Archive for October, 2011

AeSect Rock Fibbers

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Images say enough, AeSect play metal hard and loud. Rifftastic, it’s hard to believe this is only their second gig. Storming through a 40 minute set Lamb of God, Slayer, and Testament come to mind, but hey this is all their own work. Rock on Shane, Luke, Aiden, and the two Dave’s.

Aiden O'Halloran (guitar) and Dave Murphy (bass) of AeSect rock Fibbers.Dave Murphy (bass) and AeSect vocalist Shane Kiernan.AeSect left to right, Aiden O'Halloran, Dave Murphy, Luke Peters, Shane Kiernan, and Dave Kennedy.Aiden and Dave let rip.Dave Kennedy, AeSect guitarist.Dave Murphy, bassist with AeSect riffs out.

The Right Plaice at the Right Time.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

It’s fantastic when it all comes together. As anyone who reads this blog regularly will have gathered I love catching flatfish, especially big flatties. They look good, fight hard on light tackle (especially if boat caught), and taste great. Grossly over exploited commercially large plaice are a rare catch nowadays, in particular for shore anglers. Having fished a now favourite shore mark, initially on a hunch that plaice might swim within range, I was rewarded immediately with some fine fish to over a pound and a half. Instinct told me that bigger specimens were out there.

A three pound nine ounce shore caught plaice, wonderful.

So I was delighted when Paul Harris, who runs along with his wife Anne that fine angler friendly establishment Dromagowlane House on the Beara peninsula West Cork, Ireland, sent me the above photograph. One of six good plaice landed by two UK tourist anglers from that special mark. At 3.lbs 9.ozs it not only rubber stamps my hunch, but also shows how a protected location can allow fish such as the fine specimen above to reach a good average size, even in the 21st century. Great stuff….

Flounder on the Drop.

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Collecting bait from Joe Carley of South East Bait Supplies at the unearthly hour of 08.00 am on Sunday morning, I headed towards a favourite mark for a spot of flounder fishing. Timing my arrival to coincide with high water at 09.00 am, and with the venue fishing well for both bass and flounder, I was confident that Joe’s fresh peeler crab and lug would do the business. Setting up two rods with identical two hook paternoster rigs incorporating long flowing snoods, 2/0 hooks, and beads, each rig was baited identically using crab on the bottom hook with lug on the top.

Early morning flounder from a south Wexford estuary.

The first hour was quiet accept for the resident crab population who devoured the lugworm within seconds of hitting the water, thankfully the crab was more resilient. With bait being used up at a rate of knots I switched to using only one set of gear. About two and a half hours into the ebb as the surrounding mud banks began to show and the estuary channel became more defined flounder began to show interest. My rod top started to nod repeatedly and then leaned over, fish on. Reeling in I could feel the weight, entering the shallows a quick dip of the head, a few flaps of its tail and a good flounder slides up the bank.

A brace of quality estuary flounder from Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Bites were now coming thick and fast and it wasn’t long before I had beached three good fish. Noticing a couple of anglers setting up near me and wanting to save bait for a few hours beach fishing in the afternoon, I packed up and wandered over. Pat Murphy and Tom Dunphy are locals who fish this estuary regularly and know its form. Within the past week they have had bass to over 8.lbs along with some quality flatfish. They weren’t doing to bad today either with six flounder between them, all on crab.

Pat Murphy with a nice estuary flounder.

Chatting about various angling based issues the time flew, Tom beached another couple of fish and then the bites went off. With the tide nearly full out most flounder had passed through or had settled down in the mud waiting for the first push of the flood. That would be two hours from now so with a plan to fish a nearby strand for bass I said my goodbyes to the chaps. Walking towards the car I reflected on what had been a very productive morning. Here’s hoping the afternoon is as good.

See also: Floundering Around in Co. Wexford.


Duncannon Morning.

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Saturday the 8th of October dawned bright and calm, by midday it was blowing a hooly from the south west/west and my fishing plans sank without trace. Having watched team Ireland eventually overcome by Wales in a cracking (at least for 60 minutes) rugby world cup quarter final, and with fishing and bait digging gear already packed in the car I headed for Duncannon, on the Wexford side of the Waterford estuary and a neap 10.00am low water.

Duncannon Fort, South Wexford, Ireland.

Taking a left at the crossroads before Ramsgrange, after about two miles the bay opened up on my left hand side, a wide expanse of golden sand, the sea glittering and calm framed by County Waterford to the west and Wexford’s Hook Peninsula to the east. A relatively unknown corner of Ireland with so much tourism potential and stunningly beautiful. Parking beside the Strand Bar I made my way down onto the pristine beach and commenced digging for fat fleshy lugworms.

Evidence of single digging for lugworms, Duncannon strand, South Wexford, Ireland.

The fine weather had early risers out walking the dog, beach combing, and generally just taking in the iodine laced view. A flat sheltered beach ideal for kite surfing, an introductory class was taking place close to where I was digging. The sport looks great fun, and what a location to learn. Digging bait here always attracts people curious as to what you are doing. Today was no different, the resultant marine biology based conversation and the visual size of what lies beneath the sand never ceasing to fascinate them.

Kite Surfing lesson, Duncannon, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Knowing the area quite well Duncannon has it all, wonderful location close to the Hook Peninsula, the Arthurstown/Passage East car ferry, foody heaven with fine establishments such as Dunbrody House (Kevin Dundon), Aldridge Lodge (Billy Whitty), and the Strand Bar, two first class deep sea angling charter vessels, the fantastic beach previously mentioned, and with Waterford City, Dunmore East, Wexford Town, Kilmore Quay, and St Mullins all within a twenty five/thirty mile radius Duncannon is an ideal base for a holiday or short break.

Duncannon Strand looking south east towards Hook Head, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Today it was not about the fishing, bait digging and what surrounded the activity funnily enough making up for the change in weather and subsequent best forgotten session. The sea, only just fishable due to the strengthening wind, looked to contain bass and with no weed showing except over the peak of the tide should have delivered. Instead a couple of small flats saved the blank but no matter, my endevours brought me to beautiful Duncannon on a sunny early October Saturday morning, I would not have swapped it.


Autumn Night Fishing in Wicklow.

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Armed with fresh lugworm and frozen peeler crab I picked up Diego as arranged and headed towards a favourite local mark. The strong south easterly winds had backed around to the south and weakened, however the evening was damp and remained that way with a permanent mist in the air. Muggy, the air temperature being 17 degrees, if it was not for the rain you could have fished in your shirt sleeves. Hitting the beach as light was fading, our first baits entered the water around 19.30pm about two hours into the flood.

Diego Leccardi holds a fit Co. Wicklow smooth hound.

Having cast about sixty meters my rig had barely settled on the bottom when I received a serious slack line bite. Running up the beach I did not make contact for at least fifteen meters, then the rod buckled over. Could it be a bass? No, immediately the fish started swimming hard parallel with the shoreline, every so often turning on a sixpence and doubling back, a hound and no mistake. So it proved thrashing in the surf before Diego did the honours.

Baiting up, night fishing off a County Wicklow strand.

“That’s it for the night” said I to Diego, a good fish on the first cast always spells a lean session, and so it proved. Yes we caught fish practically every cast including many double headers, but they were all undersize. Whiting, rockling, flounder, and dab took the baits with abandon, plenty of them but all under 30 cms. We fished on till 11.00pm then called it a night. An enjoyable evening, here’s to a good session after bass on the south Wexford beaches next weekend.