Baily Lighthouse, Howth, Report (The One That Got Away!)

Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:34 pm

Baily Lighthouse, Howth, Sunday 25th April 2004, 12.00-7.00pm
Bait: Mackerel, Mussel, Razorfish, Lug, Hardback Crab.

Three of us headed to the left side of the Baily yesterday and what a glorious day it was! I set up my beachcaster and another spinning rod with 10lb line and a float rig, intent on catching a wrasse with the carefully collected hardback crab I brought with me. The crab measured about 1 inch across the back and was presented on a size 1/0 hook on an 8lb maxima hooklength. The depth was around eight-foot. I dropped it into the gully just to the left of where I was fishing, set the drag and reeled in my beachcaster to see a small dab on the hook. I baited up with a lug/mussel cocktail tipped with a tiny piece of mackerel (this was definitely the bait of the day) and cast out again. I saw a nice bite on my reel and struck into a nice plump dab of 23cm.

About ten minutes later one of my mates was baiting up beside my tripod when I heard the slow sound of the drag on the float rig. I thought it was him messing but he insisted it wasn’t. I got up to strike when the reel went absolutely crazy , the fish ripping off about 30 yards of line. This was one huge wrasse but it sounded more like a shark taking the bait! When I picked up the rod it nearly bent double and the wrasse began running like crazy around the gully before dashing into a crack at the end of the gully towards the lighthouse. I tried to bully it out but my tackle was just not strong enough and it wouldn’t budge. We could see the line where it entered the crack but couldn’t reel in to this point because of an overhang in the gully. My only choice was to leave the line slack to try and coax it out which I did for two hours!

In the mean time I got another dab and my mate had a doggie on mackerel. They had now both set up float rigs for a chance of one of these huge wrasse. By now I had to resort to brute force and pulling as hard as I could the fish slowly started to budge until I noticed the line about to snap as it had frayed against the rocks. I cut the line and tied a blood knot in it hoping the fish would not make another run. With this done the fish pulled again nearly bringing me in with it. Suddenly the line snapped a bit further down from the blood knot and the fish was free but still with a whole float rig trailing out of its mouth!!!!!!!!! So if you catch it let me know! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I finished the day with another dab a whiting and we decided to pack it in. We figured the wrasse must have been around 5lbs considering other wrasse to 4lb I’ve seen caught on floats and comparing it to the fight this fish gave and the sheer power of it. This is definitely my story of “The One that Got Away”. So we walked back up the hill, our skin roasted red with sunburn to the sight of Howth Head on fire.

Tue Apr 27, 2004 2:26 pm

George did u fish the platform to the left of the lighthouse? i knew a guy that used to use an uptider floatfishing for wrasse and 25lb. line to bully the big fish up into clear water, might be worth a try. you wouldn't want to loose another fish like that!?


Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:37 am

I fished the rocks just above this platform as it was a bit slippy on the platform and I was going to have to move because of the tide anyway.

Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:42 pm

Cursing all the way home i bet. Thats a good spot for Wrasse alright, perfect setting. Good for Pollack too.