Posts Tagged ‘Float fishing’

Bass Fishing in Ireland: Float Fishing with Live Sandeel.

Friday, September 11th, 2015

John George is a Pembrokeshire lad who first traveled to Ireland as an 18 year old with the sole intention of catching a Kerry bass way back in 1970, forty five years later he is still coming. Over the years John has seen the changes, from brilliant to bad to good and currently worrying and the man is concerned, like many of us, about the quite obvious and visible decline in bass numbers along Ireland’s southern coastline that has occurred in recent years. Prior to John’s current sojourn he contacted me with regard to getting to know a little about what Wexford has to offer in terms of bass fishing given that to date he has passed through the county on his way to Kerry, not stopping even once.

Welshman John George returns a nice estuary bass tempted by float fished live sandeel.

John informed me that he was bringing live sandeel, a bait that I have no experience of and a plan was formed to give John a Wexford welcome and hopefully a bass too, we would float fish an estuary location. Fast forward and one hour before low water John was briefing me on the set up and approach to this very traditional but effective form of angling. As John iterated, “no lure known to man can emit electrical impulses and that is where live sandeel scores”, boy was John right. Two fish and many more missed as the bass ran through on the first of the flood, it was a grand and extremely informative two hours in great company. Thank you John for getting in touch, safe journey to Kerry, we will definitely fish together again………

For a more detailed account of the day see: Float Fishing Live Sandeel for Bass.

For further Information: For guided bass fishing in South Wales contact John George through his website “Gower Guiding”http://gowerguiding.co.uk/.

Barrow Bonanza Match, 22/08/2015, Day One Results

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

The River Barrow up stream of Carlow Town flowed slow and clear, an odd dace could be seen topping and if one peered hard into the peat stained water fry could be seen flitting and darting amongst the weed beds. All the hard work in setting up the Barrow Bonanza coarse fishing match by the Naas & District Angling Club had most certainly paid off as 42 match anglers lined up on two stretches of the Barrow between Carlow Town and Athy, “Knockbeg and Maganey”, to compete for the guaranteed €1000.00 first prize.

World Coarse Fishing Pairs Champion Phillip Jackson fishes the River Barrow, Co. Carlow.

Tubs of maggots dyed in various colours, sweetcorn, hemp, chopped worm, buckets of ground bait and an arsenal of ready to use fishing rods/reels, poles and whips surrounded each competitor as they settled down for the five hour competition first leg to commence at 12.30 pm with lines up at 17.30 pm. Tactics given the  conditions, overcast grey, muggy with little or no breeze appeared to be feed little and often utilising variations in casting length, bait type and presentation.

Padraig O'Riordan fishing the Barrow Bonanza 2015 Match with an average roach.

Those fishing the Knockbeg section to include World Pairs Champion Phillip Jackson and Irish Junior Champion Michael Kelly definitely worked hard for any success that they got. Small dace made up the bulk of anglers catches however on the lower pegs a few roach and hybrids bulked up competitor Padraig O’Riordan’s 2.28 kilogram haul while in mid section Andrius Simbelis concentrated on perch to record a 4.26 kilogram first day section win.

Match angler Gary Quayle displays a River Barrow dace.

Special mention must go to all the Naas & District Coarse Angling Club membership led by Paul McLaughlin and Padraig O’Riordan for their tremendous effort in planning and organising the Barrow Bonanza event, you would not believe the amount of work that is involved from canvassing sponsors to clearing bank side pegs. In so doing the club have showcased what is a wonderful and healthy riverine coarse fishery.

Today Sunday 23/08/2015 as I write the rain is teeming down and with little or no wind competitors will be settling down for another five hours concentrated fishing. Mark Leonard holds what could well be an unassailable lead however in match fishing you never know who could come up on the rails, so in short there is still a lot to play for on day two.

Competing at the Barrow Bonanza 2015 Coarse Angling Match, River Barrow, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

Top 10 weights posted on day one of the Barrow Bonanza 2015 Coarse Angling match fished on the Knockbeg and Maganey stretches between Carlow Town and Athy were as follows.

Mark Leonard 14.100 kg
Cathal Hughes 4.590
Andrius Simbelis 4.260
Kevin Hodson 4.080
Ollie Doyle 3.140
David Mc Neice 2.850
Christy Moore 2.770
Brendan Collins 2.710
Chris Moore 2.230
Padraig O’ Riordan 2.280

 

Coarse Fishing in Ireland: Exploring New Waters

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Exploring new waters besides enabling one to progress as an angler can also be good fun. Yes for sure a lot of time, effort and money will be invested in an exercise which at first glance may not deliver much in return, however in the medium to long term the picture can become much more clear as all knowledge gained, either positive or negative, is good knowledge. On that basis one should get into the moment and appreciate that for all the planning which goes into a reconnaissance fishing session it could still be hit or miss, therefore by lowering ones expectations and just enjoying the time spent casting a line if fish materialise they become a bonus, either way you win.

The River Barrow, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

To date 2015 has been a year of exploration, generating much aesthetic satisfaction, networking opportunities and fishery information with little in the way of decent fish. That said, we only learn from adversity and to that end a lot of positive information has been gleaned which will be put to productive use in the months to come. Also, there have been some interesting encounters and observations along the way, in particular a couple of close encounters with pike, of which more later.

Coarse fishing in Ireland: Perch.

This season tench have been hard to come by, conversations with a number of experienced coarse anglers putting their scarcity down to a very cold spring epitomised by frosty mornings into late May. A session on a new water last weekend after old “tinca” resulted in another blank apart from small rudd and perch to float fished maggot/sweetcorn combinations. Tench were definitely present as both David and I observed our swim fizzing like crazy and our floats being bumped rather than pulled, however they were not taking. Conversation with a local angler confirmed that our approach was fine, it was just that the tench had not started playing ball this season for whatever reason.

Coarse fishing in Ireland: Rudd.

Were there positives from the trip, absolutely, it was a nice day out on an obviously productive water, David and I gained very useful advice from a couple of welcoming people and we know for certain that the fishery delivers specimen tench to eight pound. As Arnie would say, “I’ll be back”.

Coarse fishing in Ireland: Tackle and bait requirements.

Turning towards the River Barrow, a life span is too short a time period within which to learn all its secrets. To confuse things further this writer both coarse and game fishes so to maximise ones knowledge of the river involves a lot of disciplined thinking. Season 2015 so far has been about assessing the Barrow’s coarse fishing potential, utilising Google maps, asking questions and trialing different stretches. Returns have been predominantly small dace but that is not a bad thing, a pattern is emerging, the Barrow is a fine coarse fishery along its length but this quality is confined to certain stretches. To expand, based on my experience and observations the Barrow has untold “latent” potential as a mixed fishery, it just needs a visionary to unlock it.

Coarse fishing in Ireland: River Barrow, waiting for that bite.

With that aim in mind within the last month while coarse fishing the Barrow I’ve connected with two big pike in the process losing both due to lack of wire. The first encounter lasted about four minutes whence old esox ran up, down and across my swim before escaping, the second heaved my feeder rod over into a hoop while engulfing a hooked dace. While sitting on my seat box I’ve observed salmon jumping and tempted a few nice trout on the couple of occasions that I fly fished the streamy waters. Fishing is not just about catching big fish, it is also about putting oneself in the frame to catch big fish. One has to speculate to accumulate, the fruits of my efforts will be rewarded of that I am certain……….

 

River Barrow: Mick Lyons Memorial Coarse Fishing Competition 2015

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

The annual Mick Lyons Memorial Coarse Angling Competition 2015 for people with disabilities kick started the Bagnelstown Summer Festival in style last Friday 17/07/2015. The event is held on the River Barrow upstream of Bagnelstown, Co. Carlow on a section of towpath modified for wheelchair accessibility, the brain child of local keen angler Michael Lyons Snr, who was sadly deceased before he could see his idea become a reality. Today his son Michael aided by a host of volunteers ensures that this wonderful piece of social infrastructure is utilised as was intended while also celebrating the memory and traditions of his late father.

Micheal Lyons Jnr who runs the annual Mick Lyons Memorial Coarse Fishing match for people with disabilities, Bagnelstown, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

Blessed with bright sunshine tempered with an odd shower, well it is Ireland, 22 volunteers helped organise the eventual 45 competitors and their respective carers who traveled from far and wide to their respective pegs. Accents from Cork, Tipperary and Donegal filled the air, a gang from the Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin made their annual visit by train no less, they must have left early, as did competitors from the Ardeen (Wicklow) and Tullow (Carlow) Cheshire Homes. Smiling faces lined the bank, banter flowed and at 12 noon proceedings commenced.

The annual Mick Lyons Memorial Coarse Angling Competition 2015, Bagnelstown, Co. Carlow.

Held annually since 2002 the event is sponsored by many groups and organisations to include the Bagnelstown Summer Festival Committee, Bagnesltown Resource Centre, the Irish Wheelchair Association, Waterways Ireland and Access Printing. All competitors get a medal for taking part with trophies being awarded for first, second and third. A raffle completes the day and based on what yours truly witnessed everyone would appear to get a raffle prize too, there were so many the tow path resembled a cuddly toy factory.

Orla Keating, winner of the 2015 Mick Lyons Memorial Coarse Angling Competition 2015.

At lines up a clear winner emerged with eight year old Orla Keating fishing her socks off to take first prize with a fine catch of 35 dace, nudging last years winner Billy Black into a creditable second place. Billy for the record also weighed in with a grand haul of dace.

Billy Black fishing his way to second place in the annual Mick Lyons Memorial Coarse Angling Competition 2015.

Events such as the Mick Lyons Memorial are a celebration of inclusiveness that modern society can be proud of, the prize giving being testament. Micheal Lyons Jnr, his family and friends and members of the Bagnesltown Festival Committee to include chairman James Lakes awarded and shared out prizes while thanking all those who attended and donated so making the event a total success.

The Mick Lyons Memorial Coarse Angling Competition Winner 2015.

It only remained then to award young Orla Keating with the Mick Lyons Memorial Perpetual Cup for 2015 and most importantly her hard won trophy. Does not her smile say it all, God bless your vision Michael Lyons………

Pike on a Foggy Morning

Friday, November 21st, 2014

An evening phone call from David needed no second thoughts in the response, “Are you interested in going pike fishing tomorrow on a new water that I have become aware of? “Yes of course, thanks for asking”. “Be outside the gaff for 08.00 am then and we will go in my car”. Up and about at six bells, why is it so easy to get up when the motivation is fishing? Breakfasted, gear stowed and I was on the road by seven. Dark, damp and seriously foggy, visibility down to about twenty meters on occasions, conditions which persisted all day, the one saving grace was a constant temperature of about 9 – 10 degrees and no wind, in terms of piking it does not get any better.

A cracking double figure Irish pike for David Murphy.

Opting to float ledger into a very reedy swim we set up three rods baited respectively with frozen smelt, mackerel and roach, fanning out the offerings across three separate locations within thirty meters of our fishing station. Setting our bait runners and bite alarms David poured both of us a welcome cup of coffee and the vigil commenced. An hour in line started peeling off one of David’s reels, without further ado rod in hand David leaned into the fast disappearing pike as it bolted further into the reeds. Having turned the fish a degree of bullying ensued to get old esox into open water, from that point after a couple of short runs the well conditioned pike slipped easily into the net.

Nearly there, a double figure Irish pike is ready for the net.

Beautifully conditioned and running 11 or 12 pound, laid carefully on the de-hooking mat, forceps a couple of photos and back in the water to kick strongly away. David’s second double figure pike within a week from that swim and the only fish of yesterdays session, three more dropped runs confirming a healthy population of bottle green predators. Evidence for a revisit? Most definitely……..

Further posts on pike fishing: Pike Hatrick in Co. Cavan.

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………

Ghost Predators

Monday, January 14th, 2013

A hard frost lay on the ground as we approached the secluded lake through a foggy murk, moorhens dipped and splashed while a family of swans glided across the mirror calm water. Dank and cold, David and Robbie pointed to where they had landed five pike to 9.lbs plus and experienced numerous runs throughout the session not a fortnight previous. That day was warm and breezy from the south, today being chilly, grey, and still conditions couldn’t have been more different. Discussing the possibilities while choosing our respective swims, we set off around the frost encrusted bank to stake a claim before proceeding to tackle up.

A small lake pike for angler David Murphy.

Each fishing a ledgered popped up dead bait along with a roving sliding float set up, we cast onto a weed bed covered by ten foot of water lying about fifty meters off shore. Using frozen roach and dace for bait on this occasion runs were scarce, six for the day converted into one medium pike. That said, noticing a line straightening, a float dipping before sliding under, or the sound of a pod buzzer creates a level of excitement only anglers can identify with. Yes there is frustration when one leans into a running fish and the connection doesn’t materialise, however the electricity generated narrows the quite gaps in between while sustaining the determination to carry on. “The next one will be a lunker“. As the fog closed in and light faded around five bells three lads knew it was 5 – 1 to old Esox, but that’s OK aren’t we anglers not fishermen. “Where are we going next week?”

Pike from a Bog Lake

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Success in fishing is derived through layering of experience, in essence a combination of theory and practice. To that pairing one can add the routine of regular fishing trips. Knowledge gained of fishy behaviour in tandem with natures changing cycles becomes stored in the subconscious, where at a future date and time, the angler confronted by a particular set of conditions, seemingly without thinking makes a correct tactical choice which results in a good fish.

A ten pound Irish pike from a little bog lake.

David Murphy and his fishing buddy Robbie have pike fished a local water on a number of occasions over the past twelve months building up a body of knowledge. Allowing for the time of year, it is no surprise that their last two visits have resulted in some excellent returns, with four pike to 11.lbs gracing the bank yesterday.

Playing a double figure pike on the bog lake.

Building on experience gleaned from previous trips the lads successfully employed both ledgered and float fished dead baits, roach and dace on this foray, resulting in a cracking afternoons fishing on what was a calm, bright, frosty, day.

Pike Fishing in Ireland. Trigger Happy Pike

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Anglers who fish for large predators such as pike talk about triggers, those little understood factors which motivate the fish to commence hunting or feeding. Fluctuations in water temperature, atmospheric pressure, stages of the lunar cycle, amount of light, pure hunger, or combinations of all play a part in rousing the predatory instinct. One day a water known to hold pike can seem devoid of fish, the next it comes alive, Saturday the 24th of November being a fine example of the latter.

A double figure pike for David Murphy caught on float fished roach.

A cold frosty morning found David Murphy rigging up at a favourite pike water. Employing two outfits both baited with roach, he float fished one and ledgered the other. Having fished the venue on a number of occasions his best haul to date had been a couple of fish. Little did David know when lobbing out his first rig, that this trip was set to go down in the annals.

A fine Irish pike from a small water.

In David’s own words: “It was a ripper of a day, the rods were flying off the stands, we must of had about 8-9 runs. The two pike were caught on the floats using dace and roach. The ledgered baits produced a number of runs of which there were two screamers. On one the line shot off the spool nearly causing a birds nest, this happened twice. You couldn’t leave the rods as about every 15 mins or so there was a fish on. The pike Robbie caught actually broke the top treble hook and we lost three pike by the bank, it was a cracker of a day.”

What more can you say, well done lads, that’s why we go fishing……….

Click on: Playing the Pike Percentages.

Sea Fishing in Ireland, Trotting After Flounder

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Flounder or fluke are a favourite species which I seek out in various estuary locations within Co. Wexford. It’s funny how sometimes we miss opportunities right under our noses, a case of the grass is always greener elsewhere maybe. Well a couple of weeks ago having witnessed a mullet angler take a number of quality flounder from a local estuary mark while float fishing, I decided to follow suit, which proved not only fruitful but fun as well.

A nice Co. Wicklow flounder tempted by float fished lobworm.

An urban harbour location where a major river system meets the tide, I set up a float rod with a clear stick float to a size eight hook attached to 6.lb test, plumbed the depth along a likely seam, baited with lobworm and cast out. Slightly out of the main current my float settled then twitched and bobbed before gently sliding under. Setting the hook with a turn of my wrist a nice flounder proceeded to show how sporting these fish can be on light tackle. Nudging a pound and in tip top condition the flounder was one of a dozen plus flatties and slob brown trout I landed within a short three hour session up to and over high tide. Just as I was leaving Polish light line lure specialist David Kopczynski introduced himself to me. A thinking angler David has adapted freshwater light line lure techniques learned in his home country and put them to good use in Ireland catching some fine bass, wrasse, and flounder. Nice to finally meet and chat with you David, tight lines and good fishing…….