Nuclear Bass at Wylfa Head, Anglesey

Daschund did not work at the power plant, but he had heard about the huge shoals of oversized bass to be found at the outlet of Wylfa nuclear power station. The place was full of rumours. Someone said an old woman came down to the warm waters of the outlet to swim every morning.

The plant sucked in the cool Irish Sea, cooled its interior and then along a concrete channel poured the newly warmed water back into the sea. Locals and especially workers at the plant knew of the fish and when I was there some arrived with their simple kit, basic rods and plastic Tesco bags filed with ‘last minute’ bait. Someone used an empty Jif lemon bottle as a float.

The emptying of the water back into the sea created a bubbling torrent. The fishermen fished from the rocky headland in order to get closer to the outlet itself. In a more planned day out some blokes from up the coast set nets from their modest boat a bit further out.

‘We’ve cut them open’ said Daschund, ‘to see what they’re eating, to see if that has something to do with it. But from what we can see they don’t seem to eat more of anything, but they’re bigger here’.  A man arrived with his son, a Chinese man in yellow fishing overalls stood by himself at the furthest point of the headland. A empty potato sack held the days catch. It wasn’t really sea fishing, more like being at the fairground. The lines were cast and before long raised taught with heavy metallic bass. ‘Some of the workers here swap the fish they catch for takeaway’s in the village’ Daschund said.