Ashley Martin has fished the marks in north west Wales for many years, and others on Anglesey. On this paticualar trip Ashley and his friends where fishing for mackerel for the local old folks, where they cut and wash the fish on the mark.
Ashley had tried a head on the bottom while they fished for the mackerel and both the rod and stand were almost dragged into the sea.
The following days they came prepared, fishing two rods – a 12ft Supercast and 12ft Abu. One had a large fixed spool Rovex Big Boss with 30lb Berkley Big Game line, the other Abu 7000 multiplier with level wind removed and Diawa Tournament 30lb line.
He used bimini twist knots on the end leading to a Gemini clip. The rig comprised a pulley with 60lb grey Greased Weasel, 200lb crimped nylon, and a yellow impact lead, 8/0 Sakuma hook.
The bimini twist always snaps the 60lb line if snagged, which shows how good this knot is, considering it was tied to 30lb line, albeit quality line.
Ashley quickly realised that a large pack of tope, and possibly some bigger sharks had moved into the area. This may have had something to do with the small lobster nets he had been dropping in on the previous three nights. Enjoying the crab, prawn and loster for breakfast, they may have acted as giant swim feeders for the shark.
He had been loading them with all the heads, tails and guts from the old folk’s mackerel.
The pack was so big. for a week every bait which hit the sea – usually a mackerel head – was taken within 20 minutes by a large fish, sometimes much quicker.
Ashley hooked some fish which were not going to be landed, the most memorable one being on for an hour or so. They saw the shape some 30 foot under the water, but fearing it had gone round a commercial pot, he eventually pulled for a break, not wanting to tire the hooked fish to exhaustion.
He landed 1, 2 or 3 tope a day for a fantasic week’s fishing. The average was about one landed for every five runs.
The video below shows the last fish he caught – not the biggest, but a nice fish nonetheless.
After this one, the fishing died off. The sharks may well have cleared the area of all food fish, and it even took a few days for the mackerel to start to show again.