Achill and Mullrany, 23rd April 2017

Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:45 am

Landed out on the Atlantic Drive in calm conditions around 1:30 pm , two hours off high water and wandered down to a stretch of coastline short of Dooega.
Been driving past this for years and decided that it had to be wrasse central. Sure enough, close inspection found some deep dark gulleys cut in amongst the rocks.
Bait was not good, had some frozen squid and re-frozen mackerel from the trip to Kerry and bought a few fillets in Aldi (more on that anon).

Anyhow tackled up and dropped wrasse rigs into the deep pool below us.
Within five minutes, Eoin lost a decent fish directly under his feet when the lead caught in a reef. All picture and too much sound.


Things went quiet. Conditions were near ideal, in fact, it could have done with a bit of chop in the water and its not often you say that in Achill!

Explored a bit, put a float rig with a strip of mack belly into some white water swirls hoping for a Pollack but not a single hit. Bit disappointing to be honest.


Spotted a string of pots offshore but they were well out. Some more casting with baits found that there was a gradual shelving and fair snag free plateau underwater out from our tumbled set of rocks. Baits were being rolled in thanks to using 3 ounce leads. Not a sniff of a bite. The overcast conditions gave way to brilliant sunshine which lasted about three hours, right over the top of the tide. Not expecting that!

Anyhow, spied a few limpets and decided to try them as bait. Cast into the kelp with limpets and almost immediately got a decent hard knock.
Finally landed a fish, female wrasse that ran to 38 cms. At last I thought, we have a start.


Turns out that was all there was... Got a knock on the conger rod but nothing stirred. Bit shocked. Lots of kelp. Lots of cover. Expected there to be more here...

Have come to the conclusion that the Aldi mackerel is either very old or treated. There is definitely something wrong with it as bait. Skin is remarkably tough, too tough - I won't be using it again. The immediate impact of using limpet suggests that the wrasse, assuming there were more around there, were keyed in on any locally available foodstuffs, so I guess more limpet, mussel and crabs should have been on the menu. Some proper bait collecting required the next day.

Once the sun disappeared and they'd ploughed through all the biscuits, we departed and hit Mullranny on the way home. Cast triple flappers on rolling three ounce leads on the fast ebbing tide and let them trundle across the beach, mostly with mackerel strip and squid, and got absolutely nothing. Very shallow. Three cormorants for company which probably didn't help. Also found my waders have a new hole.

On the plus side, my new design of 3 hook flapper where the snoods are secured between knots in the 60 lb leader worked a treat. Not a single tangle and cheap as chips. Only works on light casting rolling leads but it avoids the need for all those beads and crimping!

We all have a farmer's tan today, amazing what a few hours in sunlight will do! Just hoping the lack of wrasse is down to our poor bait, and not pot baiting tangle nets.

Re: Achill and Mullrany, 23rd April 2017

Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:36 am

Nice pics Kieran, certainly looks like a wrasse and pollack mark. I've never used Aldi mackerel but have used vacuum packed fillets from Lidl and Tesco when unable to get fresh bait; I've caught flatties, doggies and rays on it. I can't help thinking it all comes from the same packaging plant? Come the autumn, I'm going to be sure to stock the freezer with my own mackerel fillets, I missed out last year.

Re: Achill and Mullrany, 23rd April 2017

Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:54 am

hard luck kieran, but shur you got out which is the main thing

that aldi mack has def been frozen at sea and then slow defrosted again, packed and presented as fresh - there is loads about this scandal with a quick search on the net - all the supermarkets are at it

Re: Achill and Mullrany, 23rd April 2017

Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:00 pm

yeah, if the fish don't want it, I don't think I will be eating it myself any time soon! ;0)

Re: Achill and Mullrany, 23rd April 2017

Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:22 pm

Great report Kieran and Excellent looking mark.. Hard luck on the lack of fish

Pity you didnt get the fork out for some lugworm. Id say you would have cleaned up on the wrasse :)

May be access to rag regularly during the summer, ill keep u posted