Posts Tagged ‘Launce’

A Stroll Along Kilcoole

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, Ireland holds a special place in my heart, catching large red spotted plaice and brown/red mottled codling initially with my dad and latterly with friends such as Gerry Mitchell and Francis O’Neill “God Rest Him”. The village became my home for 16 happy years, a great environment for raising our kids, with countless happy memories and many friends made to include the aforementioned Gerry and the Meakin family both of whom I met yesterday while taking a stroll.

Ashley Hayden lure fishing on Kilcoole beach, Co. Wicklow.

Boy has the place changed especially down on the strand where steel fencing on the landward side of the railway line and chain link on the seaward side has created a disconnect between the beach and the village. Pre 2001 you could walk across the railway line at any given point and know one ever got run over by a train unless “with all due respect” they wanted to, which can still apply today if a person is that determined.

The resultant can be summed up in the words of Mrs Meakin, still a fit lady in her seventies who used to walk twenty meters across from her front door to the beach and go swimming every day. “Now in the morning I hear the water invitingly lapping and I cannot reach it due to the obstacle course in front of me”. In short her way of  life has been diminished by blind bureaucracy.

Equally I would say that the same blind bureaucracy killed the fishing when licencing the removal of the offshore mussel banks. Today on my stroll while casting a Kilty lure I caught a solitary launce in front of the “Big Tree”. I scared a sea trout and the bass may still be there, however no mackerel, no mussel shells on the beach and very little weed. Conversations with Mrs Meakin (over 40 years resident in Kilcoole) and her daughter Lizzy made it very clear, the inshore environment has changed radically, getting progressively lifeless.

One is not being negative in saying this, just realistic. Yes it is sad, but the people iterating it are perfectly balanced and happy, they just have lived, breathed and observed a fuller environmental alternative which can still be resurrected from the bland reduced diversity habitat Kilcoole presents today. Yes, the beating heart of Kilcoole’s wonderful seascape can be revived, it just needs good people to believe. A starting point is to support the idea of a community managed Marine Conservation Area between Bray Head and Wicklow Head………..

For Further Information Click on: Reviving North County Wicklow’s Inshore Fisheries Socio – Economic Modal.

The Lure of Sea Fishing

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

“That’s a grand looking lure Ger”, said I. Replying Ger iterated that it was a shallow diving plug with a particular action, “a cross between a surface and subsurface lure, watch”, and with a flick the lure was arcing through the air to land thirty meters out. On commencing the retrieve immediately a number of boiling swirls indicated fish, “get your spinner in the water Ash”. Fascinated by the offshore dance Ger’s words prompted yours truly back into life. Flicking out the silver Kilty, two turns of the handle and Bang fish on. Pulling and darting short runs commenced, an occasional flash of silver indicating where the fish was. Imagine the surprise when out of the calm sea emerged a garfish, an unusual catch for this neighbourhood.

Lure caught Garfish from a strand in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

There was obviously a small shoal of them however no more were forthcoming. Proving an interesting end to another fine evening walking the strand while casting a line at various points along. This scribe has written at length about the damage wrought by unregulated whelk fishing and mussel dredging along the Co. Wicklow coastline, how an inshore aquarium was turned into a marine desert. Sadly one can also add the demise of North East Atlantic mackerel to this mix too. That said yesterday evening provided evidence that the sea possesses wonderful levels of endurance.

Fly fishing for bass, sea trout and mackerel off a Co. Wicklow strand.

Yesterday evening launce, a single small pollack and that garfish attacked my lure, a small shoal of about twenty grey mullet finned and filtered their way up tide parallel with the shoreline and a lone angler fly fished for sea trout, an odd fish announcing its presence, careening skywards then disappearing with a splash. A bass showed yesterday and Kit Dunne chartering out of Wicklow has contacted black bream, a mini revival? Time will tell, however to observe such marine life and behaviour along a much loved stretch of coastline after many barren years provides hope and that feels good……..

Kayak Fishing in Ireland, Craic on a Yak

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

West Cork has to be a kayak anglers paradise, what with all the bays, inlets, and little slip ways dotted around the place, sure you would be able to go fishing weather permitting whatever quarter the wind was blowing from. Also there are locations where rock hopping is completely out of the question due to sheer cliffs, so these marks would now become accessible. When one considers that depths can reach 100+ feet in places just yards from the shore, big deep water species like ling now become a real possibility.

Kayak angler Gary Robinson aboard his well kitted out yak.

Gary Robinson is a superb “thinking” angler who looked at the kayaks fishing capability about two years ago and subsequently has put together a formidable outfit kitted out with fish finder/echo sounder, anchor, rod holders, storage facilities, and all necessary safety features, an impressive piece of kit and no mistake. Our trip down to the south west offered Gary the first real opportunity to test his boat handling and angling skills over fishing grounds that are far from depleted. His first day on the water not only blew his mind but this seasoned anglers’ too.

Gary Robinson with two kayak caught West Cork pollack.

That day I was fishing for wrasse far out on a headland and could observe Gary, about a mile further into the bay, paddling and fishing away. At days end we met up and you just knew by his face and of course the two large pollack, one of which weighed 9.lb plus, that his day had been a success. “Ridiculous” is how Gary described it, just fish after fish until his arms got sore. Initially using hokais searching for mackerel which were scarce, he did boat numerous big launce though, every time Gary hit bottom strings of three/four pound pollack would come up. Changing to a single 30 gram jig head he targeted larger stuff and boated pollack into double figures, all bar the two fish above being released. Gary said that he lost count of how many fish landed, now that is some day. Ground fishing at anchor with large fish fillets is the next logical step, I can’t wait to see the results of that exercise. Bugger it, I’m off to buy a kayak too…..

Read Gary Robinson’s account of the above trip in his excellent article titled; Pollack Perfection in South West Ireland.

Sea Fishing in Ireland. Stormy Monday Flatties.

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

It is always possible to find fish on the Beara even in the worst of weather as I found out over the last couple of days. Prospects looked grim for Roger and I with serial fronts blowing in from the Atlantic. Rain driven by strong winds which moved from north west to south and back again in the space of 36 hours makes for heavy seas and little shelter on this wonderful but exposed sea angling outpost. That said, a  weather window gave us an evening and one full days fishing before it all closed in again and we made the most of it.

A Beara flounder tempted by lugworm tipped with white ragworm.

Digging fresh lugworm and white rag  for bait we chose a relatively sheltered mark with flat fish in mind. Roger used a two hook flowing trace while I baited up a two hook paternoster. Distance has proved decisive on this location before and so it transpired again. From the get go dogfish made their appearance more or less every other cast to plain lug baits. Tipping off with white rag and being able to get that little bit further out due to the rig employed, a decisive pull down of the rod top followed by a slack line resulted in a fine flounder, the next cast producing a good codling. With night closing in we called it a day.

Evening sea fishing during rough conditions on the Beara Peninsula, Ireland.

The following evening during a temporary lull we used up the remainder of our lugworm fishing a different rock mark that again gave access to clean ground. This time we both used two hook paternosters banged out and what a session we had. Fishing about two hours into the rising tide we hit codling averaging 2.0 lbs on our first casts with no let up until the bait ran out. Super fishing similar to what we experienced last October capped off by a cracking pound plus dab, one part of a codling/flattie double header.

A pound dab tempted by lugworm while sea fishing on the Beara Peninsula, Ireland.

The fishing continued with double codling shots occurring at least three times. At close of play Roger had the best fish topping 2.5 lbs. We kept a few codling for the pot returning most to the water. Two year classes were evident, one year and two/three years. Codling breed in their forth year so we are not out of the woods yet, however as stated before if this obviously prolific stock is managed rather than exploited then there is hope for the species.

A mixed bag caught sea fishing on the Beara Peninsula, Ireland.

The Beara is full of surprises, I have not caught codling like this in May since the late 1980′s, and as for flatfish well I will keep coming back. In the last three trips I have landed numerous plaice to 1.5 lbs and dab to a pound plus, with a friend catching a 1.5 lb specimen dab. This is quality fishing for the times we are living in, long may it last.