Archive for September, 2012

South Wexford Bass Abound

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Sometimes you just make a wrong call, having dug fresh black lugworm a decision was made to hit an estuary mark that produces bass and big flounder. Four hours later as evening turned into night my companion David Murphy’s rod doubled over in its stand, a typical smash and grab bite from a marauding bass. Instantly striking while the rod was still locked over I thought David had connected, but no our only bite of the session swam down the channel to freedom. Never mind, we soldiered on for a while before packing up with the channel now showing its bones. Meanwhile out in the bays and on the open beaches…..

Casting lug baits after bass on an estuary mark.

Bass were chasing mackerel close to shore evident by the fresh run 4/5 pound fish caught lure fishing by small boat anglers who landed on the quay adjacent to us at high water. Not to be outdone Gerry Mitchell and a few friends fishing a night session on a strand east of David and I beached 11 bass to 56 cms along with some nice flounder. Sprat were being washed in and left high and dry, a clear sign of mackerel working up and down the tide line. Great to hear that fish are running the beaches again, makes up for picking the short straw……..

Sea Fishing in Ireland, Conger off the Pier

Monday, September 10th, 2012

David Murphy has a theory pertaining to a fishing mark located on the inner wall of a large pier that he occasionally casts a line off, that the resident conger eels become very active during early September. Arriving at this conclusion over numerous visits to the hot spot where he has scored spectacularly or blanked in equal measure, David hit the jackpot yet again in a September week of Indian summer weather so typical of early Autumn in this jurisdiction.

A fine conger eel caught and released by David Murphy from a local pier.

Baiting up a short wire trace with whole mackerel David placed his bait about 10 – 15 feet out from the inner wall. Fishing over low water there was no more than 1.5 meters over the congers head when it swam from its lair and delicately picked up the offering. Giving some line David chose his moment and struck into the fish, well hooked a tug of war now commenced with the angry conger corkscrewing and thrashing about close to the steps which David had earmarked for landing. Careful not to slip on the slimy granite and with the help of a friend David managed to manhandle the eel topsides. Using a forceps the conger was quickly unhooked and photographed, in the process managing to scare the bejaysus out of a female passerby, before being returned to Davy Jones locker. A good nights work, one happy angler and a theory very much endorsed.

Further reading, click on: Congers by the Double.

Game Fishing in Ireland, Rainbows in the Fall

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Annamoe Trout Fishery, Co. Wicklow, is a great place to while away a few hours, a secluded, mature water, home to a stock of hard fighting rainbow trout averaging 2.5/3.0 lbs in weight, they do not give themselves up easy, a trait which added to a fun and interesting afternoons fishing for Indiana USA visitors Troy Owen, his son Maguire, and grandfather Stephen.

Playing a good rainbow at Annamoe Trout Fishery, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Setting up with matching 10′, 5 weight kit married to 8lb tippets (you need to go heavy at Annamoe as these trout grow large) the guys varied their approach using boobies, green damsel fly bead heads, and dry daddies. Commencing fishing around four pm on a warm afternoon, signs of Autumn were evident and shadows lengthened through the evening as the sun dipped early behind the mountains. Damsel flies hovered, midges made their presence felt, lines swished, and then with a cry of “fish on” the reverie was broken.

Indiana state visitor Troy Owen displays a fine Annamoe rainbow tempted by a peach booby.

Troy Owen had connected with a tough “bow” which took a bead head daddy, threw a few cart wheels, ran backwards and forwards along the bank, before shaking the barbless hook free. Later switching to a sinking line and booby set up Troy hooked into three more lively fish netted with the help of his son Maguire, who not to be outdone showed that he can strip streamers with the best of them, hooking and landing a couple of quality rainbows like a seasoned veteran.

Nice fish, a quality Annamoe rainbow for Stephen from Indiana, USA.

Grandfather Stephen also weighed in with a couple of nice fish to a green damsel fly. Pulls, missed takes, thrown hooks, the evening flew by and at 19.30 pm dinner beckoned, Annamoe had delivered again, a great session, we’ll be back.

Owned and run by Brian Nally, Annamoe Trout Fishery is open all year and well worth a visit, contact Brian through the fishery website, Annamoe Trout Fishery, or just turn up. The fishery is located in the village of Annamoe, Co. Wicklow, situated equidistant between Glendalough and Roundwood.

Sea Fishing in Ireland, Hey Joey

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Wild Swan rolled one mile south west of the Hook light house on a sea created by a stiff west south west wind pushing against a making tide, sea legs were the order of the day as we worked our hokais and feathers across mixed ground for pollack, coalfish, wrasse, and occasional codling.

A nice red rock codling from fishing grounds off the Hook lighthouse, Co. Wexford.

A trip arranged at short notice found myself and a group of Hungarian visitors sharing an afternoon charter aboard Wild Swan skippered by Jim Foley, thank you very much John Enright for letting us join your party. Leaving Ballyhack Quay at 12.30 pm we motored up the Waterford estuary past Arthurstown and Duncannon Fort before commencing an initial drift inside the Hook. Immediately we hit joey mackerel in good numbers, a plus and a minus it must be said, the fact that we caught so many is living proof of how the north east Atlantic mackerel fishery is being decimated at the present time, large numbers of juvenile fish a clear signal that the mature adults have been removed.

A colourful cuckoo wrasse boated off Hook Head.

Catching enough mackerel for bait and tea we motored out into a rolling sea beyond the brown water which flowed out of the estuary. Gannets, guillemots, and herring gulls followed the boat dipping into the water to retrieve tossed over fish carcasses shorn of their fillets for use as bait. Further cut into strips we baited our hokais and dropped them to the sea bed, which appeared to be mixed sand and rock. Mackerel hit regularly on both descent and retrieve but for the first hour ground fish proved elusive. A couple of moves eventually put us over productive ground with my rod bending over to a good red codling followed by a colourful cuckoo wrasse.

A brace of pollack.

Fish arrived intermittently over the next two hours, mainly smallish pollack with a smattering of coalfish, wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, codling, and dogfish. On another day we could have traveled further with ling and larger pollack in mind, but due to the conditions safety was paramount. At lines up though our group had boated seven species which under the circumstances was not bad, and we headed for shelter within the Waterford estuary a happy bunch.

Ballyhack, Co. Wexford based angling charter vessel "Wild Swan".

Skippered by Jim Foley, Wild Swan is a clean spacious vessel suitable for groups of up to 10 anglers. 2012 charter prices are €400.00 per day and €15.00 tackle hire. Why not give Jim a ring on 087 678 1245 for an end of season trip, Indian summers and calm seas almost a certainty at this time of year.

Further reading, Click on: Wild Swan off the Hook.