Session 1. On the radio Dermot and Dave were interviewing a spoof character from around Clare; at least I think he was a spoof and if not, then apologies to all you Banner men! Spoofer referred to going swimming in your local “pullacole” and I was trying to work out what a “pullacole” was; perhaps the “pull” part referred to the Irish ”poll” meaning hole? Only when he called Dermot a complete pullack (pollack) did I realise he was talking about a “pollack hole”. Live and learn. Anyhow, first rod out was a pulley rig with a good size piece of mackerel attached and cast as far as I could into a stiffish breeze. Close behind was the old reliable 3 hook flapper with smaller baits for a few flatties. Twenty minutes later, the pulley rod gave a good lunge down and some line peeled off against the ratchet. A good strike resulted in solid resistance which suddenly went light as the fish and I parted company. On reeling in I saw that the hook point had embedded itself in the bait despite my seemingly careful bait presentation. The pulley rod then assumed the Dormant setting with nothing for the next 4 hrs while the flapper returned 5 dabs around the 30cm mark, the best stretching to 34cm. A couple of small pollack also took the flapper baits. The 3 hook flapper, sure he’s your only man! But suddenly, just like the Empire, the pulley strikes back with a nice little spotty ray just under the 3lb mark followed by 2 doggies in a flurry of activity. By this stage I had resorted to smaller baits on the pulley; perhaps that made the difference. As the tide filled, I noticed a small fish at the water’s edge; it was a 3-spined stickleback. He was taking a chance as pollack frequent this area as the tide floods. To ensure dominance of the day’s proceedings, the flapper finished with 2 more doggies and 2 more dabs along with a small (30cm) coalie for variety. With 16 fish and 5 species, it wasn’t a bad day as I’ve had worse and was about to again.
Session 2. I headed for a beach today only to find even less surf than expected. Rather than probably wasting time, I made for a deeper mark though I had a long wait until the flood when this mark usually fishes better. I fished the usual 2 rods for 4 hours without a bite, the bait actually looked fresher coming in than it did when going out! Eventually a 40cm coalie snatched a bait as it was being retrieved, it put up a decent struggle to the extent that I thought it might have been my first mackerel of 2017. As an act of desperation, I set up a float rod to use up some lugworm and after a few casts got a small ballan wrasse, first of 2017. One or two other half-hearted bites finished a long day. Towards the end of the session a couple of scuba divers came down and had the courtesy to explain where they were heading, no problem, I just kept the lines out of the water for a minute while they swam past. They were back about 30 mins later and told me there were practically no fish out there. “I could have told you that myself” I replied.
Session 3, 6th May. Chuckaroo joined me for a couple of sessions for a break from the trout. Flat seas were accompanied by blue sky and very little wind. We set up about half way into the flood fishing 2 rods each with a good selection of baits and rigs all of which produced nothing. Chuckaroo had a prawn trap which he dropped in at our feet; this was the most successful tactic as it produced a small LS sea scorpion and a 3 bearded rockling. Sorry Chuckaroo, not proper angling so they don’t count. He went off exploring a couple of rockpools at one point with a few strips of bait and his camera with some interesting results; he had more bites in the rockpool than anywhere else over the two days; perhaps he’ll post a few pics. While he was away, I managed a flounder on the flapper rig and that was that. We decided to try another nearby spot if only for a change of scenery and for me, it was a good move. I landed a spotty ray just an ounce short of 3lb, on what else only the flapper rig, size 4 hook and matching bait. A while later, a pollack grabbed a sandeel on the pulley rig as I was retrieving it but a last minute dash saw him reach the sanctuary of a rocky ledge and he was off. The pulley rig at distance proved successful again when the ratchet yielded some line to a flounder, not often you get a run from a flounder though in fairness the ratchet on my 525 is well worn. Later on, a good lunge down on the pulley rig saw me tighten into something solid. As I retrieved, there was a good bend in the rod, better than the spotty had managed earlier on the lighter rod. Sadly, after gaining about 20 yds of line, all went light as what was probably another ray, escaped. Chuckaroo was having no luck at all, not even a bite. We decided that time would be better spent slaking our thirst and in doing so Chuckaroo introduced me to his friend, a certain J. Jameson esq.
Session 4, 7th May. Chuckaroo, myself and the aforementioned Mr J. Jameson (now there are Three Wise Men) thought we would try somewhere different and new and on visiting the first possible venue concluded “Nahhhh”. The second possibility involved perching on a rock, a fair height above the water and exposed to a quite cool northerly breeze, “Nahhhhhhhhhh”. Third option involved a drive through God’s Own Country, a beautiful run from Ardara towards Glencolmcille. The scenery was amazing but we were supposed to be going fishing and the “donkey” in front would neither drive over 25-30 mph or pull over to allow the 5-6 cars behind him pass. As it turned out there was no need to rush, after all how long does it take for two anglers to catch one solitary turbot? That was all we managed though we each had one other bite. Back to the trout then Chuckaroo?
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