Wednesday 28 July 2021

End or the Tour

 Well, when I say end of the ( camper ) tour, what I really mean is, end of the spring/early summer tour.

The late summer/autumn tour will be different, probably shorter trips. Maybe.

The species hunt has ground to a halt. I think I'm on 48 now and many of the species remaining will need proper targeting. The good news is that the next three or four months will be the best time of year.

Late August and sole, various gurnard, mullet and wrasse species, huss, garfish and scad are all on the radar and are all well catchable given reasonable conditions.

Couple of pics from the north west coast of Wales. Yet another stunning bit of coastline.

You can see how rammed the beaches were. Or not. Admittedly, it was a bit of a trek to reach these spots but it keeps everyone away. Says Meldrew.

Few weeks work and I'm off to the south west somewhere, just for a shortish trip.

Toodle pip.

Tuesday 20 July 2021


Keep this place a secret, it's the new "Best Place In The World".

Parked in the camper five hundred feet up on the cliffs, facing Ireland, with Anglesey to the north, Snowdonia to the east and the broad expanse of  Cardigan Bay to the south.

I can see all of it in an amazing three hundred and sixty degree panoramic scenic extravaganza. Like the purple prose ?

Getting down to the rock marks is, err, challenging. The type of place where official advice would be "don't fish alone or in bad weather, wear a life jacket, approach with extreme caution, etc".

To be fair, the speed of the tide race is frightening. If you fall in you're not getting out. Well, not alive anyway. Best not fall in then.

It's taken a bit of time to get to grips with what happens with the tides. They constantly stop and start and fishing when it's slack water seems a waste of time, for pollack and mackerel at least. But when the water starts flowing the fish usually switch on immediately.

Yesterday evening I had some very big mackerel and a few pollack,  which hit the metal lures right on the edge of the main flow. One after another for an hour or so until the flow slackened.

After a killer trek back up the cliff, I cooked and shared them with another bloke in the van parked up next to me, just as the sun set over a clear sky and flat calm sea.

Another perfect day.

Monday 19 July 2021

The Wild West

Somehow I've never spent much time in Wales, so next stop from the Wye valley was "somewhere" ( yet to be decided, I just stop when I see somewhere I fancy usually ) in Wales.

Somewhere turned a out to be Ynyslas, near Aberdyfi. Great place, park up right on the beach and about about a mile from the Dovey estuary.

Saw plenty of fish, right close in the breakers, bass or mullet, but I couldn't catch them.

After a couple of days I pointed the van north, got to Porthmadog and then headed west to the extreme tip of the Lleyn Peninsula. What a place.

Amazingly good weather. Warm, sunny, pretty much windless.

The fishing was quite hard, but plenty of pollack and a few wrasse and mackerel. I've eaten fish most days so looking forward to catching feck all so I can have a change of diet.

It's proper wild out here, with surprisingly few people once you get away from the access points, despite it being mid July.

Might be here few for a while longer I reckon.

Friday 9 July 2021

A River Runs Through It

The campsite I'm staying at I mean. Strangled grammar and misspellings ahoy.

River Wye, Hereford Rowing Club, seven and a half quid a night with access to bogs, showers and their clubhoose showing the football. Can't beat that eh ?

England actually looked like a proper team, playing "keep ball" at the end like...Brazil ?

Everybody has an opinion on football so here's mine.

Grealish and Foden have got to start, surely ?

Hazza Kane not my fave but keeps producing even when playing shite. And he's the king at winning free kicks when he has no support and is going nowhere.

Pickford is an absolute liabilty and hugely annoying as he berates other players whilst have a meltdown himself. He reminds me of that other erratic gobshite, Joe Hart. 

Anyway, to the fishing. Campsite is right on the river, but deep and slow here. Apparently excellent for winter roach.

This meant I had to get the walking boots on and venture upstream a mile or three. Lovely here, really pacy, gullies, cover, gravel. Booootiful.

Seeing the river I was ultra confident of a barbel or two. Bit too confident, as I struggled to get a bite in seemingly perfect swims. Rolling meat close in the rod eventually donked twice, hooped round and a decent chub surfaced. Ah well, a start.

I then moved into a "I'll sell my house, all it's contents and my kids if I don't get a barbel here" type of swim. took a while but I got one, a cracking fish of about 6lb which took a big bit of rolling meat. Wahoooo !

I managed another one a bit smaller on a pellet fished dangerously close to some snags plus some small chub. A really interesting day.

Might even have another go tomorrow.

Monday 5 July 2021

Ragged Troosers, Mishaps and Near Misses

 Near misses ? Doesn't make sense does it ?

1. When I left the house I drove twenty five miles with the electric steps on the camper still down. Second time I've done it.

Not advisable. If you hit anything it would ruin the beloved camper. And the other fellow wouldn't be best pleased either. Another motorist waved madly and pointed at the steps, thanks who ever you are.

2. Even more frightening, I left the side slide-out storage box unlocked and it did what it slid open....on the mean streets of Poole. It would have broke a pedestrians legs or worse. Not funny.  Saved again by another motorist hooting. Got away with it, but I'm well in to my nine lives.

3. I've driven off campsites twice this month leaving a pair of shoes and washing up bowl full of plates and cutlery. Moronic, but unlikely to be the last time I fear.

4. I've worn out two pairs of, admittedly old, walking boots and a pair of trail shoes. Not forgetting trashing a stinking pair of peel off shorts. Actually, they'll do another week...

This trip is costing me a goddam fortune. Oh well.

Saturday 3 July 2021

Madness or Hunger ?

Before I went to The Best Place In The World I parked up at a place a few miles away, by a long shingle beach.

As part of the species hunt I wanted a giant goby and I'd been told of a rock pool that usually held a few. My plan was to walk to to the mark, starting along the beach before rising up and down along the coast path. The views are stunning.

Reaching the pool it looked, well, rather small. Could this be the place ? Lowering the Isome in and no reaction. Hmm. I knocked a limpet off the rock, put a small bit on and as if by magic the legendary giant goby appeared and wolfed it down . Wahooo !

It was a nine or ten mile round trip to get here, all for a little fish. I know what you're thinking, you're fecking mad. Possibly, but as Steve Peters ( The Chimp Paradox, read it ) said, " Everything is as important or unimportant as you choose to make it ". And anyway, some sad sods spend their days washing the car or doing DIY.

I then found a spot high on the cliffs and watched the England v Germany match live on the phone, shouting and swearing in glorious isolation.

On the way back I stopped off at a little cove to try for some mackerel for the barby and hopefully a sandeel for the species hunt.

A couple of casts in and a clonking great makkie hit the metal lure. Lovely. It was a beautifully still evening, the sea like the proverbial mill pond.

Another couple of makkie followed when the rod was almost wrenched from my grasp, it turned out to be a bass, one of two I had that night. 

Putting on some micro feathers I managed to winkle out a lesser sandeel followed by a lance on a small metal lure a few casts later. Another two in the bag for the species hunt.

Another great day, a long trek but well worth it.

The Best Place in the World

I pointed the van westwards and chugged along for a couple of hours to a quite remote part of Devon. Well, not remote but difficult to get to in a big square box of a camper van.

Squeezing along the high walled lanes I came to a tiny village and found a place to stop. A proper breakfast on the green and I was on the usual long trek to do some rock fishing.

I've been here on many occasions and it is, officially, The Best Place in the World. Absolutely stunning and usually fairly quiet especially early in the morning or in the evening.

Wrasse lures at the ready and I tried several spots where I muttered the usual " there MUST be fish here ". Maybe there was but I couldn't catch them. 

I moved to an absolute banker mark, a little rock sticking out into a bay, surrounded by deep gullies with 25 plus feet of water under your rod tip. After twenty minutes and just a few rattles, the rod whacked over as a fish crashed into the lure under the rod tip.

The clutch was done up tight but still a few yards of line ripped off. I was grateful for the short heavy nylon rubbing leader I'd tied a few minutes before. A beautifully coloured wrasse appeared in the gin clear water and I carefully used the  gentle swell to bank the fish on the rocks.

What an amazing looking fish.

Next day I tried a different area, shallower but with boulders, weed and loads of cover. I had a couple of wrasse and then started dicking around in a massive rock pool that was thirty yards long or more. I love messing around in places like this.

I put on a small piece of Isome worm and a split shot an inch away and lowered it in, jigging it along the bottom. First fish to show was a giant goby. Not a big goby, a fish called a Giant Goby. I hope you're taking notes ?

Very aggressive creatures, it appeared from nowhere and munched the lure immediately.

The fish in these rock pools are ultra wary of any disturbance and seem to be able to see or sense you from miles away, you really do have to creep about very carefully. Which makes it even more fun.

More gobies followed along with lots of shannys ( or shannies.....) and then a couple of quite stunning scorpion fish. I watched as these little beasts whacked into the lure.

The tide was now starting to flood so I called it a day and started the long trek back where cheese and cider were waiting to be demolished.

Another great day.