Christmas Coalies.

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.

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