At low tide, water drains off the sandy estuary and saltings into a small pool set below the exposed stone harbour bulk before joining the River Artro to exit a narrow channel into the bay.
By summer there are Sand Eels seething in the shallows, powerful bow waves of Grey Mullet sieving for microscopic food just beneath the surface; occasional splash of a leaping Sea Trout, Salmon, Bass or Mullet. Last year,learned to deceive Bass as they herd Sand Eels into the shallows, water dark with ripple and splash, or as they search the sandy turmoil below the creek mouth for shrimp.
Started early this year to learn when the fish start to move in. In the absence of any signs, tied on a ubiquitous brown lure to match well-camouflaged Sand Gobies. A ‘plop’ behind showed small silver fish leaping at the neck of the exit channel. Ripping a small white floating lure across the surface brought a small Sea Trout to hand; gold, brown and red markings already faded and silvered by salt.
Next day, fished ebbing tide over sand flats, using weighted shrimps in small jerks to imitate the real thing, when the line took on weight. Hand-lining to remove suspected weed, a sandy-backed, white-bellied fish twisted under the surface: wide, frog mouth; ‘star-gazy’ eyes; green flecked band at the tail base and small brown dorsal fin showing thin needle spines when erect; unhooked with great care to avoid venomous spines. Lost count of Weaver Fish brought to hand over the next hour, one small fish hard to disengage without proximity to spines. A very minor scratch was sucked hard; nonetheless, having seen the slowly progressive effects on others, the pain almost reached the level to get home quick to denature venom in the hottest possible water.
Wildlife Wales Activities: www.wildlife-wales.co.uk