Uwchmynydd's "Cardiac hill" is named such for a good reason, scaling the ground there is at times hard going and yesterday was one of those times, both in terms of physical strain and tough fishing.
I had arranged to meet up with my friend Jon who I met through the World Sea Fishing Forum.
Jon kindly picked me up at 7:30am yesterday and we made our way up to Pen Llyn. Jon is not massively familiar with the fishing there and seeing as his main discipline is fishing ultra light, it pays to have someone with some knowledge of the ground.
I figured it would be hard going, especially when Jon informed me there was a minimum 2' swell. Really those conditions render the place un-fishable using short light rods, but thankfully it was not nearly as bad as expected with maybe a 1.5' swell.
I took Jon to the nearest place first; a place known to myself and Ben as "Wrasse Gully". Its usually crammed with Wrasse up to around a pound or so, with the odd larger fish in the mix, sadly there was nothing really happening aside form a small Pollock that I hooked and then lost before landing.
Back up the rocks and hill we went and walked North to find some fishable water inside another cove. Upon making the steep decent, things were looking good, yet the conditions proved deceiving, as aside from Jon catching a small Pollock (first blood) and myself catching a small Wrasse, things remained tough.
I was genuinely surprised, I had expected more and larger Pollock to show. It was true that we were not fishing the best Pollock marks as those were out of bounds due to the swell, however I would have certainly expected to catch the sub 2lb ones with reasonable consistency. Still it wasn't a bad day to spend time on the coast chatting and it gave Jon a chance to try out his new, very nice looking Major Craft Truzer Aji rod.
Up the cliff again and again up the steep, wet grass hill we went, this time travelling back south. The walk was more of a traverse at the top of the rocks, so nothing too arduous, but the cliffs didn't half burn my muscles!
Eventually we found some fishable water, with a degree of shelter from the swell and once again made a steep descent.
There was a stiff side wind, which did make rings a little difficult, but far from impossible and though there was a bit of colour in the water, it was definitely workable.
From the off we were both getting bites, some far out which I suspect were small Pollock and some tight in. It was pretty clear the fish were being finicky and they were also small, it wasn't long before that was confirmed.
I had a fairly steady amount of action, a few caught and a few lost and Jon was also breaking in his new rod with some small Pollock and the odd Wrasse. I don't have any pictures of Jons fish unfortunately, but below are some of mine.
All my fish were caught fishing Texas rigged HTO mini sticks and Mini Shads, which are just perfect for getting tight to structure and in amongst the kelp. I do find that in most conditions the Ayu and Margherita colours work best, but on the occasion the white and blue can be awesome. If you don't own some of these lures, I'd highly recommend them, I tend to rig them on Gamakatsu G-lock hooks in size 4 with a 2-5g cone weight.
My legs didn't half burn on the climb back to the car, but as hard as it all was it was certainly not a waste of time, to some degree you have to expect hardship this time of year.
I hope to return with Jon when there is a good period of settled weather and a half foot swell, pretty much all of the headland becomes more accessible then and there are some sweet reefs to investigate, with better action to be had.
I wouldn't always go that light there mind as there are some pure brutes about and even with a heavy rod, they can be at times hard to get away from the underwater structure. The other thing is some of the area is incredibly deep and unless you know where yo are going, you can often find yourself blanking!
Having said that, Uwchmynydd is a very worthwhile place to spend some time exploring, its literally one of my favourite places to fish. I've had some great times there with all of my friends and it certainly holds some good memories.