Colin and Sally Fish Ireland 2014
It was that time again to make our annual trip to the southwest tip of Ireland known as the Beare . We caught the Fishguard to Rosslare ferry and drove down to our rented cottage in Glengarriff for our stay.
We met up with Paul Harris who runs a local guest house who informed us that the fishing had been very poor but at least the weather was good. We stocked up with sandeel, macki and squid and headed for a local mark just outside Bantry to fish the tide up. We were using pulley and up and over rigs with a combination of the above baits. Action was swift with loads of dogfish attacking the baits at least for one of us!
As night approached we decided that it was time for a beer and retreated to the Pub to discuss our next move.
Sally had brought her profile beachcaster for use off the rocks and was using pulley rigs with 3/0 and 4/0 hooks. I had with me the GB lite and Primo and matched them with 20lb line on a Penn surfblaster and 525 mag Not being a great fan of pulleys I decided to use either a dropper rig or an up and over rig in fact most fish came to the latter.
I also brought some breakaway rotten bottom links which were supposed to release the lead if it got caught in the kelp, without the need for a lighter line to be tied to the lead. However I found that the lead would sometimes be ejected as the rig hit the water and all I was left with was the rig!!! After losing umpteen leads I resorted to the old method and in fact did tie a lighter line to the link and the lead but really should not have to have done that, and no where on the instructions did it mention this had to be done. At the end of the day I gave up with them and perhaps did what I should have done in the first place and upgraded the rigs to a 60lb rig body and 40lb snood so that I could haul the gear out of the kelp and rough stuff and by doing this I never lost another set or gear!
Next day we returned to the same mark to fish the tide down as Paul thought thiswould be a better option. It didn’t start well as we remained bite less for 4 hours until about an hour before low the dogs came back on the feed. Then I had a good strong bite on the squid rod that I hit hard first time and realised that I had a good fish on. The area we were fishing has a rocky beach with kelp beds and then onto sand. This fish headed for the kelp and I had a fair idea what it was however it was stuck in the kelp so the only option was to slack off the line and hope it would free itself. After a few anxious moments the fish did just that so I could now see a large dark HUss within easy reach of the shore. Climbing over the rocks the fish was mine.
Out came the weighing bag and the scales which showed 9lb 5ozs of Bull Huss a personal best for me and it was nice to see it swim away after being unhooked. The rest of the session consisted of more dogfish
We had intended to visit beare island to see what that area was like however we missed the ferry so proceeded to fish Dunboy Woods and we failed to get a bite.
The following day we went to DOD pier for a session again it was a bit blowy and we struggled for a bite. We then decided to head back to Bantry to fish the Huss mark but the heavens opened and we got very wet together wi th fact that I had a nightmare losing 3 sets of gear in the same spot as had fished previous without losing any gear just goes to show you never know what type of ground you are fishing over . This mark has a rock base but drops onto sand about 50yds out and there was also plenty of live bait being chased around by bass and other fish.
So a rethink was needed so we decided on an all out attack on the rays, so back to Bantry to fish the mark over low tide this time with fresh Macki as bait, the dogfish loved that to start with when suddenly the rod registered a different type of bite ! The fish stayed deep I wonder ! Eventually it surface and there before me was a nice Thornback ray the scales were found the bag was filled with the fish and it weighed 6lb a PB for me and target met
The next few days we went back to DOD and Dunboy but only managed a smaller ray and dogfish. I also tried some spinning and had limited success with small pollack . Perhaps the best catch on DOD was a seagull that Sally caught and after a good battle managed to land it and then release it back into the sky.
For the last day of fishing we met up with Paul For a few casting tips I think it was the first time he had felt his new rods bend when we went through the OTG cast and I did put to bed some of his preconceived ideas about using this cast with pulley rigs. I also did a few baited rig casts along the Bantry Airport mark that had posts marked every 50 meters so I could see how far I could put a baited trace ! That was interesting and perhaps a topic for another blog post later.
Talking to some other hardy fisherman who were staying with Paul they had had numerous rays the previous night from another mark but they did say also that they spend their time fishing the area almost 18hours a day for a full week and like to do some mountaineering to find new marks fortune favours the brave !
To sum up our trip the weather was good and we fished all the normal marks however I do think that we need to forgo our “social fishing” and put more hours in on the venues however the bigger fish are being taken on marks that need a hike to get there so perhaps I am a bit passed that now . We caught our target fish the Huss and ray and we had a good laugh which is perhaps what it’s all about . Will we go again next year not so sure perhaps find a part of Ireland that has sand on beaches rather than rocks but then again?