I’m glad of the extra layer, as I zip up my gore-tex jacket. A chilly wind is whistling down the haven. Not what you’d expect on the last day of August.

I’m fishing Hobb’s Point in Milford Haven near Pembroke Dock. This venue has a slipway, and a convenient pontoon. I opt to fish from the pontoon which initially I have to myself. It’s easy fishing here, which attracts the crowds, which I can expect will come later.

I’m using some homemade rigs which I’ve built using TronixPro Crimp Booms. The booms will add a little movement to the bait, and prevent the fine nylon of the size-10 hooks from tangling with the rig body. There’s always a chance of big fish here – bass and conger – but usually after dark. I’m just out for a fun session and am targeting the plentiful smaller species.

For bait, I’ve brought a mix of ragworm and Isome artificial worms. Both work well, and I’m rewarded with bites seconds after dipping my rig into the water. First catch is a small corkwing wrasse. I’ve caught a few of these before, but not from this mark.

Corkwing Wrasse, Crenilabrus melops

Gobies of a couple of species are the mainstay at Hobb’s. First onto the pontoon is a rock goby.

Rock Goby, Gobius paganellus

The catches alternate between gobies and small pollack.

Pollack, Pollachius pollachius

A couple of fishermen join me on the pontoon; several more are casting from the wall above. The older guys are lobbing their baits well out into the channel. Younger lads are dropping their lines annoying close to mine. A small yacht ties up along the pontoon restricting my space further.

This mark is notoriously ‘snaggy’, years of discarded and lost fishing line and other debris make for high tackle losses. On more than one occasion I wind it to find my rig meshed with another. Sometimes I gain a lead. I just might go home with more tackle that I started with.

A sole black goby – idenified by the longer dorsal fin – falls to a ragworm section.

Black Goby, Gobius niger

I continue with my clean-up of the fishing debris. Blowing in the wind if front of my face, I see a wisp of monofilament. I catch the line and pull. Despite some resistance I haul in some yards of line. At the end I’m surprised to find a ballan wrasse, hooked onto some squid bait. I call up to the wall to the angler who snapped off his line earlier, but they tell me he’s gone. I’m not sure of the etiquette here. Can I claim this fish a my own despite not casting the line? The consensus of the assembled crowd was that I can. I add it to my notebook; this is my (?) biggest fish of the day.

Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta

I tally up the catch: Twenty-eight fish from a session can’t be all bad. None of the fish were large, but as they say, quantity has a quality all of its own.

Small Fish. Big fun.

Total Catch:

  • 5 Corkwing Wrasse
  • 15 Rock Goby
  • 6 Pollack
  • 1 Black Goby
  • 1 Ballan Wrasse