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   MMBFC Home      Catch Reports      Year 2013
Oystercat fishing trip report, Saturday, 29 June 2013
 Skipper Dean Gifford

The weather forecast wasn't great for this weekend, quickly changing isobars indicated we'd be in for a bit of blowy weather. Having not fished the last few weekends, I went out and spent a small fortune on new tackle. The lot, rods, reels, braids, pirks/speed jigs, end tackle, even a rod holder to store my new purchases in!! My new goodies included a Shimano nexave boat quiver rod, matched with a Daiwa lexa baitcaster reel, so I was really keen on giving this set up a try.
After a little delay getting all 10 of us on-board I set Oystercat on a course heading out towards the Swigg to get some fresh mackerel bait for the day's sport. Within 20 - 25mins of arriving at the Swigg we had a couple of buckets full of mackerel along with some scad and gurnard.

A nice red gurnard caught by a new junior member Stephen Haynes
Once we had the fresh bait we headed over to the reef, there was a bit of swell running but dropped the anchor to see how it was fishing. We had a few dogs and a little bream - but the swell was taking its toll on one of our members, so after he'd dropped a little ground bait, we upped anchor and headed over to a inshore wreck.
New junior member Ben Mordecai with the small black dream he'd caught
I took a little time and re-charted the main super structure of the wreck before anchoring so our baits would be in the scour just in front. It didn't take long before lots of pouting were attacking our baits, we also had a ballen wrasse and a blenny before the tide changed and we move out onto some clear ground for a spot of flatty fishing.
The fishing here was a little slower, with a few dogs, dabs, plaice, mackerel and hounds showing. The wind was now blowing over tide and strengthening all the time. The option to move elsewhere wasn't open to us until the tide rose enough to hold us safely off the anchor rope. I waited until we were 1.5hrs into the tide before getting the anchor up and moving across to see if we could do any better on the St Christopher’s Knoll. The fishing at the Knoll was pretty good with lots of Gurnard, dabs and occasional plaice coming aboard.

Skipper Dean with a gurnard

The peak of the tide had come and gone, the wind began to push us over the anchor rope so it was time to run back towards Swansea. It was a far smoother ride back than expected, so made fairly good time. With the extra time gained we dropped the anchor as close as we could to the Strombus, without interfering with a boat that was already anchored there. Fishing was a little slower here with only a few dogs, a couple of hounds (7-9lb ), a single mackerel and a foul hooked dab coming aboard.

Craig Barnes with smoothhound

We headed back to the marina around 5pm, after washing Oystercat down and tying up, Ossi (Craig Barnes) and I decided to use up the left over bait fishing for eels off our birth. Hands up, he well and truly beat me there - 4 eels and a bass to my single eel ( I've beat him the last 2 trips down there recently so every dog has its day! ) 

Not the greatest of days, but not bad! Very happy with my new outfit!

 Oystercat fishing trip report 2 June 2013
Skipper Dean Gifford

If truth be told I wasn't really looking forward to this trip, with a small tide and the wind set to build from the West in the afternoon giving wind over tide which could cause issue with the plan I'd made.

Roughly, the plan for the day was to try and feather up some fresh mackerel bait first thing, then head on to the smothhounds for a few hours before moving out to try for some tope and ray on the Scarweather Mark.

The reports I'd heard regarding the availability of mackerel East of Oxwich were not very good. So I briefed my anglers that we wouldn't waste too much time off the Swigg Buoy as there were better fish to target. With all of us in agreement we slipped Oystercat through the locks and pier heads towards the Swigg Buoy.

Surprisingly, we found mackerel on our first drift along with a few garfish and a herring.
A few more drifts saw us with enough bait to get us started, so we made our way over to Sker. With the tide being on the low-side we decided to fish further out than I normally do in that area. The mark has produced reasonable numbers of smoothhounds and eels in the past.
Harriet Eaton with a garfish
It took 15mins before the younger anglers (Nathan James (right) and Jack beynon) had this nice brace of smoothhounds
Soon after Daryl Strong found himself into his first of the day.
Things went a little quiet, with a only couple of dogs to show for our efforts. I took a bit of a gamble and headed back to be tight inshore to be on one of my 'bigger tide' marks to see if the hounds were still in there.

Within 10mins or so we had a triple hookup

The 3 smoothhounds, Wayne Keepins, Nat James & Harriet Eaton
Followed by what could have been 6 fish at once, but 2 were dropped
4 This time: Daryl Strong, Wayne Keepins, Harriet Eaton & Nat James
Fishing continued like this for a few hours, with the 2 biggest fish coming together, both 12lb.
Dean Gifford (left) & Paul Eaton with the 12lb smoothhounds
Oystercat fishing trip report 2 June 2013 continued...

High water came, and with the wind freshening I abandoned the search for tope on the Scarweather mark in favour of a trip over to St. Christopher's Knoll to try for some flat fish. It appeared everyone else had the same idea with Lady jue pulling up at the same time as us, as well as half a dozen other boats already there . My normal spots were taken, so I searched around a little and found an interesting feature on the side of the bank and dropped the anchor.

Fish catching started really quickly with a few gurnard coming aboard before I hit the first ray of the day.

Dean Gifford with 5lb small eye ray
Several more rays were caught, including a couple on the light rigs put out for dabs.
Wayne Keepins with his 5lb small eye ray
Dean Gifford with yet another small eye ray

Paul Eaton had a little turbot – I was massively envious!!

Paul also caught a plaice on a set of feathers tipped with mackerel.
We got back onto the berth about 9:15pm.
Ending the day with 31 smoothhounds to 12lb, 12 small eye rays to 5lb, a couple of garfish, a herring, few grey gurnard, whiting, mackerel, turbot, plaice, dabs and a few dogs. Pretty good day in all!!
Oystercat fishing trip 3 June 2013. Skipper John Elvins
Beautiful and scenic boat trip, shame about the fishing.


Might aswell sunbath then. Richie Pearce & Ray Bennett
With no one looking Jon Scott gets busy...
.. and reels in a very nice eel.
Oystercat Fishing Trip Report For 18 & 19/05/2013
By Skipper Dean Gifford
On the Saturday I intended to take my Oystercat fishing party out for some tope and smoothhound fishing. The tides were forecast to be small and the weather good. At 6.30am me and Ossi Barnes were picking up bait from Swansea Angling before boarding and preparing the CAT for the trip. The rest of the anglers were on board by 8.0am and we made our way through the locks and headed West, all the other fishing boats were setting an Easterly direction. On the way towards Oxwich we marked the location of plenty of fish on the sounder. Once anchored at the moorings were quickly into whiting, our main target for the tope bait. We were also picking up gurnards, dabs and Ossi caught a very nice plaice. Again, we were marking large shoals of fish but not mackerel – only hungry little whiting.
To supplement the whiting we took a couple of drifts over the wreck to get some pollack for bait. We then ran out off the headland and in no time we were into the best conditions ever in terms of sea state. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the fishing; we only had dogfish and a few bullhuss to 5lb.
With the tide turning and the fishing being slow we got the anchor up and motored over to St. Christopher's Knoll for the last few hours. Here we caught lots of gurnard, red and grey, dabs and the occasional dogfish. Fishing in here was fairly good but unfortunately, we didn't catch any rays or turbot.

We ended the fishing trip with a catch of whiting, pouting, pollack, dabs, grey gurnard, red gurnard, bullhuss. Paul swears he had a few flounders, I was not convinced. Alas no tope or smoothhound.


We were lucky again with the weather. Sunday started at the more leisurely time of 7.00am, again I collected the bait. By 8.30am we were running South out to the wreck where we had some reasonable fishing a few weeks earlier. On arriving at the wreck we found fisher Jay Robbins already anchored behind the wreck, so we motored uptide and dropped the anchor.

Following a chat with Jay, who was not happy with his position on the wreck. I'd spent a lot of time outlining the wreck on the plotter, so I checked his position by radar and could see he was a fair way behind the wreck. As a result he got his anchor up and had a look around to outline the structure, but in the end he decided to head else where. In retrospect this was probably the best thing to have done. We spent the first few hours feeding the dogfish.

The first reasonable fish caught was an 8lb bullhuss, by John Elvins.
A few conger eels were hooked and lost before Carl Hayward had the first and only one in the boat weighing 16.5lb.
Luke Heyward had a 12lb bullhuss
As high water approached the wind began to pick up and we were joined by a massive number of gulls, terns and gannets. Watching the bird life go about their fishing business was pretty cool, but no substitute for hooking into a big conger; it wasn't to be.
John Elvins had another reasonable bullhuss before we began to swing around with the changing tide.
The next plan was to head over to the Sker marks and have a go for some smoothhounds. Unfortunately, the with was by now really fresh from the South West, and blowing over the tide. So I decided on the safer bet of heading in of the Strombus – but it was crap – only dogfish.
We called it a day around 4.00pm, gave the boat a good scrub down and heade for home.
In all it was a very nice day out, we enjoyed it, but the fishing was fairly poor. Fingers crossed the weather holds for a little while so Oystercat can go out with another party of member anglers.
Oystercat fishing trip report, Tuesday 25 June 2013
Skipper John Elvins
John took Oystercat and his party of member anglers to drift the ledges for bass unfortunately, none were coming on the bait.
The plan for targeting bass had to aborted and secure in the knowledge smooth hounds were still being caught they changed tact, anchored up and were soon catching the hounds.
John Bevan with his 15lb smoothhound
Richard Pincott and a 16lb smoothhound
Skipper John caught a 12lb 8oz thornback ray which was quickly released to fight again.
Oystercat fishing trip 5 July 2013
Skipper: John Elvins
Dave Craddock - nice black bream

Rob Gibbins- 21lbtope

Richard Pearce - cracking tope
Saturday 9 February 2013 –Skipper Dean Gifford's Oystercat Wreck Fishing Trip Report.
The weather subsided enough to make a weekend trip possible. Our small party, Dean Gifford, Wayne Keepins, Luke Haywood, Carl Haywood and John Fennel headed, headed out through the pier heads onto a grey but flat sea. I was keen to fish a small bit of wreckage I'd passed on the last trip for the remainder of the ebb tide. After 5mins of charting the area we put the anchor down well up-tide of the bulk of the wreck structure hoping to pull any fish lurking nearby out of the iron work.
The first fish to come aboard was a little thornback ray of 5lb. Due to the run of the tide the ray gave a good account of its self by holding against the run of the tide.
We had a few dogs, whiting and pouting before a spur dog took a liking to my live whiting bait. I was lucky to land it, having taken some time to bring the fish on board using a 30lb fluorocarbon as we were not expecting spurs in 45ft of water.
 Continued in next column...

9 February 2013 Report continued
Soon afterwards Carl lost another spur dog due to a dodgy clip swivel... my fault for trying to use the last of my cheap ones. We put the bait catching rod back out looking for some more live baits and Luke pulled in this 2lb whiting - a bit big for bait but good to still see there were a few bigger whiting still around.

As low water approached everyone switched to either live or bigger mackerel/squid baits - Carl managed the one and only conger of the day.
After low water, we move back inside to try and have a bash for some dabs, but my usual dab mark had about 12 boats surrounding it. I tried to find a bit of ground close by but after 20mins I couldn't take fishing in amongst all them boats so got the anchor up and headed towards another inshore wreck. We only had 4m of water on top of the wreck so again anchored well up-tide and stuck it out here for a couple of hours, found few good whiting and lots of pouting.
On the way to the wreck we passed a big bull seal, I was asked what I thought it would be feeding on, so I gave this massive lecture on how they'd most likely be feeding on small fish and shellfish as they are easier to digest than big fish,- less big bones you see. No sooner had I finished my lecture when a flock of about 40 gulls ,following the big bull, appear 40 or so yards off the port side. I got the bin's out to see what the commotion was about, the seal had a cod into double figures in its gob!! Every now and then the seal would thrash the cod around in attempt to get a lump of cod. This continued for 20mins before the tide carried them down towards the piers with the gulls
Being so distracted we never found the dabs, so I decided to move Oystercat slightly further east to a large-steep sided hole. It was very slow here with only a few whiting rattling the tips so we called it a day at 3:10pm.

Recent trip to Lundy Island

Skippers Dean Gifford and John Elvins, along with a small party of Club anglers took Oystercat on an exploratory fishing trip to sus out the fishing marks around Lundy Island. The trip was very beneficial, enhancing the skipppers knowledge and experience of the seaway and fishing techniques. Between them the party caught around 30 pollack, two of which were caught by junior member Lewis Pearce and are shown in the photo above.

Oystercat fishing trip
Leighton Lewis - black bream
Osssi Barnes - smoothhound
Oystercat Fishing trip
Skipper: John Elvins
John Bevan with personal best 16lb smoothhound & Richie Pearce with 1.4lb black bream
Skipper John Elvins - smoothhound guys - Lynn Martinson
Dave Clarke with personal best smoothhound at just under 10lb

Oystercat fishing trip report for 25-26 May 2013

Skipper Dean Gifford
Loaded up with 100 peelers and a few dozen hardbacks from H R Jones Clydach Oystercat skippered by Dean Gifford and MMBFC members went sports fishing for hounds. On the Sker mark Rob Turner caught the first smooth hound, closely followed by By John Elvins, Richie Pearce and Dean Gifford. Moving North West to another mark the anglers were into a flurry of fish, many lost from the hook. Soon plenty of fish were being caught Ossi Clark had the pick with 3 hounds. At low water Oystercat was taken over to Langland looking for black bream and coding, but found gurnard, bull huss, ballen wrasse, whiting, one mackerel, a thornback and then black bream, codling. Later on the Oxwich mark tub gurnard, dabs and mackerel were being caught. Using crab bait a nice little smoothhound was caught by Dean, followed by one for Carl Heyward. Luke Heyward scored his first ever plaice. Over on St Christoper's Knoll on turning tide the fishing kicked in with good numbers of dabs, gurnard (mainly greys and reds) and 3 plaice.

At the end of the trip 30+ hounds ranging between 5lb and 11lb, 60 dabs (lots of small ones but a few keepers) a few bull huss, gurnard, whiting, wrasse, black bream, mackerel, codling and the thornback.

1 Rob Turner with the first smoothhound
 2. John Elvins with his smooth hound

3. Dean Gifford and smooth hound                                                                       
4. Richie Pearce with smooth hound
5. Ossie Barnes with his first smooth hound of the day
6. Jack Beynon with smooth hound
7. John Bevan - smoothhounds

8. Richie Pearce with yet another smoothhound while Rob Turner looks on   
9.  John Elvins with bull huss
10. Nathan james with his smoothhound

11.  Ossie Barnes, Jack Beynon and John Bevan the 3 smooth hounds
12. John Bevan and Nathan James with more smoothhounds
14.  Luke Heyward with his first ever plaice
15. Carl Heyward and smooth hound
Report ends.