Shore Fishing in Ireland, Dab Hand

Lugworm baited hooks flew through the air in an arc before splash landing 100 meters out from the rock platform that I was perched on, rig now resting on the clean sandy bottom a few turns of the reel handle tightened line against gripper and my rod tip curved over poised and ready for the anticipated bite. Ten minutes pass then tap, tap, tap followed by a heavy lean. Sitting on my hands quelling the desire to lift and strike, again the tip goes tap, tap, tap followed by a lean. Lifting with a backward sweep of the rod I now commence reeling and feel a solid resistance.

Double dab from a West Cork rock mark.

Winding and pumping hard I manage to raise both fish and trailing weight above the shallow reef in front of me. One quick dive down close in then its planing across the surface, phew, a cracking dab knocking a pound, the first of six landed in seven casts this evening to include the double header pictured above. Catching flatfish of this┬ácaliber in today’s over fished environment is something to be celebrated, roll on dinner time tomorrow evening.

Waiting for a flattie to bite in West Cork, Ireland.

Large dab are the nicest fish to eat, seasoned with sea salt then par fried back and front on the bone in butter, before removing to an oven dish and placing in a preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade. Squeeze some lemon juice over the top, cover with foil and leave cooking for about twenty minutes. They will come out steaming and the meat will lift off the bone, sweet and delicious with chips, mayo, and peas.

A pound plus dab from a rock mark in West Cork, Ireland.

On the evening in question I fished a two hook paternoster baited with two day old lugworm cast into a secluded sandy bay. The dab residing here are plentiful and consistently large with many topping a pound, having only fished the mark on three occasions I’ve landed or seen caught at least two specimens. Bites came thick and fast for a period of an hour as the tide rose then died. Hoping for a codling to bolster the catch, this evening they didn’t show, maybe later in the year when the coalfish will be present as well……

For further reading, click on: The Humble Flatfish.

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