Having recovered from a recent shore trip to Kerry, the car was loaded with gear again and with boat attached, an early start was made on the road west.
Friday 16th July. The slip area was getting pretty busy by the time I had launched and parked so I headed off instead of tackling up in the shelter of the launch site. I tried a few drops for mackerel to no avail but having brought a supply of frozen bait I wasn’t too worried as recent “vidjo evidence” suggested there might be mackerel on the mark I was trying first, fish’n’jig would be the order of the day. I did motor along at tickover with feathers out the back and picked up one mackerel, the poor man’s tuna fishing! As I setup for the first drift I realised there was a good bit more swell than expected and head in and out of the tacklebox as I set up 3 rods wasn’t helping; early symptoms of queasiness. The fresh mackerel was selected over frozen and was soon being offered up on the sacrificial altar aka the bait table. It wasn’t long before the first bite developed into what else but the first of 5 dogfish. Every dog has its day and every day has its dog. Next bite definitely wasn’t a dog, or a ray or dab, the usual suspects on this mark. A very positive hit and run type bite, a good rod-bending scrap leading under and around the boat, break out the landing net for a smooth hound! At 101 cm and 7lb 12oz it was a new p.b. (personal better; it’s only my second ever, both from this spot). I wonder was it one of the fish in my video? Next drift and the other rod started nodding vigorously as a thornback sampled a razor fish bait, not huge but with lovely markings. One one retrieve I brought in a discarded shell covered with little transparent structures, they looked like egg cases perhaps, anyone out there identify them? The mackerel rod now started kicking and I reeled in 3 more mackerel which would keep me in bait for the day. As I was dealing with the mackerel, I noticed something out of the “corner of my ear” and thought it was a bird; no, small, black, odd shape and hovering. It was a drone; someone ashore was keeping an eye on me so rather than make rude gestures I waved and smiled and off it went. Shortly after, I had a series of rattles which I correctly diagnosed as a dab and at 32cm, not a bad one. By now the swell had only got worse and so had I so having caught every species captured on video, I headed for calmer waters. On the way I watched a gannet dive from height and moments later shearwaters were converging from all directions and diving into the water beside the gannet, they obviously use gannets as eco-friendly, organic, carbon-neutral fish finders. I found comfort but no fish and only succeeded in breaking a rod in a snag, sometimes I don’t know my own strength!
Saturday 17th July. Launched, tackled up and car parked, I headed off for another scorcher of a day (weather-wise).I headed straight to my chosen mark and soon picked up enough mackerel to last me the day. There was no point in taking too many too soon as the heat of the day would soften them quickly, I could top up later if needed. The swell was bigger than yesterday but having tackled up at base, it was no bother to me. With little breeze and neap tides, there was little to push the boat along so drifts were slow and pretty unproductive over the sand. There were still dense swarms of jellyfish about and a lot of bigger compass jellyfish, I feel sorry for any plankton in the area. Eventually a couple of tugs and that magical ratchet music had me tightening into a small thorny, any illusions of a busy time were shattered by only 5-6 doggies before even they stopped feeding. During this quiet spell a charter pulled in beside me, only for covid regulations, I could have shaken hands with the crew! I get a feeling of affirmation when that happens; presumably I’m fishing a hotspot? I left this hotspot and headed for another one round the corner, this one was just as lukewarm! It did throw up a nice little spotty ray, my first of the year, along with the mandatory dogfish and a couple of dabs. I noticed quite a few shoals of fish passing on the fishfinder so dropped down the feathers to top up the heat softened bait supply, nothing. I was wondering what these fish were, just because you see fish doesn’t mean they’re what you want or that they will feed. But I foul-hooked one while jigging close to the bottom, a tiny whiting. When you think of the hordes of pin whiting that torment us in the winter time, there must be lots of shoals of them out there. This one was mortally wounded so I attached him to a drift trace and caught a dogfish. Someone had told me recently that the fishing over the sand was “brutal” and not in a good way so I decided to try a nearby rocky area. I dropped down a shad and had a few plucks but no takers. I switched to baited mackerel feathers, (one step up from Mackie bashing?) and had a steady stream of pouting, cuckoo wrasse and poor cod, no big pollack or cod around today! The fishing was less than exciting and I was getting the urge for an ice cream so I headed in to get to the filling station before they switched the ice cream machine off.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.