A brief write up of our bass fishing trip in Wales
Work really dragged this last week, in the anticipation of the fishing trip planned for the weekend. Many lists of kit needed were written, re-written and then left at work so written again and eventually 1500 Friday crawled into view
We had a boat trip booked on a little boat out of Aberdovey targeting bass with lures and fly rods I had never caught at a bass on a lure or a fly before so was really looking forward to it (I have caught hundreds on beach gear but they dont really get much of an opportunity to show how sporting they are).
So sarnies made and packed, camping stuff in the car, car filled up and dogs walked (and looking very disappointed that they were not coming) my brother and I set off at lunchtime on Saturday. Quite a pleasant drive across mid-Wales via Welshpool (with an entertaining road rage incident in front of us between two elderly disabled drivers shouting and screaming at each other as one slightly cut up the other!) and via the Dovey estuary into Aberdovey. A brief recce to see where we were getting the boat from and then we carried on to Barrys Tackle in Tywyn to get some bait for a bit of beach fishing by the campsite. With a couple of packets of eels in the cooler we carried on up the cost a little to try to find our campsite. A few wrong turns down some very narrow lanes brought us around in a big circle and back onto the main road and then we eventually found out site as we saw it from the road, perched on the small cliff overlooking the beach with the mountains of Snowdonia National Park behind us in a lovely setting.
Tent up in about 2 minutes (my new pop up tent is great) and then we have the beach gear sorted and off down to the beach for our first fish of the trip.
The beach was very very rocky and looked like it was going to get expensive with tackle losses so we slipped and slid our way north a little over the rocks which threatened ankles at every step until we found a patch of sand. Tripod up and baits out and weed, weed and some more weed was on the lines immediately. My brother had a good knock and we assumed weed but along with the weed he also pulled in a perfect little school bass. This is a good start we both though, 1 cast and one fish. Sadly this was the only fish we saw and the weed got worse so we spent more time pulling weed off tip rings and leader knots than we did fishing so when it started to rain quite heavily we packed up slid our way back to the tent over the now treacherous wet rocks.
Dinner, beer, bed. Mat the fishing guide called when I miraculously had a signal and said the weather forecast was that the sea state was going to be unpleasant and 20mph winds by lunch so we would reduce the trip to 4 hours not 8 and start at 8am not 5am a little relieved that we didnt have to rise at silly of clock we hit the hay to the sound of heavy rain on the tent and the waves hitting the cliff 30ft from the tent.
After a not very good nights sleep due to some very drunk noisey campers, the alarm went off at 0700 and we were packed up and ready to go by 0730 top tip herecheck all of the interior pockets of your new pop up tent before you fold it all up. The whole this was down in 3 minutes and packed away, but my brothers sunglasses were in the storage pocket of the tent! Another 5 minutes sorting that and we were away. Weather looked ok, a bit grey but the sea state was only slight.
15 minute drive and we were parked up in Aberdovey, the all-important morning ablutions completed and we headed over to the jetty. On the way over a chap who ran the big charter boat out of there questioned whether we were going out and warned us he had cancelled his trip and that the weather was going to kick off and become unpleasantnot a good start then!
We met Mat at the jetty and climbed aboard his little boat he was confident we would get some fishing in but we would keep an eye on the weather, we were only fishing in the estuary so could easily get back in should the weather kick off.
After about 5 minutes of motoring towards the estuary mouth we set up on our first drift, my brother using a sinking stick bait and me trying a surface lure to start with. After about 20 minutes of drifting and then repositioning the boat and more casting whilst on the drift things were not looking great, I was getting concerned that the rainwater had put a dampener on the fishing as well as the tent
BANGfish on! I had changed to a sinking lure as it was too choppy for surface lures and a small scrappy schoolie had nailed in the channel alongside the sand bar. First fish boated and sprits rose in the anticipation of a good day.
The tide was starting to flood over the sand bar and that was where the fish were but unfortunately the wind was continuously pushing the boat off the sand bar so it became a process of get in close with Mats skilful boat handling, get a cast onto the sand bar ASAP and then by the time you had had a second cast it was time to re-position the boat. It was very much a case of if you got your lure into the right place, you were rewarded with a basson two occasions both my brother and I had fish hooked up.
By 1200 we had had about 20 fish and the tide had flooded and fishing started to tail off, we were getting a fish a drift at one stage but it tailed off. The weather was glorious and we were fishing in T-shirts, no sign of the wind or increasing tide state and we had a great mornings fishing with Mat. Plenty of good scraps, nothing huge but all of the fish fought well on the balanced tackle and light braid..my brother even managed to catch a nice Garfish which he fowl hooked by accidentally landing his lure on top of it!
There was a little red dingy out there fishing with two guys in it, very entertaining to watch as they caught plenty of fish but were somewhat incompetent at getting them into the boat as they kept winding them up to their tip ring then swinging them about a lot trying to grab hold of them! We were also pretty confident that they were keeping undersize fish which was not a nice thing to see we only kept 3 on our boat.
So I cannot recommend enough the little boat out of Aberdovey if you want some light tackle bass fishing Mat was a great guide (into his shooting as well) and could have easily had more cash off us and taken us out for 8 hours with no fish for 4 of them but he didnt and reduced the trip and got us on the fish. I dont know if I can link to his website on here or not but you can PM me for details. When he sends me the pics of us fishing I will put them up as well so you can see the lovely backdrop of Snowdonia National park from the estuary.
The view from the tent:
The very rocky beach (which is apparently very good for spinning for bass so will have to try that)
Brother's very small bass
how nice it was in Aberdovey