This offer has been a long time coming and something I have wanted to run for a while it’s just been a case of finding the time and the right moment.
To celebrate the recent re-branding of the business and the release of the new website and logo I am offering a 10% discount on bass fishing bookings made before the end of June.
The summer months are the best times to come and join me here on the wild Pembrokeshire coast. This is when the sand eels hatch in big numbers, bass come in close to feed on crabs and other crustaceans and will be chasing other bait fish.
All you have to do is sign up to my emailing list which can be found on my blog here https://www.welshbassguide.co.uk/blog .Sign up with your email on the right and press "Subscribe Now"
The discount will apply to anyone signing up to the list and it can be used for two or more consecutive days only, and can also only be used for groups of up to four people. Provided you confirm your booking before end June then the discounted days can be at any time this season, subject to availability.
When you contact me to book provided I already have your details captured on the mailing list I will apply your discount.
This promotion will be running from today the 13th of May 2018 and up until the 30th of June 2018.
Please note that bookings will be on a first come first served basis. The weekends and best tides are likely to fill up fast, so don’t delay!
If you are already on my mailing list then this offer already applies. If you do join the mailing list and cannot make it this year then there will also be more promotions for both bass fishing, foraging and food days coming soon.
Thanks for reading and I hope you will take the amazing opportunity to take up this generous offer.
Well it has been an exceptionally busy start to the year for me.
I have had numerous successful restaurnt pop ups in various locations and also the foraging and food days have been busy too.
The early spring has been a pretty cold one and as every year I always look forward to the arrival of the best edible fungi available to us the Morel (Morchella esculenta - - Morchella deliciosa)
I was a little worried this year that I wouldn't find any morels because of the cold weather, but there have actually been a few about. I had repeat clients from L.A this year, and it was great to get them onto some wonderful springtime fungi hunting.
Last year the morels were very hard to come by but this year when I have had time to look I have found quite a few.
If you do want to join me next year to get out to find these most incredible fungi then feel free to book in when you can.
The foraging and food bookings have as always been a huge success and its a real pleasure to get out at this time of year, when the sun is out then foraging is a real delight. Walking down quiet country lanes and through the fields. The sound of the light breeze, the birds in full song. It doesn't get much better than this, connecting back to how it should be and how it was.
Its hard to imagine a better dining experience than learning, gathering and then eating these wonderful creations.
Above - Springtime on a plate - Slow cooked duck egg yolk, morels and hedgerow edibles. The colour and vibrancy of spring being the inspiration for this dish.
Above - Lobster and the shoreline - Pembrokeshire lobster with all the goodness that it lives close to. This dish is one that I am very proud of and I think it is a dish that is probably perfect.
Above - "Stack rocks", Gorse flower custard and ash meringue.
Theres around six to eight courses in all and when your cooking and serving the food its often difficult for me to get lots of photos.
As you can imagine when I turn out these kinds of dishes people are blown away and I feel I am hitting the peaks now as I settle more and more into my surroundings. Still as I have said for a long time there is still so much more I want to produce and to learn about to take the dining experience to yet another level.
As far as bass fishing is concerned I have had no time whatsoever to get out, its even been hard for me to get rolling with my regular blog posts trying to keep up with paperwork is another story.
Theres been no chance to get out bass fishing a lot yet, that isn't a bad thing though as it is only now that the water temperature here is hitting the needed 12oc.
I will be out over the next few days though and as soon as I get the chance to hook my first bass then it will be posted up on here :)
This letter does go out into an email to past clients so I have to say by the new incoming laws that if you wish to unsubscribe then please just drop me an email with the text Remove as the subject and I will remove you from the list.
You can also sign up to the mailing list on the top right hand side of the blog page to stay updated.
Note* I am sure as you can see throughout the website I have had the business logo and I have gone through re-branding recently so if you are signed up and you are on the list, then there will be some speacial offers coming to you over the next few days, so please stay posted.
Please feel free to get in touch with me via my email - email@example.com
Leila and Anthony joined me last year whilst on their travels around Wales, they were extremely down to earth and just really lovely people.
So here is the video, please do have a watch and if you are on the social media channels then please like and share it etc. We all worked hard to get this amazing work across.
I was to say the least overwhelmed by what the recipe hunters achieved whilst they were in Wales and what they achieved with me. I really love the video and it gets across my ethics and my beliefs over extremely well?
I hope you enjoy the video and you have all had a lovely Easter as well.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you are looking to join me again this year. Or of course if you are wanting to join me for the first time for either bass lure angling or the wonderful foraging and food experience please don't hesitate.
A happy mothers day to all the wonderful mum's out there.
Spring is quickly moving in, and the weather at the beginning of the month has been very cold and theres obviously been plenty of snow across the U.K.
Let's hope things get better weather wise here on in, the water temperature will soon start to rise and it will be great to see my guests playing and releasing nice bass like this very soon
Early spring is the time for me to get out and start gathering. I love this time of year and theres always plenty going on, even the small things like toads pairing up are lovely to see.
The wild garlic shoots have been up for a while and I started to preserve these wonderful little shoots in the middle of January. "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail" has never been so true a word in my field. When creating and serving food which is so close to the importance of the seasons and mother nature you have absolutely no choice. I have to stay one step ahead, theres no other way.
In the last few days the first of the gorse flowers are starting to arrive.
Gorse flowers are one of the best wild edibles, if of course you know what to do with them.
The humble gorse flower is as important to me as something like vanilla is to the mainstream commercial chef. You can impart that wonderful fresh coconut scent into all manner of things, custards, ice creams, mousses. With a little creativity and imagination then its surprising what you can come up with.
I am also toying with the idea that the coconut flavour and scent could actually go with fish quite well or indeed lamb, especially milk fed lamb. I will keep you posted on these findings in the near future.
Coming to that point "the near future", I have two pop up events coming very soon.
It's really a great privilege to be doing these nights and it gives me a chance to get across a sample of what I am doing to a bigger audience. I can't thank the great people at both venues enough for letting me do this. Spaces are limited and there probably a few gone already. So please get in touch with either myself or either of the venues above if you want to join us.
It's a bit of a bargain really with the both nights being around fifty pounds per head.
Theres not many places you can go these days and eat six or seven courses for that price. You can expect dishes of the standard below.
Above - "Egg in the hedgerow"
Slow cooked and charred beet - Beetroot pickled in dulse vinegar - Beetroot sauce.
OK so maybe "The lobster and the shoreline" won't be making an appearance on the nights, but we will have a shin of Pembrokeshire beef on there.
Again a short blog post but I hope I can tempt you into coming to one of the nights at either venue in the upcoming spring calendar, or if you fancy a real experience here on the Pembrokeshire coast please do get in touch.
There will probably be more collaborations in the pipe line as well throughout the year and definitely more in 2019 so do stay posted.
So with cabin fever well and truly set in and the anticipation of the new season to come I thought it was about time for me to get a fishing blog post up.
I have for while now wanted to share more information about some of the tactics and lures I use out here on the Welsh coast for my bass lure angling.
On this new blog site when I can I will be giving away honest, and I hope engaging information for fellow lure anglers. I hope it will not just work here in Wales but across the United kingdom and hopefully further afield.
So here goes....
Starting at the beginning
Sorry about not smiling in the above photo, but it's always a shock and a very adrenaline fueled time when you hook, play and land big bass on lures.
For hard lure fishing
I prefer to give the sea in my area the time to warm up before I start using hard lures on a more regular basis. I love using the mainstay of the hard lures I use from about the end of April into early May.
I most definitely don't start throwing surface lures in the water until about mid May when the water temperature normally hits 12oc.
For all my lure fishing whether using hard or soft baits, I try and use naturally colored baits.
Matching the hatch is very important to my style and practices, so I try and use patterns of the bait fish that are present in that area, this includes the normal patterns like sand eels, gobies, blennies and rockling, squid and mullet etc, and of course where there are young sea trout and twait shads and common eels I will use appropriate patterns to tempt the bass.
I will write more on the subject of "matching the hatch" in the time to come.
The soft needle technique and similar methods
The soft needle technique by day and by night that I use for all my soft plastic lure fishing for bass was developed for our U.K waters by Keith and Kevin White in Jersey. In all honesty Keith has been an inspiration to me since I started the bass guiding back almost five years ago now. Keith was and is still there if I or any other person has any questions, I can never thank Keith enough for being encouraging and so helpful in my early and formative years.
I remember the days when I would head down to the water with a few bags of Sand eel, eel and bait fish pattern soft plastics and go through many hours of research in the motions of finding out which soft plastics worked best for bass.
Some soft plastic baits and whilst daytime practicing the soft needle technique also actually caught me some quality wrasse in the beginning sometimes with accidental intent. I soon came to love catching bigger wrasse and I still do take clients out to catch this very pleasing and hard fighting fish.
I sometimes find it surprising how things just sometimes click into place and just work and then everything makes sense.
Method - Simplicity and common sense
The best way that I describe this method when I am teaching people on my days out is this.
"The most important tool we have with this technique and with other forms of lure fishing is the water itself."
Take a look at this video below.
The white water that I call the chaos and the type of water that makes my heart skip a beat and gets me extremely excited.
It is so uncomplicated it's unreal. All you need is current and water flow, the rest takes care of itself.
Theres always current and tidal flow, but when we look at structure then this is where the real hot spots can be. These currents and flows of water have been happening in the same places for thousands of years. The push of the sea has shaped our coastlines and our favorite fishing marks.
A quick note on water temperature.
Whilst snorkeling you will notice when you are closer to rock structure theres A huge difference in water temperature. Being close to rock formations you can really feel the warmth, and when moving off to deeper water there is a pretty big and sudden drop in water temperature.
The water quite obviously near the rocks is warmer because the sun heats the exposed rocks up and like being close to a heat source on a cold winters day it feels very comforting indeed.
I have a feeling the bass enjoy this too. I have in evidence also seen good sized bass quietly resting up near the rocks in the middle of the day.
The next thing I look for is structure. Where there is structure, for example gullies with lots of weed, large pieces of rock, boulders and sizing down to pebbles and also sand bars.
I have broken this section into three parts. I experience different types of structure on my home turf.
Gullies are probably the best places to target bass.
I have lost count how many larger fish I have hooked and landed with the soft needle technique in a deep gullies. By fishing a soft plastic along the edge of a gully with weed then your in for a real chance of a good fish. Big fish will not over use their energy chasing bait.
Big fish are opportunistic hunters. They will move in on a tide and they will lay in wait to ambush or they will just pick up dead crabs and other fodder.
Here you will find food or bait like sand eels, gobies, blennies, rockling, crabs and prawns are prolific. All favorite foods of the bass.
Drop offs or tide dominated shelves
Hard edged rock, weed falling into deeper water onto smaller rocks and sand.
Similar to gullies but obviously drop offs do as they are so called they drop off to deeper water. Bass will use the cover of the weed and they will lay in wait at distance for sand eels and other bait fish to pass by.
Sand banks and holes on storm beaches are deadly for bass. I think out of all the places to catch bass this is my favorite area, lots of people give beaches a miss but you should try it or of course come and join me and learn how to read a beach with me here on the Welsh coast.
Even a small bass will go like the clappers in the undertow when theres a nice bit of surf on.
There are different ways to target bass in the surf, sometimes its nice to have a lure that can cast a long way. It's also great to bounce heavier plastics though the Fiiish black minnow does well for this terrain too.
Over the surf I love to use theXorus Patchinko 2. The Xorus Patchinko 2 is a legendary lure and its a proven lure.
I don't like using surface lures on bright days as I feel they scare the fish. On overcast days and at night time I like to give a gentle walk the dog action and I also like waking them across the water too.
The Xorus asturies has become a bit of a legend in its own right as a lure. I will be doing more work with this lovely looking lure this year. It doesn't cast as far as the patchinko 2 but I really like the subtlety of it.
Soft plastic Lures
Below are a list of lures for you to take into consideration and if you have not tried them then please do they are all proven fish catchers for me and they really do work.
The lunker city slug-go has been a staple of mine now for the last five years. It took me a good while to start hitting fish with these soft lures, but when I did build my confidence with them then it was hard to stop. For about two seasons they were the only soft plastic I would turn too. I would use a selection of 4.5in and 6in size and I would for daytime and low light fishing only use the Arkansas shiner colour. I have landed fish of up to 8 lbs on these excellent lures up to this day. I usually use a 3.5g or a 5g cone head weight for these sizes.
Ifished my soft plastics completely weightless in 2017. No weight and no clip. I caught many good fish on the Do live sticks from the first cast I took a good fish of just under 6lb.
I really love these lures in the electric shrimp colour but I have also done very well with the wakasagi coloured lure as well. I also really like the special edition "goby" colour as well and I had a few nice fish in the night on this lovely lure.
The O.S.P Do live sticks have been a revelation for my fishing over the last season. I have fished the 6in range in this lure. I fished all my soft plastics last year completely weightless.
With the "less is more" approach, I am in the thinking that may have something to do with the stamp of fish they have been taking? The 6in version cast really far for a soft plastic without any weight added at all. I want to size down to the smaller 4.5in next year for the timing of the early sand eel hatches. For more information on this wonderful soft plastic visit O.S.P's website here.
Hawg Wild senkos
The original Hawg wild black and white senkos are legendary. I still have a few packs of the original ones of my own. I am sure the company changed the density of the plastic they were using, that's what I recall somebody telling me anyway?
Please don't quote me on that though. I used to fish these senkos when I first started out bass fishing and before they became famous. I used to get a supply from my good friend Andy Kendrick. If it helps, they can now be found in the United Kingdom here.
Lures I am looking forward to using more in 2018
It's always a tough one when you are running a small business and funds are not always there for splashing out, so you tend to stick to the lures that work, and then when funds allow you can buy some new and interesting gear to try out. Theres some great stuff available these days and these are a few soft plastics I am looking forward to using in 2018.
I got to use the Albie snax lures a little bit last year and I did catch fish on them within the first few casts, in all honesty I haven't caught anything large on them yet. Although I think that will change in the near future. The Albie snax are a lovely looking "squid" style lure though and I am looking forward to working with them a lot more in 2018.
The Rai's spotter is not a lure I have used yet but I am looking forward to trying these lures out in 2018. The ones in the photo are the 7in version, I am also keen to test out the 5in version too. It's always a tough one when you are running a small business and funds are not always there for splashing out so you tend to stick to the ones that work and then when funds allow you can buy some new and interesting gear.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch to book in for the bass fishing or wrasse fishing season ahead.
I must apologize to all my followers its taken me ten days over the new year period to get a blog post up. So a very happy 2018 to you all.
I have been busy with full time work over Christmas building up the funds and theres just not been enough hours in the day to do much writing. Fishing and foraging Wales continues to grow and its becoming harder to try and keep up with everything.
Its been a mixed winter weather wise here in Wales. We have had some snow on higher ground and its always nice to get out in the cold and have a good walk when I get the chance.
Next week I will be gathering scarlet elf cup fungi and also wild garlic for preserving in readiness for the busy times ahead.
I love hunting for these early edibles. The colour of bright green and the wonderful scarlet colour of the elf cup's is a great sight to see on the now bare winter time woodland floor. I do like the scarlet elf cups. I gently cook them as I do with all my fungi and I really like the texture. The taste almost reminds me of bacon for some strange reason. Mind you I do have a pretty refined palate.
I love to create new dishes at this time of year and I will be busy in my small kitchen trying out new things. As a creative chef it's important I keep trying out new things and to keep writing new ideas down.
"Limpets" will be a new dish added to the early spring dishes for the foraging and food days for the foreseeable future.
They won't be served as a whole "meat", but I have learned to extract the essence of the limpet to make it edible.
In all honesty I don't know how our neolithic ancestors could eat vast amounts of these aquatic gastropods in their whole form.
I know early humans had to eat to survive but these wonderful and fascinating creatures are never going to win anything in the texture or looks awards. I have tried slow cooking limpets at different temperatures and for long periods of time, but theres no way you can get them to go soft.
The best thing to come out of them is a wonderfully rich juice which can be made into something spectacular. The limpet will be just one element of the new appetizer dish with another two tastes added to enhance things.
I have really found working alone over the last few years that a few simple elements executed extremely well is the way to go. I don't have one chef to each guest that sits down to the food experience like a lot of the top places do. The food still has to compete and be up there with the best in the business though and there is only one way to achieve perfection when working on your own. The key is to refine, execute well, be confident in the power of the best ingredients and also to produce something a bit original too.
The wonderful morels (Above - Morchella esculenta) which I think are the best edible fungi of all, will also be here soon if the weather and soil temperature allows on my patches.
If your interested in a foraging day where we may be able to focus on finding these wonderful edible fungi then please do get in touch.
Just one of the dishes below that celebrates the coming of spring in all its glory - Slow cooked duck egg yolk, morels and hedgerow greens, morel sauce.
Soon it will be time to chase these wonderful fish again.
I have a few new lures to test out from Lure Fishing for bass UK, these and some other new lures will be taken through their paces.
As a guide you kind of work with what you have done since day one. With some trialing out on the side when time allows. I would never let a guest experiment with something I don't think will work or I haven't put the hours in with myself. I think its important to test lures out thoroughly though and when I can, and if it works for me consistently then I will post it up on this new blog.
I don't start taking people out for the bass until Early May when things become a bit more consistent. And the water temperature starts to come good. I don't think its fair to take paying guests out before this time as I wouldn't feel I was doing them justice at all.
Theres some great times to be had in what is one of my favourite months for both bass fishing and foraging.
Catching and seeing these wonderful fish is always a pleasure but theres no feeling for me than seeing these fish swim back off into the sea again.
Thanks to my very good friend David Miller for letting me use the sand eel photograph above.
It won't be long until the sand eels are hatching in good numbers, I will be on the shoreline watching the bass smashing these mainstay of their broad diet. There are many great days for me to look forward to this year with my friend David miller at David Miller Art
Anyway a short blog post for now.
Please do get in touch with me for any enquiries for booking days out for any of the wonderful experiences I am offering here. Booking are now coming in daily and I do not want to leave anyone dissapointed.
All the very best and I hope 2018 is a great year for you all even if you cannot find the time to join me this year.
Theres a multi-course dinner with the foraging day out as well and the reviews have been unbelievable. Lots of hard work goes into each dish and its really starting to tell. With every guest I have seen coming to join me the feedback has been unreal.
Please do not hesitate to get it touch as there are already just under twenty people booked up for July for both experiences
Coming very soon
If rooting around the Welsh countryside looking for wild edible isn't for you then I have some good news.
I will also be running pop up wild food evenings at various places around Wales in 2018.
More details of these events will be published here when the dates are set in stone.
You can get more of that will be coming up in 2018.
St Davids day 2018
I will be running a St Davids day foraging and food event around the very beginning of March (1st to the 5th). We do not celebrate St David and promote St Davids day enough here in Wales.
I may even do this as a three day or a five day event.
Again places will be limited and the food will be based on what is about that time of year.
I will be looking at the traditions of food at the time of St David, and will try and look at what the clergy of the day would of eaten during fasting times etc, I will of course take these ideas to another level.
Note* It wont just be leeks and water (now theres an idea! :)
A short post for now but I just wanted to make people are aware of whats coming up.
I will be here for years to come and I will continue to hit the peaks and I will continue go from strength to strength. At the end of the day I am a man of the outdoors, the knowledge I have is wonderful and it is not taken for granted.
I don't think I will ever get tired of getting people onto the fish especially when they are good sized ones.
I also don't think I will ever stop questioning and wondering what is actually going on out there, the quest for answers will forever continue.
Smaller parts of the puzzle come together with some more attention to detail. The wild Pembrokeshire coast is far from a simple place to fish. Some marks are so large they have to be sectioned into smaller bite sized pieces.
The foreshore and the storm beaches here are forever changing. Each season can be very different. You have to adapt and you to have a plan B, C and D.
Seeing people hooking up with their first bass is always great for me too.
Rowland above joined me for a five day session as did Chris below, with the weather conditions and seals turning up at marks we only really had three days out of the five for actual fishing. Such is the gamble on this coastline at this time of year.
You get your chances and you have to try and make the most with what you have to choose from in front of you.
Chris and Colin below have joined me on a few occasions this year, back in late June we had a wonderful time. Top banter and fun was had on each and every day. Thanks lads and see you next year.
People that come on these days out have similar interests, everyone has been massively supportive this year and everyone is returning for more adventures next year.
The places we go are alive with life, its not always about the fishing sometimes.
Seeing otters playing on the shoreline and following their footprints in the sand.
Watching the wading birds like the egrets and the red shanks, the murmurations of the starlings on a cloudy autumn day.
The calling of the curlews is one of the best sounds that you will ever experience.
The rod that I have worked so hard on has delivered there are only three of the Tulala 240's in the country and two belong to me the other one has now been sold. More will be on their way soon and next year I will be working on the 275 (9ft) version.
These rods will be available exclusively through me here on this website in my shop.
A rod that has been worked on for three years now, a rod built by me. Someone who is on the coast fishing for bass on almost a day to day basis. Rods purposely built for the conditions we face on U.K waters.
I also got some time to fish for myself at certain points. I have personally landed fish up to the eight pound mark. No double for me this year though which is a normal occurrence for me when I get time to fish hard. Alas the day to day running of the business has taken over.
I am really hoping to get out fishing for myself next year so I can continue to land more fish like these below on lures from the shore.
Foraging and food
The feedback on the food from guests has been as I would expect for all the work I put into it.
I cannot thank each and everyone of you enough for joining me and I will see you all again next year.
The words of encouragement have been duly taken and I will continue to strive to get better and better.
There is nobody cooking this style of food in the U.K at the moment where in that everything I use comes from extremely local sources.
Most of my dish creations have a meaning and a story, an interpretation of my take on the environment I work in.
Getting to where I am today has not been easy.
Dedication, commitment, sacrifice and determination have been the key recipe for me and anyone striving to do something truly unique.
Family and friends have been very supportive when things have been tough.
For those on the end of the phone I cannot thank you enough. I turned my back on the status quo five or six years ago now and it is the best thing I have ever done. I only wish I had made the decision ten years ago.
Above - Egg in the woodland - Slow cooked duck egg yolk, chanterelles and wood sorrel.