Sea Fishing in Ireland, Wicklow Hounds.

A cancelled boat angling trip opened the door to a cracking evening chasing smooth hounds off a south Wicklow strand. Fresh north westerly winds allied to a big four meter tide created a ground swell which coloured the sea, perfect conditions for smoothies and their not so welcome cousin, dogfish. Long casts at this venue produce dogfish, while a 60 meter lob opens the door for flounder, codling, bass, and the hounds. An hour into the flood, 18.30pm saw my lugworm baited hooks enter the water, I did not have long to wait.

Evening tide on a south Wicklow strand.

After half an hour and a couple of re-baits a rod top gave that slow nodding lean, a quick strike followed by a sluggish weight. Thirty seconds later a dogfish came dragging up the beach, unhooked, back it went to join its brethren. A quick recast, having just settled down over went the same rod, instantly in my hands the hound pulled to the left and out to sea. How these lads fight, left and right with breakneck turns of direction. Then the second rod went, this time a heavy thump down followed by a big slack line. What could I do, helpless I brought in the first hound knowing that a possible bass had gone a begging. No matter, you play the percentages.

South Wicklow smooth hound.

What a spell of fishing, another hound followed quickly, this time a lot stronger. Then the rods heeled over almost simultaneously, I grabbed the nearest one. Kicking over hard it signaled another hound, while the second rod indicated something more mundane. Just as well because a smooth hound can very easily tow unsecured beach casting kit out to sea. So it proved, I dealt with an angry hound and then reeled in a dogfish on the second rod. Recasting both rods, shortly afterwards a good rattle on one was followed by a slack line. Tightening up I felt the weight of what proved to be a nice flounder. Lip hooked I returned it to the water.

Beach caught flounder, Co. Wicklow.

Then it was over, what a session. Coming on to half nine the flood tide still had an hour to run. I could have stayed, the fish might have returned and there is always the possibility of a bass at last light. But sure there is always another day, the sport had been hectic and I was thankful for that.

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