Its that time of the year again when Irish Kayak Angling holds its annual Donegal meet. This year was no different to the others with some excellent fishing and some cracking fish been caught. I began my journey very early on Saturday morning. I woke to howling winds and lots of rain. I had to get the rain gear on just to load the car ! A short drive to pick up David Smith, who had a lovely fry up waiting for me, cheers mate. As I got up to Davids house the winds was picking up and the surf was ridiculous. We could only hope things would get better. From there we had a 3 hour drive to Donegal where we met the rest of the lads and began our days fishing. Graham Smith was an excellent host and managed to get us on the water regardless of the poor weather. We fished a sheltered cove in the search for Ray and flatfish and we hadn't got long to wait. David was first on with a lovely Turbot followed by multiple Thornback Ray.I was long waiting myself for some whiting and a few Thornies biggest measuring its wingspan at 42 cm
We fished until about 6pm that evening where there was a mix of 6 species between us. The surf was picking up on the way back in which made for a little fun while we were landing especially for Andrew as he was brave enough to attempt it twice, needless to say he went in and I hadnt a camera ready ! That evening we were greeted by a huge BBQ, some cake not to mention a few liquid refreshments (thanks Linda). That evening we ate like kings and sat around telling our stories of the one that got away. The winds dropped and the rain poured, Tony kept the locals busy with his charms
Sunday I was awoken by two hooligans trying to put a chicken in my tent. BAST£RD$. We were on the road for 7am with and on the water for 8am. First stop was a short peddle to pick up some fresh bait (pin whiting) and then we set off to the mark. Graham was bang on with his instructions he said a mile paddle, but what he forgot to mention was the tide running against us , at least 3-4 knots ouch ouch ouch. Graham was first to anchor up followed by myself but the dam anchor wouldn't hold and I wasn't long in drifting a few hundred metres, hauled anchor back to the group and dropped again. This time it held. I was about two hours fishing when Sean called on the radio to say Graham had missed a take, sure enough I didn't believe him as Sean has a wild imagination But as we finished our chat my reel screamed into action. The line zoomed from the reel, a sharp lift on the rod and it was fish on ! i was using a very light 8-12lb rod which was taking a fierce battering. I managed to reel the line up to the trace but as I went to grab it, the Tope decided he didn't like me and headed for the bottom again. Not much I could do only hold the rod and hope. Got him up the next time and managed to grab the trace. All I could think about was Grahams advice "not to haul him by the tail" what about that big mouth of his I thought. I grabbed him by the fin and hauled him onto my lap where he kicked my ass!
Some craic, these species are a solid mass of muscle and give such a fight. My adrenalin was pumping. I removed the hook got a few photos and set him on his way. As I was busy getting my ass whooped the lads where starting to catch hard and fast. If I remember rightly we had 11 Tope between 5 kayaks.
It was by far the best weekend I have had on the kayak. it was great to meet up with old friends Graham, David, Sean, Marty, Andrew, Tony and also some new ones Denis. A special thank you to Graham and his family. Heres a video of the action