Tagged Smoothhound Recapture

In 2008 and following years we were heavily involved with the University College Dublin (UCD) Ph.D researcher Edward Farrell in his study of Starry Smoothhounds. Eds research was studying the seasonal migration of smoothhounds but also to show that Starry Smoothounds only and not the Common Smoothhound visited the UK and surrounding waters. Ed had an article published in the ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) Journal of Marine Science in January 2009 showing his findings on Starry & Common hounds. Thanks to Jim Midgley for the above photos In a nutshell, not one Common Smoothhound was […]

Read more

Springtime Rays

Around the world there are over 500 species of rays. Related to the shark family these cartilaginous fish are of extreme value to the recreational angler, from both boat and shore. Sadly though, the numbers of rays being landed either commercially or during recreational angling has dwindled vastly over the last couple decades. According to the Shark Trust there have been 15 species of ray recorded in UK waters, of these only 5 of them are relatively common around the north Wales coast. These are the blonde ray, cuckoo ray, spotted ray, small eyed ray and thornback ray; I have […]

Read more

Tope from Holyhead Deeps

Most of the charter fleet off the north Wales coast benefit from a fairly consistent run of big tope. Holyhead is no exception, with the current Welsh record for a boat caught tope, 79lb, being caught and then released aboard My Way in August 2005 by Nottingham angler Anthony Meli. These big fish tend to move inshore late July through to October. Above, Antony Meli and his Welsh Record C&R tope It is though firmly believed though that there have been even bigger fish hooked over the years that have proved far too powerful for the anglers to keep hold […]

Read more

Winter Baits

With cod the prime target this time of year; lug worm is one of the most sought after baits, to avoid disappointment anglers often needing to grab some worms either by digging themselves or buying from the local tackle shop at the earliest opportunity. Some anglers secure their bait days in advance of a planned fishing trip. Then there is also the potential headache of having the bait all set to go out fishing only for the weather to turn foul and scupper any thoughts of a good fish supper. Keeping baits alive and in prime condition is often looked […]

Read more

Winter Whiting

Years ago I read an article on how to catch winter whiting from a popular estuary mark and a friend of mine piped up, “next month they’ve a feature on how to get wet in the bath”. Needless to say that is something I am keen to avoid here, whiting fishing is certainly no dark art! They shoal and when they are in any great number in your waters you cannot fail when afloat. When you set out for a good day’s general fishing later autumn or in the depths of winter, the humble whiting can offer some great sport. […]

Read more

Dab Fishing

At a guess, as boat anglers and regardless of their sweet taste, dabs are not quite near the top of our target list when planning a great day afloat. Dabs are the smallest of the UK flatfish and despite weights recorded in excess of 2lb are generally widespread in the 8oz bracket. A dab that exceeds 1lb would correctly be considered a great catch and although they’re not unheard of around our shores over the magical 1lb mark, they do not appear to put in too regular an appearance. Your best chance of a 1lb+ dab is early spring through […]

Read more

Rough Ground Conger

This article was written for Boat Fishing Monthly magazine and can be found in the November 2012 issue. Conger fishing, especially for the bigger specimens approaching 100lb is best undertaken along the south coast of the UK, fishing into some of the big sunken wrecks in the English Channel. Many eels however are caught from around the North West Wales coast and from the wrecks in the Irish Sea and Liverpool bay on a regular basis. The current British boat record for a conger eel stands at 133lb taken from Devon in 1995. Whilst the Welsh boat record pales slightly […]

Read more

Holyhead Deeps Spurdog

This article was written for Boat Fishing Monthly magazine and can be found in the Sept 2012 issue. Through the General Fishing articles I have tried to write on the merits of different fishing rigs to help us all get the most from a day afloat, whilst at the same time not needing to set sail with everything but the kitchen sink packed away in the tackle box. All too often you see anglers with a seat box, on which sits a top box on which sits a winder box, too many rigs it gets far too confusing at times. […]

Read more

Holyhead General Fishing – Part 3

This article was written for Boat Fishing Monthly magazine and can be found in the August 2012 issue. When setting out on a day general fishing, we all have high hopes of catching a variety of species and as quickly as we possibly can. Rig selection though is critical and all too often I see anglers, having spent a small fortune on top quality rods, reels and bait, letting themselves down by sticking to their favourite rig, simply because it caught well the last time out. The general scratch rigs I talk about often need adapting to where you are […]

Read more

Holyhead General Fishing – Part 2

General Fishing can be used to describe various types of fishing, for many it is when that planned day goes slightly pear shaped and your intended targets don’t play ball. It also describes in fairness much of the fishing to be had off Anglesey and especially from Holyhead. Yes we have our smoothhounds, tope, and spurdogs to name a few, but we’re not blessed with some of the fishing that you read about regular on the south coast I’m talking about the big plaice, turbot and bream etc. Sadly you cannot charter from Holyhead with those particular fish as specific […]

Read more
1 2 3 5