Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Sunday 24 October 2021

Saundersfoot - Squaliformes and Squatterarchy

Saundersfoot for our weeks family holiday is a small seaside resort in Pembrokeshire, and one of the most popular holiday destinations in Wales. It has two beaches a family bathing beach and a quieter low-tide beach and a harbour, where boat trips can be arranged.

The village has a range of small independent shops including gift shops, a butcher and a small convenience store. There is also a wide range of places to eat and drink with plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants to choose from.

With attractions such as Folly Farm, Heatherton Adventure Park, Tenby Dinosaur Park and Colby Woodland Garden also within a short drive, Saundersfoot is a perfect choice for a family holiday, but like all holidays in the UK we the Newey's like many other families would be dodging the rain. 

Now Permission to build the harbour was granted by Parliament in 1829 to the Saundersfoot Railway and Harbour Company for the export of anthracite coal from the many mines in the area, although coal was exported from the beach for centuries before this. 

The village grew up to serve the port which by 1837 had five jetties handling coal and iron ore and subsequently pig iron and firebricks from local sources. The course of the tramway from Bonville's Court mine bisects the village and ends at the jetty. 

The tramway from Stepside forms the sea front. The industry finally faded away in the early years of the twentieth century, so that today, the harbour accommodates private moorings, pleasure boats for seasonal tourism, and small fishing charters. 

Now luckily the tide times were kind and hopefully Sam and I could try and get a few fishing sessions in especially when we were only a couple of hundred meters from the harbour itself.

I'm no sea fisherman but like all anglers if there was a fishing fix to be had I'm all ears. Now a mention to Scott Harris West Wales Fishing a Youtuber who I got speaking to when I went for a nose at the harbour in hide tide the day we arrived. 

A good chat, some tips and he also gave me a 3 hook multi species flapper rig and a sticker for Sam's tackle box. He was fishing a match over at Amroth which is located on the south coast of Pembrokeshire 7 miles east of Tenby and at the start (or end, if you walk it the other way round) of the world renowned 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

There is a petrified drowned forest, which reveals itself when the tide is very low. The petrified tree stumps can be seen poking through the sand and they have been dated to the last ice age!

There were quite a few anglers fishing the harbour where the easiest fishing is from the inner wall casting onto clean sand. A long cast is not needed apparently , fish come very close to the wall. Dogfish, flatfish, bass and other bottom feeding fish are caught along with mullet, mackerel and gar in season to float fished mackerel strip.

A quick google In the Autumn there are usually plenty of Tub Gurnard to be caught and sometimes smoothhounds although they are likely to be small pups.
Squid, mackerel or sandeel will take most fish.

A float set-up cobbled together from an old lure rod and also a cheap Angling Direct Bass Rod and also a Shakespeare reel hopefully we would pick up at least something.

Even a dogfish would do and luckily when I was talking to Scott an angler caught one when I was there. Now baits, well Morrisons finest mackerel, some white bait and some squid.

The first morning was rather a wet one with another 3 anglers braving the conditions. There wasn't much action for us and them apart from a couple of taps in the flapper rig rod. For such a cheap set-up <£60 the rod casted remarkably well and the reel has a nice smooth retrieve.

The float was nicely bobbing around too but nothing took the bait even close in to the harbour wall. There was a decent swell on the sea which might not have helped I'm sure.  

So when the rain was almost horizontal it was time to go but still I'm sure we will pick up something over the forthcoming sessions. Heck I might even scale down a little to at least get a bite. 

I think the best chance will be when its dark so I will fish a couple of sessions when Sam is in bed most likely. Luckily the harbour is well lit so fishing at dark shouldn't be an issue. There are a few other spots I can fish if need be but we will give this area a decent go first.  


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