19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

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19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:35 am

Been meaning to put this wee report up for some time. Some others on the forum had reported running into small codling on lures on NE Antrim beaches during the summer months. Been hitting an odd one on fly and spinner when targetting (rarely catching) sea trout in recent years.

The sea trout had proved very frustrating this year, showing but not playing ball, coley and pollack gave sport and kept it interesting and enjoyable. The brother reported hitting into some nice codling up to 1.5lb on spinner one evening there in late August. I was sceptical about the size to be honest, but a couple of evenings later I had a go with the fly rod. I intended to set out with an intermediate line but only had the reel with the sinker in the car and had to use it, the water at the mark is only a few feet deep, its a gravelly beach.

The sea trout were at their usual antics, jumping straight up into the air, getting me going but refusing my offerings, flies theyve taken other years. Sandeel were skipping out of my way where I was waded out, they were surfing across the top of the water for several yards in their panic. Sinking fly line might have been wrong for the sea trout but it proved to be just what the codling wanted.

I soon forgot all about the sea trout, I began to hit codling, right down on the gravel on a slowly retrieved white hairwing tandem lure, 4" long. The sport was steady, the fish were quality, best 2 just short of 1.75lb. I got 12 in total, kept 6 for the pan and lost quite a few takes, there was a good shoal of these fish in hunting the sandeel in water between 1 foot and 3 foot deep. Most of my takes came only a few feet from the rod tip, at the end of the retrive. It was a very interesting session. The strength of those codling on a 9 foot trout rod was incredible, each time the rod went over I thought I was into a 3-4lber, really strong fight, not energetic like a coley or trout but really solid with some thumping runs too. Great eating baked on the bone.

All the fish were coughing up sandeel, it tailed off after dark, the trout still wouldnt play ball but I went home very happy, anyone toying with the idea of SWFF, just go for it, its very effective, I think most people who have tried it have been pleasantly surprised. I only really started it in Aug 10, first evening out 2 pollack over 4lb, it really is very effective, great fun even when the fish are small.

Cathal.
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2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby Jayball10 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:16 pm

Excellent stuff Cathal. Sounds like great fun. Hoping to do a bit more SWFF next season. Need to brush up on the casting.
The way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly...

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby nicefish » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:10 pm

Great report i will have to give it a go sometime.
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby SlackLiner » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:51 pm

Nice work!!
2012 Species: Pollock, Coalie, Flounder, Whiting, Cod, 5bd Rockling, Ballan Wrasse, Corkwing Wrasse, Mackerel, LSD, Spurdog, Tope, Grey Gurnard, Red Gurnard, Tub Gurnard, Plaice, Dab, Bass, Cuckoo Wrasse

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby willie bendit » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:35 pm

great report with pictures to match,pics good enough to grace any book about swff.
"THIS THING THAT WE DO"

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PICTURES OF PEOPLE HOLDING FISH
AND LESS PICTURES OF PEOPLE HOLDING CAMERAS IN BATHROOM MIRRORS!

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby chuckaroo » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:04 pm

great perceptive and informative report as usual cathal. great pics
i got 2 cod myself over the summer on the fly and you are correct..., i couldnt get over the account they gave of themselves - for only being in and around the 1.5lb mark. powerful thumping lunges!
the pollack (at the same weight) go strong for the first few runs then tire reasonably quickly. the coley, which were stalky little fish of the same size, gave a real good account of themselves. but the cod really just seemed the most powerful for sure. was great stuff on the fly rod
the salt water fly tying will have to start in earnest now! :mrgreen:

would love do some decent flattie fishing on the fly too for a bit of craic
Charlie

2019 targets:
a specimen flounder (2.5lb+ or 40cm+), first tope, first bluefin tuna
First wolffish, a 35lb+ shore-caught halibut, a 20lb+ shore-caught cod, a 10lb+ coley, a 4lb+ plaice (Norway)

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:40 pm

Thanks for the responses lads, it was one of my most memorable sessions of the year, I tried to repeat it the following evening but only managed a couple of fish in similar conditions and the sandeel were still about.

SWFF is so good, and there is so much potential for it, roll on the new season, nows the time to get the flies tied, its about time I got at it.

Cheers.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:12 am

Jayball10 wrote:Excellent stuff Cathal. Sounds like great fun. Hoping to do a bit more SWFF next season. Need to brush up on the casting.


Cheers Jayball, thats just what it was, great fun, for about 45 mins or so I was getting 3 or 4 knocks each and every cast, not all resulted in hook ups but it was steady. Its great when you know you are going to get action on the next chuck.

I recommend you put a bit of time into it for sure, it can throw up surprises, things you wouldnt have got on bait or spinner.

Good luck.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:15 am

nicefish wrote:Great report i will have to give it a go sometime.


Cheers nicefish, give it a go if you have the tackle, or get a basic fly outfit, doesnt have to be expensive saltwater tackle. You wont regret it.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:17 am

SlackLiner wrote:Nice work!!


Cheers Slackliner, the sandeel brought the fish right to me and they were hard on the feed, it was nice alright.

Cheers.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:21 am

willie bendit wrote:great report with pictures to match,pics good enough to grace any book about swff.


Cheers Willie, I always try to get some pics like this, just been trying to do what they do in the magazines for years. I took quite a few that evening to get this decent couple.

Cheers.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:30 am

chuckaroo wrote:great perceptive and informative report as usual cathal. great pics
i got 2 cod myself over the summer on the fly and you are correct..., i couldnt get over the account they gave of themselves - for only being in and around the 1.5lb mark. powerful thumping lunges!
the pollack (at the same weight) go strong for the first few runs then tire reasonably quickly. the coley, which were stalky little fish of the same size, gave a real good account of themselves. but the cod really just seemed the most powerful for sure. was great stuff on the fly rod
the salt water fly tying will have to start in earnest now! :mrgreen:

would love do some decent flattie fishing on the fly too for a bit of craic


Charlie well get at the fly tying soon. This is the time to get a couple of boxes filled, not so easy to do a lot of tying during the season when you want to be out and fishing.

No doubt about it, those codling put a bend in the rod like fish 3 times their weight. The first one I hooked (and a few more afterwards if Im being honest), I said to myself, this is a big pollack, 4 or 5lb. Thats what it felt like, slowly boring to the side, deep down on the gravel. It felt like a 4-5 lb pollack that hadnt really figured out what was going on yet. I dont know how they do it but I hope to experience it again next summer.

Cheers.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby JimH » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:07 pm

awesome <')))))))><

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:00 am

JimH wrote:awesome <')))))))><


Cheers Jim, it was that, one of those evenings that makes you look forward to the summertime again.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby jack01986 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:03 am

Seriously impressive. Fair play.

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:26 am

jack01986 wrote:Seriously impressive. Fair play.


Cheers Jack,
It was a lovely bit of fishing, if one of those sea trout had been kinder and taken my fly it wudav been incredible, they were jumping quite close to me but they would not take me. a lovely fish of about 2.5lb lept 2 rod lengths from me. I chased them in vain but when the codling started to come I just concentrted on them and ignored the sea trout.

I fully believe the right approach would have taken sea trout that evening, but I hadnt got it, as I said, the sinking line probably wasnt the right thing for the trout, floater or intermediate with the right lure and there couldav been takes. Something like a fresh sandeel,live or dead on a bubble float and I'd say I couldve taken a trout.

Cheers.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby thirty » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:29 am

thats a serious achievement!

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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:04 am

thirty wrote:thats a serious achievement!



Cheers thirty, to be honest it was fairly straightforward, the fish were very obliging, it ws all down to the abundance of sandeel and me being fortunate enough to go to that spot that evening.
There were other evenings there the best I did was 1 very small coley.

Cheers.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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Re: 19 Aug 11, N. Antrim beach, codling on fly.

Postby cathalger » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:35 pm

I have just one small ammendment to make to my original report, I stated that lure was 4" long, I just measured it and its actually 3" long. Just to keep things accurate.

I kept the 1st half dozen codling I caught and then returned 6, some of the ones I returned were as big as the best ones pictured but the combined weight of the 6 I already had hanging in the net which ws hanging off the D ring at the back of my neck was getting too much, I was waded out 35 yards from the beach and I didnt want to leave the spot while the sport was still coming because you just dont know how long the shoal is going to remain in range, especially when fly fishing- your range is 30 yards or so at most, well mine was. I kept fishing as I really thought there was a chance of a more substantial cod or a really good pollack. When the sandeel are in so close in such vast numbers you just do not know what you are going to hit next, so I fished til the action ended.
2013 Sea Species:- Bass, Flounder, 5 Beard Rockling, Shore Rockling, Whiting, red gurnard, grey gurnard, Pollack, coley, mackerel, sea trout, cant remember cos I didn't update at the time.....
2012 Sea species:- Pollack, Coley, Mackerel, Cod, Bass, Sea Trout, Haddock, Plaice, Dab, Flounder, Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard, Pouting, Whiting, Corkwing Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Brown Trout caught on beach.
2011 Sea species:- codling, L.S. dogfish, coley, whiting, pollack(4lb 3oz), sea trout, shore conger eel (15lb), ballan wrasse, grey gurnard, plaice, dab (and lobster).
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