23rd April 2013
I headed to a regular beach after finishing work to fish the ebbing tide. I was set up by 7 pm. There was a good surf breaking on the beach, and a SSW breeze was beginning to increase in strength and it was overcast so the conditions looked good. The previous Saturday I found that bass went for bait on smaller hooks and ignored my large clump of lug on a 4/0 pennel pulley. So this time I set up two rods both with size 1 and 2/0 circle hooks baited with lug. Less than 20 minutes later I spotted a subtle knock on one of the rods, picked it up and waited for a stronger bite then lifted into the fish. It felt to a small bass and a few minutes later I hauled a 38 cm bass out of the surf.
I rebaited and recast. Shortly afterwards I had another bite, a strong tug on the same rod. I grabbed it and began to retrieve. This felt a slightly better fish. It was another small bass just over 42 cm in length.
That was a good start, two bass in less than 30 minutes. However, the bites then died off. It was quite until 9.15 pm before I had the next fish, the third small bass of about 41 cm.
As the light was beginning to go I put on my headlamp and turned it on but there was only a dim flicker and then it went totally dead. It must have got switched on in my bag and the batteries had run down. As it was a dark night with thick low cloud I quickly dismantled the rods, packed up and quickly headed back across the beach while there was still enough light to make out my way. I was kicking myself for not bringing a spare set of batteries.
24th April 2013
I had plenty of lug left over from the previous session so headed to the same mark, this time with two sets of fully charged batteries!!
The surf as quite a bit weaker compared to the evening before, there was little or no wind and it felt a lot warmer. I was set up and fishing by 7.30 pm. There was not much happening for the first hour; then at about 8.45 there was a strong tug on one of the rods. It was a small bass of only 37 cm.
I had a second strong bite just 10 minutes later, this time a 41 cm bass.
I was anticipating a good session after that but then it went very quite and it was about an hour later before I had another bite. This time it was a small coalfish. I had another three coalfish after than and it was not until 11 pm before I had another bass, another 41 cm fish.
This was followed by a bunch more small coalfish but no more bass. I stayed on until 1.30 am and packed up shortly after the tide began to push back in.
Several of the bass I had on this session and the previous one had net marks. Some of them may have been old marks but one fish had what looked like fairly recent marks and its scales had not yet grown back.
25th April 2013
It was a clear night with a bright full moon. It looked a nice night to be out so I decided to venture out again. I had some lug left over from the previous two sessions but they were mostly small. I decided to try a West Waterford beach for a change.
Unfortunately the wind had switched to a northwesterly during the day which had flattened out the surf, so it didn’t look too promising, especially as I find this beach doesn’t fish well unless there is a big surf.
Despite the northwest wind it was still mild enough and hardly needed my headlamp as the beach was bathed in bright moon light. Unfortunately there was not much happening. The first bite was a small Shore Rockling.
This was followed 20 minutes later by a coalfish, a bit bigger than the usual ones that have been showing up on the beached recently so for a few moments I was hopeful it might be a small bass until I had it on the beach. This was followed by two more much smaller coalfish about an hour later. By that stage I had used up all the bait, so packed up and headed home.