Fishing for species

2017 Smoothhound Challenge

The 2016 Smoothhound Challenge was a great success once again, with plenty of big starry hounds being caught. We now have limited spaces available for the 2017 event – simply catch the biggest Smoothhound and win! A rod & reel combo up for grabs each day. Next years challenge is scheduled for day & evening trips between 23rd and 27th May 2017, book now to avoid dissapointment – check spaces here  Top hound of 2016 went to Mark Cain with a superb 24lb specimen, one of 14 20lbers boated during this years hound season.

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Spurdog Fishing 2016

Although packs move through during winter, spurdog fishing generally starts around March time, with the best fishing to be had the following two months. Plenty of spurdogs are still around right through to October and beyond, but numbers start to decline over winter with the packs harder to locate. These are hard fighting little sharks, that can often be caught two at a time, three if you’re brave enough. Early season, the northern edge of Holyhead deep is available to us on all tides, thus delivering an abundance of spurdogs on many trips. Fishing can be tough, 200ft of water, […]

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Tope Fishing 2016

Tope fishing is a GO Angling favourite. Sitting and waiting patiently for that small click and then accelerating first run of a tope is really an exciting experience, and one we love to share with our anglers 2016 has been another good year, not too many large females but plenty of pack tope resulting in a few first and some new personal bests for our anglers. Here are a few photos from our 2016 tope adventures ….

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Tope

Tope is the most abundant large shark native to the British Isles. They generally have a light grey top and white belly area; however some tope have been caught with a dark topside. Tope are live bearing with a normal litter size of between 6 and 30pups, usually around the 20 mark. The Welsh Record of 79lb, was caught & released aboard My Way in Aug 2005 Tope are found through out the UK, with certain areas having a greater concentration than others. The fish move inshore during the spring and summer months chasing the shoals of mackerel and herring […]

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Spurdog

The upper body of a spurdog is usually grey or a dark charcoal colour. It is covered in small white spots, it’s under-side is white. A spur is also referred to as a spiney dog, the most noticeable feature being a protruding spine at the front of each of the 2 dorsal fins. The spurdog is a slow growing shark. The females are live bearing and carry the pups for over 18months. Litter sizes vary but can be up to 20. They can be found in depths well over 500m and feed from the mid to bottom layers. This specie […]

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Fish Identification – Dogfish & Bull Huss

Dog Fish & Bull Huss Small huss are often misidentified as dogfish. Both species are very similar in appearance, however the bull huss grows over 5 times the size of it’s smaller family member the dogfish. Lesser Spotted Dogfish (Small Spotted Catshark) – Scientific Name: Scyliorhinus canicula Greater Spotted Dogfish (Bull Huss – Nurse Hound) – Scientific Name: Scyliorhinus stellaris The upper side of the body on both species is usually light brown covered with darker spots, with a white underside. Both lesser and greater spotted dogfish can appear much lighter or darker depending on habitat. The spots on the […]

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Gurnard Fishing

Gurnard Fishing Above, Red Gurnard When you look around the many different species of fish we get in the British Isles there are all manner of weird and wonderful shapes, sizes and colours. Looking at the mini species in particular I’m sure some of them were inspiration behind many of the b-movie horror films that never quite made it on the big screen. Then there is the cuckoo wrasse, without doubt the most colourful fish that we have swimming through our seas. Both the male and female having a striking appearance, that if we’re honest, wouldn’t be out of place […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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