Saturday 7th January
After returning from getting some good bargains at Absolute Fishing's weekend sale (including a very reasonable deal on a Anyfish Anywhere spinning rod) I headed to Youghal for my first fishing session of 2012. I hadn't done much cod fishing all winter, instead concentrating on bass. I had picked up a few codling off the beaches and had made a few attempts at cod fishing around Youghal Harbour in October-November but was beaten by weed.
I decided to try an estuarine mark which produced some good fish last winter. I arrived about an hour before low tide at 9.30 pm. I set up two rods with pennel pulleys baited with peeler crab. I had a small codling shortly after setting up but then it went dead until about an hour and a half into the rise. The next fish was a more substantial fat codling of 2.5 lb.
This was followed by another another slightly smaller fish.
The bites were much slower at this mark compared to last winter, it was about 30 minutes later before I had the next, a much smaller codling. The next fish was the best of the night, another chunky codling of about 3.5 lbs. When I cleaned it out its stomach was stuffed with sandeels. Interestingly of the fish I kept only one had a small crab it is stomach, all the rest had been eating sandeels.
I fished on for another couple of hours, getting a few more codling in the 2 lb range, and lost a few that felt a little more substantial. In the end I had six worth keeping. So fish for dinner for the next few days!!!
Sunday 8th January
It was a very mild day for early January. I had some crabs left over from the previous night so headed to another estuarine mark that can fish well over the last couple of hours up to high tide. I had some good codling there last winter but this time it fished very poorly. There was quite a lot of weed coming up with the tide and I managed to snag a large branch which I initially thought was a giant cod!!! I had the first bite close to high tide, a small chubby codling with a deformed spine near its tail.
I had a couple more fairly small codling after that, only one worth keeping, and lost another small fish. I should probably have fished a mark closer to the harbour area, still it was good to be out in the fresh air on such a nice January day.