Posts Tagged ‘Lure Fishing’

New Years Pike from the Barrow

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Walking back up the tow path my gaze alighted on the now distant angler that I had passed and said hello to earlier on. Targeting pike in the slow water where a canal merged with the main channel his rod was in a noticeable hoop. Increasing my pace I reached the fisherman just in time to help him net the large jack pike. Only then exchanging greetings, there are priorities when fishing, I then offered to unhook the fish using a long nosed forceps while Pat gently held the pike within the landing net meshes. Quick photo and away.

A new years day 2017 River Barrow pike.

Watching the pike swim off we struck up a conversation about our collective fishing experiences on the river which established pike holding locations and possible reasons for their presence. Pat’s preferred methods are float ledgering and or sunk and drawn dead baits of which the fish pictured above was tempted by the latter approach. Wishing Pat well in 2017 I promised to forward him the photo, then turning I continued my walk back up the tow path…….

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.

Irish Kayak Fishing Open, Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork, Saturday 15th August 2015

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The Irish Kayak Fishing Open will take place on Saturday 15th August 2015 at Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork, commencing at 11.00 am with fishing until 16.00 pm. Sponsored by industry leaders in the kayaking field, first placed on the day will receive a €1000.00 Wilderness Systems voucher, second placed a voucher from Palm Equipment for €500.00, with Adventure Technology Paddles donating a €250.00 voucher for third place.

Wilderness Systems KayaksPalm Equipment Kayaks

The competition will be open to all anglers over 18 years of age, however every entrant must meet a number of criteria to ensure their own safety and the smooth running of the event. Check in on the day will commence at 09.00 am.

Gary Robinson, A Kayak Fisherman in Ireland.

Based in a sheltered venue renowned for its sea angling, the scenic West Cork fishing village of Courtmacsherry enables kayak anglers access to a range of species to include bass, flounder, dab, ray, pollack, wrasse and conger.

Angling writer and event organiser Gary Robinson from the A Kayak Fisherman in Ireland website in advance thanks all those who offered advice and encouragement in helping him put together what promises to be a great day out in a beautiful and prolific sea fishing location.

All enquiries to Gary Robinson at: kayakfishermanireland@gmail.com

Adventure Technology Kayak Paddles

Event Details

Irish Kayak Fishing Open, Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork, Saturday, August 15th, Fishing 11.00 am – 16.00 pm.

The competition will be open to all anglers over 18 years of age, however every entrant must meet a number of criteria to ensure their own safety and the smooth running of the event:

  • Every competitor must have their own seaworthy kayak, paddle, appropriate clothing, PFD, camera, signalling equipment of some description (VHF, flares, etc.)
  • Must be confident in their own fitness levels, self-rescue and paddling skills and be well prepared for a day afloat
  • Must register to participate in the competition by sending an email to kayakfishermanireland@gmail.com by the Monday before the competition date
  • Must carry a measuring mat (to be provided by Inland Fisheries Ireland) and competitor’s card (distributed at check in on morning of event) as well as a camera.
  • Should carry relevant protection from the weather. Ireland has a tendency to throw four seasons at us in one day. With this in mind it would be a good idea to carry at least a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen as well as enough food and liquids for the day.

Competition Rules:

  • This event is weather dependent. In the event of bad weather an alternative site will be considered but ultimately the event depends on relatively safe weather conditions. Judges will make the appropriate call on the day.
  • This is an individual event. There are no team prizes or challenges.
  • Entry fee will be small, probably in the region of €10. It is hoped that funds raised can be donated to the RNLI
  • Fishing time from 11.00 am  - 16.00 pm. Kayaks that do not make it back to the launch point by 16.00 will be disqualified. Check in from 09.00 where gear (kayak, PFD, etc.) will be checked.
  • Paddles or pedals only. No motors. This is in the interests of fairness to all competitors. Other electronic equipment such as echo sounders, GPS units and chartplotters, etc may be used.
  • No more than two rods may be fished at any one time. Static fishing rigs should have no more than three hooks. Jigging rigs for baitfish should have no more than six hooks.
  • Bait or lures – angler’s choice
  • The competition is based on the ethos of Catch, Photo, Release. Images, not dead fish, will win prizes. Competitors are free to keep fish as they see fit but for prizewinning purposes it will be the photos only that will be judged. Each competitor will be given a competitor’s token at check in. EACH image submitted for prize consideration must include this token. Photos submitted without the inclusion of this token will not be counted.
  • Prizes for species count, 1st, 2nd and 3rd and longest fish categories for selected species.
  • Judges decision is final.

 

 

Irish River Monster

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

For over 30 years Jeremy Wade has traveled the world in search of large river fish such as the Mahseer of India and the Arapaima, a giant air breathing denizen of south American river systems such as the Amazon. Jeremy’s exploits, documented in TV series’ such as “Jungle Hooks (2002)” and more recently “River Monsters”, while entertaining also alert the viewer to the environmental pressures which our modern world places on these awesome creatures, many of which are now endangered due to habitat encroachment and over fishing by the ultimate predator, man.

A monster 39.lb 12.oz lure caught Irish pike for Gerard Smyth.

Irish angling guide Gerard Smyth does not need to cast a line in exotic far away places, instead he trails his boat down to local rivers prospecting likely holes for the ultimate of Irish predatory fish, pike. On Friday 25th April last Gerard hit pay dirt while fishing a deep shelf he had recently discovered, an absolute leviathan of a pike weighing 39.lb 12.oz took his lure. Would that the River Monsters camera crew were there to witness the tail walking and mayhem that ensued before the great fish was eventually netted. Beating his previous PB of  36.lb 07.oz it just goes to show, fishing is about being in the right place at the right time with the correct bait, which essentially means “go pike fishing in Ireland and your dreams of a monster catch may well come true”, great stuff………

Pike Surprise

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The great pike hung motionless within the reeds concentrating, observing, twenty seconds earlier the chug, chug sound of an outboard motor invaded its space, a common enough occurance the sensory invasion presenting no fear. Next second a rhythmic pulsing grabbed the pikes attention, becoming alert its eyes darted left and right triangulating then homing in on the source of the physical sensations entering and transmitting along its lateral line. A silvery flash, target locked on, half a dozen purposeful sweeps of the hungry fishes paddle like tail and Bang!!

Pawel Augustyn displays a wonderful 110 centimeter Irish pike.

Pawel Augustyn’s reel started screaming as the now startled pike exited stage left connected to a very excited anglers small trout spinner, Pawel will continue the story;

First I thought it’s just a bottom hook so I stopped the boat and tried to roll back the line when I realised my line is actually moving to the left. I knew then it’s a fish on. I knew it’s something big until i saw it under the surface for the first time it was actually a massive pike. It was 1 p.m.when the fish hooked . The fight took me 20 min and it was really strong fish. Maciek netted the pike and the net broke under the weight of the pike. Luckily we managed to get the fish on the boat. I couldn’t believe the size of the pike especially because I’ve never caught a fish this size.

Small pike/trout/perch spinner.

The pike was hooked on a very small trout’s lure( I attach the pic) and my line was only 4.kg spinning line. We took a few pics and put him back in the water. We let him to get energy back and water to flow through his gills then after a few mins the fish swam away. He is waiting somewhere in the water for another lucky angler; This was the best fishing day of my life.

Returning the great Irish pike.

An absolutely fantastic catch, I am extremely thankful to Pawel for sending me both the story and images. Knowing the water upon which Pawel and his friend Maciek were fishing, it does not give up pike easily, so well done to both anglers and tight lines for the future…..

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……..

Bass from an Old Haunt

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

In 13 years I’ve only lure fished this once favourite mark twice, curiosity and nostalgia brought me back, will it still produce how has the workings of wind, wave and tide altered it? Not a lot really, a grey, calm, muggy first of September afternoon found me trudging up the beach to commence fishing on a neap high tide at a spot that pre 2001 delivered numerous bait and lure caught bass to 8.lb. With the ebb just commencing around 16.00 pm I cast my 32 gram silver kilty lure 70 meters out and slightly up tide, letting it swing round in the current and drop to a depth while counting to ten. Retrieving slowly with intermittent faster bursts a heaviness signaled interest.

Lure fishing set up, Kilcoole beach, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Greater sandeel or launce are common in this area and a good indicator that bass could be present, a foot long, green backed and silver sided, the first of three or four along with a small pollack attracted to the kilty lure as I worked my way slowly southwards to the car park. Water clarity was good, a sea trout jumped Polaris like and a fish, most likely a bass swirled in the back eddy up tide of the point. Dicentrachus remained aloof to my lure but no matter to be in an old haunt brought back memories and conversations with fellow anglers on the strand made for an interesting session.

A nice wee bass from Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

To Terry and Stephen, it was nice meeting and having a chat, your insight and sharing of information was much appreciated. As for Jeremy, well done on your first lure caught bass and thank you for sending the image. Over the years this beach has produced numerous bass up to specimen weight and it is nice to see that one or two fish are still about. With settled weather forecast for the next three days this soldier will definitely return for an early morning or evening session.

Forty Knots to Pollack Paradise

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Clearing the pier head Dermot gunned the engine, 135 horses kicked into life and a whirlwind drive to the Saltee Islands ensued. Within minutes Fishion Impossible was racing through the sound before veering starboard to eventually nestle in behind the great Saltee. Gulls working the bay indicated bait fish in abundance, strings of greater sandeel quickly coming to our feathers and sadiki lures. If our traces managed to get to the bottom 60 feet below, small pollack and codling in the 2 lb bracket rattled the rod tips, all this and it was only 06.30 am.

Gerry Mitchell playing a nice pollack, reef fishing off Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford.

The Brandies, Conningbeg and Conningmore are pinnacle rocks found to the south east and south west of the Saltee Islands respectively. Rising almost shear from the seabed, which depending on location averages 9 fathoms (54 feet) below but can reach 16.6 fathoms (100 feet)  plus, all bar the Conningmore only become exposed as the tide drops. Characterised by strong tides that deflect off these and other raised pinnacles which never show, the seas especially west of the Saltees can become very confused and dangerous in contrary winds.

Dermot Mitchell with a fine 8.0 lb reef pollack caught while small boat fishing off Kilmore Quay, Wexford, Ireland.

Drift fishing using three hook jigs or single shads is the standard approach when fishing the reefs off Kilmore Quay, the jumbled rock and kelp covered sea floor keeping anglers on their toes. Raising and lowering the rod to tap the weight off the bottom creates a mental picture of the ground below, while keeping the line more or less straight up and down as against streaming out maintains contact with the business end, reducing tackle losses and increasing productivity due to the lures working properly.

Shamrock Tackle's "Munster Mawlers" jigs in red, black and chartreuse, ideal for pollack and cod.

Shamrock tackles “Munster Mawlers” black, chartreuse and red jig combination worked a treat on the day, attracting pollack to eight pound along with a smattering of codling, an odd pouting and small ling. Dermot was adamant that baiting the lures was an unnecessary chore, advice duly ignored by Gerry and I religiously baiting our bottom hooks with sandeel strip, Dermot’s words at session end being justified. Yes, Gerry and I attracted a few more codling, Dermot’s rig however proved irresistible to the pollack.

Seagulls off Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

At three bells Dermot called lines up and we headed for harbour, not so fast this time as a north east breeze had picked up creating a chop. Fish, most of which were caught and returned, had come to the boat from the off with the only fallow period occurring as the tide strengthened close to high water. Glad of the invite, thanks so much Dermot and Gerry, it being ten months since yours truly had last dropped a bait into Davy Jones locker. The sun warmed us all day, fish were obliging and even the gulls made welcome companions as we gutted our catch. That’s sea fishing off Kilmore Quay, sure where else would you want to be……..?

The Essence of Sea Angling

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Two feet below the surface tightly packed herring fry swam close to my rocky perch, suddenly, long darting flashing shapes snaked amongst the terrified mass snapping here and there. Launce having balled up the shoal moved in for the kill, behind them out of the depths, like a World War One fighter squadron of old flying out of the sun, appeared tiger striped mackerel and they meant business. Josh and Sean, two local teenagers enjoying the last days of their summer holidays were already running feathers through the frenzy. “Look full house, ah s##t one’s fallen off”, the joy on the lads faces saying it all.

Summer mackerel, our heritage, where would we be without them.

Nature in full view and a right of passage re-enacted annually since the dawn of time, instantly I was transported back to my youth. Firing out a silver toby, letting it sink then retrieving, the hit, the zig zag fight, and to cap it all the mackerel falls off just as I’m swinging it ashore, laughs all around then off again. The shoal wasn’t big staying around for a little over an hour before eventually moving on. However the calm surface regularly dimpled first here, then there, with fry jumping clear of the mini predators below, the larger chasing bretheren occasionally head and tailing.

At session end we all had a enough mackerel for tea, young Sean had caught his first conger whom I’ll quote, “that fish has made my summer”, and Jay God bless him helped me to understand this LRF business, of which more later. You can take all your economic surveys, holiday visitor numbers, specimen fish tales, celebrity anglers, the latest piece of tackle that’s going to change the world and place it all, well you know where. Yesterday afternoon in the company of Josh, Sean, and Jay encompasses all of what sea angling is about, the rest ultimately is bollox………….

Barrow Brace

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

On the road by 04.00am a plate size full moon sitting over the Blackstairs Mountains, motoring through familiar places as night merges into day, Carnew, Bunclody, Kiltealy, Ballymurphy, not far now. Muggy and warm on leaving the house, mist lying in the hollows between Graiguenamanagh and Glynn hint that the air might be chilly once one enters the River Valley at St Mullins. Tents fill the green outside Blanchfields pub, dog leg left then down the steep hill before sweeping right into the car park. It’s only 05.30am and already anglers line the bank, driving a short step along the towpath I park up, grab my previously assembled rod and walk towards a familiar face. Boy there is a nip in the air.

Netting a shad at St Mullins, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

Dave from the Lurefish-Ireland website was plying his luck after shad and on cue hooked into a fish which was duly netted, photographed, and released. His second of the morning along with a few takes, Dave’s experience of the shad season to date reflected this years trend, one or two fish per session with a lot of casting in between. Working a blue/silver tazzie across the flooding tide, first a bang then a more solid take resulted in a hook up. A good shad it zig zagged, jumped, and even tail walked before sliding over the net, a fine fish indeed.

A fine big twaite shad from the River Barrow, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

A flurry of activity then silence other than the swoosh of rods and the rhythmic turning of reels. As the mist burned off Dave and I decided to venture upstream to the island. On arrival we observed that the Barrow was alive with fish sipping, rolling, and jumping. An occasional bronze flank breaking the surface indicated hybrids or bream while dace flashed silver, if shad were in situe they certainly did not make their presence felt.

The island at St Mullins Co. Carlow, Ireland.

Wending our way back up the towpath we decided to throw a few casts downstream of the lock. Close in under the bank a second shad took my lure, again leaping clear of the water after a brief tussle like its predecessor the fish was netted and released. Having achieved my target of fish and photographs I decided to say my goodbyes and hit the road. Only 08.30am mission accomplished and a whole Sunday still ahead, whoopee………

Further reading: The Elusive Shad and other Stories.

Click on: Shad Fishing in St Mullins, video clip, 26th May 2013. Courtesy of Dave Fitzpatrick (lurefish-ireland blogsite).