I have been very busy with work over the last few weeks so didn't get the chance to do any blog updates. So here is a quick report on a couple of days we had in Kerry at the beginning of September.
We left home on a lovely calm sunny Sunday morning and got to the hotel by 2.30 pm, checked in and promptly headed out to the coast. I brought both the lure and bait fishing gear and was well stocked with freshly dug big juicy lug, peeler crabs and frozen razor. There was quite a strong on shore breeze which had whipped up a mice surf so the conditions looked more suited to bait fishing. I set up two rods both with 4/0 pennel pulleys, one baited with lug and the other with crab.
Over the next three hours I hade four large plump flounder. I left my fish ruler in the car but three of them were at least 40 cm.
I had a few missed bites most of which felt like more flounder but I had one stronger fish which fought like a bass but the gripped weight got snagged on a submerged rock ridge . I let the line go slack and the fish pulled out of the snag but then shook the hook.
After dinner I headed to another beach for some night time fishing for the last few hours of the ebb and over low tide, which is the optimum time for bass at this particular mark. The wind had died down and the surf was weaker than I would have liked. I had three small dogfish first; then close to low tide I had a strong tug on the rod and line went slack. I rapidly reeled in the slack and caught up with the fish. It was fighting more strongly than the dogfish and after a few minutes I hauled a small bass of about 44 cm on to the sand.
I had one more dogfish after that plus a tiny weever, not sure how it managed to get itself hooked as it was smaller than the hook.
As the wind had totally died down at this stage and it was a clear night with not a cloud in the sky I was hopefully of some nice weather the next day and was looking forwared to some lure fishing. However, when we awoke on Monday morning we were greeted by low clouds, misty rain and strong wind!!! To make it worse I had a text from home to say they were basking in the sunshine.
With the conditions it looked like another day of bait fishing. After breakfast I headed to a different beach for the start of the rising tide. However, after half an hour of struggling with stringy seaweed I was forced to move on. The next mark was a beach that fishes well closer to high tide. I was a bit early but at least it was weed free. Unfortunately it was also free of fish!! I had hoped the weather might clear up as there was a brief period of brighter weather on the horizon but it got even worse later in the afternoon and I couldn't seem more than 50 m down the beach.
Close to 6 pm I spotted some taps on the rod tip, waited until there was a stronger tug and struck. At first I thought I had a big fish, it felt heavy although surprisingly was not fighting very strongly. I was uncertain of what I had until I pulled it out of the surf. It was a dog fish which had been hooked in the mouth by the upper hook of the pennel and foul hooked midway along the body by the lower hook.
At that stage I was cold and damp so decided to pack up and have an early dinner.