SWFF had made several attempts to fish Swansea West pier but something had always spoiled the party. After a whole day of nagging from Shane B finally Elpez2k gave in and the lads made plans to hit the pier that night. Wanner was informed and the lads met up and set off from Newport around 7.00pm. The drive down went smoothly for a change and the lads arrived around 8.15pm and headed straight for the end of the pier. The lads chatted to a few other anglers on the way down the pier and reports of the odd dog or whiting were coming in.

 

The lads reached the end and set up; first casts hit the water around high tide. Shane B and Elpez2k had opted to fish in towards the marina and east pier, while Wanner was fish out into Swansea bay. It didn't take long for the bites to start showing and after 20 minutes Elpez2k had the 1st of the night’s dogfish ashore. The bites were a little slower for Shane B and Elpez2k on there side and after half hour or so Wanner had managed 2 fish and was receiving lots more bites.

 

Elpez2k swapped side and joined Wanner fishing into the bay; Shane B had managed a few small whiting close to the pier wall. Elpez2k move paid off instantly and the dogs started coming in at a steady rate on some old smelly mackie he was using for bait. By an hour into the flood Elpez2k was building up a healthy lead, Wanner and Shane B were both still in the running but were having quieter evenings.

 

2 Hours into the ebb and Shane B swapped sides to join Wanner and Elpez2k; there were still plenty of bites most in close to the pier wall. Despite the good weather most of the other anglers were packing up or had already left. The dogs and whiting kept coming at a steady pace with a fish being landed every 10 minutes or so.

 

3 hours down and the water was starting to drop off, the lads fished until the bitter end and there was still fish to be caught up to the last cast. The SWFF finally headed for home around half midnight. A good night had been had by all and another top venue had been tried and tested.

 

Elpez2k - 11 dogfish, 3 whiting

Wanner - 4 dogfish, 7 whiting

Shane B - 4 dogfish, 6 whiting

 
 
 

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Cold Knap, Friday 23rd Mar, High Tide 21.51 (14.7m)
 

Gaz407 and BTF ventured out for the 2nd trip of the year by heading to Cold Knap a favourite hunting ground for BTF. Unfortunately none of the other lads could make the trip, but the dynamic duo headed down anyway hoping for a good night.

 

The father and son combo fish from 2 hours before high but the fishing was slow at best. Once again BTF gave his oldman a kick up the arse by landing a thornback ray (first for the SWFF this year) weighing in at 3lb just before high tide. Soon after BTF was smiling again as a nice sized pouting took his fish tally to two.

 

Into the ebb and the slow fishing got even slower, by 2 hours down the lads had no more fish to show for their efforts. The lads packed up and called it a night BTF happy with another successful night at Cold Knap and Gaz407 heading back home with the "sardines of shame".

 

BTF - 1 Thornback Ray, 1 Pouting

Gaz407 - Blanked

 
 

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Ogmore Deeps, Mar 27th, Low tide 20.30 (7.9m) Light NE
 

Elpez2k, Shane B, Wanner and his bro Mark headed for Ogmore deeps to fish from low water to high. Reports had bee coming in that the deeps was fishing well. Wanner and Mark had also had a good session at the deeps a week or so earlier. The lads took what now seems a short journey to Ogmore and arrived around 8pm. The wind was mild compared to recent days and it almost had a summers evening feel to it.

 

The lads started fishing around low water and despite their worries over how well this venue would perform; it didn't take long for the fish to start biting. After just 10 short minutes Elpez2k hooked into a fish and brought a nice sized dogfish to the surface. As he reeled the fish up the rocks his mainline snapped taking the fish, rig and shock leader back into the depths. Shane B was next to hook into a fish and managed to bring his first doggie of the night safely ashore. The fishing carried on at a steady pace for both Shane B and Elpez2k, Mark had bagged a dog or two after the first hour, Wanner wasn't fairing quite as well he was still on a blank.

 

Into the flood and the fishing slowed for Elpez2k and Mark, Wanner was still struggling and Shane B was pulling away from the pack with a now healthy number of dogfish. He changed tactics and went for larger bait and stuck another rod close to the wall resulting in a few pin whiting.

 

2 hours up and Elpez2k had managed a few whiting and Wanner had got himself on the board with 2 dogfish in quick succession. Mark had also landed another couple of fish and now had a mixed bag of dogs and whiting. Shane B was doing well and to add to his already growing number of fish a good bite came along resulting in a good scrap with possibly a big conger. Shane B fought with the fish for around a minute and got it within 20- 30 yards of the rocks, but the beast would not surface and his slightly soft Ziplex was feeling the strain. As he tried to pull the spawn of Satan to the surface there was a crack of line and the moment and Shane B's rig was gone...

 

The lads fished on for around an hour and a half and left the venue just gone midnight. Not a bad night producing lots of dogs and whiting to the tally, shame there wasn't a conger to add to it.

 

Shane B - 7 dogfish, 4 whiting

Elpez2k - 3 dogfish, 2 whiting

Wanner - 2 dogfish

 

Block House, Mar 31st, High Tide 18.23 (6.3m) Strong NE
 

Elpez2k, Wanner and Shane B took their second trip this month to West Wales hoping to bag some new species and do some more exploring before the summer months arrive. The SWFF plan to spend a lot more time in this area over the summer months and despite the steep learning curve the trio headed down to Marloes full of optimism and excitement. The drive took just over 2 hours and the lads arrived at the mark suggested by Rockling around 3pm. A scruffy looking farmer dude welcomed the lads and showed them where to park and head, he did warn the weather was far too rough to fish but the lads went and took a look at the mark anyway. The farmer was right with the wind hitting the lads clean in the chops there was now way they could fish here, it was back to the car out with the map and find another mark.

 

Luckily Elpez2k had brought along directions to another mark at St Ann's suggested by Conger Queen another WSF member. A quick check on the map and the lads could see the wind would be behind them at this mark so it was back in the car and back on the road. The lads took the short drive over to St Ann's taking in Dales along the way. They followed the directions and stopped at every possible place to look for ledges along the route. Eventually the lads arrived at a strange looking building cut into the rocks known as the Blockhouse. There were some tasty looking ledges just to the right of the building and Shane B wasted no time scuttling down the rocks to take a closer look. Elpez2k was unsure of whether this area could be fished as CQ had thought there might be some restrictions. Shane B was determined to give it a go and scuttled back up the rocks and went to the blockhouse and knocked the door. A terrified looking posh bird answered the door to be confronted by a hyper active Shane B asking whether they could fish on the ledges. She told him she knew no reason why they couldn't and didn't object so off the lads went to get the gear.

 

The lads were on the ledge by 4.30pm and quickly went about setting up, Shane B was so hyper by now it took him 25 minutes to set up his tripod. Elpez2k was fishing by the time he had managed to get his rod and reel together. The weather was perfect the sun was out and the lads were totally shielded from the NE wind. The lads chucked a beach caster out each and unpacked the light gear; Elpez2k tried the float tactics for around 20 minutes while the other lads set up. No bites came along so he changed to a small weight and 3 hook flapper combo. The bites on the beach casters were slow to start off, but the light rods cast close to the rocks started well again. Elpez2k had a bite within seconds of casting the 3 hook flapper which resulted in a small ballan wrasse, his first for this year. Within a couple minutes he was into his 2nd another slightly bigger ballan still only a couple of ounces. Within 10 minutes another wrasse came along for Elpez2k this time a corkwing almost identical to Shane B's fish a few weeks earlier. In all the commotion Elpez2k had also missed a knock on the beach caster as had Shane B.

 

High tide arrived and a knock on the beach caster resulted in a 3 bearded rockling for Shane B quickly followed by another. The lads were encountering the same problems that they had at St Brides, once the beach casters had gone out there was now way they were coming back unless there was a fish attached. Whether it was kelp, a rock covered sea bed or structure was not known. But what ever it was it was eating leads like Big E eats Quavers.

 

The lads fished into the first hour of ebb as the sun went down, the fishing went quiet giving Elpez2k time to explore and check out the surrounding terrain. He didn't like what he could see; there were outcrops of rock breaking the water slightly of shore around the points on both sides of him. Wanner was in ruins, the thought of the "dines" heading his way, the loss of gear and the bust up with Mrs. Wanner before the lads had left had him in a somber mood. Elpez2k made a call to move now before it was too late, to an easier mark to fish for a few hours before they left for home. The lads packed up around 7.30pm and headed to Hobbs Point.

 

The walk back up to the car was killer but eventually the left the blockhouse and arrived at Hobbs Point just around 8.45pm. The lads quickly set up and launched some big baits as far as they could into the briny. Out came the light gear and over the wall it went. What a contrast at this venue, the wind was howling and it felt more like a winters evening. The beach casters let the lads down again with no bites in the first hour, the light gear proved its worth again with small pollack falling to both Elpez2k and Shane B.

 

10pm and the tide was really pulling, the beach casters were of no use although the lads did seem to be avoiding the snaggy bottom. Elpez2k had managed a pouting and finally Wanner avoided the "dines" with a brace of small pollock. After a long chat with a local about a few marks the lads packed up. 11pm and our brave trio headed for home, no new species to add to the board but another quality day out amongst some fantastic coastline.

 

Elpez2k - 2 ballan wrasse, 1 corkwing wrasse, 3 pollack, 1 pouting

Shane B - 2 Rockling (3), 1 ballan wrasse, 3 pollack

Wanner - 2 pollack

 

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