I tried a few new marks and a few old reliable ones over the last few weeks but the quality of the fishing has remained as poor as it was over the summer.
I headed to a new mark in Co. Waterford to fish from low to high tide. It
was a nice day with a light southwesterly breeze and strong spring tides. I
arrived at the shore after a long trek across fields and down a steep slope.
The area looked very promising, with a lot of small bays separated by rocky
promontories. I was hopeful that this might produce a better result than I have
had over recent months.
I initially worked my way west but there was not a hint of a bite and no
sign of any fish activity on the surface. I then made my way back to where I
started and moved onto a broad rock platform surrounded by lots of shallow
gulleys. At about mid-tide my perseverance was rewarded. I was fishing a
Delalande Picoleau at depth when it was snatched by a fish just two meters out
from the edge of the rocks. It breached the surface; I could see it was a bass,
not big but after all the recent blanks in the quest for bass the size didn't
matter. It put up a good struggle as I worked it in towards the back of the
gulley so I could lift it out. It was a 46 cm bass, quite slender and had
several net marks indicating that netting of bass has been taking place!!! Which may partly account for the general lack of fish in this area.
Getting that fish gave me some encouragement and I was hopeful that more bass lurked in
the numerous shallow gulleys. I fished on until high tide but failed to get
I decided to try another bay in Co. Waterford which fished extremely well in
September 2011, again planning to fish from low to high tide. The weather was a
big contrast to the previous day. The countryside was enveloped in thick misty
fog. Although I have driven there numerous times I missed a turning due to the
fog and took a roundabout way to get to a parking space on the hillside above
the cliffs. I set out on foot across the fields and down through the fog
towards the shore. The clouds were very low, no more than 15 m above sea level
and light levels very low, it was more like dusk than 2 pm!!! But I thought
that would be good and would bring the fish closer to shore.
I worked my way from one end of the bay to the other, fishing into numerous
gulley and small bays, off rock promontories but all I had was a single pollock
of about 2.5 lbs and a solitary mackerel. I couldn't believe the fishing was so
poor. Two years ago in late September this bay was teaming with life. In the
deeper gulleys you could catch pollock on every cast, close to dusk pollock and
bass were breaking the surface all over but this time it looked lifeless.
The tides were strong as there was a new moon. I planned fishing a stretch
of coast in East Cork which I only fished a couple of times this year. However,
when I got out of the car and had a look down at the shore it did not look too
good. Although it was a nice sunny day there was a fairly strong southwesterly
breeze which had blown up a moderate surf and the water looked highly coloured.
So as an alternative I made my way to a more sheltered mark in Cork Harbour. I
dislike fishing the harbour and much prefer to be on the open coast but with
the conditions it seemed like the best option. I fished from low tide for the
next 3.5 hours working my way along a stretch of shore with lots of gulleys and
rock ridges. Another angler was fishing from small boat and was drifting 30-40 m out
along the same stretch, so between us we had that area well covered but if there
were any fish there they were not interested.
It was not looking good so I packed up and headed to a mark on the coast
that is partially sheltered from southwesterly winds. I had some good fish
there last year on big tides in the September/October period in the last two
hours up to high tide. So I got there on what should be the optimum time. The
sea was quite choppy but the water clarity was not too bad.
I was fishing for about 25 minutes when I saw the black outline of a fish
coming after the lure, again I was using a Delalande Picoleau, and I felt a tug
but the fish missed the hook, I slowed down the retrieve and the fish struck
again. This time it was well hooked and initially dived with the lure before
breaking the surface. I worked it in and eased it onto a rock ledge. It was a
45 cm bass.
Last year once the first bass appeared at this mark I always had a few more
as well as a few missed bites presumably as a small shoal passed through. But
this time that was the only fish. Although I did have another bite - a fish
that stole the soft plastic off the lead head without been hooked.
Again the Sunday after a nice Saturday was grim with thick fog, light misty
rain and a strong southwesterly breeze. I made my way to the same Waterford
mark I fished on Sunday 22nd September as it would be sheltered. The conditions
looked reasonable and the water clarity was good. A worked my along the bay
with just one nibble from a fish that wasn't hooked. Finally just before
packing up in an attempt to at least catch one fish I put on a yellow tailed
jelly worm and lobbed it across a kelp lined ledge with a deep drop off. I
reckoned there must be pollock lurking there. After a few casts I got a small
pollock which didn't even weigh a pound. It was high tide at that stage so I
packed up and made my way up the cliff before it got too dark after another
very disappointing session.