The start of the season 2017 – Foraging and food.

The start of the season 2017 – Foraging and food

The season at fishing and foraging Wales always starts with foraging and food.

Over the winter months I have been thinking of ways to iron out any creases to take the food to the next level.

I am always seeking to improve on what I am doing and this year I feel that I am almost there with the foraging & food dishes.

Its always difficult when your working on your own with nobody to bounce ideas off, because not only should a dish taste perfect it has to look perfect. Plating a dish has never been an issue for me, but there is just always that element in the back of your mind of “I should of done it this way or maybe that way?”

Oyster deep fried in rye, sea buckthorn, sea radish and scurvy grass flowers-1

Oyster deep fried in rye, sea buckthorn, sea radish and scurvy grass flowers.

I feel now the dishes tell a story of the areas I work in and they are almost set in stone now, the tasting menu if you wish is just a way of me showcasing my skills as a passionate and creative chef. There are still more ideas to be worked on, but as a solo craftsman I have to be realistic and as honest as I can be, both to myself and to the people that join me on the foraging and food experience days.

Cured and air dried welsh mountian lamb.

Cured and air dried welsh mountain lamb.

There is a balance in what I am doing and the new ideas that I am constantly writing down will have to wait until the near future. This waiting and being patient is hard, as I have a creative mind and because of the unique nature of what I am doing its difficult to try to contain myself.

I am on this journey of discovery and it seems crazy that I am the only one to see the vision and to be learning this great knowledge of what surrounds me single-handedly and alone. I am blessed, imagine turning a corner and discovering a plant that has the taste elements of grapefruit to it, a seaweed with the taste of truffle?

Pennywort.

Pennywort in prolific amounts on the bank.

The list is endless and even though there is time left, why do I always feel like there is not enough time.

Always with the constant thought of am I missing something?

Although I have to keep my mind focused and concentrate on the task ahead, which has always been to create something worthy and that is true to my surroundings, true to the country which I love and also true to my beliefs of sustainability.

Egg in the hedgerow - April 2017

Egg in the hedgerow – April 2017

Ash shoots just emerging.

An Ash shoot just emerging.

I love the way that simple things like the ash shoot above pair so well with the other finds that also emerge at springtime, take a pairing of ash shoots and morels for example. I love the way that with a little knowledge things can come together in this natural way, its almost like you don’t even have to think, the answers are right there in front of you.

These inspirations happen with natures timings and with very little effort. You kind of get – its a meant to be feeling!

I love to take ingredients like the humble onion to a new height of the “umami” sensation we all crave. Just with technique, onions, water and allowing time I can create something sublime.

Onion and butter broth in the pot-1

Onion and butter broth served in a small clay crock pot.

A perfect Pembrokeshire lobster, what could be better?

Live lobster 2017 -1

A perfect Pembrokeshire lobster.

To kill a lobster or any other animal for me is never any easy task. The majority of people take for granted how easy it is to buy something pre-prepared off a shelf, but to take somethings life and to then honour that creature and to serve it to the highest level possible.

How can I do this fabulous creature justice? To pair it simply with elements of its nearby surroundings, some seaweeds, shoreline plants and a sauce made from the heads and shells, every part of the lobster is used.

Lobster and the shoreline-1

Lobster and the shoreline.

The cliff-side at springtime 2017.

The cliff-side at springtime 2017. A homage to the sea birds that nest on the Pembrokeshire coast.

It won’t be long now before I am out chasing bass myself and guiding clients along the wonderful Pembrokeshire coast line.

I don’t like taking clients out chasing bass until May as the fishing can be a little sporadic in April, and I think its only fair to take people when I believe is the best time to start.

Catching big bass on soft plastics Slug-gos by day and night is an absolute wonder.

The bass will be here in good numbers soon, I will be out chasing them myself when I can and of course guiding guests.

Stay posted :)

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any of the experiences I offer.

Email – matt@fishingandforagingwales.co.uk

Telephone – 07515380169

Posted in News | Comments Off

A look ahead to the 2017 season.

Looking forward to the 2017 season

Well Its not far off now….

Every year holds the same anticipation, but this year more than ever I can hardly contain myself. Its that time to change the old rusty hooks on my lures and head out chasing the bass again here on the Welsh coast.

More experiences will soon arrive the first take from the first bass of the season.

The sound of the sea, the sound of the surf.

The sight of white water as it pushes in on the moving tide.

You get those feelings that make you feel magical inside, the butterflies…or is this the passion and the love I feel for our sport and this species?

And all the time the coast is inspiring, a revelation and at some points it feels overpoweringly exhilarating.

I cant wait to have the first sensation of a big bass hitting my lure and racing off in the current, or even the sight of a big girl coming up and checking out my lure and turning away right at the last second, am I sick..? No even seeing those big fish is a true spectacle, catching is one thing but just being there in the thick of it and the experience is just magical.

Bass catch and release Wales

Another wonderful bass swims off back to where it came from.

The above and below release shots of this good sized bass I caught late season last year were kindly taken for me by my good friend David Miller

I am looking forward to spending some quality time with David as its been a long winter and I have been busy working and writing as much down as I can when I get the time.

Bass turning 2

One flip of the tail and the bass swims off strongly.

Wave hitting rocks

Each passing wave will offer a chance of a good fish and this year I will be playing around with some new techniques with soft plastics, whats that then you say?

Please do stay posted to find out more, I want to put more up on the blog about fishing techniques and methods and I have just bought a new laptop which is pretty snazzy and this will hopefully allow me for quicker uploading of photos and words. I am also hoping to do a lot more on my video channel which is pretty basic at the moment but can be found on you tube.

Wild horses 1

Armed with the new Tulala Glissando 240 I will be working hard to catch as many fish that is possible.

Catching big bass on soft plastics Slug-gos by day and night is an absolute wonder.

Catching big bass on soft plastics Slug-gos by day and night is an absolute wonder.

I love fishing soft plastic lures right through the season. I love the Lunker city sluggo in 4.5in, 6in and the 7.5 inch eel imitiation. These lures are also deadly for bass at night fished in the “soft needle technique”.

There’s absolutely no easier way to fish than when using these wonderful soft plastics. Takes from bass can be very subtle so sometimes you don’t know how big the fish is until you set the hook, then it a case of hold on to your hats as the bass takes an initial dive to try and get back to its place of ambush.

The violent head shakes of the bass are a true show of its power. It always amazes me that for their size how hard these fish fight. In surf and current and when the “chaos” is in full flow then there is no better feeling than the sound of line being pulled of of the reel.

Takes with soft plastics are often immediate as well, bass will very often take as soon as a lure hits the water. If you can get a lure in the right place then you are onto a real winner.

There will often be shows from my most beloved and favourite sea bird the gannet, these wonderful birds often come close for a look at the lure I just threw out or they will often swoop down closer over head. An added treat in this already wonderful place.

Gannets

A wonderful photo of a gannet by my friend David Miller.

The foraging year also holds so much promise as well I will soon be rooting around the countryside looking for mushrooms and hopefully this spring the morels will make an appearance.

Springtime morels 2014

Morels – The real king of the edible fungi world. Will the conditions be perfect enough this year for the morels to fruit?

Lobster and the shoreline 2016

The lobster and the shoreline – My well established signature dish, and just one of the dishes for the foraging dinner.

Cutting chanterelles 2016, foraging with fishing and foraging wales

Chanterelle hunting – In late summer and autumn chanterelle hunting is a real treat.

This winter I have been inspired to write down as many new dish ideas as I can, I will be quietly testing these new creations out when I get a chance. Most are inspired by the environment in which I work, I am always striving for perfection in my dishes. I work alone so dishes have to look good but they also have to be structured so that I can plate them to look consistently good.

Porcini In Wales - Foraging & Food - Foraging Wales, Bass Lure Angling Wales, Bass fishing Pembrokeshire. Foraging and fine food Wales.

The smell of porcini on the autumn woodland breeze.

Part of my office

The sound of the babbling brook its all heading our way very soon.

Stay posted.

Note * – If you want to join me this year please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Set dates for foraging have been set and places as far as August and September are already filling up.

Fishing dates for 2017

The bass fishing will commence in early May this year then they will run into late November.

May

Sunday May 7th – Full. May the 8th up to the 13th (Monday to Friday) – Available. May the 13th and 14th – Full.

May – Monday the 15th and Tuesday the 16th – Available

Monday 22nd May – One place available. May the 23rd to the 30th – Available.

June

Tuesday 6th of June – One place available. Wednesday 7th June – Available. Thursday 8th of June – One place available.

Friday 9th and 10th June – Full.

Sunday the 11th up to Thursday the 15th – Available.

Monday June 20th – Available. Tuesday the 21st – Full. Thursday the 22nd – One space available.

Friday the 23rd – One space available. Saturday the 24th – One space available. Sunday the 25th – Available. Tuesday the 26th – One space available.

Friday 30th June – Full.

July

July 7th and 8th – One place available. July 10th to the 14th – Full (11th to the 13th – One space available & fly fishing only)

 July 20th – 28th – Available. July 29th and 30th – One space Available.

August

Tuesday 8th – One place left. Wednesday and Thursday the 9th and 10th – Available.

Friday and Saturday 11th and 12th – Full. Sunday the 13th and Monday the 14th – Available.

September and beyond

Four days have already gone – I will post dates for the rest of September through to November at a later date.

 Foraging dates for 2017

Foraging starts in April and will run into late November.

April – Friday April – 21st – Four places left. Saturday April 22nd – Available. Sunday the 23rd of April – Available.

Saturday 29th April – Full

May

May – Saturday the 6th of May – Available. Sunday the 7th – Full.

May 18th, 19th and 20th – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – Available.

June

June – 3rd, 4th – Available.  June the 17th and 18th – Available. Thursday June 29th – Four spaces available.

July

Saturday July- 1st – four places available. Sunday the 2nd of July – Available. Monday the 3rd to Tuesday the 5th – Available.

Saturday and Sunday July 15th and 16th – Pending.

July 17th – 20th – Free.

August

1st, 2nd, 3rd 4th and 6th – Free – . The 5th is full – Pending.

18th – 20th – Available – Four places available on the 19th.

September and beyond

I will post September through November dates at a later date.

Posted in News | Comments Off

Filming with Munchies – A look back to May 2016 and the story so far – “A step forward”

Filming with Munchies – A look back to May 2016.

I really should of shared this here on the blog back in May when the documentary was published via social media, I am not sure whether any of my blog readers were aware that back in March 2016 I did some filming with the lovely people at Vice.com

The video can be found below - and I am about 10mins and 35seconds in.

As you can probably tell I was quite nervous at the beginning of filming.

It was a hard for me to do the filming as I am quite a reserved person. I have never been a great fan of cameras in my face, although I do at the end settle into the cameras being there. I felt at ease towards the end when I cooked for Charlet and the team, and the cameras seemed to disappear.

After the release of the film I have had emails from around the world congratulating me on a huge step forward, my website actually went down three times after the release of this part of the documentary.

Maybe people would or will one day eventually start to realise what it is I am trying to achieve, or in a way to see the way I am going which is against “the grain” a change from the normality.

The comments and emails actually touched me, I have been revelled as a genius in some comments and “more of a food visionary than Heston Blumenthal”. In that respect people are correct in the way that I dont use any food additives or unnatural substances to achieve what I am looking for.

Bass on rock

Nothing is delivered to my door, if something is in trouble as the trouble bass are in then they don’t get used, I never kill a healthy bass though and I only ever take them if they are badly hooked and virtually dead at my feet.

The story so far – “A step forward” 

I sometimes feel that I need to put more engaging things on my blog posts, and in time I will share more knowledge here, its just finding the time. Although everything is all written down.

The rest of this blog post delves into what I feel needs to be said.

I dont want this blog post to be a rant or to sound pretentious, theres plenty of that in the world and theres plenty of really bad stuff out there at the minute.

I won’t talk about world politics. We all see whats going on in our faces when we switch the news on.

If we all started to really look at what is important on this planet with the little time that we have here then you would realise that theres only one god we should be worshipping and thats mother earth, “bring back paganism in a more modern form”

Its also not a dig at commercial chefs as they’re jobs are hard enough.

I fortunatly walked away from the commercial world of kitchens, I hated being couped up in a hot hole for twelve hours of the day and being treated like dirt, wheres the fun in that?

Setting up fishing and foraging Wales was an escape and a step back into a world that has always on my doorstep. The things we need are so close we become blind to them.

Money is a necessary evil we all need it to get on in the world, although when your throwing prime bass and turbot away for a little macaroon in a little red book then you really need to see that your completly out of touch with whats going on and what is vitally important.

I feel that theres a bit of a blinfold being put over peoples eyes as in my last quote above, people think because things are foraged or are deemed “local” then thats sustainable?

Well they are not.

Yes I have played around with things like Cladonia rangiferina, but when it grows at 3-5mm a year and your picking or getting it picked by the bucket load then this is no good for the important eco systems that exist. Lichens as we know are also an important and natural litmus to gauge air quality it tells us how much sulphur is in the air. For anyone reading this and has an interest in the Welsh environment this important moss is regrowing in the South Wales valleys due to the closures of the coal mines many years ago now.

Fishing and foraging Wales has now become a search for knowledge and the realistion that I can actually run my business with everything coming from a small area that is just 610 square miles, (not 1,322,710 sq mi, if theres any keen chefs out there I hope you get it? :). Okay 610 square miles is still a pretty big place, but to be able to get everything from fungi to oysters, lobster to the humblest acorn is just well, quite mind blowing really.

A revelation to start a revolution?

The way that my business is run there is a low carbon footprint (I wish it could be smaller) I gather everything myself and I do get my lobsters in from a local supplier, meat obviously comes locally when needed too.

Porcini erruption

I did at the end of last season buy a caravan as some of my regular clients and friends know I lived in a bell tent for 8 months of the year for four years. I could not continue to do this as it was extremly hard, no electricity no running water.

20160805_150053_resized

As I say in the video though this was a good thing for a while, as I had no distractions through this time. I enjoyed those first four years having the solitude the chance to study an important area…Well who wouldnt’t? Empty quiet nights looking up at the stars with no one around but me, a chance for deep thoughts, big thoughts.

I have to thank my close family for putting up with the “insanity” and to thank them from the bottom of my heart for me being absent from family life (four months was the longest period that I didn’t see my partner and my son and daughther for this season).

I thank them for allowing me to go out and gain knowledge, each day I learn something new about what is here in my surroundings.

If great food dishes are created by memory, and then in turn by using the inspiration I take from doing what I love, then I am spoilt as a chef.

The world is my oyster “No Wales is” and its enough :)

If your looking for a wonderful and special Chritmas gift and are fed up of buying people or yourself  ”Things that are eventually not going to be needed again” then please dont hesitate to get in touch. :)

Telephone – 07515380169

Email – matt@fishingandforagingwales.co.uk

 

Posted in News | Comments Off

The end of the bass season 2016

 

The end of my bass season – November 2016

The beginning of November has been good on the lures, and I have had one or two larger bass falling to soft plastics.

Wonderful bass in the dark in the autumn on soft plastics.

Theres always a chance of some good sized fish at this time of year.

I like to use larger soft plastics, worms, slugs, shads and goby and blenny type hard lures work a treat and when the weather conditions are right then you can get a real surprise.

The autumn is now here in earnest, the leaves are all but gone.

Last Thursday there was a crisp frost and the temperature hit 0c on the rock marks I fish. The water temperature is still 14oc so theres still bass around. Theres lots of crab in the rockpools and prawns too, plenty of sand smelt as well for the bass to be hoovering up close in before they eventually go offshore to feed and reproduce.

The good thing about this time of year is that the sunrise is later and sunset is earlier. After a hard summers bass fishing and guiding this is quite welcome. Instead of the 3 or 4am starts its been nice to be getting up at around 6am instead so a bit of a lay on in bed. I am back home for around 6pm or 7pm.

Rainbow 2016

Wonderful but colder autumn mornings are well worth the rise from a warm bed to see specatcles like this.

Its not always about catching the fish though, we all know as bass fishermen that its really nice to catch them, but there are speactacles on this coastline that just need to be seen and heard. The otters swimming around the rocks on some of the marks we fish, the calling of the curlew on a crisp autumn morning.

Beautiful memories to keep and treasure for the memory bank, which is worth more than all the money in the world.

Chris cant with a bass

My good friend and regular client Chris Cant. Chris is always full of enthusiasm when he comes down to join me. He always works hard for his bass. See you in 2017 Chris.

Bass 2 November 2016

Another fine spikey specimen.

Bass 3 November 2016

Although just where has the time gone?

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was setting up camp and getting ready to chase bass on lures back in April.

Tent set up in July 2016

The last few days have seen me making time to pack up and start thinking about the 2017 season.

My first bookings for foraging arrive in February 2017, the wild galrlic will be shooting up soon and theres always plenty to look for along this coastline with a milder climate.

Ready for Pickling

Before I go any further I have to give everyone who has joined me this year, and also in previous years a big thank you. I cannot thank you all enough for your support.

As the sunsets on another season, we the recreational angling sector have all got a lot of work to do this winter. We all need to be getting involved with signing the petition (below) to stop the netters.

Even if your not a fisherman or lady then I see this as an important step for anyone with an interest in the flaura and fauna of our Islands. Bass are not just an important sportfish but they are also important to the ecology of our seas.

We need to get these important emails stating our concerns about the future of the important bass stocks. Please send your emails into George Eustace, and your local M.P’s and A.M’s if you live in Wales or Scotland.

We all now have this wonderful oppurtunity to stop the greedy and selfish practice of gill netting in all our waters on the U.K coast, so lets get that done.

Here is the link https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/172441 please sign it and get it shared on social meda as much as you can.

Theres more advice on who to email and how to write emails concerning bass on the Save our Sea bass website.

Stay posted.

For any bookings for the 2017 season please get in touch as I am already filling the diary steadily from the ebd of February and into March already.

The tide books are in and there will be set dates for foraging and food for the 2017 season.

Email – matt@fishingandforagingwales.co.uk

Telephone – 07515380169

Posted in News | Comments Off

Fishing, foraging and food – October 2016

Fishing, foraging and food October 2016

Again another month has passed by and I have been very busy out and about, but in all honesty it has been mainly on the foraging side.

Dave Carron with a bass. As soon as Dave hooked into this bass another bass of about double the size followed underneath the hooked bass. This sight is quite a regular occurrence.

Dave Carron with a bass. As soon as Dave hooked into this bass another bass of about double the size followed underneath the hooked bass. This sight is quite a regular occurrence.

We had continuous easterly winds over the beginning to the middle of October and this led me to move bookings around to other dates in November, and if the weather doesn’t play ball then people that have paid can be moved into the early 2017 diary dates.

Easterly winds for me can produce fish, but it can be very hard work. From a professional point of view, I would not feel right taking money from guests with the wind direction and placing them on the marks I fish.

So other than a few successful guided bass trips I have been concentrating my efforts on getting out into the woods and looking for fungi at the beginning and into the middle of October.

Over the hills and far away

Chanterelles and Hedghog fungi have been out in force this year.

Chanterelles (pictured) and Hedghog fungi have been out in force this year.

I eased off on my personal bass fishing for a few weeks as well, its a lovley change for me to get out in the hedgerows and the woodland.

It’s great to have a change of scenery from the sometimes raging sea and the chaos of the waves and the current, walking into a woodland can be a revelation.

The way the sunlight beams down through the early autumn woodland canopy is something to relish.

Another reason for me getting out and about like this is again to search for knowledge, as the foraging days out continue to grow I need to gather and preserve and get knowledge of other areas as well.

Gathering fungi is very exciting for me as sometimes you never know what your going to find. It is also important to me to gather fungi for drying for use in next years foraging dinners.

Other than drying fungi I have been busy making porcini oil and flavouring vinegars with seaweed. Rosehips and rowan berries have also been preserved.

Porcini have been quite plentiful and I have found quite a few new local patches which should yield again next year.

An almost perfect porcini

I do thouroughly enjoy the “silent hunt” rooting around in the early autumn and late autumn leaf litter can give such a special feeling, especially when your finding fungi.

Chanterelle in the leaf litter

A wonderful chanterelle down in the leaf litter.

Fly agaric

A brightly coloured fly agaric – Amanita muscaria. I know these wonderful looking mushrooms can be processed to be deemed edible, but I would never dream of eating one of these or to serve one to a guest.

I love seeing fly agaric on my days in and around the woodlands, there are so many stories attached to this most wonderful fungi, the mind starts to wonder as your strolling around.

Its easy to drift off and keep thinking of new food ideas when your out wandering along the countryside, its completely peaceful. Theres almost zero interference and I think everybody should be getting out and about and away from the hustle and bustle of busy towns and cities at least once or twice a year. Peace, silence and tranquility is good for the mind and indeed the soul.

Porcini on the woodland floor.

Bouchon (champagne cork) porcini down in the pine and spruce litter. The inspiration for the dish pictured below.

Porcini, preserved beech leaves, burning spruce 2016

Gently cooked porcini, porcini emulsification, preserved beech leaves (from spring), burning spruce 2016.

The dish above found its inspiration from finding some small bouchon ceps. The beech leaves were preserved back in late spring.

This dish is eaten with the fingers and the burning spruce gives a very autumnal feel to everything.

Not all the food for my dishes on the foraging dinners is all foraged. Most of them are but theres such great ingredients around me it would be rude not to be using the local farm shops and local shellfish sellers. Wales needs its food ingredients to be shown off the way it should be, simple and with elegance.

Slow cooked and burned beetroot, beetroot pickled in seaweed vinegar (beetroot reduction.

Slow cooked and burned beetroot, beetroot pickled in seaweed vinegar (beetroot reduction).

In Wales food has always been simple, dishes like Cawl, Stwns (a mixture of potatoes and turnips with buttermilk) some fish with bacon. Oysters were well known staple in the past.

My goal here has always been to keep things simple yet lift them to another level, but to also try to stay true to my roots.

Taking simple vegetables like a humble beetroot and the onion dish (below after the oyster photo) turning it into something special is a great feeling.

These kind of ingredients just go to show that we dont always need the finest caviar or the best white truffles to achieve greatness.

Every ingredient is equal to each other. With a little knowledge and thought you can take these ingredients and create something that is sublime. There is a lot more to learn and lots more to achieve. 

Oyster deep fried in Rye, sea radish flower and wilted leaf, sea buckthorn.

Oyster deep fried in Rye, sea radish flower and wilted leaf, sea buckthorn (served at the table).

Onion and butter broth.

Onion and butter broth. 

The onion broth above is so simple in execution but yet it is so tasty.

Its just local onions caramelised and cooked slowly in water, reduced and finished with butter. This simpicity could be taken to another level and be used in conjunction with other ingredients to compliment them. I work all alone at the moment so new ideas and future plans have to somewhat stay on the back burner (excuse the pun).

For now though I am happy to keep the humble onion, helped along with the help of some butter as the star of the show.

Lobster and the shoreline 2016

Lobster and the shoreline – Sauce from the lobster heads.

Pembrokeshire lobster Is there anything better?

Woodruff underneath birch 2016

Woodruff underneath birch 2016 – Woodruff mousse underneath birch bark meringue.

Drying some of the last fungi for 2016, in prepartion for 2017.

I have quite a few bookings left for fishing into the middle of November, I love November as a bass fishing month.

We get some decent sized fish along the coast and hopefully some guests will be lucky enough to hook into something decent “A proper beast”.

The third week of November will see me heading back indoors for the winter. I am looking forward to spending time with my daughter who just turned one this month.

It also gives me time to think of the next steps forward for fishing and foraging Wales.

Stay posted :)

Note – If your looking for a place on either the bass fishing or foraging and food days next year, then please do get in touch. I have just ordered my tide tables and there as I have said before will be strict days for the foraging and food days next year so dont hesitate to get in touch to avoid dissapointment.

These days out make particularly good Christmas presents for friends or loved ones and a very popular.

Email – matt@fishingandforagingwales.co.uk

Telephone – 07515380169

Posted in News | Comments Off

Late August into mid September 2016

Bass fishing late August into mid September

I must apologise to all my followers and readers about not putting up a blog post for a while now.

The truth of the matter is that I have been very busy with both guided bass fishing trips and the foraging and food days also.

There simply has not been enough hours in the day.

Matt Powell bass guide

Above – Releasing a nice bass back into the surf.

The bass fishing went very quiet for a time in August, it was quite frustrating for me as I know the fish are there but getting hook ups was a really tough challenge.

I want to look at new approaches next year. When I have been out and able to fish for bass I have had lots of follows and swirls from big fish, but getting them to take lures has been very tough.

This is a real thought provoker and a huge challenge for me.

You have to take everything as a positive in this sport otherwise you can go stir crazy. “The curse of a hardworking bass guide”

On the flip side these challenges are good though, it gives me food for thought and to always think to progress with my chances and my clients chances of landing bigger bass.

I hope these studies will maybe be the chance and the key to unlocking consistency in landing bigger fish more often than usual.

Releasing a bass in the surf

Above -Sitting in the surf releasing a clients bass.

IMG_2385

IMG_2397

Above – Another silver bar goes back to swim again.

Spiky bass in the dark

Above – Bass on soft lures in the dark make for great fun.

IMG_2454

Above – Chris Richards with a nice bass, Chris lost a good sized fish going into dark on his first evening out with me.

IMG_2453

A great stamp of bass in 2016

John Hayman with a nice bass 1

Above – John Hayman with his first ever lure caught bass.

I hope that the rest of September will continue to get better on the bass lure angling front.

I have to thank each and everyone of my regular and new clients who have joined me this year.

I am really looking forward to spending time with you all next year.

Foraging and food

My foraging and food days have been very popular this year.

I will need to plan around set dates for these days next year.

The reason being that there is the same mis en place (food preparation) time in a table of two as there is in a table of four, six or eight.

I will be setting up one table for up to six to eight people with more of a communal feel. Think of it as private dining and the meeting of new friends.

It will be set around the same principles that I cover on a normal foraging day outing where we cover all the aspects of the shoreline, estuary and woodland edibles.

IMG_2434

Above – Chanterelles and hedgehog fungi have been out in force this year.

Sinuous chanterelle close up

Above – A first discovery for me the sinuous chanterelle.

Food

The dishes below are all from the late summer and into early autumn foraging and food days out.

Some are new and some are just slightly changed from previous dishes.

Deep fried oyster 2_edited

Above – Oyster deep fried in Rye, sea buckthorn, laver powder and sea radish.

Onion broth and butter

Above - Onion and butter broth.

Duck egg 2

Above – Slow cooked duck egg yolk with chanterelles and wood sorrel.

Burned beets and sauce

Above – Burned beets, pickled beet and beetroot reduction.

I love this time of year as the local Pembrokeshire root vegetables are arriving. Sweet beetroot are slow cooked sous vide at 88 Celsius for 4 hours then burned on the outer to bring out a sweet and smoky flavour. They have proved delicious and as good tasting as any cut of meat.

Lobster and shoreline edibles best

Above – Lobster and shoreline edibles and lobster sauce.

Woodruff underneath birch 2016

Woodruff mousse underneath birch meringue, preserved late summer fruits and honeysuckle.

Anyway I must head off now as I have another busy weekend of foraging and food days coming up and preparations need to be completed.

I know its a little while off now but I will soon be selling my vouchers for fishing foraging and food for Christmas presents, so please do get in touch if you want to purchase anything for friends and family.

There’s still a little time left for the main bass and foraging and food season as well so please do get in touch for dates and bookings.

All the best for now – ;)

Posted in News | Comments Off

The end of July into early August 2016

The end of July into early August 2016

The end of July into early August has been good on the bass fishing front, plenty of bass have been landed by my guests and by myself when I have had a chance to fish with such a busy schedule.

I must say that I have been meaning to update the blog for a while now but there simply haven’t been enough hours in the day.

A good 4lb bass being released.

A good 4 lb bass just about to be released.

I love seeing these wonderful fish swim off back out to sea.

This season so far has been better than last season, it’s been a real eye opener on some days.

I have personally hooked into and lost a few big fish that would easily of gone over into double figures. One of my clients lost a big bass last weekend. Another client lost a fish of around 8lbs again just slipping from the hook.

Such is bass fishing on lures!

It can be hard to take when you lose a big fish but to put it into a positive note at least they are there to be caught.

Bass being released Early August 2016bass fishing wales with Matt Powell, bass fishing wales with welsh bass guide, chef Matt Powell

Another fine bass getting ready for release.

A lure caught bass from the surf.

A lure caught bass from the surf.

Bass July 2016 017

Releasing a clients bass.

Brian with a good sized bass

A regular guest of mine Brian Brooks – Brian has been out with me a few times this year and has worked hard at his lure angling. He will hopefully be rejoining me on the 25th of this month if the surf and swell play to rhythm.

Ian with a bass

Ian Dowling with a smaller bass but a bass all the same. Ian had numerous hook-ups and hits, and one was a seriously good fish but alas it slipped the hook. 

I have to give everyone who has joined me already this year a big thank you, it’s never easy being a shore based guide and I work extremely hard at it as you all know. One of my biggest enjoyments is not only seeing people catching bass but seeing friends returning again.

4lb welsh bass on the glissando 240

My trusty Glissando 240 is helping me land a good stamp of fish.

It could be a great September for the bass lure angling with a few spaces left so please do get in touch as soon as possible.

Bass out of the surf July 2016

A large bass caught from the surf on lures – The high point of the U.K’s saltwater bass lure angling sport.

Foraging and food

Foraging

The foraging and food side of the business has also been extremely busy.

Chanterelles and Hedgehog fungi have been plentiful.

Basket of chanterelles and hedgehog fungus

A small basket of chanterelles and hedgehog fungus.

Hedgehog fungi in the leaf litter.

Hedgehog fungi in the leaf litter.

Cleaning the chanterelle

Teaching guests how to gather wild mushrooms and to clean them in the proper manner.

Teaching people to gather and clean mushrooms is very rewarding for me and the guests that join me.

It gives me a great feeling of accomplishment.

To me it is important to show people how to use these skills so they can then go off and find their own patches and to look after them and if they gather correctly then they can then pick from these patches for years to come.

Sustainable foraging is in a way the same way as releasing a bass back to the sea.

We cannot and should not take all the time and we must be sensitive to understand the importance of learning about our surroundings but using them in the absolutely correct way.

Food

The food I have been serving through late summer is simple, simple in flavour, presentation and execution.

It has to be as I work completely alone. The emphasis in each dish concentrates on the main ingredient, nothing is there for the purpose of just being there. Everything must work together and be there for a reason.

After bread, butter and pickles and my own cured meat comes the main dishes.

Asparagus and sea buckthorn emulsification.

Manorbier asparagus and sea buckthorn emulsification.

Slow cooked duck egg yolk with chanterelles

Slow cooked duck egg yolk with chanterelles and last years mushroom sauce.

Lobster and shoreline edibles

Lobster and shoreline edibles.

Woodruff underneath birch 2016

Woodruff underneath birch.

Looking forwards…..

I am continuing to take bookings for both bass fishing and foraging and food well into October and November.

I am also getting bookings for as far ahead for June and July 2017 for both bass fishing and foraging and food.

So do not hesitate to get in touch.

Email – matt@fishingandforagingwales.co.uk

Telephone or text – 07515380169

Posted in News | Comments Off

The beginning of July into mid July 2016

The beginning of July into mid July 2016

July started well with me being able to get some personal fishing in and then I was joined by clients from the first week.

The surf and swell was very unsettled for most of the beginning of the month but when conditions allow the bass lure fishing has been good.

Bass fishing wales with welsh bass guide. Bass fishing pembrokeshire with welsh bass guide

A decent sized bass is always a welcome occurrence. Knowing where and when to hit these fish is essential. Although technique’s with different lures is also massively important.

Conditions for bass fishing on lures is of utmost importance, as it is of course for all different types of species fishing.

The problem with bass fishing is that if the surf and swell on the coast is to high then this makes fishing extremely tough and it can also become quite dangerous.

bass fishing wales with welsh bass guide, bass fishing wales, bass fishing pembrokeshire, bass fishing with matt powell.

I have so much respect for this species. Good handling of bass is essential for a successful release.

If conditions are not optimum then it is hard to get clients onto the marks that will produce fish on that day.

On that day – On that tide height – In that wind – With that swell – With that swell timing – With that surf height.

Your almost looking for mother nature to bring along something perfect and this can be unobtainable and of course out of your control completely.

Although when the conditions are right there is no other feeling than being there on the shoreline at the right time.

At certain marks at certain times of the day a lot of the time you can see bass chasing bait-fish and these fish can be a little way off shore or sometimes less the a few metres away. Hitting a shoal with lures from the shore in strong surf in this state can be electric.

True memories that you will remember for life.

Bass fishing wales with welsh bass guide, bass fishing pembrokeshire

For close quarter work the soft needle technique with soft plastics such as sluggos and senko’s in the early morning and evening can be absolutely deadly. Learning this technique is important for the advancement of your lure fishing. This technique is also highly addictive and fulfilling. This technique builds confidence which is always needed in the field of lure fishing.

Bass fishing wales with welsh bass guide

A fine specimen of a bass being released.

Another bass in rockpool

Releasing a clients bass – All my bass get released. It is important we look after the future of the stocks we have. Is a complete commercial ban on landings of bass coming along in 2017?

Foraging

Foraging with welsh bass guide, matt powell, chef matt powell, matt powell, foraging wales

Beautiful chanterelles in the summer sun.

Foraging with welsh bass guide, foraging with matt powell, foraging wales, foraging pembrokeshire

A small basket of wonderful chanterelles is always welcome.

Sometimes I like to get away from the shore and the fishing it is a welcome break to get out and about in the woodlands looking for chanterelle’s at this time of year. The chanterelle patches are on time and the wet and warm weather has made them fruit and flourish.

foraging pembrokeshire, foraging wales, foraging with matt powell, foraging with welsh bass guide

Wild strawberries have been highly abundant this year.

foraging and food wales, foraging pembrokeshire, foraging wales, foraging with matt powell, foraging with welsh bass guide

A dessert from the beginning of July – Woodruff mousse, strawberries and preserved summer flowers.

If you want to join me for bass fishing this year then please do get in touch a few people have been in touch recently and have been dissapointed to hear that a lot of my dates are now full.

Dates available now are as follows -

I am insured to take more than two people out after bass at the same time, I stick to taking out two people at the same time for what I feel is consistent guiding from my point of view

August - August dates are from the 1st to the 11th and then the 15th to the 25th.

September - September is a great time and things will be flying by then I have the 8th free then after that the 15th up to the 19th available at the moment And also the 25th, 26th and 27th.

There are some days in there where people are already booked in but the more the merrier and bass lure angling is so much better with friends ;)

October and November - Please do get in touch as there is some great fishing to be had at this time and the chance of some big fish is greatly enhanced.

I am as I have said putting peoples names down in the diary for next year already and when the 2017 tide tables are out I will be contacting people to get their days booked in.

A big thank you to my friend David Miller at www.davidmillerart.co.uk for some of the above photos of the bass I have caught.

Good luck in all your fishing and foraging efforts :)

Contact

matt@fishingandforagingwales.co.uk

Telephone – 07515380169

Posted in News | Comments Off

Bass lure angling – Early summer 2016

Bass lure angling – Early summer 2016

Last week saw me holed up in bed after suffering from a virus. Not great when your job and business are based around the outdoors and mainly the water.

I am back out and at when I can although I am still not 100% I have been dying to get out and get some of my own fishing in while I can.

Big bass Late June 2016

Larger bass are now falling to soft plastic lures here in Wales. The lunker city sluggo is such a deadly lure when fished in the correct way and in the correct conditions and places.

With the lunker City slug-go it is quite a regular occurrence to have a take from a large fish straight away.

Or as we call it – on the drop OTD for short.

This is a very exciting way to catch bass and takes can be very visual and heart stopping.

By being patient and getting your timing right your rewards can be great. I sometimes size down from the six inch slug-go to a four and half inch as the lure is slightly magnified underwater which makes a six inch lure look bigger from quite a distance.

In clearer conditions I think this can sometimes be off putting for fish and makes them more difficult to catch.

I wrote a blog post based on this back a few years ago you can find the blog post here – “The Chaos”

Of course these techniques can be learned on a day out with me here at Fishing and foraging Wales.

One of my regular clients Mike with a bass. Plenty of follows from bass came along and if each one had hooked up we could of seen at least six bass landed over a day and a half. A hard thing to take but this is sometimes the case when bass fishing from the shore.

I absolutely love fishing this way and although it can be tough going on the shoreline of this coast it does feel really satisfying when everything comes together.

Large bass late June 2016

Large bass – Catching the fish we desire today is not easy. Learn the techniques then learn more by just getting out there and putting in the hours.

Utilizing the soft needle technique and being out Before the hours of day and sundown are the best times to have a real chance of landing fish like these on soft plastics.

There is nothing like catching fish on soft plastic lures it greatly enhances your confidence and this will do wonders to your bass fishing.

20160616_193831

On the Foraging and the fungi front the chanterelles are just showing. A bit small at the moment for picking but any day soon I will start to pick them with foraging clients for use in my dishes.

Chanterelle August 2015

Chanterelles – Chanterelles are just popping out along my patches – Maybe a bit to small to pick at the minute but the next few days they will be big enough to harvest. They are just in time as this weekend sees me getting out again with foraging and food bookings.

If you want either Lure angling days for bass or foraging and food then please do get in touch.

There a few days left in July left.

July - July is a great time and I have space on the 26th and 28th free.

August - August dates are from the 1st to the 11th and then the 15th to the 25th.

September - September is a great time and things will be flying by then I have the 8th free then after that the 15th up to the 19th available at the moment And also the 25th, 26th and 27th.

There are some days in there where people are already booked in but the more the merrier and bass lure angling is so much better with friends ;)

For October and November please get in touch there is some great fishing to be had then and the chance of some big fish is greatly enhanced.

Email - matt@fishingandforagingwales.co.uk

Phone or text - 07515380169

Posted in News | Comments Off

Slowly slowly catchy bassy.

Bass fishing early June 2016

At the beginning of this week I had some time to fish for bass for myself which was nice. I landed and released a few fish up to about three pounds.

It was a real treat to get the chance to fish and catch some silvers on my own after a busy weekend.

A nice sized bass gives great sport on HRF gear.

The bass fishing is getting better by the day now after a sluggish start for me.

My trusty Tulala glissando 240 is the perfect bass rod for my style of fishing. The Lunker city Arkansas shiner is a deadly soft plastic at this time of year.

I love the Tulala Glissando 240 that I have been working on I am hoping this will be available to buy in the U.K in the near future at the moment I have the only one available. I also love using the Lunker city sluggo in 6inch which is available here at Fish on lures UK.

Releasing a bass – I love seeing these beautiful fish swim off. Future efforts for bass conservation will be worked on soon.

A lovely bar of silver – Prime bass are feeding in front of me on most days and are sometimes tough to catch but they are well worth the effort of working hard for on this magic coastline.

A bass swimming off.

On the client front I have been joined over the weekend by my regular clients Paul Tolman and his friend Richard Power.

They both caught fish over the course of a day.

Below is a shot of Paul who hooked into a good sized bass of about 5lb.

I got an action shot of him as I was moving to his right to land the fish for him.

The fish as you can see the ripple and the lure just coming out if the fishes mouth as it swims off. I still feel sick now but that is fishing I guess?

The moment when a decent bass comes off.

The moment when a decent bass comes off. :(

The mark that we fished was alive with fish. We fished the night time tide and Richard had a big fish of about 7-8lb come smashing through his legs as we waded through shallow water to get access to the rocks further out. Exciting stuff.

Paul with a Wrasse on a soft plastic lure.

If you fancy a fishing adventure this season I have some room over the next couple of weeks.

June - In the middle of June I have room between the 20th and 29th free on great tides.

July - July is a great time and I have the 3rd and 4th free then the 6th, the 12th and 13th then the 25th and 26th.

August - August dates are from the 1st to the 11th and then the 15th to the 25th.

September - September is a great time and things will be flying by then I have the 8th to the 18th of September free at the minute. There are some days in there where people are already booked in but the more the merrier and bass lure angling is so much better with friends ;)

For October and November please get in touch there is some great fishing to be had then and the chance of some big fish is greatly enhanced.

To get in touch -

Email me at – matt@fishingandforagingwales.co.uk

Phone or text – 07515380169

 

 

 

Posted in News | Comments Off