I love sea fishing, although living in the centre of England I do find the opportunities fairly limited. It’s not practical – either from a time or cost of petrol perspective – to drive all the way to the coast for a session. However, since our girls have become adults themselves, my wife and I have been able to take plenty of vacations. We can actually have three weeks or more a year for the price of one when we were tied to school-term times only.
There is just one other factor that I have to take into account and that’s The New Saints’ fixture list. Usually it involves arriving late on the evening and often, like this time round, departing on the Friday evening so I can be back on track the next day. Not that I’m complaining, far from it. Being involved in the world of professional football is not exactly much of a hardship is it? So, sandwiched between Airbus UK Broughton and Newtown AFC, Debby and I headed to Kinmel Bay for our first holiday of the year.
I knew it was going to be a difficult week when I saw not only the size of the tides but also the timing of them. I wasn’t exactly ticking the boxes that I wanted to, but like life itself the best thing to do is just get on with it. You never catch sitting at home, or in my case in a caravan. I did one session on the beach in front of the caravan park but, apart from one that I’ll come to later, all the others were at Deganwy on the Conwy estuary.
I have fished there before, but many years ago. Going for the low water option I did a number of visits to the well-known angling mark. It is extremely picturesque and I loved the scenery, with snow-capped hills towering over the town of Conwy to my left and Ynys Mon (Anglesey) visible beyond the open sea, with Puffin island in the foreground, to my right. Although I am English, I do have Welsh blood albeit thinly, flowing through my veins, and I’m very proud of that.
There is a saying that some people ‘change like the weather’, well the basis for that saying was confirmed very much over the week. Not from a person angle but the conditions. One day the sea was as smooth as a pane of glass, the next winds of 50 m.p.h battered the coast. Then it was dry, followed by torrential rain and in reference to the previously-mentioned snow-topped hills, even a dusting of the white stuff on high ground as well.
I caught small codling, in fact very small ones indeed, with all of them fitting quite nicely in the palm of my hand. Then there were the crabs, they were out in abundance and although most of them dropped off on the retrieve some were landed, not hooked but just holding on to the lugworm. Even when I held them I had to prise their claws away from the bait. I did have a couple of what I suspected were flounder knocks, but nothing developed.
As always, I also enjoyed the natural world. Birding is very much about being in the right place at the right time. Consequently, I added quite a few species to my 2016 tick list including merlin, red-breasted merganser, turnstone, redshank, ringed plover, wigeon and sanderling. Whether it’s the fixed geographical environment or the ever-changing natural world that resides within it, you can’t beat the great outdoors can you?
Usually high on my agenda, I only made the one visit to the Clwyd estuary at Rhyl this time round. The height and times of the tides didn’t work out. However, towards the end of the vacation I did make one trip there. If you’ve been following my blog in recent times then you’ll be familiar with the name Kai Edwards. A professional footballer with TNS, he’s never been fishing in his life. Well until this week anyway. Mind, he still hasn’t caught a fish as we both blanked.
I chose a spot where I’ve caught plenty before, in fact with whiting around I’ve had double-headers galore. However – and I’m not making excuses – the previously mentioned tides just didn’t tick any boxes for us. It was still great fun though and undeterred, when I got back to the caravan, I had a text from Kai saying he had added catching a fish to his bucket list for 2016. Well, mine is to help him fulfil that, so as they say, watch this space. You can connect with me on Facebook, click HERE. (Published March 19 2016)