South Wexford Surf Casting

The close season for Bass should be amended to catch and release. Smooth Hounds run the same beaches at this time and it is impossible to be selective. Yes one could put the rods away for a month, fish different venues, or target other species, which as responsible anglers we do. However May and early June are synonymous with Smooth Hound fishing and the new fisheries agency “Inland Fisheries Ireland” really needs to look at this anomaly as a priority.

Waiting for a bite, South Wexford surf casting

With a nine o’clock evening high tide in South Wexford and word of smooth hounds running the beaches a trip was planned for Tuesday evening 1st June. A south easterly weather system had backed around to the north west creating a nice easy rolling sea with a heavy krumping wave on the beach, the water slightly coloured. There was little or no weed in the light run, except for a spell over the top of the tide.

A fine sunny afternoon, the first task was to dig lugworm on the burrow shore north of Rosslare Strand. Arriving at 15.30pm the slobs were empty apart from one lone bait digger in the distance and a chap raking for cockles of which there are many on this beach. Close to the road the beach was badly dug up as if a JCB had ran through it over the past week. I can only assume that a lot of professional bait digging goes on here. Walking the beach eventually produced a virgin area and in an hour I dug close to 100 of the best lugworm, big, black, and fleshy, just the job for the task in hand. Along with a few cockles and gaper clam bait for the evening was secured. Onwards then to the Millhouse Bar, Tacumshin, for a pint and a plate of traditional fish n chips with mushy peas, you have to set yourself up for these evening sessions.

Burrow shore, Rosslare

The plan was to fish over the top of the tide, commencing about 18.30pm and finishing around midnight. Setting up three rods to fish at various distances from the gutter to a clipped down banged right out we awaited developments. This particular stretch of coastline does fish better into the evening and at night, however I have had good fishing during the day, particularly in the Autumn. Codling, coalfish, bass, dab, flounder, plaice, mackerel, smooth hound,and dogfish, are species that I have landed in recent years here. A hunch of mine is that in certain conditions ray and tope are a real possibility also.

South Wexford surf bass

Bites came fairly consistently through the evening almost exclusively to the rod fishing the middle ground about eighty metres out. Funnily enough the flatfish, all flounder, bar one came at maximum distance, the gutter only delivering one. On the night no smooth hound showed up and my friend and I stopped fishing ahead of time. We were regularly getting fast bites which if hit early resulted in bass between 40-45 cm’s. All were hooked in the scissors and returned safely to the sea. Unavoidable, and with no smuts showing, we did the right thing and packed up. For what it was worth though an enjoyable, and post 16th June would have been considered a productive session. Species landed included flounder (all over 30cms), dogfish, and bass.

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