Donegal Bay Window of Opportunity, 02/02/2018

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Donegal Bay Window of Opportunity, 02/02/2018

Postby johnwest » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:31 pm

A couple of slightly milder days were forecast before the weather was due to go cold again so there was no option but to load up and go west. On the road, I passed a guy on the hard shoulder topping up his fuel tank with a jerrycan, with a filling station in sight just 300m down the road. You know that feeling when you have forgotten something? Lead-free petrol, lead-free tacklebox? It was pleasant enough when setting up, very little wind, dry and milder than I had expected. As usual, two rods with 2 and 3 hook flappers were assembled with mackerel strip for bait, now where did I put those leads? At home in the garage; fortunately I found a single 4oz and single 5oz lead to match the 2 rods I had chosen lurking in the depths of the box. Sometimes being sloppy can pay off! Crack-offs and snags notwithstanding, I could fish. Last time I fished this mark I had bites from coalfish straightaway in daylight, not this time. It took about an hour and a half before the first bite registered, a double of small whiting at dusk. As I was swinging them in, I noticed something on the surface about 15m out, it was a raft of otters, a female with two pups. I was surprised to see pups at this time of year (or any time for that matter) but once home I did a bit of research, aka google, and found out that otters can have pups at any time of year if conditions suit. Too dark for pictures sadly. Back to the fishing and next up was the first of two coalies around the 29-30cm bracket. For a change I was fishing both rods over the sand so I was surprised to reel in a long spined sea scorpion after a vigorous rattle of the rod tip. The whiting came in increasing numbers and size with a good few over 30cm, the best just over 33cm. As usual, there were a few skinnymalinks but most of them were nice plump fish and they were feeding hard; one coughed up two fairly fresh sandeels and another spewed up some small rag like worms. On the lighter 2-4oz rod, they actually give a few kicks on the way in. A lone dogfish beat the whiting to the bait and with 24 whiting on the score sheet, a sorry looking poorcod finished off the night; by now it was raining fairly heavily and my feet were soaking as I forgot boots as well as leads. About 30 fish, 5 species and seeing the otters; no complaints!
1st of 2 coalies
LS Sea scorpion over sand
Treble Whiting
Madadh Amhain
Best whiting of the night
2011 species; 26

2012 species; 27

2013 species; 31

2014 species; 27

2015 species; 28

2016 species; 32

2017 species;28

2018 ; ballan wrasse, blenny, coalfish, codling, conger, corkwing wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, dab, dogfish, flounder, gilthead bream, golden grey mullet, grey gurnard, herring, launce, ling, mackerel, megrim, mullet, pollack, poor cod, pouting, red gurnard, sand smelt, sea scorpion(ls), skate, smoothhound, spotted ray, thornback, tub gurnard, turbot, whiting

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corbyeire (Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:11 pm), joe the junior (Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:33 pm), mickser (Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:55 pm), zeke (Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:31 am)
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Re: Donegal Bay Window of Opportunity, 02/02/2018

Postby MC » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:06 am

Nice fishing and I too know the pain of forgetting something but with me it's normally the bait
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Re: Donegal Bay Window of Opportunity, 02/02/2018

Postby chuckaroo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:19 am

nice report Paddy and some decent fishing - plenty of fish and a few species, some of those whiting I'd be close to keeping :)
Funny, I was out today and I forgot my lead too!! ha! can't remember the last time that happened.. i had to improvise - report to follow
I did remember my boots though :lol:
I'm sure the family of otters was an enjoyable sight.. 8)

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