Wednesday, 11 August 2010

In Menai's shadow.

Another old haunt was at Menai Bridge and I used to fish here a lot with my father. You can fish here at any state of the tide as there is always water to be found and it's deep. We used to spin for Pollack with a one ounce Toby lure, on the right gear they cast like a dream and you can chuck them a fair distance. One of our favourite spots was right underneath the Menai bridge which is only accessible on the low cycle of a big spring tide. We would only have an hour to venture across the uncovered channel to reach the rock the bridge sits on, the edge of these rocks drop off into the main channel, fish could be caught by jigging the lures in front of us it was that deep. Thankfully we never got cut off by the rising tide but I do remember a couple of close calls. The Menai Bridge pier was another spot worth fishing with bottom baits but when the University's ship the 'Prince Madog' was moored alongside it made things difficult, I considered fishing there last week but the modern version of the same ship was moored in the same place and the rest of the pier was covered in kids crab fishing.

I made an error with this trip and brought the wrong box of lures, instead of a box of heavy metal bars I ended up with a box of balsa fish, these would have been fine for the estuary at shell island but not really suitable for the depths I wanted to fish in the straits, rather than go out and equip myself with another set of spinners for this trip I decided to try something a little different, a sliding float with bait.

The neap tides didn't allow me to cross the channel to the rock under the bridge so I fished close by on the high tide. It took a good few casts to find the depth and the stop knot ended up being just over three rod lengths away from the hook and I was using one of my twelve foot Avon rods. The worm bait was flicked out to the edge of the flow coming from under the bridge as this is where we used to catch the Pollack many years ago, it didn't take to long to find that they were still there and they put up a fair scrap on the Avon rod.

After adjusting the depth to drift over what I thought was a rock I started receiving some very sharp tugs on the float totally different to a Pollack, I persevered and changed hook size till I contacted with the fish which ended up being small Wrasse, I caught two species, Ballan Wrasse and the smaller Goldsinny Wrasse.

Even though they were all small fish they were great fun to catch, thinking back the Goldsinny is only a small species so this one was probably a specimen!!


  1. Estuary, Shell Island, tell me more?

  2. Hi Jeff
    Shell Island campsite, between Barmouth and Harlech, sandy beach at one end, rocky beach in the middle, estuary at the other that also leads into the harbour and the mud flats behind the island. The road onto the island crosses these flats and is cut off at high tide. Loads of mullet and Bass follow the tide onto these mud flats but the bigger bass are in the estuary, had them up to 5lb on lures (Toby).

  3. Roger, I was up there last year camped out. I only had a while to fish, took a look at the sandy beach but the sea was too small to stir anything up so I reckoned the bass wouldn't be there, saw a guy kayak trolling off the rocks but eventually ended up beachcasting around the sandy patches between rocks and later into the inlet between the sea and the harbour. Deep and with a bit of pace at times. Didn't have a single bite.

    Is that where I should have been spinning?