Posts Tagged ‘Feeder fishing’

Coarse Fishing in Ireland, Bream Bonanza

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Like a mini depth charge the stuffed feeder hits the water thirty meters out, a measured distance guaranteed by the main line locked to the reel spool and guided to its mark by the designated tree cast towards on the far bank. Crumb, casters, red maggot, corn, and various soaked grains filter through the cage settling on the muddy bottom, their scent and the rhythmic splash which preceded signaling interest  from the resident bream shoal. Vanilla scent fills the damp chill morning air as the rod tip curves to the current, a slack line followed by a purposeful wrap around bite, fish on and it’s heavy, kiting in the rivers flow, bream or large hybrid for sure and a good one.

A haul of River Barrow bream for delighted anglers Graham Pepper and Keith Marsella.

Taking his time while letting the fish have its head there is no need to hurry, the size 14 kamazan has a firm hold in the rubbery lips and with rod straining a bronze slab is guided safely into the net. Disgorger to hand, hook deftly removed, quick photo for posterity, deep, slimy, heavy scaled bronze coloured flank, a cracking fish the first of many, then into the keep net. Whoops echo around the valley, hands are shook, congratulations offered, all the planning and effort has been worth while, a first bream for Keith Marsella and what a way to break your duck.

Keith Marsella with one of many River Barrow bream taken on a glorious spring day.

Regularly throwing balls of ground bait into the swim fish homed in, hung about, and hoovered. It needs a lot of bait to keep a bream shoal interested and Keith along with his friend Graham Pepper had plenty and used it well. Things had been slow for an hour with only a roach showing then the big boys moved in to hold station. From then on for a period of two hours things got hectic with regular bites for both anglers, dream fishing, you couldn’t make it up. Having decided to target bream, the boys hit pay dirt first time out. Being at hand with a camera was a privilege, and to share the occasion, well that’s what angling is all about.

Graham Pepper with the first of many Barrow bream.

Spring has come early to Ireland and everything is out of kilter, rivers are flowing at summer levels, and fish are one month ahead of schedule. Word had filtered up from Carlow that the bream were in situe so Gary and I made plans, we couldn’t have chosen a better morning to make our first trip. Blue skies, a chilly start, then as the sun rose shirt sleeves and wide brim hats. On arrival at our chosen venue Keith and Graham were already pitched and working away. Exchanging introductions the camaraderie of angling took over, helped no end by the fabulous fishing we experienced. Equipment shared, advice, jokes, more congratulations as fish hit the bank, you would think we had known each other all our lives.

Gary Robinson with one of three Barrow bream on a sunny spring day.

To cap it all Carlow Coarse Angling Club stalwart Gerry McStraw arrived, bream having a magnetic pull which is hard to resist. Banter flowed and as the afternoon wore on bites eased, probably due to the heat as much as anything. Calling it a day at 17.00pm  by lines up six species had been caught, bream, hybrids, roach, dace, trout, and smolts, what a prolific river the Barrow is. Graham and Keith’s bream haul bottomed out at 60.lbs which was fantastic, while Gary and I had 6 bream between us with Gary catching the largest at 12.oz. It was a wonderful day made all the more by meeting with and sharing in the boys dream catch. Why do I fish…?

Further information, click on: Barrow Boys.

Coarse Fishing in Ireland, River Barrow at St Mullins.

Monday, May 30th, 2011

A month ago in the heat of April St Mullins was alive with bream and hybrids, today in late May Gary and I struggled. With high water at 16.00pm, Gary’s particle mix, red maggots courtesy of Carlow Coarse Angling Supplies, “thanks for the ice pops Gerry“, we were confident of bagging up. The day was dry with a strong chilly breeze from the west, having chosen our swim we commenced fishing about 11.00am. Employing a 30 gram open ended feeder and a size 14 hook to a two foot tail I built up the swim with about ten consecutive casts of ground bait before starting to fish.

Casting the feeder at St Mullins, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

A good bite early on resulted in a spirited fight from a three quarter pound brownie, a welcome fish but not what I was after. Gary like wise was connecting with trout, coarse fish being noticeable by their absence. Around 14.00 pm with the tide pushing over the scar, a set of rapids downstream of St Mullins, bites started to pick up. I connected briefly with a good fish before Gary landed a hybrid on four red maggots. We continued feeding regularly however for whatever reason the fish were not playing ball. By 16.00pm with only a few roach and hybrids to our names Gary and I called it a day.

A brace of River Barrow hybrids for Gary Robinson.

It had been an enjoyable although unproductive session in a cracking location, last month the keep net bulged today it stayed dry, Gary and I sharing his. We speculated as to the cause in the end putting it down to just fishing, the diaries show good results for last June, it’s just swings and roundabouts. The bream had a day off or just were not interested in feeding, who knows? Better luck next time.

Coarse Fishing in Ireland, River Barrow, Athy, Co. Kildare.

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

They are called red letter days, when all the preparation, experience, and knowledge comes together to produce a memorable fishing session. In conversation with Gary a few evenings previous we had agreed to coarse fish the River Barrow close to Athy. Arriving at the chosen venue shortly before 10.00am a change of location was agreed, primarily because the main river was in perfect condition, slightly coloured with an even flow. We took a chance that fish would have ventured out of the backwaters and decided to fish a swim close to Athy town centre, an inspired hunch? You could say so.

Casting the feeder, River Barrow, Athy, Co. Kildare.

Having fished the marina recently due to the river in flood, we learned that fish shelter out of the main current in heavy flows. Once levels drop back they venture out again to where the feeding is better. Our guess was that the vast shoals that inhabit the marina wouldn’t stray too far from the haven, our assessment proved correct. Having chosen a swim on the right hand bank we set up and proceeded to feed Gary’s particle mix at sixty second intervals until bites commenced, which they did almost immediately.

Gary Robinson with a smashing hybrid, River Barrow, Athy, Co. Kildare.

Plugging the feeder with particle mix and filling the centre with casters we lobbed to a line about a third of the way across and touch ledgered. From the get go bites occurred within one or two minutes, good heavy knocks which produced a string of hybrids. A feature were slack line bites from the larger fish which lifted the feeder causing the tip to straighten quickly. Lighter but equally purposeful knocks resulted in prime roach some reaching a pound+. Interspersed were the lightening machine gun rattle of dace, which even using a size 14 hook are hard to connect with. I would say that one in three bites resulted in a hook up, I’m no match man but then again we were pleasure fishing, the action was constant with every recast suppling extra feed to the swim.

A cracking perch, River Barrow, Athy, Co. Kildare.

Noted for its big perch one heavy slack line bite resulted in a nice perch around a pound. Beautifully striped and in great condition prior to spawning they can reach 3 pounds+ in this area, here’s hoping. Its broad dorsal fin raised in the current and never day die attitude contributed to a memorable scrap. On that note include hybrids, the larger fish in the two pound plus bracket ran a merry dance also before sliding over the net. Fishing leisurely we had an idea that at days end the keep net might hold a substantial catch.

Gary Robinson with a forty pound mixed bag, River Barrow, Athy, Co. Kildare.

As the angelus bell rang out we lifted the net. Throughout the afternoon bites had been constant with numerous shoals of fish entering our swim. Stopping every so often for photos and lunch upset the pattern of ground baiting resulting in lulls, but once the feeder (30 gram) was reintroduced bites recommenced fairly quickly afterwards. Six species made up the haul which topped forty pounds, roach, silver bream, dace, perch, roach/bream hybrid, and rudd/bream hybrid. The bait was two red maggot presented on a two foot snood incorporating a fluorocarbon tippet. This was wild coarse fishing at its best. The River Barrow is a superb fishery, and with the sterling work and initiatives being implemented by both Athy and Carlow coarse angling clubs, can only go from strength to strength. Gary and I had a great day in the early April sunshine, we’ll be back….

Further reading: Barrow Boys.

Further reading: Coarse Fishing, Athy Marina, Co. Kildare.

Coarse Fishing in Ireland. Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan.

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I had the pleasure in assisting eighteen Dutch anglers who travelled to Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan, specifically to fish Lough Muckno. Based in the Glencarn Hotel for eight bed nights, the group brought together through the initiative of Mr. Christiaan Kooloos, a freelance coarse angling journalist, planned to fish a series of matches along the Concra Wood and White Island shorelines.

Pegged for the match, Lough Ross, Co. Monaghan.

Fully equipped down to the last maggot the groups collective heart sank when they heard that Muckno was unfishable due to recent heavy rains and high water levels. However, thanks to the combined efforts of local tackle dealer Les Harris, Geoff Quinn, Dick Caplice, and the Castleblaney Coarse Angling Club, a variety of  alternative options were pursued to retrieve a difficult situation and get the dutch men fishing.

In the face of adversity, success on the Church Hill shoreline, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan.

A small area of the church hill shoreline split in two sections was capable of accommodating the visitors. Pegging sections on Saturday morning the match kicked off at midday and ended at five pm. Feeder fishing it was apparent that the anglers present could cut the mustard. Within twenty minutes fish started appearing, mainly roach with a smattering of hybrids and one or two bream. Double red maggot coupled with a dark (almost black) feeder mix containing amongst other ingredients, sweetcorn, hemp, and castors, was the successful combination, with those using worm attracting the few bream landed.

A happy angler with what looks like a bream and hybrid double, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

At the end of Saturdays match Willem Van Der Helm was the clear winner with 11.40 kgs of mainly roach. A regular visitor to Ireland Willem’s bag given the conditions was a credit to his skill. The church hill shore was shallow necessitating casts of up to fifty metres, that and an onshore north westerly pushing intermittent heavy showers made conditions difficult for the anglers.

Trip organiser Christiaan Kooloos shows off his catch, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

Sunday provided similar weather and lake conditions with the result that a friendly match between local anglers and the dutch group was held on the same shoreline and a section of Lough Ross. Twenty seven anglers fished, again the feeder prevailed with trip organiser Christiaan Kooloos coming out on top with a nice bag of roach, bream, and hybrids, for 9.10 kgs. Interestingly he was pegged where Willem had been the previous day.

Landing the catch, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

Lough Muckno is arguably the best natural coarse match angling venue in Europe. It holds tonnes of roach, bream, and hybrids, and properly developed with vehicular access and permanent pegs would attract anglers from far and wide, Shorelines such as White Island, Concra Wood, Black Island, and Toome provide excellent fishing on the feeder, whip, waggler, or pole. Combined with the large pike, up to thirty pounds, that inhabit the lake it is a dream venue in a beautiful setting.

For more information on Lough Muckno click here: Lough Muckno, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan.

Bream Fishing in Co. Monaghan

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

A planned trip to fish for bream in Co. Monaghan proved successful but not in the way that was originally envisaged. Peadar and I agreed on a small venue that had produced bream for some English clients of his last year, and also been kind to him in club matches. On arriving the lake looked ideal, reed fringed and well catered for with fishing stands, the water ruffled by the breeze had a lovely colour to it. Peadar chose two adjacent stands located in a quite corner giving access to a drop off thirty metres offshore.  A sunny, humid day, with a strong south westerly breeze blowing, fishing without prebaiting we still felt confident.

Peadar O'Brien with a fine County Monaghan, Ireland bream.

Feeder fishing casters and sweetcorn while baiting up with four red maggot or a maggot sweetcorn combo, both aiming at a tree on the far shore we built up a swim over a narrow area thirty metres out. Quickly I started to catch very small skimmers, a good sign, Peadar hooking small perch. After an hour Peadar’s rod took on a nice bend, “I’m in and it’s a good fish”. Whoever said bream come in like a wet sack didn’t tell this fellow. The lily pads were favourite to win on a few occasions as the fish stayed deep and swam towards them. Eventually the fish was netted, a fine bream running four pounds+.

Peadar O' Brien playing a large bream, County Monaghan, Ireland.

So the pattern continued throughout the day, Peadar caught perch and every hour or so hooked, played, and landed another lunker bream. I on the other hand must have been casting my feeder into the creche for all I could tempt was the babies and a few perch. We were fishing within feet of each other. Peadar, a seasoned coarse fisher and ex Irish International was adamant that I was fishing correctly, “it was just the day that was in it”, or maybe Peadar’s aftershave? With the World Cup semi between Germany and Spain beckoning we upped sticks at five o’clock.

Angling guide Peadar O' Brien with a fine catch of County Monaghan, Ireland, bream.

The day had been a success, with no prebaiting Peadar had landed four quality bream in five hours fishing. Prebaiting combined with an earlier start could certainly enable a competent coarse angler to amass a hundred pound bag here. With that in mind plans are afoot to do just that, hopefully the creche will be on summer holidays by then.