I headed to a West Waterford mark on Saturday morning. There was a fairly strong northwesterly breeze blowing but the bay I was going to fish would be sheltered. It was partly sunny with a lot of broken cloud. So the conditions, along with the big tides, promised a good session.
I started fishing at the eastern end of the bay. It looked ideal with gently swells breaking on the rocks. I had a few casts into an area of fairly deepish water between some large rocks. After about 15 minutes I moved to the left and cast a Slug-go across a small bay. First cast the lure has grabbed by a strong heavy bass. It stayed deep as I gradually worked it in and only came close to the surface a few meters from the edge of the shore. It looked a big fish. It made a few darts for freedom before I surfed it on to the rocks on the crest of a breaking wave. It was the fattest bass I have ever caught!!! Its stomach was bulging and it weighed just over 7 lb, although its length was 66 cm so it was approximately 1.5 lb over-weight for its size.
I continued to cast across the small bay. Shortly afterwards I had a second bass on the Slug-go. Again it stayed deep and as I got it in close I could see another similar size bass following. At the edge of the rocks it dived which had me worried that the line might snap due to abrasion on the edge but I succeeded in raising the fish before any damage was done and eased it on to the rock platform. It was a smaller bass at 52 cm and had a more normal weight of about 3.5 lbs.
By this time the wind direction had changed and a strong breeze was blowing parallel to the shore. At one stage I saw a large bass swim up close to the ledge I was standing on. It was less than an arms length from me in about a meter of water. It wasn't following the lure, as that was still about 10 m out, just crusing the shore. I decided to stick to the same mark, but I could not tempt any more fish.
I moved westwards along the bay but the shore-parallel wind seemed to kill off any fish activity. By high tide I had made my way to the western end of the bay. I fished an Xlayer into a deep gulley and could see a large pollock checking it out. Next cast the pollock grabbed the lure but came off before I could land it. A few casts later the Xlayer was grabbed again, but further out, the fish dived and must have gone behind a rock. As it tried to bully it out the line snapped, presummably on the edge of the rock. I cut off the damaged line and tried again. This time an Xlayer was snatched by a fish right below my feet but the same thing happened, as it dived below the rocks the line snapped!!!!
Then the water around me erupted into a frenzy of leaping bait fish and feeding mackerel. I put on a silver toby and lobbed it into the shoal. One fish was instantly hooked but about 15 others crowded around trying to get at the lure. In the next few casts I caught another four. Mackerel do certainly provide an entertaining fish on a lure. I decided to pack up after that as the tide was now starting to drop.