What could be better than a bank holiday and being out on the water for the first fishing trip of the year? We untied from the marina at Neyland and steamed down Milford Haven, making for St. Anne’s Head at the mouth of the haven.

New year, fresh tackle. I tied on a brand new string of my favourite Varivas Sabikis and dangled to see what was about. Too early for mackerel? Maybe, but these lures have taken over a dozen species, and I find they outfish other feathers two-to-one.

A few pollack came aboard one at a time, I lost a cod of about a pound on the surface (Grrr!) then bagged a triple-shot of pollack, the combined weight of which, broke the net handle.

Pollack, Pollachius pollachius

I took seven – keeping just one to eat – before wanting to try something else. A new location was picked; one where I’d had some cod before. No cod here, but two herring, which showered scales all over the bucket, deck and my hands. Good to see herring becoming more common again.

Herring, Culpea harengus

The herring were quickly recycled into bait for a possible turbot. Three or four drifts over a favoured sandbank didn’t deliver the turbot, but I took a smallish dab on a ragworm-baited homemade beaded trace.

Dab, Limanda limanda

A final troll with a Rapala Sliver rounded off the day, hoping for bass, but not finding one this time. Maybe too early for bass too? Nevertheless, a great half-day out, with a few species taken, and my first herring for a couple of years.

Total Catch:

  • 7 Pollack
  • 2 Herring
  • 1 Dab