Posts Tagged ‘Smooth hound’

Evening Bass and Smooth Hound Fishing, Co. Wexford.

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Anti cyclones and reasonably big tides produce great conditions for smooth hound fishing off my local Wicklow/Wexford beaches. Although they will take during the day, evenings into the night are best. Armed with freshly dug black and yellow tail lugworm I headed towards a favourite south Wexford strand. The evening was glorious, almost clear blue skies and a light variable breeze, a far cry from the constant strong southerlies of recent weeks. With high water at 19.00pm fish could show at any time.

Bass caught surf casting, south County Wexford, Ireland.

I beach fish with matching Diawa surf poles and 7HT’s, capable of putting a twin paternoster baited with lug out beyond a hundred meters, that is far enough to catch anything that swims along these strands. Today though distance was a problem due again to floating weed carried by the current, not as bad as a fortnight ago but still a pain. Casting short to avoid the worst of it a tap tap tap on the rod tip signaled a flattie, sitting on my hands to let the bite develop a yank down followed by a jump back indicated a slightly larger suspect. In a second I was backing up the beach rod in hand winding hard to connect with the fish. Kicks down the line and a silver tail in the wash, bass with a flounder chaser, a good start.

Evening beach fishing in south Wexford, Ireland.

Gerry and Billy arrived setting up to my right. The lads were fishing crab and lugworm with a view to bass and smoothies. Certainly on this strand lugworm will cover both, it’s good to play the percentages though. Weed was a problem until around 10.30pm when it fell away as the tide run eased up to slack water. Bites would surely occur now, livening up what other than the early promise had been a pedestrian session. Slow leans on both Gerry’s and my rod heralded a pair of dogfish, returned.

Surf casting in Co. Wexford, Ireland.

A movement to my right, Gerry is winding hard his rod curved, a thrashing in the wave wash is illuminated by Ger’s head lamp, a decent hound raises the spirits. A couple of photos and I walk back to my stand, as I near the far rod pulls down hard, grabbing the butt while striking in unison the hound takes off. First left and then right a spirited struggle ensues before I eventually grab the heavy leader and drag my prize clear of the water. A fine male smooth hound caps a successful outing.

Gerry Mitchell with a good south Wexford smooth hound.

Fishing on a further bite less half hour I decide to call it a day. Two target species have been accounted for so I will head for home while the going is good. Saying my good byes to Ger and Billy I trudge through the sand dunes towards the car and a welcome cup of tea back at the ranch.

Surf Casting Images of Co. Wexford

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Reports of bass on the south Wexford beaches tempted me to travel down on Saturday evening. Digging lugworm in Rosslare I planned to fish a rising tide on Rostoonstown. As per usual this season there were plenty of flounder and no bass.

Rostoonstown, Co. Wexford, flounder.

The fine evening attracted lots of local people to the strand including a wedding party and about fifty mackerel fishers.

Mackerel fishing, Rostoonstown, Co. Wexford.

The lack of bass was more then made up for by the sunset.

Sunset, Rostoonstown Strand, Co. Wexford.

With no bass for the evening and two dozen lugworm left over I headed for a local strand early Sunday morning.

Edible crab and mussel shells.

Bright, warm, and fresh, a north westerly breeze blew and the sea was calm and clear. A flounder and a smooth hound livened up the morning. It was good to be out.

Late August smooth hound.

Sea Fishing in Ireland, Wicklow Hounds.

Friday, August 13th, 2010

A cancelled boat angling trip opened the door to a cracking evening chasing smooth hounds off a south Wicklow strand. Fresh north westerly winds allied to a big four meter tide created a ground swell which coloured the sea, perfect conditions for smoothies and their not so welcome cousin, dogfish. Long casts at this venue produce dogfish, while a 60 meter lob opens the door for flounder, codling, bass, and the hounds. An hour into the flood, 18.30pm saw my lugworm baited hooks enter the water, I did not have long to wait.

Evening tide on a south Wicklow strand.

After half an hour and a couple of re-baits a rod top gave that slow nodding lean, a quick strike followed by a sluggish weight. Thirty seconds later a dogfish came dragging up the beach, unhooked, back it went to join its brethren. A quick recast, having just settled down over went the same rod, instantly in my hands the hound pulled to the left and out to sea. How these lads fight, left and right with breakneck turns of direction. Then the second rod went, this time a heavy thump down followed by a big slack line. What could I do, helpless I brought in the first hound knowing that a possible bass had gone a begging. No matter, you play the percentages.

South Wicklow smooth hound.

What a spell of fishing, another hound followed quickly, this time a lot stronger. Then the rods heeled over almost simultaneously, I grabbed the nearest one. Kicking over hard it signaled another hound, while the second rod indicated something more mundane. Just as well because a smooth hound can very easily tow unsecured beach casting kit out to sea. So it proved, I dealt with an angry hound and then reeled in a dogfish on the second rod. Recasting both rods, shortly afterwards a good rattle on one was followed by a slack line. Tightening up I felt the weight of what proved to be a nice flounder. Lip hooked I returned it to the water.

Beach caught flounder, Co. Wicklow.

Then it was over, what a session. Coming on to half nine the flood tide still had an hour to run. I could have stayed, the fish might have returned and there is always the possibility of a bass at last light. But sure there is always another day, the sport had been hectic and I was thankful for that.

Burry Port Open 2010, South Wales

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Took the ferry over to Burry Port, Llanelli, South Wales, to fish the 22nd annual Burry Port Open Fishing Festival ran by the local yacht club. A boat competition with a prize value in excess of £2500, this year it attracted over 120 entries. A guest of Alan Duthie, chairman of SWWASAC (South West Wales Association of Angling Clubs), other than the weather a good time was had by all.

Adam Davies with a fine Carmarthen Bay Hound

Fished in Carmarthen Bay over a nine hour period due to the tidal range, the inner bay dries out at low water, it is a marathon event. Species to expect are bass, black bream, smooth hound, various ray, sole, dab, plaice, gurnard, and dogfish. First prize goes to the angler who catches the best species as a percentage of the specimen weight. A small boat competition, last year the weather was glorious and we were able to get to the outer grounds giving access to a wide range of species. This year due to the inclement weather we were confined to the estuary thus limiting our options.

Rough day at the office, Burry Port Open 2010

Fishing the inner bay with Dennis Davies and his grandson Adam we had a grand day catching smooth hounds to around seven pounds. Crab and lugworm were the key baits and in the shallow water, less than twenty foot deep, they took off like tope. Mackerel were scarce but we found a few, also adding gurnard, school bass, and dogfish to the species haul. It was apparent that due to the shallow water uptiding the inner marks is a far better method then trotting downtide, the noise of the boat definitely putting the fish off feeding.

Playing a hound, Burry Port Open 2010

The rough weather limited the catch throughout the entries, however bass to seven pound plus and black bream topping two pounds were weighed in along with a couple of decent ray. On return a grand feed of chicken curry awaited, prepared by the yacht club, which along with a few beers was much needed and appreciated after being thrown around and rained on for nine hours. My second year fishing the event, 2009 was windless and we were bathed in sunshine, putting the outer grounds in reach. The welcome though and the spirit of the competitors won out over the weather, and all things being equal I will be back next year for what is an enjoyable and well run event.

Sea Fishing in Ireland, Wicklow Style

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

A four meter evening tide coupled with a warm southerly puts fish onto my local marks. Having stored away a couple of dozen lugworm from the Wexford trip, I ventured down to put a couple of hours in up to dark. On arrival the sea was perfect, rolling in but falling as the wind decreased and backed around to the south west. The water although coloured carried little floating weed. Using one rod I doubled up the lug on a two hook paternoster and lobbed the rig fifty meters into the lively sea.

School bass from a County Wicklow beach

A double knock and a quick strike led to a spirited tussle from a stocky little schoolie bass returned to fight another day. “Go and get your mother”. Ten minutes later a shake of the rod tip followed by a purposeful lunge indicated just one species, smooth hound. Pulling the beach caster into its fighting curve the hound tore off to the left towards a weed bank. Applying pressure it turned on a sixpence and scooted to the right. Now swimming up the shingle bank within the wave wash the hound ran this way and that before being beached. Turbo charged fighters smooth hound really are a worthy quarry, great fun on light gear.

Smooth hound caught surf casting from a County Wicklow strand

A short but productive session due to the small amount of bait but worth the journey. This mark always produces, not many fish, however they are usually of a good stamp. Dab, flounder, codling, gurnard, bass, smooth hound, dogfish, number the species to date. Roll on the next set of tides.

South Wicklow Beach Session

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Midsummer brings the promise of smoothies, bass, and tope. A bait digging foray to Rosslare provided quality lugworm, clam, and cockles (great for tipping off), plenty enough for an evening chasing smooth hound and bass off a local venue. With the moon nearly full and a nine pm high tide, prospects looked good.

Evening tide, South Wicklow, Ireland

A muggy evening with a light breeze from the south west is perfect for smooth hound, two averaging had been caught from the mark a couple of evenings previous. Five anglers fishing nine rods, ragworm, lugworm, clam, cockles, crab, we had to score. Proceedings started well with a couple of summer codling to 35cms in close, double dogs at range. Davy got a heavy double knock and missed, bass for sure. Thirty seconds later a slight lean on my rod tip then it hauls over hard, bang, fish on. Head shaking and small runs, a nice wee bass landed and returned.

South Wicklow bass

The night progressed with a couple of more codling, dabs, plenty of dogfish, just the one bass, and a few smooth hound pups on crab, but no big mommas. No matter, it was a beautiful evening spent in good company with the rod tips nodding, a few fish landed, and a nice bass to cap it off.