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In last week’s article as well as the second accompanying video, my wife Debby was featured. If you read my Angling Journal on a regular basis you will be familiar at least with her name as I do mention her from time to time. But she has never had an appearance doing any actual fishing. However after an eight year absence, she turns up in consecutive weeks. Personally I think she did really well and I’m not just saying that because she’s my wife. I even joked on my twitter / facebook and asked if we might even see a Debby Bloor’s Angling Journal in the future! Unless we call it Debby Bloor’s Crab Line Journal though it won’t get off the ground, because all that she’s interested in. I tried to take advantage of the fact she caught some fish and offered to buy her a rod and reel but to no avail. The tackle shop we used in Holyhead (Winnie’s Worms) even had a pink ladies rod that I thought might tempt her. But to no avail!
After last week’s piece where we fished together, we ventured out another three times for a couple of hours in the evening. Our girls are grown up now and so decided to give angling a miss and watch TV instead, coming down at the end of the day for a walk so we could all meet up again. And with both of them being keen on food programmes, I got my inspiration for the article from one of the shows I know that they watch regularly. Hence Man v Food became Man v Wife. And that’s exactly what it was as Debby and I made our way across the rocks to cast out our respective lines. A contest. A match. A battle. Who said marriage was a partnership? In this instance it was a case of no ground given as the battle of the Bloors commenced on a rocky outcrop at Trearddur Bay.
As you will see from the accompanying video, my wife got off to a flying start and went 2-0 up. However I came back to make it all square. Then towards the end I took an extended lead, but fair play to Deb she never gave up and kept going after I had broken my rod down for the day. By now she was baiting her own hooks. Just as long as she didn’t have to do the head section of the ragworm she was happy enough! Resorting eventually to bits of worm I had discarded on the rocks, she persevered to level the score at 26 fish each! But try as she could, having numerous ‘last casts’ that winning fish remained elusive and so we eventually called it a draw.
Debby first had a go at crab line fishing some years ago when we went camping on the coast near Ilfracombe in Devon. In an identical way, I fished off the rocks with my sea gear and she fished alongside me with her preferred method! On that occasion she managed seven species of fish and even had other anglers casting closer and closer to where she was as they thought she must be on the fish. But the reality is that they were just casting too far in the first place. Sometimes we do have to put a good cast together to reach the fish but not when we are on rocks. The fish will be literally at our feet. Although she will find it a little taxing to say the least on a beach, as far as rock fishing is concerned, Debby has proved that if you just want a bit of cheap angling fun then a crab line is the way to go. I must point out that I did tie a proper rig with a decent lead weight to take it down though.
Although our head-to-head ended in a draw, our next two visits weren’t so close as the rod and reel definitely outfished the orange plastic and twine tackle that my wife preferred. Not that she failed to catch though as both times she caught ballan and corkwing wrasse and a blenny or two as well. The only time she really struggled was on the final session when the sea was much rougher than previously. That was when my proper gear really made the difference. As you can see from the picture on the right Debby did her best though as the waves crashed against the rocks. It’s also worth pointing out as well the importance of safety at this point. Wet rocks can be treacherous so bear that in mind as far as footwear is concerned if you do go fishing in certain conditions.
Our fishing took place at Trearddur Bay, which is the village that we stayed in. We had a lovely bungalow for the holiday that was just a few minutes walk from the coast. I certainly travelled light so with just a shoulder bag and a rod it was the weight equivalent of coarse angling’s stalking. And as for Debby you can’t get much lighter than her gear. Take the lead away and most of the fish she caught were heavier than her tackle! She certainly enjoyed herself and ultimately isn’t that what fishing is all about? Whether we are coarse, sea or game anglers and whatever style, species or tactics we employ it has to be about enjoyment. Although I must say that crab line isn’t really fishing is it! But as long as people enjoy what they do, that’s what it’s about.
It was on the final of our three visits to the rocks in this week’s article that I managed to get amongst the better fish. It all happened by chance really as the rough sea forced me to try a more sheltered spot that I wouldn’t have gone for otherwise as its location wasn’t as tempting. But I’m glad I did fish there as I caught three decent wrasse one after the other in consecutive casts. I’ll certainly know where to fish if we ever go back there!