A Bass perspective

21 04 2011

Finally got the new camera at the beginning of April.
It is a Fuji Film XP30, its full of gadgets etc but the main reason I bought it was for its under water function.

I prefer the underwater pictures to the hold and grin shots, so I will be mainly using these in the future where possible.

Here is a sample of some shots of Bass from all around the Wexford Coast since the beginning of April:

Little Sandeels

Cool little Fellas. They didn't mind the camera.

Billy waiting to go back.

What Lies Beneath.

Another Billy ready to swim off.

Flank Of Steal.

Here is a sample video I took:

Watch the Bass pause for a second as it looks at the camera and then swims off,  BRILLIANT BUZZ !!!!!

Danny.

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Saturday 16 April

16 04 2011

What a day!

April Silver

Danny.





Kilmore kicks the boat season off with a double.

13 04 2011

Alarm sounds off at 0430am, no snooze button this morning as I readied the gear for collection. Waiting in the drive for Barry the street was alive with birds singing to each other, there wasn’t a puff of wind and it was quite warm for the time of the morning, yeah it was going to be a good day.

Fantastic Morning In Wexford.

With the boat already moored up from Friday, it was straight down to business, load her up and point her seawards, drive her on Darcy was the shout as the buzz built with the banter being fired around the boat as the sun made its appearance.

Heading For The Reef.

Crevan joined Pat, Barry and myself for the first time afloat. It ws interesting to see he had brought 2 rods with him; it was a good job he did as we were heading to the tackle grave yard. The Kilmore reefs will reduce any tackle tarts lure box to reserve levels within hours! 🙂

The sea was like a mill pond as we initiated our first drift, neap tides and lack of wind resulted in a slow drift which in turn affected the way fish reacted to our soft plastic offerings. A fast drift is preferred for our style of fishing, cast up tide and work the lure into the target area and the take is usually very aggressive. But on Sunday we had to adapt to the fish as they just plucked at the lures resulting in a lot of missed strikes and some colorful language!

On Arrival At Pollock City.

The challenge was undertaken and we adapted, hitting fish after fish for a brief periods before the fish either moved on or lost interest, this was to be the order of the day so we moved around quite a bit trying various locations and lures.

Pollock was our main target for the day, a true sport fish on the light gear over the reefs of Kilmore, this hard hitting and crash diving fish will make any angler shout with excitement when their offering gets smashed.
The Pollock proved to be scarce on the reef in our usual locations compared to last year, granted it is early in the year and the tide was not in our favor. Anyway we still had quality fishing when we did hit them.

A Resident Of Pollock City.

Pat hooked into; in his own words a ‘DONKEY’ and after a good row with some decent runs,a fine Pollock was boated and weighed in at 9.7lbs !. A cracking fish indeed.

Pat 9lb Pollock 2011

Barry’s rod looked under pressure as I glanced over when I heard the drag going, ‘That looks like a good fish’ as I lean over for a look and a picture.

The Battle Of Pollock City.

Line been taken at pace by a substantial fish, a tug of war ensues with Barry the victor. BOOM the scales swing over the 10lb mark! Happy Days as Barry’s first double figure Pollock poses for a few pictures. Well done my son 🙂

Barry 10lb Pollock 2011

When 2 becomes 1

Indeed it was a curious sight seeing Crevan with 2 rods as he came aboard Wahoo, ah sure this lad must mean business!
Anyway he geared up the Speed Master and fished away for a bit, until he had a Captain Ahab moment, rod bent to the butt as he lifted in and then BANG as the carbon expires!
His 2 piece rod became a 3 piece rod, but he sucked it up like a true Billy Bandit and geared up the Teklon, no fear there!

BANG And The Speed Master Is Gone.

Codling, a rare fish for us last year to be fair. But on Sunday we had arguably more Codling than Pollock which is a good sign depending on what side of the coin you are looking at. Some lovely fish were landed, which gave great account for themselves over the course of the day.

Barry With A Fresh Codling.

Wrasse, the Irish Tropical fish 🙂 , fantastic colors and Lure smashers! These babies last year proved elusive to say the least. We targeted specific marks in 2010 for a small return. Now fast forward to April 2011, lads if I caught 1 Wrasse I caught 50! , all laughing and joking aside, I went on a run of around 30 Wrasse in a row, sure I havnt seen the likes of that since the time of JFK !

Wrasse Coming Up.

Tropics Maybe?

Danny Colorfull Wrasse.

Another Wrasse.

Crevan With A Disco Wrasse, Very Cool.

Ling, we had a good few of these at the base of some very steep pinnacles, nothing huge but they are always a welcome sight on a soft plastic in my book.

Pouting, only one was boated on Sunday, but again it was another welcome species on the softies.

Apologies for the lack of pictures for the different species! Some crew members need some training in the art of  not putting your finger in front of the lense  while taking a picture styleeee!

Ha Ha , the lads will do it alright 🙂

Tackle used:
Rods: varying from 15g to 60g
Reel Size: 4000 & 3000
Line: 20lb Braid
Lures:All sorts of Soft plastics with varying colors.

Observation
Must train other crew members in how to use a camera 🙂

And remember your next one could be your best one!.

Smiles All Round, You Cant Buy That.

Danny.





Sunday Silver 03 April 2011

4 04 2011

A mark that is only accessible on a spring low was my hunch for an early Bass in the South East yesterday.

It all started during a conversation with Crevan last week, the chat was firing and I was still in my self imposed fishing exile not giving into the lads fishing offers about heading out (I was due to start back in the last spring of April) …… until a little light bulb went off in the old grey matter amongst the banter. Hunch/prediction/logic/experience/luck  …call it what you will it doesn’t really mater, when the sixth sense presents itself in fishing just go with it. A specific mark that fishes over a 2 hour window and it might just hold the key to unlock the South East Silver….

One obstacle lay in the way, I forgot it was mothers day!,  it didn’t dawn on me until the Friday so that was that. I informed the lads I wouldn’t make it fishing the week end.
Well to cut a long story short, I managed to get the Visa stamped for a Bass Sortie. Happy Days.

On location, what a day,a confused sea and a right mixed bag of weather presented itself to us, sun, rain, wind gusting and swirling clearing all the winter cobwebs.

Changing weather system.

Unfortunately Barry and Pat couldn’t make it so my self and Crevan flew the flag and let fly with a couple of imitation minnows while we waited for our opportunity to attack our chosen spot. While we patiently waited, Crevan spotted a Swallow ! but he was too fast for a picture.

One Swallow doesn’t make a Summer right?
Our window opened, both of us armed our-selfs with imitation Sandeels, and so it began..
A couple of casts in I get hit on the drop, the tail took the impact and there was no hook up.

The Buzz was on, ‘Yes’ Crevan is smiling as his rod is arched into a Bass, as I make my way over, he plays it calmly into shore and we see a very fresh looking Bass looking back at us. Quick picture and the Bass is back on his way.

Crevan April Bass.

Excitement…yep I tend to get a tad bit excited when the Billy’s show regardless who is catching them, I was talking to the Bass at one stage, I think Crevan thought I had lost it 🙂

Bump Bump Bang… My lure was taken very timidly by a Bass as it flicked it along the bottom, I struck and it was fish on. A spirited fight by a fine Billy ensued and was followed to my feet by a much larger Bass who was probably curious of the commotion. My fish was landed but I was still in Awe of the other fish that followed it. Quick picture and back it went.

Danny April Bass

On the Drop… another timid take, I strike and I have another fish on, this fish has a bit more energy, I have to adjust my position to compensate. Another well conditioned fish comes ashore. Yes its all good. Another quick picture and the fish is back on its way again.

Danny excellent condition April Bass.

Bump Bump Bang…Again I hook up to an initial take hard on the bottom, this particular fish was really full of beans as he thrashed about on the way in. Again a fantastic condition fish joins us for a brief moment. Again a quick pic and its back on its way again.

Up close with an April Billy.

Crevan and I missed a few more hits during our window, but thats fishing for you and thats what makes us all come back…the what ifs and the maybes I suppose!

Tackle used:
Rods: Crevan 10g – 40g Danny 7g-25g
Reel Size:Crevan 4000 Danny 3000
Line:Both 20lb Braid
Lures:Both Minnow and Sandeel imitations

Observation
We both agreed that the initial takes from the fish were extremely timid.

All fish swam back strong. Here is some pictures of the fish going back:

April Bass Broad Back.


April Bass Swimming Off.


On the release.

My Exile is over!.

Danny.





County Kerry 17th – 21st March 2011

2 04 2011

The family and I traveled West for the first time with the children, along journey but well worth it when we encounter the scenery this part of the country has to offer.
The children and joan were getting very excited when we encountered the vast mountain systems, but the big child (yours truly) in the drivers seat nearly wet himself when he saw the coastline….. staggering, beautiful, and very very fishy.

We arrived at our our location around midday.

Thatch Cottage Ireland

Our hosts were to be Lynn and John Quinlan of Thatch Cottage Ireland , Member of B.A.S.S., National Federation of Sea Anglers, Waterville Fishery Development Group and Irish Bass Protection and Awareness Group

The accommodation was excellent, a unspoilt place surrounded by peace and tranquility as far as the eye could see. Lynn was a fantastic host, cooked a full Irish breakfast to die for, which really sets you up for the day, and quite a dab hand at retrieving a car from a deep Dyke, Thanks Lynn!
John needs no introduction, an ambassador for the Irish Bass Protection and Awareness Group, an accomplished angler and fantastic company out on the water. You could listen to his wealth of information all day.

A beautiful view not far from the Cottage.

The Holiday was mainly sight seeing and doing the general tourist thing, which I must admit was quite relaxing, and although I was eager to go exploring the rugged coastline with rod in tow, I eased into the relaxation that the surroundings offered. It is a great place to just get away from it all.

I could get used to this.

I had booked a days guiding on Friday with John before I arrived. Well I arrived on the Thursday and a couple of hours later John was driving me around showing me some good fishing locations, meeting some local anglers and generally having a yarn about all things Bass related. To be fair he didn’t have to do it as I only booked his time for Friday, but a gentleman always goes that extra mile.

Surf is up.

Friday was spent traveling around various locations with John, he was relaying some of his vast knowledge about the species, behavior, life cycle, tactics, tides, weather…so much information and so little time for me to lodge it away in my memory banks!
It was a fantastic day, I really enjoyed it, it was the first time I fished with a guide so I didn’t know what to expect. My mind was put at ease with Johns approach, a great guy and he even sneaked out a Bass just before went went back to the Cottage that evening 🙂 I didn’t connect with a fish but I didn’t bother me as I really enjoyed the day out.

These signs are seriously needed in Wexford.

After that I managed to sneak in a few hours fishing late evening/early morning when the family was asleep, armed with the new found knowledge gained from John I went exploring.
I was drawing a blank after about 90 mins when the rod arched forward and the pulse gathered pace, small bit of line taken and I eased the fish ashore, it was a Mullet hooked just outside the mouth towards the gill plate.
Interesting catch, a couple of photos and off it went no worse for the battle.

First Mullet of 2011 (by catch)

Mullet swimming off.

I changed location soon after and spotted a shoal of sand smelt held up in an area where they seemed quite venerable to predators, I could see this as the water was very shallow and crystal clear.

Crystal clear water in Kerry

So I sneaked down towards the water clipped on the pink princess ( same shape and size as a sand smelt), I was about 15 feet from the waters edge and I flicked out the lure. It landed about 10 yards sea ward of the shoal as intended. Two turns of the reel handle and I was into my first Bass of 2011. Happy Days !

First Bass of 2011 on the Pink Princess.

Well to say the Buzz was mighty would be an understatement, a fine little schoolie full of energy made me one happy chappie, quick photo and back he went on his patrol.

Second cast, same target area, bang fish on ! another little schoolie came in to see me, slipped the hook out of his lip and back he went. I stwitched to a top water lure now as I could now see some sand smelts jumping out of the water in fear of their life! I flicked it into the mix, working it very slowly, long pauses etc. gave it 5 casts varying the action no interest was shown though.

Back on went the pink princess first cast bang fish on again, a slightly bigger schoolie this time, my smile couldn’t get any bigger ! I was thinking there must be bigger fish here with all the co motion going on, so I cast out 40 yard further than my previous casts, let the plug settle awhile and I began a retrieve which brought the lure towards a gap about 16 inches wide between 2 rock pinnacles. Rod lurched forward with venom, this wasn’t a schoolie …I lifted the rod up high and kept contact for 5-10 seconds as the drag gave off line sea wards. The line then went slack… and thats why I hate using trebles as your not certain of a clean hook up compared to say weedless soft plastics.

Anyway I managed another foul hooked Mullet and a couple more Bass which topped off the holiday nicely. two Hours of cracking fishing who I must mention was shared with a local guy by the name of Chris, he arrived and started to do a bit of fly fishing down to my right, I invited him to fish where I was and we had a good chat and a bit of craic sneaking around the fish. Watching a fly angler in action I very interesting, very stealthy indeed.

Another Billy


County Kerry Silver.

Well considering I did not do much fishing over the 5 days I was very impressed with the coastline and the various marks it had to offer in that part of the world. I will be returning in August for fishing online, the family will be staying home this time, and I can only imagine the fishing that is waiting for me down there.

Barry has booked the family and himself in down there on my recommendation, it really is that good down there for a family break (don’t forget to sneak your fishing rod into the suitcase 🙂 ). If your after some peace and quite with local friendly folk surrounded by beautiful unspoilt scenery County Kerry is well worth a look.

You can contact Lynn and John here :
http://www.thatchcottageireland.co.uk/

You can learn more about Irish Bass here:
http://www.irishbass.org/

The possibilities .......


Danny.