Archive for December, 2011

Seasonal Pike.

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Itching to christen his new pike kit David Murphy headed towards a local midlands water. Not having fished the lake before and on his first session of the winter season, Dave’s first priority on arrival was to assess the venue. Deciding to fish close to a reed bed on the far side he set up his 12′ Shimano rod matched with a 6000 size bait runner reel, before casting a dead roach bait into a likely corner close to the reeds. Ledgering, it wasn’t long before the rod top nodded and line spilled off the reel. Striking, Dave felt a light resistance and shortly afterwards landed a jack of about five pounds.

A nice double figure Irish pike for David Murphy from a midland venue.

Coming up to lunchtime David connected with a larger pike which after a five minute fight was surprisingly lost at the net, only being lightly hooked in the lip. Well into double figures, a disappointed Dave re baited and cast into the same hole. Ten minutes later his perseverance was rewarded when he wound into a purposeful slack line bite. This time there was no mistake and after a spirited tussle a fine well conditioned pike graced the bank. Carefully unhooked, Dave placed the grand fish back in the water where it swam off to fight another day.


A Happy and Peaceful Christmas to All.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Fueling up for the big night.

To all the 5000 people per month who visit An Irish Anglers World from at home and abroad, have a happy and peaceful Christmas. With luck Santa will deliver what you wished for, and most importantly tight lines and good fortune in 2012.



AeSect Support Xerath.

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

AeSect played a brain crunching opener as support for up and coming UK metal band Xerath in Dublin’s Pint Bar last Sunday. Shane, Luke, Aidan, Dave, and Smurf powered through a self penned set containing the American History X inspired “Bite the Curb” and “Consumed by the Machine”. Laying down a marker for what was to follow, a savage set from headliners Xerath, the boys can be well proud.

AeSect open at the Pint Bar for UK metal band Xerath.Drive on Smurf.Shane gets the message across.Power chord.Engine room.Bite the Curb!

Christmas Coalies.

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Substantiated reports of decent sized codling being caught off beaches close to Courtown in North Wexford highlight the excellent shore fishing south east Ireland has been witnessing in recent weeks. Southerly gales over the last few days pushed anglers onto east facing venues and they delivered. Swimming alongside the codling and very prevalent on some locations are coalfish. Considered a nuisance by some, they can make for an interesting and lively session when other fish are marked absent.

Enniscorthy based angler John Goff with a catch of Waterford estuary coalfish.

Saturday dawned crisp and white, a hard frost having fallen during the night. Taking it handy I drove towards a half eleven bait digging appointment, quality black lugworm being the target. Unlike my last outing the tell tale signs of blow hole and cast were very evident, and it was not long before I had six dozen fat juicy worms in my bucket. Dug individually using a fork, the lugworm even allowing for the frost were no more than a spit and a half down. That task accomplished, a quick bite to eat and it was off to the venue which delivered so well last time out.

Pier fishing in the Waterford estuary, south east Ireland.

Commencing fishing two and a half hours into the flood, a big four meter was pushing a lot of water up the narrow estuary. Casting out two identical paternoster rigs utilising long snoods and 2/0 kamazan hooks, it wasn’t long before a tap tap bite resulted in a nice flounder. Action was slow after that with just an odd small codling showing interest. As dusk closed in around five pm, an hour before high water, proceedings changed noticeably. Jagging quick fire bites signaled coalfish, known to play with a bait they dart in and out smash and grab like, very hard to hook with long snoods. Seeking codling and playing the percentages, or maybe just lazy I didn’t shorten my snoods so reducing my catch. Even so amidst all the frustrating missed bites I still landed my fair share of coalfish.

Sporty coalfish tempted by lugworm from a local pier.

Reasonably sized they put up a decent fight on being hooked especially when rising through the water close to the pier. Their lightning fast turns of direction and dives combined with the current putting a decent curve in the rod, it was like boat fishing albeit on dry land. Bites were steady right up to seven pm when my bait ran out, numerous coalies were landed along with small codling by the double, flounder, and rockling. Two Enniscorthy based anglers fishing beside me, John Goff and his friend Pat, were having a productive time also. The larger codling didn’t show but no matter, their bottle green backed cousins provided more than enough entertainment. Another productive session in south County Wexford.

To visit a related post click on: Estuary codling.

Wingfield Hunt, December 3rd, 2011.

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

The Shillelagh and District Hunt held their annual meet at Wingfield, close to Ballythomas and the Gap today. A good turnout on what was a chilly but nevertheless bright day. Lots of jumps and ditches to negotiate, especially between Wingfield and Toberpatrick. The hounds, ably led by huntsman and Master of the Hounds David Nolan were doing their stuff, those in the saddle were having a ball.

Mandy Hayden aboard Cluny, Wingfield Hunt, Dec' 2011.

Huntsman and Master of the Hounds David Nolan, Wingfield Hunt, Dec' 2011.

One of many drains, Wingfield Hunt, Dec' 2011.

They start them young, no fear at the Wingfield Hunt, Dec' 2011.

Life's a ditch, Wingfield Hunt, Dec' 2011.

Heading for the hills, Wingfield Hunt, Dec' 2011.

AeSect Drive On.

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

To gain respect bands have to be credible, to be real, AeSect are such a creature. Playing driving, riff based metal, they display both an understanding of the genre and an ability which could see them stake a claim for a position on a higher stage. In a tough uncompromising industry where posturing and bombast is so often a substitute for lack of musical talent, these guys are a breath of fresh air. Delivering a tight set of exciting, well structured, intelligent compositions, with just the right amount of head jarring stops and running sternum thumping bass riffs, Wacken watch out, the Irish will be headlining sooner than you think.

AeSect bassist Smurf in pensive mood.AeSect in full flight.Dread the thought.AeSect, the engine room.AeSect lead the way.

For more click on: AeSect Rock Fibbers.

The Humble Cod has a Colourful History

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

To most people the humble cod is the primary ingredient of Birds Eye Fish Fingers, or comes battered as a constituent of the “one and one” that they have just purchased from the local chipper on the way home from the pub. Little do they know that this big headed, barbuled chinned, coloured a mottled olive green/brown/red, white bellied, much loved fish has most definitely played a major role in the historical development of western society both in Europe and America.

COD, by Mark Kurlansky, a must read for all those who are interested in the marine environment.

Cod was one of, if not the main source of protein for most western and central European nations from the middle ages right into the 19th century. In the Middle Ages dried cod or stock fish as it was known underwrote economies, it predated the gold standard. Basque fishermen from northern Spain crossed the Atlantic to their “secret fishing grounds” off Newfoundland long before Christopher Columbus claimed he had found the New World, and returned with their holds filled with dried and salt cod.

Cod enriched the Pilgrim Fathers who settled on the eastern shores of that mighty continent we now call the USA, to the point where they no longer needed support from their mother nation England. Cod enabled them to become financially independent with the potential to outstrip the burgeoning economy of their home country. Tied to a set of ground rules, one of which was that they could only trade with England, the first settlers sought independence which was refused so kick starting the American Revolution.

All these little gems and more are expanded upon in a wonderful book simply titled “COD” by Mark Kurlansky, first published in 1997 the author charts in vivid style how prolific the species was and sadly after 600 plus years of human exploitation how humanity has mined the North Atlantic cod to economic extinction. No longer do they swim in vast shoals across the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and closer to home reside, coloured red due to the kelp and diet of crab, on the Moulditch bank off Greystones, Co. Wicklow, mans ignorance and greed has seen to that.

Today however, due to some minor miracle or quirk of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, certainly in my opinion not a result of  good fisheries management, cod are swimming again in reasonable numbers off Ireland’s south coast. Averaging 2/3 lbs in weight, on certain tides they are coming within casting range of shore anglers fishing beaches, piers, estuaries, and headlands from Wexford to Cork. Fishing into the dark using lugworm or peeler crab for bait, rod tops have been nodding and for the lucky few who are putting the time in some fine catches have been made. Yours truly has made a number of trips to various locations since early November, enjoying some excellent results in the process, culminating in the freshest battered cod and chips that I have had in years. On form the cod will stay around until January, get out and cast a line while the going is good….

Estuary Codling.

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

It’s been blowing a gale for the last few days and the beaches are choked with weed. The codling must be having a feeding frenzy but how do you get at them. Eureka, head towards the Waterford estuary, there’s plenty of shelter from those southerly winds and numerous accessible marks to fish. The beach at Duncannon shimmered under a glorious sunset, four dozen hard won black lugworm glistened in my bucket, their tell tale casts and blow holes only making an appearance shortly before the sun set on the Waterford shore.

Winter sunset on Duncannon strand, Dec 1st 2011.

Darkness was closing in as I made my way to the Strand Bar for a bite to eat and a pint of stout, before heading up the estuary to a mark that had been producing of late. A handy spot, you can drive the car up, step out and fish. Making my first cast an hour and a half into the flood, a two hook paternoster loaded up with fat juicy lug, the gripper dug into the mussel bank and my rod tip curved as the current took hold. Immediately, thump, thump, thump, the rod leaned over as the most certainly hooked fish swam up tide. I could feel the kicks and heavy knocks through the rod and shortly after codling number one was swung ashore.

Pat Power with a nice Waterford estuary codling.

Nice fish”. “First of the night”, says I, before belting out cast number two. Pat Power, a local angler had come down to try his luck. While he was setting up my rod gave a double knock, strike two, “Hey you’re doing well”. “Yes, two in two casts, all on lug”. Pat using peeler crab found fish harder to come by although an odd codling, whiting, and coalfish came his way. So it went on, cast after cast bites every time, I lost count as to how many fish came my way. Double headers, dab, whiting, more codling, the sea bed must have been carpeted. Then an hour before high water it all stopped.

Five Waterford estuary codling from an evening December tide.

Now eight thirty pm, a hard frost was falling through the still night air. What a session, especially the first hour. Bites had been thick and fast, producing some fine codling. As the tide rose funnily enough the fish got smaller, by session end most were just on or over the 30cms. Waterford estuary has to be a nursery area for codling, and if so must be designated such. Retaining five codling for din dins, catch and release applying to the rest of my catch which easily topped twenty fish, I headed for home and a warm fire. Brrrrr.

See also: Christmas Coalies.

See also: Mixed Bag from the Waterford Estuary.