Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A chunky wrasse - 7th September 2013

Saturday afternoon I headed to a deep water rock mark to target pollock. I got there just after low tide and had a few small pollock of about 1-1.5 lbs. Shortly after arriving the wind changed direction and was blowing directly towards me so I decided to move to the western margin of the next bay.

I found a relatively flat wave-cut platform and had a few casts retrieving through a narrow kelp lined gap in between some shallow submerged rocks. On about the fourth cast as I retrieved the lure close to shore there was a sudden flash of gold up from the depth and a large pollock snatched the lure and dived. It was a strong fish and the rod doubled over as it stripped line. I managed to prevent it burying itself into the kelp and got it to the surface. It made several more dives before I could ease it on to the rocks. It was a nice pollock of just over 4 lbs.

A little later I moved to the edge of a narrow deep gully and slowly retrieved a soft plastic, keeping it deep. I could see faint outline of a fish checking out the lure several times, then on about the fifth or sixth cast something grabbed the lure and dived beneath the rock ledge. I couldn't budge it, so moved to my left to the very edge of the rocks to get a bit more leverage and managed to pull the fish out. It wasn't happy and made a few more dives before I got it to the surface and eased it on to the edge of the rocks. It was a nice Ballen Wrasse of about 2 lbs.

It had destroyed the lure so I put on another and had a few more casts through the same gully. Then the lure was hit hard and the rod buckled over. I stopped the fish going to ground but it was a struggle to get it to the surface. It made several dives stripping line with ease until I tighten the drag and slowly worked it to the surface and carefully eased it onto the rocks below me. It was a fine chunky ballen wrasse, weighing just over 4.5 lbs.

It was one of the biggest I have caught, possibly the biggest - a few years ago I had a large wrasse on ragworm from the Beara Peninsula but didn't have a scales with me at the time. Not sure if this one was bigger but there wouldn't have been much between them. But this fish was definitely the best I have had on a lure.

I fished on a little longer, moved further along the shore, tried a few more gulleys but just caught one more pollock of about 2 lbs.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

July- August 2013

I haven't put up a post for some time, partly because I was very busy with work and partly because there was not much to report.

Summer 2013 proved to be by far my worst year for fishing. Bass remained elusive and even pollock were scarce. I discovered a new deep water mark which produced some nice pollock up to 5 lbs.

But regular marks which used to have abundant pollock were fairly lifeless during the summer. On previous years pollock used to be a pest at some bass marks close to dusk, snatching the lures on every cast but this summer they were strangely absent.

The weather this summer was the best we had in a long time, it should have been perfect bass fishing conditions but bass just seemed to be absent. I had a few on bait early in the summer and a 5lb bass on a toby spoon while fishing for pollock but for some reason the bass were reluctant to take lures or else were not present. Last year was tough due to the almost constant rain and wind but whenever there was a break in the weather I managed to get a few bass, but this year the fishing was far tougher.

I had a few Ballen Wrasse on lures too from the new deep water mark. One evening close to dusk after getting a few pollock in the 2-3 lbs range I spotted a stockier fish with a broad tail following a lure - it looked like a wrasse.  So I switched to a smaller soft plastic and after a couple of casts landed a beautifully coloured green ballen wrasse of about 2 lbs followed a little later by another brown coloured wrasse taken on a Xlayer.