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Wexford Harbour Firstly my thanks to Richard Reville, Steve Duggan, Michael Flood and John "Bling Bling" Boyle (pictured above) for the impromptu guided tour of the harbour last week (July 2004). They were brave enough to take me on board with a camera, which as any angler will tell you, almost guarantees a blank session! Richard did the honours with a lovely 4 lber too...
This is a definite nursery area with lots of small Bass - please obsereve the bye-laws and put back all fish under 40 cms. Bear in mind there is a daily catch limit of two fish per angler and a closed season from 15th May to 15th June each year. If you see or suspect people breaking these rules, please report them...
The butt of the old bridge (1) just at the start of Kaats Strand offers spinning opportunities at mid to high tide for Bass in the channel. This is where Richard took his fish, no more than forty metres out, and doubtless legering baits on the bottom will produce Flatfish. Further along, past the small wall and "around the corner" you have the Kaats Strand proper (2), a famous sheltered match competition venue that produces the odd Bass amongst large quantities of Flounder. The odd Dab and Plaice can show up too but here it is mostly Flounder. Recent rain will stop the fish feeding. Directly across from the old bridge there is the railway station, inland from the new bridge. Across the tracks (look both ways for heaven's sake!) there is a rock wall (4) offering deep water spinning, indeed the wall extends all the way down to the tennis club (3). The small island is the prime Bass mark with flatfish taken on the bottom. The remaining marks are to the seaward side of the new bridge. You can fish off the bridge itself (5) but with the volume of traffic, both cars and pedestrians, it is not recommended. A dropnet with a long rope is essential. Again Bass and Flatfish are the main quarry, with some Codling and Whiting in the winter. On the southern shore, there is a new marina arm (6) opposite the Ballast Bank (7), an island with the remains of rock armour and masoned rock walls. This is the prime Bass mark in the harbour and boats will routinely troll with plugs and spinners on both sides. Nobody uses electric engines but the Bass do not seem to mind! You can also leger baits here, and in winter you will pick up small Codling and Whiting with the odd Freshwater Eel and Rockling thrown in for good measure. John Diamond adds that small Pollack and Coalfish have also succumbed here. Here the Flounder often give way to Dabs, the water being considerably more saline. The quays fronting the Talbot Hotel (8) offer Codling fishing in winter, especially after dusk on a flooding tide. Cocktials of peeler crab and lugworm take the fish on 30-50 metre lob casts however it is a rocky mark and you may lose some rigs. Rottem bottom links and junk leads are recommended. Further seaward there is a derelict section of land with a sea wall called Maudlintown (9). This gives further opportunities for spinning and plugging for Bass, with again Flatfish routinely taken on the bottom. Finally if this is not enough, you have Ardcavan, an excellent flatfish venue beside the hotel north of the new Bridge.
Overall, the bass can range from schoolies that must be returned through to the fish of a lifetime - those double figure 10lb plus monsters, which should - if you are an angler - also be returned.
Probabilities: Flounder (resident); Bass (summer); Codling (winter).
Possibilities: Eels, Whiting, Rockling (resident)
Rare Exceptions: Dabs, Plaice (summer)