Six species in a single day has been my best result, achieved on a few occasions. Despite trying a variety of techniques, bait and location, the half-dozen has been a barrier I can’ break. The waters of the Pembrokeshire coast have supplied over two-dozen species over the years; they just don’t come on the same day. One day may give you five species, the same location on the following day will provide a different five.

Today I am trying to reach seven species in one day. The weather is good, I’ve packed a variety of bait. Let’s do this!

I begin by trolling for a bass in the sound between Thorn Island and the mainland, using a redgill eel and and a large trolling weight. Nothing grabs the lure, but as the skipper pointed out, maybe it would have been wiser to remove the rubber sheath which protects the hook-point whilst in the packet.

I bring out the mackerel feathers, and an quickly rewarded with a grey gurnard. Species 1 on the boat.

Grey Gurnard, Eutrigla gurnardus

Pollack are plentiful at this mark, and it didn’t take long to bag a few.

Pollack, Pollachius pollachius

The mackerel start coming to all rods on the boat. I put down my rod for a moment to capture an underwater shot of a mackerel with my GoPro camera. That takes the tally to three.

Mackerel, Scomber Scombrus

We venture out of the Haven to the reefs beyond. Baiting up the feathers with ragworm is a good way to catch wrasse. This sizeable fish is the result. Species 4.

Ballan Wrasse, Labrus bergylta

I troll for a bass around a usually productive spot. Nothing shows today, so we make for a nearby sandbank and drag ragworm-baited hooks over the bottom. I hook into a small lesser weever, and then a dab.

Lesser Weever
Echiichthys vipera

Dab, Limanda limanda

This takes the tally to six. Just one more to go. The afternoon wears on. A school of dolphins are hunting something near the islands.

We head back into the harbour. Just the matter of simply picking up a dogfish to beat my personal record, right! Wrong! nothing is easy in fishing. I would have bet big money I could catch a dogfish on demand. Incredibly, it wasn’t to be today. The six-species limit remains.

Total Catch:

  • 1 Grey Gurnard
  • 4 Pollack
  • 7 Mackerel
  • 3 Ballan Wrasse
  • 3 Lesser Weever
  • 1 Dab