31/10/2017, South shore; At last somebody left something useful behind instead of the more usual mess; a pair of stainless steel scissors which were very blunt so I’ll have to sharpen them up. Owners please form an orderly queue at Bundoran Garda Station. I was hoping to give the wrasse one last go but for starters I fished a 3 hook flapper with mackerel strip and lug for bait at distance over the sand. While setting up the float rod I saw a small group of 3-4 porpoises including a young one feeding a good cast out. I got a pic of a dolphin with young here a couple of years ago, now I want a whale or two. The wrasse weren’t exactly going crazy but eventually the float slid out of sight thanks to a ballan of about 2lb. A couple of corkwings, a Mr and Mrs, turned up while the flapper rig produced a couple of dogfish, both on lug in preference to mackerel strip. A few missed bites and fish throwing the hook maintained some interest in the float tackle, then things went quiet for the next 2 hours bar a 32cm coalfish which took the whole prawn intended for wrasse. The shell-on prawns are an effective bait for wrasse though not as selective as hardback crab. Last fish of the day was a ballan wrasse making 2lb 10oz on the scales and that was the end of the bites.
18/11/2017, North Shore. The Bro came with me today and we headed for a beach where a nice, but perhaps too gentle, surf was rolling in. Offshore we could see one of the naval ships exercising, one of those sleek modern ones, (Beckett Class?). The Bro reckoned they were keeping an eye on us to make sure we didn’t exceed our quotas, in which case they did a great job; two rods each and not a chewed bait between us! Time for a move but the second venue started off very slowly too so no need to rush the coffee. Our best hope was to await darkness and sure enough the doggies came on the feed. A double each and 4 more singles with a couple dropping off at our feet and a couple of small dabs and coalfish made up the day’s tally. I had set up a rod for conger but no screaming runs as experienced by MC on his conger hunts, just a large brown crab. The bites dried up so we called it a day. Not the most exciting trips I’ve ever had but as always, it’s good to get out. One last little treat; we spotted an otter in the headlights swimming about 15 feet out in front of us. The Bro was particularly impressed; it was the first otter he has ever seen. Perhaps I’ll trade in the rods and take up wildlife filming.
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