Boat Fishing off Greystones, Tope Quest (Part 2).

Another scorcher, reaching 22 degrees with clear blue skies and light variable winds greeted Jean Anne as she motored away from the slip to catch the start of the ebb off Greystones, Co. Wicklow. An early 08.00 am start would give Gary and I enough time to secure some mackerel off Bray Head before heading south towards our chosen mark off the Moulditch reef. With high water at 11.00am we intended to fish down to low water slack, if there are any tope about we should know by then.

A view north towards Bray Head, off Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Other then a potting boat we had the sea to ourselves and it was glorious. Off the cable rock, unlike last week, we hit mackerel almost first drop. Of a larger stamp they still were not numerous, but drifting down tide and motoring back to repeat the exercise over a small shoal gave us enough bait for the day within half an hour. With that we gunned the engine, and in company with a coastguard helicopter and an air corps coastal patrol plane, we anchored up north east of the Moulditch just as the south run was picking up.

The ubiquitous lesser spotted dogfish or LSD for short.

Setting up six foot flowing ledger rigs using 8/0 Kamasans and wire traces below a running boom, a pound of lead was more then enough to hold bottom at peak tidal flow. Using whole mackerel flapper as bait both Gary and I got savaged with LSD’s from the off. A conversation with a boat crew who anchored close to us, also targeting tope, gave us the solution to reduced dogfish interference, USE WHOLE MACKEREL, AS THEY CANNOT GET THEIR MOUTHS AROUND IT. As they say, staring you in the face, “thanks guy’s”.

A welcome thornback ray caught boat fishing off Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

Accompanying the dog’s were some fine huss. These fish have a habit of holding onto the bait without getting hooked. Gary had a beauty, easily ten pounds plus at the side of the boat only for yours truly to lose it. Grabbing the trace instead of the tail first, the fish proceeded to open it’s mouth so letting go of the bait. Frustratingly it hung in the tide below the boat for about ten seconds before swimming away. Easily four foot long with its big pug face and sandy coloured rough skin punctuated with big black blotches and spots, quite a handsome specimen. To make amends a while later a knock on my rod resulted in a small thornback ray, not a patch on the twenty pounders that used to swim here, but welcome none the less. From small acorns and all that. Again no tope, but a great day out for Gary and I, third time lucky?

Click on: Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Sea Fishing Information.

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