North Donegal, 26th October 2016.

Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:58 pm

There was (actually there still is!) a beach in North Donegal which I had been intending to try for some time and now seemed as good a time as any; a sympathetic weather forecast, grass cut and a lot of hedges trimmed. Herself made some sandwiches (in my dreams) and the choice of weapons was made, 5-6oz rod for distance and a 4oz lighter rod for closer in with a 3oz flattie rod in reserve. I got up early the next morning, loaded the car and hit the road. A comfortable drive with no delays saw me make good progress until I reached the final small town when I discovered that I had omitted to bring the OS map. With a vague recollection of which turns to take, I was soon thinking that I didn’t expect this road to be so long....However, round a corner and over a rise and there was a beach, high ground at the end, stream running across the sand at one end (inevitably the far end) but then how many beaches conform to that description? I parked and headed down to the beach, almost standing on a big caterpillar (Fox moth caterpillar?) on the way. A very gentle swell was coming in on the early flood tide and I soon had two rods fishing, far and near. It took only 20 mins for the first bite to register and in came a double of flounder around the 28cm size. Rebait and cast, check the other rod, another 28cm flounder. Rebait and cast, check the other rod; a 27cm flounder. I think I could be forgiven for thinking this was going to be a bumper day, instead everything ground to a standstill. Not a bite at any distance for over three hours. With the tide pushing me up the beach and lots of leaves and other debris coming down the stream, I moved along the beach where at least I could fish weedfree. I had gathered from my research that this beach (like quite a few others) is a low water beach and unfortunately, by the time the lower half of the tide returned (around 8pm) it would be dark and we know what that would probably mean. I persevered and got another smaller flounder, 23cm, returned to the car for “the feed” and a comfortable seat and then back to business. Bites were still in short supply but on the bright side the freshening breeze had eased and it was getting milder. Sure enough as the light faded and the tide ebbed a few bites started; a double of small flounder was followed by the best and final flounder of the day at 34cm. The rattles started then, indicating the arrival of the coalfish giving the flounder no chance of finding the bait first. The silver lining was that the coalies were a good bit bigger than the 6-7inchers I’m accustomed to with the best hitting 32 cm. A total of 9 flounder then with about a dozen coalies and I called it a night. At home I checked the OS map, yep, wrong beach due to a wrong turn. Still that final stretch was a lovely drive and the fishing wasn’t bad; I guess I’ll just have to take another trip up north to check out the good beach!
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