Sligo and Donegal Marks, 16th January 2017

Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:49 am

It’s hard to believe we’re already half-way through January. The mild, settled weather was irresistible so I didn’t try to resist. I loaded up the car to a chorus of birdsong and armed with a couple of standby rods (last time out I knocked over my tripod and both tip rings cracked), I headed for a Sligo beach. There was what I considered to be a lovely surf coming in but just because I think.....Two other guys had the same idea, arriving just as I was leaving the car to walk down to the beach. At the high water mark there were scores of stranded By -the -Wind Sailors or Velella, blown in by recent NW winds, haven’t seen those in a while. I set up with 2 hours left of the ebb using 2 rods fished at maximum range and in close and everywhere in between. I used grip leads and plain leads to roll around a bit, all to no avail. Low water passed and I stuck it out for another 2 hours without a bite. At one point there was a Great Northern Diver fishing in the surf right in front of me, he didn’t have any joy either. No shame for me then when the professionals fail.The other two anglers left without a fish and I did likewise shortly after. Plenty of bait left so I headed to a deeper water mark, the light was starting to fade and it wasn’t long before the bites started. The whiting were in town. Over the next couple of hours, I landed about 15 from 25cm up to 33cm, one nudging towards 34cm. In previous years most of the whiting have been around mid to high twenties but the average size seems a bit bigger this year. A couple of coalfish to 31cm managed to beat the whiting to the bait. At one point I switched one rod to a single clipped hook with a bigger chunk of mackerel and prawn and lobbed it into the rougher area close in. After a few missed bites I eventually connected with a 3 bearded rockling, always nice to get one of those for the annual species list, I failed to do so last year. That was the last fish of the night. My last few trips have been a bit disappointing, especially on the beaches with the flatties proving elusive, perhaps I need to re-assess what comprises an ideal surf.
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Re: Sligo and Donegal Marks, 16th January 2017

Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:06 pm

Some nice whiteing sir, getting bigger this year