Mixed Bag from the Waterford Estuary.

Codling have been ever present this winter and of a good stamp, most fish that I have encountered in the 35 – 40 cm bracket or bigger. With a four meter high tide at 18.00pm I headed for the Waterford estuary to fish a new mark that held promise. After digging bait at Duncannon and a much needed pit stop in the Strand Bar, nothing beats a toastie and a pint of plain, it was off to the venue for a 14.00pm start.

Pier fishing on the Waterford estuary, Ireland.

On arrival the flood had been pushing for two hours, a scarf of tide about 80 meters out marked the line of the shipping channel. A local fisherman tending to his nets informed me that I would be casting into 4/5 fathoms of water and that my baits would be landing on a mussel bed. Happy days, depth and feed, would fish be in residence. Casting two hook flappers baited with fresh black lug into the channel, no sooner had the grips settled in then the tips started nodding.

Waterford estuary codling.

Breaking out was difficult I assume due to the mussel bank, but an even pressure released the grips and I could feel the fish. First cast a double header, codling and dab, followed by a codling, big whiting, then a flounder/codling double. What a start fish every cast, and that is how it went for the first two hours. I copped that my rig was settling down the side of the channel (where the fish were), but my main line was resting on the lip. This had the effect of masking bites and also was probably responsible for the difficulty in breaking out. That said, I wasn’t complaining and over the course of the session only lost two rigs.

Large Waterford estuary whiting.

Bites diminished as full tide approached however they did not stop. Normally I let a cast fish for 10 minutes before reeling in to re bait, invariably a fish would signal its presence within that time span. I lost count of the fish landed and the time just flew. Calling it a day at six bells there is no doubt, “it was a belter of a session“. Six species, codling, whiting, pouting, dab, flounder, and eel, all of a good size. The estuary has been good to me this year, and it seems that every time I head down I meet somebody new. “Hi Jim O’Brien, we had a good chat, hope you enjoy those codling“.

See also: Estuary Codling.

See also: Christmas Coalies.

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