Posts Tagged ‘Pollack’

Return to Beara: Pollack Five Ways

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Driving into Glengarriff around lunchtime I pulled up adjacent to the tidal pool in front of the hotel just in time to see David netting a nice thick lipped grey mullet for Roger, what is it about Cornishmen and their love affair with these fish? Quickly hopping out of the car I ran across and between handshakes and welcomes (it had been three years since we had last met) photographed the fish subsequently returning it to the water. Species number one and our fishing trip to Beara was kick started in style.

A nice Glengarriff thick lipped for Roger.

Over many previous visits to the fish rich waters that surround Beara my friends and I have landed 19 species of fish overall with a haul of ten the best in any single trip. It was our intention to surpass the single trip species catch this time, so with that goal in mind we bade farewell to Glengarriff stopping off in that famous watering hole “McCarthy’s Bar” in Castletownbere for creamy pints, chowder and brown soda bread (sure you have to), before high tailing the last 24 kilometres out to our self catering cottage base.

A nice shore caught Beara Peninsula pollack tempted by a 32 gram kilty lure.

The amount of tackle and sundry items one brings on these expeditions never ceases to amaze me, however two hundred miles from home out on the Wild Atlantic Way is not the place to be missing something vital, cue Roger’s home brew stash of cider and ales plus Henry Gilbey DVD’s (funny and entertaining) to while away the evenings. Having unpacked the cars there was only one thing to do, go fishing.

September/October are months associated with gales and the legacy of three back to back Atlantic hurricanes made sea/weather conditions off Beara challenging to say the least. Rain, north westerlie winds and large swells born far out in the Atlantic limited our fishing to certain rock marks relative to the prevailing daily conditions, however undeterred we set forth. What an evenings fishing, deciding to feather and lure fish for bait, pleasure and food in that order we landed mackerel, launce, coalfish and some quality pollack, day one and our species hunt had reached five.

A double header of Beara coalfish for tourist sea angler Roger Ball.

The rolling sea was alive not only in its visual and aural majesty but below the surface too evidenced throughout our stay by gannets constantly wheeling and dive bombing disappearing below the waves in a welter of spray and bait fish, while a pod of a dozen or so dolphins patrolled the bay and grey seals bobbed their heads watching us with apparent curiosity.

Tourist sea angler David Hoskins lands a nice Beara Peninsula dab.

Days two and three were windy/rainy washouts rendering most marks unfishable however persevering we added to our species tally knocking out lesser spotted dogfish, bull huss and dab off a couple of sheltered locations to leeward. Catching evening mackerel on DOD pier the wind finally died providing a 24 hour window of opportunity which we gladly availed of the following day hiking out onto a favoured headland rock mark.

Hiking towards a favourite rock mark on the Beara Peninsula, County Cork, Ireland.

A pet day, we always get at least one, evolved into a pollack fest. Employing standard jelly worm tactics (two ounce barrel lead, bead, swivel, five feet of line, 2/0 round bend kamazan 496B, jelly worm), first cast in on a rising tide, count of 26 seconds to bottom then reel, three or four winds of the handle and WALLOP pollack on, cue multiple power dives, head shaking zig zaggy runs and joyful sea angler whoops.

Tourist sea angler Roger Ball with a fine Beara Peninsula, Ireland, pollack.

The action never stopped, at one stage all three of us were simultaneously into fish, averaging 3 – 5 lbs on odd pollack leaning towards 6 plus with on two occasions real mothers parting company after savage fights had given clues as to their possible mega size. Having collected a few hard back crab earlier that morning we took a successful wrassing break to up the species tally further which at close of play was increased to ten when yours truly extracted a soft biting, hard pulling angry conger.

A soft biting, hard pulling Beara Peninsula conger eel.

The weather closed in again limiting fishing until the last morning which dawned bright and although breezy was from a more favourable quarter. Needing that elusive eleventh species to set a new “single trip” record Roger and David decided to bottom fish some clean ground for flatties while I set about fly fishing with a possible scad in mind. Pollack to three pound made for a fun session which was capped by David landing a flounder to whoops and handshakes, we had broken our record, a job well done.

Beara flounder to a happy sea angler.

Postscript:

The Beara Peninsula, West Cork, is an area of outstanding natural beauty along south west Ireland’s section of the Wild Atlantic Way. In terms of tourism sea angling it stands head and shoulders above most shore angling destinations within the British Isles and Ireland, the Beara Peninsula really is a jewel in the crown. Roger, David and I travel the long distance, they from Sussex and Cornwall respectively while I make the round trip from Wexford because due to commercial over fishing, undersea habitat destruction and generally bad sea fisheries management our local waters have been rendered deserts.

The Beara is one of the last bastions of  rich marine biodiversity within Ireland’s coastal waters, out where we fish it is pristine and teeming with life. However this underwater aquarium is under threat due to a Government licence granted to an Irish company enabling them to clear fell an initial 2000 acres of underwater kelp forests, the very habitat which underpins the wonderful fishing described above. Referring to just one of the species mentioned within this narrative, juvenile pollack spend their formative years growing up within such kelp forests before as grown adults migrating offshore, remove the kelp and you say goodbye to pollack, it’s that simple.

Anybody who has enjoyed reading this article and who cares about the marine environment should write to the Irish Government asking them to rescind the Bantry Bay kelp harvesting licence before another rich habitat is rendered as useless as the once rich fishing grounds that abounded along Ireland’s east coast but which today due to undersea habitat destruction (in this instance bottom mussel dredging) lie denuded and degraded.

Yours sincerely,

Ashley Hayden

October 2017

Irish Kayak Fishing Open 2015, Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork

Monday, August 17th, 2015

The inaugural Irish Kayak Fishing Open was held in the beautiful, picturesque West Cork fishing village of Courtmacsherry last Saturday 15th August 2015. Sponsored by Progressive Distribution Irelands premier distribution source for adventure sports equipment, to the tune of €1750.00 broken down into: (1st prize €1000.00 Wilderness Systems voucher, 2nd prize a voucher from Palm Equipment for €500.00, 3rd prize a €250.00 voucher for Adventure Technology Paddles) plus ancillary prizes from Cox & Rawle , an enthusiastic group of competitors assembled early on Broad Strand to ready for the 11.00 am paddle off.

rish Kayak Fishing Open 2015 winner Ian Burton receives his prize from Shane Cronin, MD of event sponsors Progressive Distribution.

As usual the Irish weather did not play ball with a forecast light north west breeze increasing to 20 knots making for a hard paddle back to shore. Undeterred the competitors fished away under the watchful eyes of appointed Safety Officer Jeff Cochrane, course director of the Outdoor Adventure Education programme at nearby Kinsale College, with the eventual winner being Waterville, Co. Kerry based Ian Burton who landed seven species to include thornback ray, pollack, whiting, pouting, dogfish, scad and mackerel.

Irish Kayak Fishing Open 2015, Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork.

One of many interested spectators, I can only give praise to all concerned as to how this exteremely safe but fun event was structured and ran, it really is a blueprint for the future. To MD Shane Cronin of main sponsor Progressive Distribution, Jeff Cochrane who provided much needed local safety advice on the venue, Courtmacsherry RNLI Coxwain Sean O’Farrell who again gave advice, support and a demonstration on the use of flares, Inland Fisheries Ireland staff and of course to all the competitors who took part, a huge thank you I really enjoyed your company over the weekend.

rish Kayak Fishing Open 2015, flare demonstration with Courtmacsherry RNLI.

A special mention must go to Gary Robinson, who is passionate about kayak angling, the added dimension it brings both to the sport of angling and kayaking and of course the pursuits health benefits and ability to bring diverse people together. His passion to highlight the wonderful hobby of kayak fishing is the reason underpinning what will hopefully become an annual event.

Irish Kayak Fishing Open 2015.

Courtmacsherry is a cracking place to hold the competition, great pubs, local eateries and a beautiful rural hinterland. I stayed at Woodpoint B/B run by Patricia and Mark Gannon who also own the Courtmacsherry Sea Angling Centre. There are fantastic opportunities to shore and boat fish in the locality with bass, flounder, mullet, gilt head bream, pollack, ray, cod, ling, skate and offshore blue shark the main species to target. When you have a free moment get down there, you will have a ball and to the Irish Kayak Fishing Open organisers you can put my name down for next year……………

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.

 

 

Sea Fishing in Wexford: Rocky Bottom Boys

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

“60 feet below us, rocky bottom boys”, skipper Eamonn Hayes intoned, “fish marking over kelp beds, keep bumping those leads”. Eamonn is a character, in terms of Irish recreational sea angling an institution, who in tandem with his fellow skippers older brother Dick and John Devereaux have firmly placed the fishing village of Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford on the map as a must visit destination for offshore sea anglers.

Sea fishing off Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, Ireland for codling, pollack and wrasse.

A full compliment of 12 members from the Welsh Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association rubber stamped Eamonn’s decision to head east towards the rough ground south west of Carnsore point. Tides, albeit climbing down from springs, still flowed strongly and tangles given the number of anglers on board would be inevitable if the deeper more turbulent grounds west of the Saltee Islands were fished. Yes, the resident pollack, codling and wrasse most likely would be less numerous and smaller on the shallower eastern grounds, however a combination of Eamonn working hard to find fish and fewer tangles equates to more fishing time and correspondingly plenty of bites.

Welsh sea angler Alan Duthie displays a fine Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford codling.

In recent weeks cod ranging up to 10.lbs have been numerous on the kelp covered inshore reefs which dominate the underwater landscape east and west of the Saltee Island’s. Immediately upon dropping the customary three hook jigs baited with ragworm, sandeel or mackerel (“on the bottom hook only lad’s”, as Eamonn would order.) to the sea bed rods doubled over to the pull of mottled brown codling in the 3 – 5 pound class interspersed with colourful cuckoo wrasse accompanied by hard diving pollack.

A colourful cuckoo wrasse from Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

With skippers Eamonn, Dick and John D conversing throughout the day as to catch returns, then moving as applicable bites remained steady and correspondingly the species count mounted. Codling, pollack, coalfish, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, poor cod, whiting kept light twenty pound class rods bent and subsequently the crew happy. Winds from the north west slackened throughout the trip, the sun shone and mickey taking abounded. Lines up came too quickly, never mind though, a high stool accompanied by a creamy pint and a bowl of chowder awaited in Mary Barry’s. Heaven…………

Sea fishing charter boat off Kilmore Quay, Wexford, Ireland.

Sea fishing off Kilmore Quay gets going at Easter and really takes off from June lasting well into October if the weather holds. An hour and a half from Dublin and a half hour from Rosslare port Kilmore Quay is a modal for short break sea angling trips for both indigenous and UK based sea anglers seeking a quality holiday experience. Knowledgeable friendly skippers, understanding accommodation providers, pubs, restaurants and scenery, its why I keep going back.

To book a day out with skipper Eamonn Hayes click on: Autumn Dream.

For sea angler friendly accommodation click on: The Quay House B&B, Kilmore Quay.

 

Double Top on the Beara

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Twin paternosters baited with freshly dug lugworm settled on the clean sea bed one hundred meters offshore, a flooding spring tide and a setting sun heralding the promise of fish, I was not to be disappointed. Within two minutes a rod top nodded, first tap tap before a strong downward pull then slack line as the fish swam inshore. Picking up rod number one while reeling to make contact a heavy gliding weight signaled flatfish. Having cast off a rock platform into relatively deep water as the fish came closer dives and a circular motion of the mainline confirmed my assumption, double flounder a great start.

Evening sea fishing on the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland.

Thump, thump, slack, “what is this no time to think“, having barely had time to unhook my initial catch away goes rig number two. In hand and winding fast to maintain contact over goes the rod into a nice curve, now pumping the fish to clear an inshore kelp bed the white underbellies of two nice codling become visible through the crystal clear water. Ensuring a few turns of shock leader are wound around the reel spool I point my rod down towards the brace and lift them up and onto my fishing station, running a pound and a half plus each they will make a nice tea.

Double flounder on the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland.

What a start and it did not stop there, six species to include dab, flounder, codling, pollack, coalfish and wrasse over a three hour session to dusk high water. How many fish were caught I do not know it became a blur of double codlings, double dab and any combination of the species list in between. The best fish was a pollack about four pound in weight which hit a trailing bait as I was reeling in a coalfish, what a session on a much loved mark quite obviously back to form. A muggy mid October evening belied the time of year, having made the decision to travel at short notice based on a weather window, one could not have planned it better.

Sea fishing on the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland.

In todays’ world of diminished marine fish stocks the Beara is a sea angling destination worth visiting and getting to know, traveling down for a decade now this angler has only scratched the surface. Yes I’ve seen changes, while numbers of fish encountered remains high mackerel are both scarce and small, while the average size of pollack on certain regular marks that I fish appears to have halved in weight. That said, a fish a chuck in the 2.lb bracket with at any moment a possible lunker ready to snaffle your jelly worm, then heaving your rod over as it dives for the kelp always making the journey worthwhile.

Sea fishing tackle check.

On this visit over two and a half days yours truly landed nine species, the six already mentioned plus scad, dogfish and conger eels to 15.lbs. Sea food chowder with slabs of buttered brown bread, pints of stout, the full Irish breakfast, traditional music of an evening, a nice welcome wherever you went and of course the scenery, what more could one ask for? It’s why I keep returning……..

Pollack from the Black Rocks

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Welsh anglers love coming to Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford, some of the reasons for their repeated visits being a grand welcome, good fishing, familiarity and trust of the charter skippers ability, and craic in the pubs and restaurants of an evening. Centre stage in this appreciation is Alan Duthie, visionary chairman of the Welsh Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association, Alan has championed Kilmore Quay and Ireland since a presentation of tourism angling given by this writer in Burry Port, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire back in September 2009. Subsequently hundreds of sea angling trips by both groups and individuals have been taken, many by first timers based on recommendations, to not only south Wexford but also Cork Harbour and the Beara.

Alan Duthie, Chairman of the Welsh Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association.

Make no mistake, these guys love Ireland, a repeated comment being, “you live in a beautiful area”, indicating clearly that when hopping on the ferry at Pembroke its not just the fishing that attracts them. On this occasion, for the second time this summer Alan Duthie and a group of 15 anglers from the Swansea area descended on Kilmore Quay with intent to not only fish the reefs for pollack, wrasse and codling but also hopefully catch a few bass.

One happy Welsh angler off Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford.

Dick Hayes, amiable skipper of charter vessel “Enterprise” listened to the boys wishes for the day and worked out a plan, first catch some mackerel then head east to fish the reefs inside of Carnsore Point. Initially employing standard size feathers it became apparent that the mackerel were small and not taking, swapping to sadiki rigs solved the problem and enough bait was secured in jig time.

Catching mackerel is easy with old yellow.

The sea appeared chock full of herring fry evident by gannets dive bombing and occasional schools of mackerel driving myriad whitebait onto the local beaches only to be left hopping and gasping in a silver carpet as the waves receded.

Whitebait driven onto the beach east of Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Was this the reason fishing was slow on that beautiful sunny day in a three month long summer of continuous gorgeous sunny days. Were the fish stuffed to the gills with food and not interested in our offerings, who knows? Dick tried everything as did the crew until eventually a few pollack and codling came aboard, then drifting close to the Black Rocks it kicked off.

Double headers of pollack for Welsh anglers Darren and Richard.

The boys, some gilling some using baited feathers, rods collectively heeled over as Enterprise drifted over a shoal of pollack swimming close to the rock pinnacle. Doubles and singles came aboard in a welter of scales, spray and good humoured banter. Whoops, laughing and smiley faces lit up the afternoon and then it was over. “Come on lads it has been a good day we’ll head for home”, said Dick. No bother skipper, a shower, meal and a few pints beckoned then tomorrow once more into the breach. Kilmore Quay, it’s a special place………..

Cod Heaven off Kilmore

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Ready up boys where drifting over some kelp”, instructed “Autumn Dream” skipper Eamonn Hayes, seconds later members of the Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association were leaning into head thumping resistance 60 feet below, as codling up to six pound weight took a shine to the Welsh Dragons lures. Bright and fresh, mottled red from their kelpy home, it was wonderful to see both good numbers of a much loved species and the smiles of blokes on their annual trip to Ireland enjoying a great mornings fishing.

A nice reef codling boated off Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Kilmore Quay circa 2014 is fishing very well at present across a range of species from codling and pollack to ballan and cuckoo wrasse. Anglers drifting across the various reef marks east and west of the Saltee Islands jigging rigs baited with ragworm, sandeel or mackerel are producing individual catches in excess of 30 prime fish for an eight hour trip excluding steaming time.

A Kilmore Quay beauty displayed by a happy Welshman.

The Welsh Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association members are good friends of Kilmore Quay, returning every year to sample the hospitality of Siobhan and Pat in the Quay House B/B and the superlative fishing enabled by top skipper Eamonn Hayes. A north east breeze hampered fishing due to contrary drifts, across as against with the tidal flow, however Eamonn did his best to keep the boys lines from going under the boat and the lads responded by fishing hard throughout the session.

Another Kilmore Quay codling in prime condition.

At lines up species caught included codling, pollack, coalfish, small ling, pouting, poor cod, launce, ballan and cuckoo wrasse. The sun shone, banter flowed and a tired but content bunch of lads stepped off Autumn Dream at days end. A quick shower then back down to the Wooden House for a customary chowder followed by battered haddock, chips and mushy peas, sure you have to. A few pints, the world cup and its back out with Eamon in the morning to do it all over again, HEAVEN………..

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……..?

Reef Pollack and Welsh Dragons

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Aside from the prospect of Wales winning yet another rugby grand slam, the membership of the Welsh Pleasure Anglers and Kayakers Association can think of nothing better than drifting with the tide aboard a Kilmore Quay charter boat reef fishing off the Saltee Islands for a range of species to include pollack, coalfish, ling, cod, and wrasse. Late June sees up to twenty Welsh sea anglers, organised and led by the inimitable Alan Duthie, make the annual Co. Wexford pilgrimage to fish aboard charter vessels Autumn Dream and Enterprise skippered respectively by the Hayes brothers Eamon and Dick.

Phil Horton from South Wales displays a fine Kilmore Quay cod.

Kindly invited to fish aboard Autumn Dream the weather could not have been more pleasant with a gentle south west breeze hardly ruffling the surface, in contrast though a strong four meter tide ruled out fishing more productive marks west of the Saltees. Not to be deterred skipper Eamon Hayes worked his socks off placing the boys on a succession of drifts which yielded regular catches of reef pollack interspersed with an odd codling, coalfish, small ling, and wrasse.

Clive Jones from Swansea South Wales happy with a nice Kilmore Quay pollack.

One very happy angler making his inaugural Kilmore Quay visit was Marshall Mainwaring. Relatively new to sea angling Marshall had his heart set on catching a cuckoo wrasse to add to his species tally. This he did with interest boating both male and female of the species. Well in principal all he needed was one fish because they are hermaphrodite, however to make sure Marshall did the double.

Marshall Mainwaring displays a colourful cuckoo wrasse.

In total 21 Welsh sea anglers from the Swansea/Llanethli/Port Talbot area made the trip, seven of which were fishing in Ireland for the first time. Group leader Alan Duthie prepares the lads well holding up to four pre-travel meetings where every aspect of the visit is explained and an information pack outlining the fishing and other relevant details is handed out. In essence the membership hit the ground running on arrival. Reef fishing off Kilmore Quay can result in lots of lost terminal gear if you are not aware of specific angling techniques, it was clear that the boys had done their homework.

Steve Jones with a nice Kilmore Quay coalfish.

Staying at The Quay House Bed and Breakfast, Phone, +353 (0)53 91 29988, located on the left as you drive down the main street of Kilmore Quay, just up from Kehoe’s public house. A fine establishment well run by husband and wife team Pat and Siobhan McDonnell, the Quay House caters for anglers providing equipment storage, bait refrigeration, and catch freezing facilities. Full Irish breakfasts set up the day, hot showers are ready on return, and on this occasion bait was ordered in advance  through Joe Carley of South East Bait Supplies, phone +353 (0)87 944 0945. Fresh mackerel was the top bait  on this trip with ragworm attracting a number of quality wrasse.

Charter boat Enterprise out of Kilmore Quay skippered by Dick Hayes.

I would like to thank Alan and the lads for their hospitality and good humour throughout the day and in particular for not making me walk the plank after destroying Alan’s favourite Penn boat rod. “You should have let me use old yella”…….

See also: Angling Marks, Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

 

Beara Baskers, Burgeoning Biomass, and Guinness of Course.

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Ten meters off the point a large shoal of grey mullet finned and opened their collective mouths in unison, sieving plankton and other microscopic organisms from the rich productive waters of a special West Cork bay which over the last eight years has become very close to this writers heart. Loose feeding bread flake after about 10 minutes a number of the multitude proceeded to suck in Mr Brennan’s best, time to introduce my quill floated, 2BB shotted, size 10 round bend, bread flake carrying terminal tackle.

A nice Beara Peninsula grey mullet caught on bread flake.

No sooner had the float settled in the water when a large white shape resembling a bin liner appeared about 5 meters outside the mullet shoal. Becoming closer and larger suddenly white plastic transforms into a cavernous mouth, gill rakers and an extended bulbous nose, a whopping great basking shark not ten feet from my stance attracted by the same plankton rich waters loved by the mullet, who by their body language couldn’t care less about this 20 foot long interloper now entering their parlour. As if to prove this point down goes my float, a turn of the wrist, an explosion of spray and the drag sings on my Mitchell fixed spool. Where would you get it, playing an angry mullet in close proximity to a marine Goliath, awesome.

United Kingdom visitor Keith Kendall sports a grand jelly worm tempted pollack.

Such is fishing on the Beara, marine surprises piled on top of quality sea angling, they don’t happen every day but not a trip goes by without at least one David Attenborough moment. Certainly it’s not just the fishing that encourages tourists like Keith Kendall from the United Kingdom to undertake a marathon 36 hour round trip by boat and car to this far flung outpost of Ireland, but it helps. Inviting Keith to spend a day pollack and wrassing with us we had a great time encompassing bracing headland walks, rock hopping, a smattering of prime fish, all topped off with a few pints and a nice evening meal in O’Neill’s of Allihies.