For some time now I have jested about our friend Ross Johnson and have often said that his now famous ima hat has magical powers. I have said his hat is the reason he is such a successful angler, but truth is Ross is just an outstanding and naturally talented fisherman.
I have met up with him on a few occasions now and only a few times have I managed to hold my own against his fish catching, machine like skills. Today was not one of those days!
For a little while now I have been badgering Ross to meet up for a session again. Originally we were going to go Pike fishing, but for a while we have also been talking about going down the Llyn Peninsula, to target some decent Pollock.
So watching the weather forecast we saw a break to go today and with a quick reshuffle at work, I managed to swing a day off. Setting out this morning at 6:30 I arranged to meet Ross in Pwllheli for 8:00 and I arrived with good time for a much needed bacon sandwich before we headed off for Pen Llyn.
The sun was on the rise and though a little brisk it was a beautiful morning as we hit our mark. We were fishing into deep water and were therefore using heavy Jig heads and bombs to get us down.
Things started off a little concerning as we were getting no bites and we both became reminiscent of a previous yet unmentioned trip, where we ended up hitting none of our chosen targets.
I tried to stay optimistic and just as Ross said "maybe they've just not turned on yet" I had a fish on. After a brief but spirited fight I landed a small Pollock caught on a 160mm Savage gear Slug, rigged on a Sakura Makaira Jig-head and I was pleased a blank had been avoided!
As I was photographing and unhooking the fish Ross was into a fish and soon landed one of similar size. Photo's were taken and fish released before we carried on to catch a couple more apiece.
We were really hoping for some better fish and I therefore decided to try some bigger lures and sort out some bigger fish. I went through lures like the 42g Savage Gear Sandeel and Giant Xlayers, but I didn't get a sniff. Ross was also going through his lure collection with similar results. Things just seemed to have switched off.
After a while Ross switched back to his small red gill rig, trailed behind a 2oz bomb and was soon into fish again.
I didn't have any such lure with me and despite having plenty of Pollock on the lures I was using before, I had no more action from them. Ross on the other hand caught 26 Pollock over the next couple of hours and was proper rubbing it in with every one he landed. He even started making videos of himself as he caught his fish.
But the fact is, Ross is a proper angler and clearly has a natural talent for catching a lot of fish!
I do ok as an angler and wouldn't say I was rubbish or anything, there are however some who just have something that I do not. Sometimes I would say I am a bit jealous, but at the end of the day myself and Ross enjoyed ourselves today and we both enjoy our fishing. Anyway I still caught the first one!
During the time Ross was making his videos and catching all his fish, I was experimenting with different tactics which was proving frustrating because I kept loosing gear. I was fishing some Jika rigs and was getting the odd bite, in fact at one point I lost two fish and one was a reasonable size.
I did persist and kept on tying leaders and as I got down to my last Jika, I finally got a secure hookup!
I had in the back of my mind a Wrasse, but thought it couldn't be, I have never heard of them caught in January in North Wales. Yet when the fish surfaced it was surely a nice little Ballan Wrasse!
I perked up quite a bit and I was happy I persisted. I really like catching Wrasse and suddenly the gear losses felt somewhat worth while. It was to be my last fish before we called it a day and headed for home.
I did feel a little peeved about some of my losses and at the fact I got my arse kicked numbers wise by Ross, but all in all it was an enjoyable day in the company of a good mate and a fella I am going to miss when he moves away. I do hope one day I will kick his butt though!
Thanks for reading and til next time, tight lines!