Posts Tagged ‘Ballan wrasse’

Mini Wrasse on the Float

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Fishing for mini species especially with soft plastic lead head lures has become popular of late, reminding me of the fun I had as a young teenager winkling blennies, gobies and small wrasse out of rock pools and sheltered locations such as the inside of pier walls. With a view to recapturing that innocence while also enjoying the spectacle of watching a float jiggle and then dart under David and I headed towards a local venue where mini wrasse up to 30 centimeters plus reside in abundance.

Corkwing wrasse.

Employing a light coarse match fishing rod and reel, 6.lb line to a size 2 hook under a small sliding float, baited with small pieces of ragworm cast out close to weedy rocky features over high water, it was not long until bites were forthcoming. Little rattles followed by a purposeful disappearance of the red tipped float, yes this was wrasse fishing in miniature however the light gear allowed the fish to gamely scrap as only wrasse can, always looking to gain sanctuary within weed or a handy rock crevice.

Ballan wrasse.

It became apparent that a range of wrasse species populated the mark to include ballan, corkwing and the tiny goldsinny. Like when fishing for their larger brethren it took a while for a particular “wrasse hole” to spark, however once it was noted that a meal was present it was like the wrasse were queuing up to partake with bites coming every cast. Equally after a few fish were landed and gently released the fishing would cease and one would have to search for a new spot.

Goldsinny wrasse.

The above approach besides being a lot of fun is a very hands on way of introducing sea fishing and the marine environment to youngsters and even the not so young. Balanced tackle and the most effective way of using it can be learned in a safe environment with the bonus of regular bites and fish landed. One can also see close up the various species which inhabit rocky areas and pier walls. On any particular day within the summer and autumn on the venue David and I fished species could range from the wrasse featured to pollack, coalfish and mackerel, all good fun on the light tackle. Just remember to wash down all the coarse fishing gear used in fresh water on returning home as saltwater will corrode it………

Cod Heaven off Kilmore

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Ready up boys where drifting over some kelp”, instructed “Autumn Dream” skipper Eamonn Hayes, seconds later members of the Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association were leaning into head thumping resistance 60 feet below, as codling up to six pound weight took a shine to the Welsh Dragons lures. Bright and fresh, mottled red from their kelpy home, it was wonderful to see both good numbers of a much loved species and the smiles of blokes on their annual trip to Ireland enjoying a great mornings fishing.

A nice reef codling boated off Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Kilmore Quay circa 2014 is fishing very well at present across a range of species from codling and pollack to ballan and cuckoo wrasse. Anglers drifting across the various reef marks east and west of the Saltee Islands jigging rigs baited with ragworm, sandeel or mackerel are producing individual catches in excess of 30 prime fish for an eight hour trip excluding steaming time.

A Kilmore Quay beauty displayed by a happy Welshman.

The Welsh Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association members are good friends of Kilmore Quay, returning every year to sample the hospitality of Siobhan and Pat in the Quay House B/B and the superlative fishing enabled by top skipper Eamonn Hayes. A north east breeze hampered fishing due to contrary drifts, across as against with the tidal flow, however Eamonn did his best to keep the boys lines from going under the boat and the lads responded by fishing hard throughout the session.

Another Kilmore Quay codling in prime condition.

At lines up species caught included codling, pollack, coalfish, small ling, pouting, poor cod, launce, ballan and cuckoo wrasse. The sun shone, banter flowed and a tired but content bunch of lads stepped off Autumn Dream at days end. A quick shower then back down to the Wooden House for a customary chowder followed by battered haddock, chips and mushy peas, sure you have to. A few pints, the world cup and its back out with Eamon in the morning to do it all over again, HEAVEN………..

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.