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With our girls grown up and responsible, a couple of years or so ago my wife and I decided to take our first holiday together since our honeymoon 25 years ago. We stayed at Talacre which just on the edge of the North Wales coast as it becomes the Dee estuary, so it wasn’t far at all.
Not that we were expecting any issues, but in the event we did have to go back home, it wasn’t far to go. As it was, everything went to plan and since then we have holidayed again. One of the advantages is that we can avoid school holidays and get places much cheaper.
Looking at an Internet site, a place at Rhosneigr (photo 1) caught my eye. Advertised as 90 seconds from the beach, that suits Debby who loves the coast – and a minute and a half from water, well as far as I’m concerned, say no more. So, we booked it and in due course set off along the A5 bound for the beautiful island of Anglesey.
I’ve always loved Wales, and ever since, a few years ago, I discovered I have Welsh red stuff mingled in with my predominantly English blood, my love affair with the nation has merely intensified. My ancestors from across the border are all dim and distant though, mostly dim I would imagine!
Anyway, back to Cymru it was for our second vacation of 2012. After several weeks of pretty hostile weather we had certainly chosen our week well as it was a total reverse. A few days earlier we were experiencing snow in south Staffordshire, not to mention the hailstorms and temperatures not getting much above 9 or 10C.
During our time on Anglesey we had no rain at all and the thermometer reading hit the high 20’s. What a difference a few days make! And it really felt like summer when, on arrival, I saw a wheatear from the apartment. As we were in their breeding territory, the summer visitors from Africa were seen regularly during our stay. My wife snapped one with her camera (photo 2).
But what about the fishing? My first outing saw me down by the sea fishing an incoming tide. Such a lovely evening and just a couple of minutes from where we were staying so Debby decided to come along with me. She was busy with her camera and I decided to use a few of her shots that she took of me as I set up (photo 3), cast out (photo 4) and waited for a fish (photo 5).
But the camera was the only action of the evening as I didn’t get a single knock on either rod. I was fishing two hooks on each rig and baited with ragworm and lugworm. I know many anglers will go for other baits for bass but that was my opening shot.
And I decided to stay with that approach on my next outing to the local beach. And this time I had a fish (photo 6) even though I had to wait until almost midnight just as the tide turned. It was a solid take and having caught bass before I knew what was on the end as I struck.
As I brought it in and it broke the surface a few lengths out, it was great to see the silvery flanks glistening in the reflection of my headtorch. Hooked neatly in the mouth with a size 4 hook, this one was caught on ragworm. No wife to do the honours, that privilege fell to my self-timer, but after a shot it was returned back to the water.
Although we were on holiday I still needed to check my emails regularly in case there was anything that had to be acted upon urgently. Running a charity that works mostly in Africa there are often issues that need to be dealt with and so, with no wi-fi where we stayed, a trip to McDonald’s in Holyhead was on the cards so I could get connected.
In addition, I run the facebook page for Harris Sportsmail and so that had to be updated and of ourselves any customer enquiries deal with. Not that I am complaining about either, far from it. I love what I do and whether it’s the charitable work or the angling stuff, it’s all a labour of love.
But while at the restaurant my wife asked me what the bird was on the car park outside. Looking behind me I saw a rook (photo 7) that was approaching some people outside and obviously trying to get them to throw it food. I then watched as it walked the car park; any cars that had people in them eating, the bird went right up to them and stared up begging for food.
It was amazing to watch and I’ve never seen a rook behave like this before and certainly not in the middle of a town. I had seen two scavenging birds though earlier in the week on a Tesco car park so I seems the Anglesey rooks have certainly adapted and taken advantage of human hospitality!
My final outing for bass was on the evening of my silver wedding anniversary! Debby and I had a great day and she even decided to come and join me for a couple of hours on the beach outside the apartment (photo 8). Although dry it was quite windy on the coast and with the breeze blowing in from the sea, fishing wasn’t so easy.
In fact after I had a tangle first cast I decided to fish with just one rod and ditch the 4oz basic lead in favour of a 5oz grip one. It did the trick, other than the times when a big clump of weed caught the line and I had to recast. With the waves breaking about 30 metres out from the shore I wasn’t casting that far.
Some anglers make the mistake of always trying to cast to the horizon, and while a good chuck may be necessary at times, often the fish are much closer to home than we realise. So with the immediate shoreline being seriously stirred up by the breakers, the fish wouldn’t be that far out, particularly as I was fishing from late dusk.
Darkness gives fish greater confidence and with the conditions putting crustaceans and other small food items on the menu, what self-respecting bass could resist a feast like that?
My thinking proved correct as I landed (photo 9) and returned (photo 10) a few fish. A great way to end the day and one thing is for sure, we loved the place where we stayed and will be back next year. So more bass on the menu for me, albeit not a literal one!
If you want to keep in touch with my angling adventures, along with other things then follow me on twitter. As well as what’s going on at the water’s edge I tweet other stuff as well. And don’t forget to check out my Angling Journal website, which is updated every Saturday with an article. And if you’re interested, here’s the facebook page for Harris Sportsmail.
In fact, next week’s article is again from Anglesey, with lesser spotted dogfish being the focus of attention. As I often write, I’m a genuine all-rounder and am happy fishing for any species. And don’t forget to check out the June video which was filmed on Anglesey. (article published June 9 2012).