Keel, Achill, 5th Novmeber 2016

Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:07 am

Sean K, myself and my eldest Eoin decided to give Keel a go on a Saturday featuring scattered showers, a small tide (3.9 m in around 9 pm) and a vicious north easterly blowing force 5 to 7. There was a nasty looking collection of kelp but thankfully it was up on the high tide mark down in the corner of the beach near the cliffs.

Sea was throwing up a 1 metre swell, no more, and there were massively long tables. Each could have been 30-50 metres long. Lots of walking between casts!

The theory was that we'd be sheltered by the big bank of stones, but the fecking wind shifted more northerly and was blowing almost directly down the beach by the time we tackled up at about 3 pm. It was flattening the waves and throwing spray a hundred metres down. Conditions did not look bad - only two human seals so we pitched up below them, roughly halfway between the river and the southern end. Sean was convinced this would throw up some good fish, after a recent competition produce turbot up to 36 cms. A quick survey showed we had a very small rip almost out in front of us so off we went with frozen sandeels and mackerel on two and three hook flappers.

Sean has developed some very nice rigs - neat time about fixing pop up beads with cocktail sticks. Bit of a tackle tart is our Sean! :mrgreen:

Anyhow had to borrow a rod off him as I forgot to get the tip on my triplex fixed! :roll: Stuck a big open spooled Penn on what is a multiplier and cast out - emptied the spool. Damn. Forgot how shallow Keel is. 75 gram leads were getting pushed by wind and waves and there was nothing much happening in the first hour, beyond a few vicious squalls blown in on the gale. Bitter. Very glad of the new Aliexpress-purchased TAD clothing. Sean was using flat leads and pyramids - but they moved as well.

Eoin "borrowed" my mittens. Kids these days, no capacity for a bit of suffering! Anyhow he was first up with an actual fish. Wind played havoc with bite detection so it was a case of keeping the bait fresh and hoping for the best. About two hours in Eoin hauled in a plumb flounder (hooked twice) of 32 cms and a small turbot of 16 cms. Eoin was well chuffed and battered the flounder on its head and threw it on the box. The turbot was returned.

This was quickly followed by the smallest turbot I have ever caught, that somehow managed to wrap itself around a 2/0. Smaller than the palm, just the palm, of my hand.

Ridiculous. This flurry of activity was prompted by our moving up to 125 gram leads to try to stop the baits galloping down the beach. It also helped that we were fishing into a slightly deeper spot over a very shallow sandbank.

Sean was getting rank abuse when Eoin's rod keeled over in the stand. We all looked at his rod tip blattered about but the fish bounced off less than a minute later. We all thought sea trout and re-doubled our efforts. It was so shallow I took to wading out up to my knees and holding the rod downwind for better bite detection. Sure enough, five minutes later the rod registered a stonking bite but it didn't stick. Vicious single hit - had to be a ST. Five minutes later Sean lost another micro-turbot in the suds.

Eoin had another rattling bite but again it did not stick. Very frustrating stuff. By now, surf was well up the beach, well past half tide and the light was beginning to fall - met a chap from Galway who is a keen kayak fisherman with a holiday home and we had a grand chat. I definitely need a boat! :shock:

As the light faded we predicted the coalfish would come on the feed. Sure enough, a wee fella of around 15 cms appeared on my rod. Never knew he was there. Sean then proceeded to land what he claimed would never be caught on Keel beach - a dogfish! Nice decent size and quite dark given it came off the sand. I landed a better coalfish - around 30 cms - but very lean, surprisingly lean looking, so once the light was gone, we decided to pack up. You land one, you could land five hundred...

Nice day out, despite the weather and the windchill. Interesting stuff from the lad from Galway, especially about another mark (more anon).

Model of the boat is now completed. It floats, so I guess its time to spend the money and build the real thing! :D

PS: Sean went to gut the flounder for Eoin at the end, and it flipped out of his hand and swam off, none the worst for a whack on the head and two hours out of water... flounders, tough as old boots and about as tasty! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Re: Keel, Achill, 5th Novmeber 2016

Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:43 pm

I need to catch a decent turbot!!1 ahhh

Re: Keel, Achill, 5th Novmeber 2016

Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:50 pm

Nice report. Tough conditions but still sounds like it was enjoyable!