Another beautiful sunny day of 2018’s glorious summer, brought me once again to fish on a boat off the Pembrokeshire Coast. Calm seas, and light winds allowed for travel beyond the safety of Milford’s natural harbour to the Islands beyond. But for now, I was fishing with mackerel feathers on the reefs near the ‘lollipop’ – the mid-channel marker.

The day started well enough. Plenty of pollack were taking the lures, although they were mostly small fish.  After I tired of this simple method, we headed out west towards the islands of Skomer and Skokholm looking for bigger fish along the way.

Over some tipped marks, I tried out a new rig: a simple paternoster of one snood –  created using a cut dropper loop – three feet up from the lead. On the snood I had threaded some beads, a luminous Muppet and tied on a 4/0 hook baited with squid. I figured this arrangement would reduce snagging on the kelp of the reefs, and even if it was lost, it cost next to nothing to tie. I still snagged. And didn’t catch a single fish. I’ll try this arrangement again on a hopefully more productive day.

The fish had switched off. Other than a single poor cod (which was barely perceptible on the heavy boat rod) nothing troubled our baits.

Poor Cod, Trisopterus minutus

We drifted with bait and lures, and trolled a Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk over several favourite marks without a single fish being taken; not even a pollack. Too sunny, maybe? Nevertheless, it’s never a waste of a day to be out on the boat in the summer around the islands. We saw just one grey seal today, but puffins and other seabirds were plentiful.


Several species of jellyfish were present: Common or Moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, Compass jellyfish, Chrysaora hysoscella, Blue jellyfish, Cyanea lamarckii and Comb jelly, Beroe cucumis.

The overcast weather forecast for tomorrow may bring a change in fishing fortune.




Total Catch:

  • 10 Pollack
  • 1 Poor Cod