August was another month of mixed fortunes aboard My Way, maybe ‘Mixed Fortunes’ will be the title of our 2015 review, temperamental weather once again playing a big part in the whole month. Still, with a fully booked boat, when the weather allowed we managed to sail whenever possible and locate some sport for our crews.
A few days into the month and the weather settled nicely for us to take a trip out to Holyhead Deep, sights set firmly on spurdogs and maybe a few tope. We were’t disappointed with a good number of spurs and tope coming to the boat, however the vast majority on the small side with the bulk of the double figure fish coming from the big huss that frequent certain areas of the Deep.
This day in the Deep was followed by a few days inshore. Strong winds canceling any thoughts off offshore spurs and tope. We settled for inshore species hunting, with plenty of small pollack and varies types of wrasse being caught whilst drifting around the breakwater and Rocky Coast areas of our bay.
At anchor, plenty of species including some nice fat summer whiting, for late summer and well in to autumn, tope move inshore and gorge themselves on the whiting. So it is always chancing a big bait in Holyhead Bay.
My Way regular Mark Dolben was on the case, having landed his first tope with us a couple years ago from this same spot, he was only too keen to get a bait in the water. After rustling up a few whiting for bait, Mark was soon over the side with a ledgered whiting on 150b mono. .
Above, Mark wasn’t disappointed as this lovely conditioned tope gave him a spirited fight on some light gear
Aug 10th was a gloomy forecast, high winds and miserable rain to start the day, followed by bright sunshine and slightly calmer seas. All the crew were regulars and we chatted through the options, fish under the rocks or knock it on the head. The former was chosen, after all we had pollack, wrasse, coalies, coddling and more to entertain us on the drift and various others at anchor.
This video gives a little insight to what the first couple hours threw at us! But as forecast, it then brightened up. With good clothing, a sense of humour and the will to catch fish … and some great food, we had such a good laugh, and also put the world to rights
Shortly after the weather broke and the sun came out to leave a great mixed bag at anchor
The forecast started to improve towards the end of the neap tides and we were going to grab a couple more days exploring Holyhead Deep. Inshore the fishing was enjoyable yet again, with plenty of wrasse and small pollack keeping us busy.
Species hunting has become very popular over recent years with various clubs or web based forums & Facebook Groups running competitions for anglers to see who can catch the most species. We enjoy species hunting too, changing rigs, baits, tactics to locate various types of fish, it helps hone your skills in to becoming a better angler. Learning more on fish habitats and feeding patterns can help us all catch more, it’s not simply about dangling a bait over the side of a boat or off the rocks.
However it can also be frustrating, as Pete found out on one particular day. Needing a spotted ray, he watched a good few being caught around him, along with thornbacks however despite all the right rigs and bait, the spotted were avoiding him … we didn’t laugh!
In the deeps the fishing didn’t disappoint, spurdogs, tope and big huss. Dave, above, was rewarded in the Deeps for his perseverance with a big bait when this lovely tope took him on a 30minute battle in 200ft of water.
On our way out to anchor in Holyhead Deep we occasionally stop over a couple wrecks air rock marks in search of pollack, we managed to catch a good few in a few drifts one day, with Warren taking a fair few home to satisfy the fish lovers during the next days summertime BBQ
Above, My Way regular and ambassador for life Des, (I’m 85 you know) with a nice pollack from an inshore wreck. Inspirational characters like Des brighten up every day afloat
As the tides started to climb or the weather restricted pay, it was inshore fishing again and fortunately a good mixed bag of species landed by the majority of anglers.
Mini species like Tompot Blennies are great to see
Lovely thornback ray
The young rods getting amongst the cuckoo wrasse
Already reported in our Pure Fishing Blog, Dave Craddock took part in the smoothhound challenge last May , landing a cracking hound of 23b, winning himself a Shakespeare Agility 12lb rod and Penn Squall 15 reel.
That rod and reel had their first outing, the first thing landed on his challenge prize … a belting inshore tope of 38lb!
A few more inshore days followed then towards the end of the month we managed to steal another day out in the Deep, thanks to the weather settling down for 24hrs. 6 of the 8 on board had never caught a tope before and had all requested just one thing from the trip! No pressure then!
Fortunately, the weather and tope gods looked kindly on us that day, with some excellent inshore fishing for a variety of species, including fresh pollack and mackerel of bait, followed by a venture out to the deeps for tope action.
Deep water, Light tackle, Tope – recipe for great fun
5 from the 6, managed to bag a tope. Nothing too big, but plenty big enough to put a bend in the rod and give the anglers a superb first fight in 175ft of Holyhead Deep sea. Sadly some really big tope were also lost on that day, a couple screaming line form the reels only to bite clean through 150 and 200b monos.