A KEEN fisherman in Kinmel Bay was both delighted and stunned when he caught a large bass fish on Sunday (May 19).

Rich James, 35, said he felt “blessed with a bass I might not hold again” after catching it at Kinmel Bay Beach (Sandy Cove), which weighed an impressive nine pounds and four ounces.

He has been fishing daily since the start of the bass fishing season in early April, but said the biggest he had previously caught weighed four pounds.


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The bass was returned to the sea after being caught by Rich, who thanked his partner and daughter for allowing him to go fishing that night after he was “meant to be watching Britain’s Got Talent” with them.

“One of the skippers put an age of about 20 years on it, which was crazy,” he said.

Rhyl Journal: “I’ve never celebrated catching a fish, but I had to run home to see my partner!“I’ve never celebrated catching a fish, but I had to run home to see my partner! (Image: Rich James)

“They only grow about two inches every year, and that was probably about 29 inches. I set myself a goal to catch as many bass as I can, and that was definitely the biggest so far.

“I’ve caught 44 in total, and the other 43 have all been four pounds or under. It was mind-blowing.

“I’ve never celebrated catching a fish, but I had to run home to see my partner because I was shaking. The reaction of everyone around me was priceless.

“I’ve fished all of my life, and I’ve never felt anything like that before.”

Rich also thanked Rigs ‘n Rods, based at Rhyl Harbour, for the use of one of its fishing rods in catching the bass.

The fish “swam away strong”, he added, after first having a “long rest in the surf”.

Frankie Hobro, director of Anglesey Sea Zoo, confirmed that this was a bass of “an impressive size”.

She added: “It’s good to know there are still bass out there that size, and that this one was re-released.

“There was a ban on inshore bass fisheries until recently because so many sea bass were being caught too small before they had been able to breed and it threatened the future stocks.

“But it seems that enough bass are now being allowed to live long enough to reach a decent size, which is positive news for bass populations.

“We have a large school of bass here in our largest tank, the Big Fish Forest, which are this size or bigger.

“It’s very impressive to sit and watch them cruising around the tank, which has a volume of 250,000 litres.

“It takes around 15 years or more for them to grow to this size and although that is easily achievable here in captivity, it is reassuring to see that there are wild bass this size in our Welsh seas.”