Posts Tagged ‘Bread flake’

Sea Fishing in Ireland. Coastal Mullet.

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Setting out onto the headland we chose a bluff in the distance as a fishing platform and walked towards it. The sun was shining but the winds were still strong from a west/south west direction. Even though the seas had abated all our favourite rock marks were dangerously unfishable. Only for the shelter of the aforementioned bluff Roger and I would not be fishing today at all. Approaching and looking down we saw at first what looked like a raft of floating weed which on closer attention proved to be a large shoal of mullet about 2 – 3 metres wide and about thirty metres long feeding on the surface.

Shore caught mullet from the Beara Peninsula, West Cork.

Waves were bouncing off the cliff face, surging back on meeting the next approaching wave they clashed producing a foam line where obviously food particles or plankton were collecting so concentrating the mullet. Setting up a coarse float rig using a large balsa float cocked with four swan shot Roger proceeded to break up sliced pan, wetting the bread before moulding the pieces into a ball before tossing it into the sea along the foam line. On impact the bread broke up into fine particles and small lumps. Almost immediately the mullet started feeding which was not our normal experience, it usually takes longer if at all. In fact they went at the bread with abandon and were not in the one bit shy which we put down to the choppy sea.

Shoaling mullet on the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland.

Roger folded a ten pence piece size of bread around a number eight hook and cast out. The float bobbed in the waves and grey ghostly shapes came over to investigate. She slid under and with a turn of the wrist the mullet was hooked. Line fizzed from the reel against the pre set drag, however this was a small fish weighing about 2.5 lbs and was soon in the net. Out went a new bait  followed by a dipping float and no connection. This form was repeated over another couple of casts before Roger set the hook on a better fish. Backwards and forwards the mullet ran boring deep on occasions the fish would just not give up. Eventually I readied the landing net and a fine fish slid into the folds. Broad backed this could be a specimen, we will never know for on removing the hook it flipped and landed back in the water.

Roger Ball playing a Beara mullet.

Roger fished on quickly landing another good mullet before he set the hook into another strong fish. This time there was no mistake, after a good tussle the mullet was netted transfered to the weigh net and brought the scales down to 4.oz a specimen. We shook hands on a fine achievement, the mullet were on but it took skill and knowledge to winkle out four in the manner that Roger did given the conditions.

A specimen 4.oz Beara Peninsula mullet for Roger Ball.

Two more mullet were landed by yours truly before we turned our attention to wrasse and pollack. Mullet have a mystique about them that they are impossible to catch. Roger is a Cornish man and a regular visitor to this corner of Ireland primarily for the fishing. He grew up targeting mullet and is not phased by any situation, “if you get them feeding they are no more difficult to catch then any other fish”. I would not doubt him and am indebted to his knowledge having now landed numerous mullet up to specimen size under his tutelage. Thanks Roger.


Vartry Estuary Mullet, the Return Visit.

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

On a high from the success of yesterday I could not resist another crack at the mullet. I rang a friend Gerry Mitchell to see if he wanted to accompany me but he was busy at work, so off I went arriving at the chosen location about 13.00pm, just before high tide. Setting up the coarse float fishing outfit I proceeded to fire torn up pieces of sliced pan into the water. Fish were wallowing in the current, bow waving, and occasionally turning flashing silver off their flank. Showing signs of interest, the resident mullet ignored the floating pieces but were quite happy to suck in bread which had started to sink.

Thick lipped Vartry Estuary Mullet tempted by bread flake.

Trotting my float towards a group of about five fish, like the day before I momentarily slowed its progress causing the hook bait to rise. Immediately as the hook covering bread flake rose a mullet swam over and mouthed it, striking too early the opportunity was gone. Re baiting I cast again repeating the procedure. This time a mullet approached the bread confidently, sucked in and turned. A sharp movement of the wrist, an explosion of spray, and my reel screamed as the fish ran upstream. Severel runs later just as I was netting the mullet I heard a voice, “in already, that didn’t take long”. It was Gerry looking down from the bank, he had rattled into the work and finished early, the lure of fishing.

Gerry Mitchell playing a River Vartry mullet.

“Where would you get it, fishing for a euro”, said Gerry gesturing towards his sliced pan. Setting up he fished in a similar way targeting groups of fish and working the float down towards them. Within five minutes the words “I’m in” were carried by the strengthening easterly breeze. Looking up I saw Gerry playing a good fish. After a short fight he beached a nice mullet. Admiring the fish, easily four pounds plus, we took a few snaps and released it back from whence it came.

Gerry Mitchell with a fine Vartry estuary mullet.

After that things went quite. An easterly breeze had strengthened ruffling the water causing it to colour from disturbed sediment. We fished on for an hour, an odd fish bow waved or broke the surface, but no more bites were forth coming. However, with fine weather forecast for the weekend, and with the mullet bug really having took hold,  those River Vartry “thick lipped” would want to be on the look out.

Mullet fishing in the Vartry Estuary, Wicklow Town.

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

I have had a mind for a long time to go mullet fishing in the Vartry estuary, Wicklow town. Having done my homework, asking people in the know, and walking various sections from the harbour right up into the broadlough, I established a pattern. A tide was picked, the weather was fine, the moment of truth had arrived. Mackerel was minced and combined with bread crumbs produced a nice ground bait which hopefully would entice the fish to feed. Armed with a coarse float rod and reel combination, using maxima straight through to a size 10 kamazan below a small quill float, I set off.

River Vartry estuary, Wicklow Town.

Having reconnoitered some possible fishing spots one area in particular contained a good number of mullet. Proceeding to ground bait it was not long before the fish started to swirl and move through the cloud of minced mackerel and crumbs, mouths opening and closing. Casting out I trotted the float with the tide. After a number of attempts, seeing some fish porpoising at the end of the swim I slowed the float. The bread started to rise up with the current, a fish turned and inhaled the hook bait. In the same moment I lifted the rod up, bang!! away went the fish.

Thick lipped mullet, caught on bread flake, Vartry Estuary, Wicklow Town.

What a scrap, staying on the surface the mullet tried to swim upstream. Applying side strain it eventually stayed in the bay making runs to all points of the compass. Twice the mullet came close to the net only to take off again. Eventually on the third attempt she was landed. A fine fish, broad shouldered and deep set, hooked well in the upper lip. After a few photos the mullet was slipped back to swim off at a rate of knots, seemingly none the worse for wear.

See also: Vartry mullet, the return visit.

See also: Open sea mullet on the Beara Peninsula.

Rock Hopping on the Beara

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

When it comes to sea angling on the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, I do not need to be asked twice. So it was with great delight that I accepted an offer from Roger and Corinne Ball of West Sussex, England, who were holidaying on the Beara, to join them for a couple of days and go fishing. Heading down on Sunday last the 23rd May I made on overnight stop at Dromagowlane House,, a bed and breakfast specialising in sea angling breaks ran by Paul and Anne Harris, located in Adrigole, out the road from Glengarriff on the way to Castletownbere.

Fishing the rocks at Urhan, near Eyeries, Beara, West Cork

Leaving Dromagowlane early Monday morning with a present of frozen sandeels from Paul, “the mackerel are scarce due to the cold winter”, I met up with Roger and Corinne around nine am. Based on last years fishing Roger recommended a trip out to Crow Head rock hopping with Pollack and Wrasse in mind. Filling our ruck sacks with just the necessary tackle we said our goodbyes to Corinne and headed off. The day was sweltering with hardly a cloud in the sky, little or no wind, and temperatures certainly rising to the high twenties. Leaving the car at the end of a lane we set out across the headland on foot.

A fine Crow Head Pollack

Roger pointed out a number of rock marks that he had fished last year. One in particular stood out, a flat shelf with reasonable access, which we opted for. What a choice, plenty of room with options to fish Wrasse, Pollack, and whatever might be lurking in the deep. Tackling up with jelly worms attached a meter below a 60 gram barrel lead we commenced fishing. Casting out and letting the lead hit the bottom before starting a steady retrieve resulted in a string of Pollack up to five pounds plus hitting the lures. Fishing on occasions was frantic with both rods buckling over as Pollack hit the jellies and crash dived for cover.

Another Crow Head Pollack for Roger Ball

Mid afternoon saw our attention turn to wrasse. Roger had collected some hardback crabs from the harbour at Garinish, supplemented with Ragworm we set about searching likely holes earmarked by white water generated by the lazy swell. Simple one hook rotten bottom rigs weighted by spark plugs were cast in. Almost immediately the wrasse attacked the baits with their customary double tap bites. Missing more than we hooked, these Beara wrasse are very adept at stripping baits, we still caught our fair share in the two to three pound bracket. Pugnacious fighters the wrasse put determined bends in the rods, with Roger hitting a real mother which eventually made its escape in the kelp forest below.

Roger with a fine Crow Head wrasse

The fishing did not abate right through the day and before we knew it day had turned into evening. We upped sticks and headed for home tired but exhilarated. We had only tipped at the potential, mullet were a constant site patrolling the rock edges, and surely the deeps must hold conger, huss, and probably ling. Mackerel were conspicuous by their absence, maybe the cold winter has delayed their arrival. However, mid June should see the fishing in full swing, I cannot wait.

Click on : Open sea mullet on the Beara , to read about a session targeting coastal mullet.