Mixed Bag from the Beach.

It’s the 22nd of November and the temperature reads 9 degrees, with only two mild frosts to date we are a far cry from last year when we entered the freezer for a month of snow and double digit minus temperatures. Codling are definitely hitting the beaches with reports of fish to 5/6 lbs amongst the general run of two pounders. On some venues bass to 7.lbs are swimming with the codling, mobile phone images do not lie this really could be the best season in many a year. The key is to get out there regularly and fish the correct marks, tides, and times, high water at dusk or one/three hours after appearing to be the optimum.

Dusk, late November beach fishing in South Wexford, Ireland.

Arriving at my chosen location two hours into the ebb tide just as dusk was closing in around 17.00 pm, I quickly set up twin surf casting rigs utilising two hook (2/0 Kamazan 940′s) paternosters baited with lugworm, lobbing one in close and belting the other out. Using long (18 inch) snoods it quickly became apparent that schoolies and or coalfish were resident, quick single thumps of the rod tops announcing their presence. These fish tend to play with the bait, darting in for a quick nibble, shortening the snoods would have resulted in hook ups but I was after bigger things. A rattle and a slack line, rod in hand I tighten up and feel, a thump down is countered with a strike in the opposite direction, fish on. This feels like a good bass, pulling the rod around, quickly swimming in, backing up the beach and reeling like f**k I make contact, head shaking in the surf, a white belly in my headlight beam, MULLET? Now that’s a first, on lug of all baits, hooked fair and square in the top lip.

Beach caught grey mullet, on lugworm of all baits.

A few flounder, schoolie bass, coalfish, and dogfish follow in quick succession all on the inner rod before a classic thump thump slack line bite has me running up the beach again to make contact. Thankfully the rod heels over and I feel the kick of a nice codling, running 3/4 lbs lets hope that there is another. Shortly afterwards I get a repeat performance, another good fish on, the fight intensifies as the undertow takes hold then nothing. Reeling in I check the trace only to find that my hook knot has unravelled, you clot Ash.

A nice winter codling from a south Wexford beach.

Shortly after things went quite, I fished on until the bait ran out bang on low water at around 21.00 pm. It had been a good session with certainly the first two hours providing regular bites. In this day and age six species and two good fish in the three/four pound bracket is nothing to be sniffed at. With favourable tides over the weekend here’s to another crack at it.

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