Posts Tagged ‘Sandeel’

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……..?