Posts Tagged ‘Surf casting’

Assisting Fellow Tourist Anglers & Fishers

Monday, August 29th, 2016

In 2010 I set up the An Irish Anglers World website because as a traveling angler within my own country I could not access relevant and correct angling information that would enable me to hit the ground running wherever I chose to fish. Today An Irish Anglers World contains 329 posts and 129 pages of published articles across eight categories reflecting a range of Irish angling disciplines all of which provide current information relative to my own experience of Irish angling venues at specific dates and times.

A fine Greystones Co. Wicklow, Ireland tope and one happy sea angler.

It’s great to know that the sites ethos works especially when one receives messages of support and thanks from people who have contacted me for information. Such requests have emanated from countries as far away as New Zealand and the USA to the United Kingdom and as close as Co. Wicklow.

Typical questions would be:

Am over at the end of the month any suggestions as to were is fishing well, we’re staying around Kilmore way again so anywhere around that ways ….will be bringing my own bait over this time?


I’ve read your own angling report, Tope Alley, suggesting to fish at various marks inside and outside the red buoy using a mackerel flapper or whole joey but all I’ve managed, on at least ten occasions at this stage, is the odd LSD – is there any advice you could give me regarding tides, fishing depth, anchoring/drifting?! It would be greatly appreciated!

The end result for the latter question, caught within the last fortnight is pictured above, the anglers smile says it all, while the former sent me this report of an angling holiday in Wexford circa summer 2016:

Well them mullet are getting bigger had a few around of 6lb…but seen some that must be 10lb easy…but crafty as they come.had a Rosslare yesterday had over 30 bass but none over a pound great sport tho….had a good day at Slade fishing for the wrasse and Pollock…

In all cases I am glad to help, like Ronseal An Irish Angler’s World does what it says on the tin…………..

Bass Hat-Trick

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

My surf pole bounced in its stand as the rod top first hauled forward then immediately straightened in unison with the main line billowing. Instinctively grabbing the rod I ran backwards into the darkness while simultaneously reeling, my rod heels over, a thump thump contact is made and a good fish swims diagonally to my right. Now retracing my steps towards the water while keeping a tight line a fine bass appears in my headlight beam, all silver and spray as the fish head shakes in the surf line.

Bass fishing in County Wexford, Ireland.

My third bass of the evening all of which were like peas in a pod ranging three to four pound in weight, plump hard fighters in great condition. This fellow like the others had taken freshly dug black lugworm presented on a two hook paternoster fished at about 60 meters into what was a flat calm sea. Earlier a slight breeze wafting from the south east had manufactured mini wavelets however it died off as night fell to create a muggy, foggy, still evening. The strand now deserted of holiday makers was pitch black other than for the narrow swath of light cut by my head lamp beam. Apart from the swoosh of a single wave an eerie silence prevailed.

Beach fishing for bass in County Wexford, Ireland.

On only my second visit to this particular mark, I had always felt it would deliver on a big night tide, this being a four meter full in at 20.30 pm my hunch was proved correct. The first bite as dusk merged into dark had been just a tickle on the rod top, barely visible I thought it was a flat fish. The second had been a rod pulling rush out to sea, rod top bending over and staying down, the third a slack liner as described above. Three bass complimented by two flounder all condensed into a half hour blur of action, then it was over and the road home called…………

Autumn Sea Fishing off Kilmore Quay

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

It’s not even nine in the morning and we are catching mackerel, drifting a half mile off the Burrow shore west of Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, John Devereaux skipper of charter boat Celtic Lady II placed us over the mother load. Smiling faces greeted full hanks of the tiger striped little beauties as they came dancing and skittering over the gunnels, their tails drumming on the deck while we feverishly unhooked them before lowering again our feathers towards the throng below.

Mackerel fishing off Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Autumn sea fishing off Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford is a special time as resident summer and returning winter species merge over the offshore reefs to create a quality angling experience. On this day a warm light north westerly beeze faded to nothing creating a calm sea with a blue green clarity. On occasions as one peered into the depths the water would glitter and shimmer as herring fry swam by no doubt pushed up by the mackerel preying on them at will. Gannets dived, seals bobbed their heads, all this a backdrop to a regular smattering of codling and pollack taking interest in our mackerel baited jigs as we drifted eastwards across the kelp covered reefs.

A nice Kilmore Quay codling for Belgian sea angler Jean Reginster.

Belgian nationals Karel and Jean, no strangers to fishing in Ireland, having just enjoyed three days pike fishing in the midlands were sampling reef fishing Kilmore Quay style for the first time. Drift fishing over foul, kelp strewn ground where one has to feel the tackle claiming ups and downs of the seabed combined with grabbing weed can be a tough learning curve for the uninitiated, however Karel and Jean coped well. Codling, pollack, ling, wrasse, pouting, poor cod, dab and mackerel came aboard while the following morning Karel added icing to the cake with a brace of shore caught 5/6 pound bass.

A copper coloured Kilmore Quay pollack for Belgian national Karel Deckers

Relative abundance is how I would describe the sea fishing off not only Kilmore Quay but the south and south west coast of Ireland in general, one has to place an honest perspective on the resource. The fish are there but in the main are smaller and thinner on the ground when measured against very recent times, by that I mean up to twenty years ago. Skippers like John Devereaux work hard to deliver a quality experience which Karel, Jean and I most certainly had last weekend. In tandem the powers that be should work equally as hard to maintain and enhance this wonderful inshore resource ongoing for it’s the reason people like Karel and Jean choose Ireland as a holiday destination. As they say, it’s not rocket science………..

Sea Fishing in Wexford: Welsh Rarebit

Monday, September 14th, 2015

South Wexford has the ability to deliver quality sea fishing even when the odds are stacked heavily against you. Stalwart supporters and promoters of Irish sea angling Alan Duthie, Daron Lawry, Clive Jones and friends were making their third trip of Summer 2015 to Ireland only for the weather Gods to throw an almighty spanner in the works. Planning a September shore and boat fishing visit strong south easterlies not only forced the boys to stay ashore they also pushed mountains of wrack onto the beaches making shore angling extremely difficult.

Welsh sea angler Daron Lawry displays a fine shore caught  Wexford bass.

Undeterred the lads asked around and plummed on a beach venue free from the worst excesses of floating weed and set about fishing. Using bait supplied by local digger Joe Carley the boys were soon into fish, mainly good sized flounder with the cream reserved for Daron Lawry who caught a grand 55 cm bass.

Clive Jones with a grand beach caught Wexford flounder.

Not to be outdone the lads beached numerous flounder up to three pound in weight exemplified by the beauty displayed by Clive Jones in the photo above, as they say, out of adversity. Autumn into early Winter is the prime time to shore fish Wexford with resident bass and flounder mixing with codling, coalfish and dab to give wonderful sport which usually lasts until mid to late January. Tight lines………..

Sea Fishing Wexford: Dogfish Central

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Ballymoney strand is a beach that I have never fished. Ironically, most of the beaches south of Arklow I rarely set foot on until the race to catch smooth hound picked up in the early 1980′s. In those days venues such as Morriscastle, Tinnebearna and Blackwater produced amazing catches of ray, spurdog, smooth hound, bass and the odd tope to those anglers who commenced fishing at dusk. Today, while the area can still produce quality bass catches most bites, if they do materialise will come from dogfish.

Evening sea fishing off Ballymoney strand, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Digging juicy fat black lugworm the day before I placed them wrapped in newspaper in the fridge to toughen up. The secret with lug when gathering is to separate whole ones from split by utilising two buckets. For some reason also two day old lugworm appears better at attracting fish, with dabs especially partial to sticky black gutless wraps.


Anyhow, back to the fishing. Meeting up as planned with the two David’s and coarse fisher extraordinaire Robbie on Ballymoney strand we set up to the left and commenced fishing round 20.00 pm. Armed with lug, rag and crab, smooth hound were the prime target with bass our secondary option. A light south easterly breeze created a bit of movement in the water which raised our hopes for bass. From the get go rod tops nodded that slow dogfish lean and so it transpired. Doggies homed in on whatever bait adorned the hooks. By half ten although both rods were kept busy I called it a night, catching and releasing dogfish not my ideal cup of tea. On the plus side, I’ve got my seasonal shore fishing hand in………..

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………..

Six Species from a Rolling Sea

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Codling, whiting, pouting, flounder, dogfish and bass, the beach mark which fished so poorly last week opened its autumnal door a chink and hinted at what is to come. A warm south east breeze pushed a heavy swell onto the strand creating a large, heavy, single crumping wave which roared on breaking before racing creamily up the shingle bank. Water fizzed, the air was muggy and mackerel fishers lined the strand as Ger and I cast southwards into the deep gully. Employing fresh black lugworm on a rising tide full at 21.30 pm, Ger hit immediate pay dirt with three schoolie bass weighing 2 – 3 pound each within the first hour, happy days.

Sea fishing in Ireland, playing a bass on a south Wexford strand.

Fishing slowed after the initial flurry, however as dusk merged into dark yours truly landed a whiting/flounder double followed by a dogfish, Ger beaching a pouting. Post full tide a succession of codling in the pound class came to both our rods. Indication of a year class probably spawned in 2012, these young fish which have been evident within offshore charter boat catches all summer giving hope for the future and of course the winter shore codding to come.

An Irish school bass for shore angler Gerry Mitchell.

Yesterday evening showed how much energy the sea has stored up, the single wave digging out a hole in front of us at least six foot deep which ran right along the strand, then filled it in again as the tide receded. Swimming here and or wading is a complete no no. Mackerel fishers who the previous night enjoyed good catches by casting their feathers and kilty lures into the marauding shoals found it difficult to fish this evening due to the forty meter wide maelstrom in front of them. Natures washing machine releasing stored up ozone and oxygen into the air, it is sights, smells and sounds like this which make sea fishing so interesting, all told a nice evening……..

Slow Evening on the Beach

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

An Irish Anglers World describes and illustrates Irish angling as it presents, good, bad or indifferent. When reading the posts one has to take into account the competency of the angler, experience, effort, bait used, time of day, tide and other such variables. However what should never be lost on the reader is that the accounts are true, accurate and written with objectivity, when its good its good and when its bad, well………

Gerry Mitchell beach casting off a Sth County Wexford strand.

A first beach casting session for this angler since September 2013 has to be taken into account, after all one has been out of the loop, that said, a sum haul of 2 small flounder, a 30 centimeter codling and a dogfish for two competent and experienced anglers utilising four rods over a five hour session is a poor return from a once productive strand. A waxing moon, tides getting bigger, dusk into dark and freshly dug large black lugworm all should have helped. Yes there was a light northerly breeze which flattened the sea and yes it was a falling tide neither of which in principal should have made a difference, still bait came in as it went out.

Twin Daiwa 7HT's.

Beach casting is this anglers favourite way to fish. A lot of effort, thought and cash was invested in last Saturday evening, departing early in the day to dig bait, lunch in a local pub, snacks, petrol which amounted to €60.00 and of course the €1000.00 plus worth of tackle that was employed on the day. Given a healthy inshore environment this angler would go beach casting at least once a week from June to December spending more or less the above amount on each occasion, that’s €1700.00 shared between garages, pubs and shops in the south east. No fish means no spend, it is about time that the Irish government realised that sea fisheries are a public resource and as such should be managed accordingly. No business worth its salt should mine itself into extinction, no business has the right to destroy a resource and at the same time seek recompense through political means for their folly. Yet this is exactly what the commercial sea fishing sector does and worse still Government complies, the famine like experience of last Saturday on a once productive south Wexford strand the sad outcome…………

Toberpatrick, August Evening, 2013

Monday, August 19th, 2013

A lovely roll on the sea generated by a warm south/south west breeze created a single crumping wave which dissapated with a thump swoosh of sand and shingle along Toberpatrick strand, north Co. Wexford. A six thirty pm 3:1 meter high tide on a rising cycle towards full moon in tandem with the sea conditions screamed fish. Due to it being an impromptu trip and having only ragworm as against an array of bait which normally would have included peeler, lug, and mackerel didn’t deter, the rag, fresh, red and large would definitely appeal to a smoothie, flounder, bass, or dogfish.

Evening fishing on Toberpatrick strand, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Three biteless hours later with night closing in, after placing baits from the gutter to well over 100 meters out, using fixed and rolling rigs yours truly didn’t wait for full on dark, the untouched ragworm telling their own story. Normally shrimps, prawns, crabs, small fish, something would nibble at the hook presented offerings over the standard ten minutes they are left to fish before rebaiting time. Other than being washed out the rag came in as they went out.

Normally as dusk closes in flatties come on the feed, doggies become more active and hounds make their presence felt. Being just a stones throw from both Kilmichael point to the north and Clone strand south of Castletown bass are a real possibility too. Back in the day Toberpatrick threw up ray, doggies, dab, flounder, bass, hounds, and certainly would have delivered a few decent fish in the conditions presented yesterday evening as light faded. Unfortunately nothing stirred, I could have been casting into a desert.

Yes it was a nice evening going through the motions and chatting to passing beach walkers about the great summer weather Ireland has enjoyed and how dogs love to cock a leg over your tackle box, however, and at this stage one feels like a broken record. When your youngest daughters fishing mad boyfriend at 23 years of age starts to question this shore fishing lark having spent a small fortune on the best of gear you begin to wonder.

Ireland has a wonderful but savagely abused marine resource, sea angling at €127.5 million is the third largest marine fisheries product category after pelagic at €213 million and shellfish at €148.1 million. With 71,000 sea anglers in the country, and 150,000 specialist sea anglers residing in the UK who like to travel to fish staying for up to eight bed night per annum, what are we doing. Ireland has a socio economic goldmine on its hands and we have all but frittered it away because politically we cannot prioritise management policies that engage all stakeholders as against the few usual suspects.

Quickly researching both the Sea Angling Ireland and East Coast Raiders SAC websites told me all that I needed to know, “the beach fishes slow”. In the past it most certainly didn’t,  we need to get our collective act together once and for all, this marine malaise has gone far enough……..

Ennereilly, August 2013

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

As the sun dipped down behind the low mud cliffs we cast our rag and mackerel baited twin hook paternosters to points ranging from 30 out to 100 meters. Instantly my Daiwa surf pole dipped the line dropping slack, rod in hand running backwards while reeling to connect, tap, tap, slack, a flattie for certain. Half a minute later a fat flounder knocking a pound flaps up the sand and shingle bank, nice start.

Evening fishing off Ennereilly, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Lip hooked and returned within jig time my second rod registers interest, leaning to disengage the gripper a dull weight heralds a possible doggie double. Out of the surf pops a juvenile tope about the size of an average dogfish plus a pup hound. Now that’s a first, I’ve caught pup tope the length of your palm but not this size weighing between 1.5 – 2.0 lb, strange.

David Murphy Senior with an average smooth hound.

Next in was fishing companion David Murphy with an average hound for the area giving the usual heave ho bite and customary run around. After that fishing settled down to a slow dogfish with occasional pup hound or tope double until between 11.00pm and midnight everything went quite. Casting out a mackerel bait produced nothing, time to go home. Yes the evening was nice, a warm southerly breeze creating a fishy roll on the sea, good company and a few fish beached. Smooth hound, flounder, dogfish, TOPE? Sounds good but you have to read between the lines………and I’m a glass half full person, believe me.

See also: Fishing marks, Ennereilly.