2011 Aboard My Way

 

 

2011 cheap mlb jerseys kicked off with My Way being lifted out of the sea for some well earned TLC.

We pull the boat out of the water each year for various jobs, along with a routine service My Way was this time due a good lick of paint.

Stripping the red right back, the undercoat for the red was pink. Yes I did 2009 receive some very unwelcome comments and wolf whistles!

     

Our first few trips of 2011 saw is staying close inshore and fishing around our numerous marks in Holyhead Bay. Early season in Holyhead is never going to set the angling world alight with record breakers. If weather allows us to move offshore, we may be lucky enough to hook into congers, spurs and huss, but normally we tend to maximise the fishing time and fish in and around the bay.

Here for certain the fishing is going to be consistent with plenty of fish and a fair good variety of species coming to those anglers braving the cold mornings winter breeze!

Reliable species include dogfish, dabs, whiting, codling and huss all of which are caught on the majority of marks we fish early season in our Bay. You can then add to the mix, pollack, coalies, thornbacks and blonde rays along with a fair amount of mini specie.

It’s a good time of year to have a go at catching fish in numbers, regardless of specie and size a proper test for aspiring match anglers, where 3 fish a drop should be essential.

As the waters slowly stared to warm up in March and April our fishing adventures improved.

     

Broken ground always throws up a variety of species for early season, but equally as important, a consistent supply of fish. We’re not renowned for our plaice fishing in this part of north Wales and sadly those we do get are rarely the dustbin lids Way you see in the magazines; but this one caught mid-March was good enough. Our first for 2011, but as captor Monty Burns pointed out that this was his first ever plaice whilst aboard My Way.

One day, where I had originally planned to drop anchor the mark was covered with lobster pot markers. Never one to opt for the ‘near enough’ option, we had a little look around the area for a spot of broken ground that …. looked fishy !

Using the down-looking imaging on our new Lowrance HDS system, we were able to isolate a patch of ground that appeared to have fish holding capabilities; anchoring uptide, so that our baits could trot back nicely over the broken ground, the rewards where very quickly upon the boat with everyone catching plenty of fish and many double and triple shots from the off.

The sheer number of small huss coming aboard the boat today was astounding, brilliant broken kelp covered ground, ideal for small fry to shelter and small huss to feed on them!

With winds scuppering offshore marks in February and early March our first deep water anchor for 2011 was not until 26th March.

Late March and April saw glorious weather, the sun was often up high and we seldom had any wind of note! Big fun in deep water was the regular plan; before then though we’d set sail to load My Way with some fresh bait and fodder for the dubby bag to help bring the bigger targets to us.

We managed to hook into a fair number of small pollack and herring over various marks wholesale nba jerseys on our travels around to Trearddur Bay, the herring were to prove extremely useful for dubby. Their extremely oily bodies can prove a major attraction for many species around Chemical our shores. 3.5hrs was an average spell in the deeps, catching continuously huss, dogfish and some cracking spurdog.

Many spurs are released outside of the boat with only a handful of cracking double figure specimens coming aboard for a quick photograph.

  

Now into mid-April the water temperature was rising and fish quantity and species were ever increasing. When launched the sea temp in Holyhead Bay was a mere 7’, it had now though increased to 9.5’ and this was being reflected in our catches, fishing continued as reported for both inshore and offshore marks.

With weather finally on our side, April saw us spend a lot of time in Holyhead Deep where spurdog numbers were again delighting our anglers and the first small tope of 2011 were coming aboard.

           

        karma      

Towards the end of April we had an additional bank holiday in the UK to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The F6 NE wind on the day was not going to ????????????????????????????????!!! dampen our spirits. Never one to pass on an excuse for a party we fished inshore and tucked into various items of food, similar to all the streets parties being enjoyed on dry land. 

   

This photo shows the weather on our berth on April 30th 2011, this weather was set to continue off and on for most of May. In fact it was the worst start to May that I can remember with gale force winds keeping My Way tied to her berth.

When cancelling I think it is fair to say that all skippers take careful consideration of the day that may lie ahead. It is not simply a case of throwing the ropes away and rushing out for cover. Safety is no doubt paramount, but our enjoyment is the next most important thing on the agenda.

Sometimes the weather scuppers the odd plan, such as a trip to Holyhead Deep, yet a safe and enjoyable day catching a variety of fish is still possible elsewhere in the bay. Although when the wind is howling to the extreme and your boat is going to swing around on anchor, throwing gear or the anglers around as the next wave hits the beam of the boat – is it really worth it?

May is traditionally the time of year that My Way is involved with some of the best smoothhound fishing in north Wales. Our first run out for 2011 was mid-May with a crew of My Way regulars from Merseyside; this bunch of hardened anglers are smoothhound mad and boast many fish landed aboard My Way in the high teens and also a 20lb 2oz monster a couple years ago.

Our first hound was on the hook within an hour of fishing and fell to Ian ‘Golden Peeler’ Tomo who went on to land a further 2 hounds and smash his PB once again.  However the sweep fell to smoothhound novice Graham, who, as everyone watched Ian play the first hound, quietly went about his business of fighting a reasonably good hound.

As Graham’s smoothhound broke the surface, it was a little more than reasonable and deserved a weigh! At 20lb 3oz, cheap mlb jerseys it was another monster, a whopper for a first hound and one hell of a start to our 2011 Smoothhound season!

   

For the next 5 weeks we spent the vast majority of our time fishing only for smoothies, resulting in amongst the many double figure hounds, 7 over 20lb. This link is for our all time 20lb gallery, see if you can join this elite group in 2012  

We also set a new boat record of 28 hounds landed in 1 session. This was when Boat Fishing Monthly Editor Dave Barham and BFM photographer Jim Midgley made their annual smoothhound pilgrimage to Holyhead.

For the Spring Bank Holiday we ran our first Smoothhound Challenge competition  The event was a great success with many hounds being caught, with the winner taming an 18lb specimen to win the first prize of a new Fladen Sensor Tip Rod and Multiplier reel. Next year we have managed to secure sponsorship from Fladen for the event that has now been increased to 2 days.

 

                

             

July the 4th was another day to remember! With it being a day that people in the USA celebrate the declaration of Independence from the UK, we decided to pay our own tribute and celebrate … My Way style. Yes, this meant only one thing Fish & Food, so it was off we set in bright sunshine whilst waiting for our breakfast of big thick ¼lber burgers to cook.

Fishing did interrupt our food at times as doggies, huss, gurnard, whiting, dabs etc came aboard My Way from the 30ft spring tide. It was soon lunch time and I had planned some great big US of A hot dogs. Pete Chant, originally from Holyhead and now living on the Wirral brought along cheap jerseys a massive pan of chilli – chilli dogs it was.

As everyone munched down for lunch we made our way around to Trearddur Bay where drifting for wrasse and pollack made the agenda once again. Then on the sail home we rounded USA day aboard My Way with jam donuts and caawwfeee! Superb, great fishing, great food and certainly a great laugh.

     

Moving further into July the weather tried its best once again to put the dampeners on our days afloat, un deterred we set sail regular and our anglers were rewarded once again with an excellent mixed bag of inshore fish ranging from the ever present lesser spotted dogfish to 18lb smoothies, a great array of pb’s and many angling firsts.

It’s always a pleasure to take anglers out on their first time fishing, when planning days like this I much prefer medium to big tides, thus keeping us inshore, the water flowing and allowing us to help the angler get the most from both drift and anchor fishing.

Putting someone new onto a mixed bag of species has a great effect on them and certainly helps heightens their desire for more.

             

When the weather allowed, the deep waters off Holyhead didn’t disappoint, for little over 3 hours on most days all the rods aboard My Way bent double time and time again with wither huss tope or spurdog.

Whenever we venture to these grounds, it is simply a case of baiting up big. You avoid the smaller fish and concentrate simply on those double figure sharks that like to pull back. During July we helped film an episode of the welsh Language fishing show Sgota. We were tasked with finding a variety of both big and small species for present Julian Lewis Jones and My Way regular Sion Hughes to catch.

We managed to help the guys out with a variety of species including codling, pollack, wrasse, huss and tope. But the best catch of the day fell to Sion. The budding WRU star has sailed with us on many occasions; sadly for a couple years I have failed the young angler with his wish to catch a spurdog. Despite watching others catch, the spurs simply ignored Sion’s baits.  This day, with cameras rolling My Way finally came up trumps for Sion, with a superb spurdog of 19lb, a mere 13oz under the current welsh record

August was the final month in north Wales of any resemblance to good weather. Flicking through the diary it is though fair to say we managed to sail on the vast majority of days in August, sadly many of these days were with restrictions as to where we could search out our prey. With many days seeing us sail no further than Holyhead Bay itself.

Despite numerous tope from Holyhead Deep in the 25lb bracket and a few tope in the bay, our largest tope this year has just gone 40lb. In August occasionally anglers choose to sit out in the hope of a good inshore Holyhead tope, these are amongst the largest in north Wales, with the current Welsh record of 79lb caught and released aboard My Way 6 years ago. This though is a crew choice and cannot be forced upon the anglers, sitting out for a long period of inactivity in the hope is not for the majority.

  

  The various reefs produced very well this year – wrasse, pollack and codling with the sizes of the latter reaching 6 or 7lbs on occasions, 2011 saw the best influx of codling in and around Holyhead for many years, sadly though the reliability not always as good as the anglers would hope for.

Reliable though is the wrasse, plenty of good specimens averaging 2 to 3lb, with the odd fish going up to 4lb. As August continues these will improve and offer fish touching the 5lb mark on calibrated scales.

 

September and everything started to fall apart, westerly winds over force 6 battered north Wales leading up to the Military InterService championships, held from Holyhead for the second year running. More high winds during the event meant we lost the 2 practice days. Day one was spent in 30ft of water inside the harbour catching dogs, whiting, huss etc, For the second day we managed to sneak out but still the fishing was hard work with high winds, choppy seas and very coloured water.  As these photos show, the conditions were not ideal at all, this is within the inner harbour!.

Through Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec much of the UK and especially north Wales has suffered from the worst winds for a very long time. We have managed to grab the odd day afloat, but nothing you’d class as a run, in Shopping fact the best only a few days before the next set of West or gale force winds blew hard.

         

Despite everything, it has been another good year aboard My Way; the fishing has been fantastic at times, poor on others … that’s fishing! I’m sure you have always seen My Way try hard to put you amongst the fish.

Our species list once again fell short of my target of 50, but 35 is still a great achievement for all the anglers who helped us along. So amongst our 2012 targets we‘ll still be aiming for 50species!

The My Way species list for 2010 totals 45: –

Main fish list – bass, black bream, bull huss, codling, coalfish, dogfish, dab, conger, flounder, grey gurnard, red gurnard, tub gurnard, herring, ling, mackerel, plaice, pollack, pouting, blonde ray, thornback ray, spotted ray, 3 bearded rockling, greater sandeel, scad, ss sea scorpion, common smoothhound, starry smoothhound, spurdog, tadpole fish, tope, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, whiting

Mini Specie – tompot blenny, dragonet, black goby, rock goby, shore rockling, ls sea scorpion, corkwing wrasse, goldsinny wrasse, rock cook wrasse, lesser weaver

Thank you to everyone who has supported us through 2011.

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