Well Sean and Brian could not make it so myself and the boys headed off around 2 pm aiming to fish the rising tide into darkness.
* coughs * it seems some people had a better offer!!!
Anyhow, sky had clouded over and there was some spectacular storms on the Mweelrea mountains, but Clew Bay was almost perfectly flat.
No birds. No boats. Looked a bit dire to be honest. Only had Lidl mackerel which I am going off quickly - whilst its tough as old boots, its definitely been treated and does not generate the slick you expect from mackerel. Think I may have to give it a miss from now on and just buy some shirring elastic...
First up, we parked at the last spot before the road bends in towards the village. A quick walk down the cracking (!) bog led us to find my favourite 'finger' mark occupied so we turned west about 300 metres and set up beyond a wide cove. First up was a shore rockling and whilst Cathal claimed it, its not a counter as it was caught in the crab trap! The zips both bust after their first immersion so I'm going to try heavy duty Velcro! Cant be any worse than a big gaping hole...
First decent fish was a nice shore Pollack, around 2 lbs in old money, that fell to a slowly retrieved SG sandeel, pulled in along the line of a very deep gully. Beautiful deep orange and purple colouring that you find in kelp and weed based Pollack. Dropped him back. Baited rods were sent out onto the sand, and proceeded to slowly roll in (despite using 125 grippers) so I gave up on that pretty quickly. We targeted rafts of rotting Sargasso sea weed that were flying past west in the current but they were all quite small and unlikely to be holding fish. I was hoping there might be a gar holding station under one of them...
The low point of the day was finding that the ceramic insert in the top ring of the triplex was cracked and shredding my line! That got stowed away pretty quickly...
Not a lot happening, so I resorted to float fishing with a power gum knot and fishing the mack strips just above the bottom in various holes and gullies. We also put a wrasse rig down, but there was no joy, until Eoin noticed his rod moving towards the sea and asked if he should reel in!?!
He did to find a lively 1.5 lb Pollack swimming under it. Pale coloured. Reckon it was coming in with the tide off the sand.
Cathal gave up whilst we ate a few sambos and twix, washed down with midge laden 7 up (clouds of the feckers committing suicide in anything that looked like fresh water including the eyes and mouth!) we had an induced take on the leger. Eoin struggled to get it past a rock shelf (we're using only spinning rods for a bit of fun) and eventually out popped a very orange three bearded rockling that stretched out to 38 cms. Bit thin but not bad for a slug and the second variety if you could the shore rockling earlier. That lifted the spirits. Storms over Mweelrea were really spectacular at this stage and we were joined by a single auk, squatting inside casting range.
As I was tackling down I realised I could not see the float. Picked up the rod to find a Pollack heaving away under it trying to make a break for a ledge. Bit of side strain and we coaxed it into a local hole and from there it was finally landed. Nice fish.
Best fish was the last fish, a nice 48 cm Pollack that fell to mack float fished deep down in a gully at around 9:30 pm. Another pale fish, coming in with the tide. Would have liked to stay longer but the midges were in swarms about it and the boys had enough. As they wanted the Pollack we killed it and in gutting it I noticed it was full of what I can only describe as small 1 inch giant rockhoppers . Amazing. Not a sprat or sand eel at all... and there was plenty of sprat in the cover and gullies.
Sorry about the crap photo... Nice day out, nice fish to end, nothing special but better than I had expected. A bit disappointed we had to leave as I suspected better fish might have come in as the light dropped with the tide building to high water.
Surprised there were no wrasse but then it's obvious that Sean had cleaned them all out a few hours beforehand, hadn't he!!!!