Thursday; Donegal Marks. Another foggy day; when I stopped the car I couldn’t see the water but could hear surf breaking somewhere. There were about 75 mins left of the ebb tide so I set up quickly and cast out, one rod with a 5oz grip lead and the other sporting a 4oz plain, both armed with mackerel strip. The 5oz sat nicely but the plain lead succumbed to the lateral tow and swung round from left to right. This was not a problem as this rod did produce a couple of fish. It took just 20 mins before the first bite registered on the distance rod and in came a plump 39cm flounder equalling but sadly not beating my p.b. Unfortunately my rushed picture wasn’t in focus and the fish was released before I realised. Still I have a picture of my previous 39er, I don’t suppose this one looks much different. After re-baiting and casting out again, I checked the other rod which had picked up a 34cm flounder close in. Not a bad start and about 30 mins later another bite close in yielded a 27cm flounder. Approaching low water, the bites stopped and it was another hour and a half before another fish showed, this time a 35cm flounder. These were all well fed fish but the bites had dried up completely so at just past half tide I decided to let that do, especially as the final cast brought a small coalfish. I will have to try that beach on the last 3 hrs of the ebb sometime. I moved to another nearby mark to use up some of the bait I still had left. It was now the turn of the dogfish, ten in total. Not remarkable except that they were all nicely lip hooked despite using small baits and hooks. A couple of small poorcod managed to get in first occasionally including one unlucky one which was taken by a doggie; I swung in a dogfish which had the front end of a poorcod protruding from its mouth, the poorcod was hooked but the doggie was just clamped on to it. The fog had thickened and at one point I had the car headlights on, this cast an eerie shadow of myself onto the fog, or was it the ghost of some murdered fisheries inspector? Now that it was high tide, the bites died away again so I called it a night.
Friday. Sligo marks. No fog today but plenty of frost on the windscreen to scrape off. I stopped en route to the beach for a fill of diesel and almost had a disaster. I had about 2 litres of fuel in the tank when a guy jumps out of his lorry to tell me I was using a petrol pump! That could have been an expensive mistake but with my tank almost empty, I filled to the gills with real diesel which hopefully would dilute the petrol to a harmless level. The lorry driver earned himself a large Yorkie bar and I got a large medicinal coffee to wake me up. Arriving at the beach, in contrast to yesterday, I could see the water but not hear surf breaking, it was almost flat calm and with the sun shining from a cloudless sky I thought I might have been wasting my time. Still, it was a beautiful day to be out so I set up anyway. The 5oz plain lead was sent out as far as possible while the lighter 3oz rod was fished in what little foamy water was there. With such gentle conditions, spotting bites would be easy, if there were any. It didn’t take long, a good rattle on the near rod resulted in a 23cm flounder and as it was released the far rod gave a single kick and then nothing. I reeled in to check and there was a 25cm turbot, the biggest I’ve ever had from this beach. Just after returning it, the near rod gave a few more rattles and in came a trio of flounder. Ten minutes later the same rod produced a double flounder and I was beginning to think I should fish both rods in close. I’m glad I didn’t as 5 mins later the far rod gave a good rattle and I reeled in a flounder accompanied by a 32cm seatrout. 10 mins after that, the far rod gave another good kick due to a better 42cm seatrout. Sadly, both trout had quite a few lice on board so I flicked most of them off before returning them. It was good to see them rocket off into the surf. By now it was low water and the bites dried up again. It was over 2 hours before I got another bite resulting in the smallest flounder of the 2 days. All written material about this mark recommends the early flood but my experience suggests the last of the ebb is better, I guess fish don’t read too much angling literature (perhaps they write it?). There was an increasing amount of weed building with the tide, to the extent that all hooks were coming in covered in large lumps of kelp etc. I can only stand so much of this vegetarian fishing so after a busy spell with 10 flounder, 1 turbot and 2 seatrout and with bites having ground to a halt, I headed to another mark for a couple of hours. This was to be very disappointing with only a small pouting and one dogfish to show with another doggie dropping off as I tried to swing him in. Still the beach session had been busy so I was happy enough heading for home. I had barely got in through the door when my phone rang, Chuckaroo wanting to know was I interested in a session tomorrow. Ah well, what can you do when duty calls?
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