By Hook or by Cullenstown?

Fishing unfamiliar marks is a challenge that broadens our knowledge and improves our skill as anglers. New places, fishing conditions, and people, contribute to the fun of the sport, making the effort and preperation worthwhile even if we do not always catch fish on the first visit.

Bass fishing, the bar at Cullenstown, Co. Wexford

The estuary mouth bar at Cullenstown looks a dangerous enough mark to fish at the best of times. The volume of water flowing out through the approximately eighty meter gap is phenomenal. On arriving yesterday I spied a lone angler a hundred metres off the main beach, fronted by crashing grey waves and completely surrounded by moving water. An hour off low tide, reasoning that he was local and knew the form, I waded out. Mainly hard sand with occasional patches of shifting gravel, the water although never more than calf deep had such a force that I could not help feeling uneasy. One slip here and you are gone. Exchanging greetings we talked fishing. Paddy Deveraux has shore fished Cullenstown all his life. He has had bass to off the bar, always uses lugworm, and even fishes the mark at night, retreating to the main beach just before the tide turns. Not for the feint hearted, I’ll stick to the beach and fish the incoming tide thank you.

Hook Head, Co. Wexford, Ireland

The previous evening an exploratory trip to Hook Head after pollack using jelly worms resulted in a string of small fish. The biggest pollack, in the three pound bracket, seemed to prefer 60 gram barrel leads as against the lure. Twice in full view this fish came up from below hammering the lead, pulling the rod tip over, before diving back into the kelp. Hook Head is flat and the rock platforms, numbered for competitions, are stepped making them ideal for fishing. The water offshore is not deep, I counted to no more then ten before the lead hit bottom.

Beach fishing along the Hook peninsula, Co. Wexford

Later that evening Davy and I surf fished a likely bay at the base of the Hook peninsula close to the village of Fethard. Using lug for bait and on a falling tide to be honest we were not overly optimistic. With rocks at either end of the strand we knew that bass were present but would they show. A flounder and a schoolie bass later our hopes were raised only to be dashed by a blanket of weed washed across with the ebbing tide from a far corner of the strand. Calling it a night further investigation revealed that an incoming tide coupled with a southerly breeze will bring bass onto this strand. Outside of that lure fishing the rocks can be productive with fish to double figures, however there is no pattern with the result that fishing can be hit and miss.

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