Mid June – Mid July Bass Fishing Wexford 2012

27 07 2012

I just wanted to throw a few words together in relation to this particular period with regards to my lure fishing in Wexford. It has been bloody tough, not to put too fine a point on it! I have experienced and observed (the other lads I fish with.. struggle)  in our worst return rate based on hours put in on the water since we started lure fishing full time. For example 3 weeks ago I fished a good tidal cycle over a various of locations for a period of 15 hours (yes I was on/in the water for 15 hours!), historically these locations fished well at this time of the year. I did not get one single; follow, take, hit, splash, shadow..whatever…. not a Gannet dive or a Tern splash. I am omitting one vital (in my opinion) thing though, the weather..

Wheres our Jet Stream gone ?

The weather that session  encompassed the four seasons, creating varying sea state & clarity. Wind direction was all over the shop, started off at a promising Southerly which went East followed by North ( the forecast was South West by my trusted weather sites). Well where did that leave me apart from a sore shoulder blade ?. To be honest disillusioned, I mean there is an absolute abundance of Mullet about on some of our marks and Trout too, but where are the Bass? are they there but not feeding? is illegal fishing responsible? are the fish some where else? are we too complacent? have our expectations grown too much? or are we just unlucky? To be honest I dont know and don’t claim to know, but I reckon the fact that the Jet Stream has been a lot further south as reported numerous times on the News, weather sites and blogs has something to do with it ( well I hope so at least). This is not an isolated event either, the lads have hit marks recently ( the last 4 weeks) with near ‘perfect’ on conditions, fished it hard and long and not a sign of a fish. This cant be right can it?

Apart from that rant, we have been hitting some fish which keeps you pushing yourself as the hours wear the wading boots down….

This 5.5lb Bass missed my Patchinko 3 times before engulfing the Lure and giving a spirited fight in colored water.

Barry caught this Bass off the surface with a slowly worked Z Claw

Pat caught this Bass on a Feed Shallow

As a result of the fishing being a lot slower so to speak I have started using surface lures a lot more than usual. Purely just for something to concentrate on while there is no action, a by product of this is obviously a lot more fish caught off the surface for me, I think there could be no going back from here……

Another nice Bass off the surface…. Happy Days

Barry Nailed this Bass on a Z CLaw.

Marc caught this Bass on a Shore Line Shiner at the start of the rise

All fish when landed were very energetic, full off beans until they were put back into the water. All Bass were returned and swam off well.

My Bonnie worked with pauses on the surface caught this Bass

Another Bass getting ready to go back

Bass going back

I mentioned experiencing the 4 seasons above, here is an example of the extremes we have encountered in a short period of time:

Flat calm and crystal clear

Disturbed and murky

A reward

I finished work and made my way to the coast, it was lashing rain since lunch time and the roads were struggling to cope with the surface water. I geared up and entered the water, the weather had put off some of the lads, but I was not going to give in today.. I fished surface lures for 2 fruitless hours and I was soaked to the skin, the rain was now akin to a monsoon, it has been a while since I seen rain like it. It eased off for a brief moment, at which point a fish made a lunge at my lure and missed it. I made a second cast down current from the last splash and worked the lure, a splash and an arched rod resulted in my reward:

I was very wet ! but very happy with this little Bass!

Of course an update would not be complete with out giving my favorite lure a mention….

Accept no substitute

Happy Days

Afloat

We also made an attempt to suss out some new Bass grounds from the boat, first cast Crevan landed a Slug Go on the nose of a fine Bass:

Crevan with a fine Bass caught on a Slug Go

A closer look

It was a fine fish Crevan landed which gave a great fight with plenty of head shaking. We fished on in vain for another couple of hours but that was the only action we seen.

Well, all I can say is fingers crossed Mother Nature is the cause of the current situation we find ourselves in, if it is not her we could be in dire straits for the future….

Next Blog update will be about our experience at the Irish Bass Festival 

Your next one could be your best one.

Danny.





Drifting the Kilmore Reefs

17 07 2012

We launched the Wahoo twice out of Kilmore Quay since my last update, both in contrasting conditions.

Bottle it and sell it…..

First trip out was over a spring tide, fishing into crystal clear water.  The second trip seen us fishing over a neap tide into murky water. We fished as ever on the drift, fishing light with the Soft Plastics targeting drop offs, plateaus and peaks. Our target Species were Pollock, Wrasse, Ling, Codling and Coalies.

Here is a Sample of  what we caught:

Crevan with a Cod caught on an Illex lure.

Pat with a Cod caught on a Fin S.

Barry with a fine Pollock that fell to Wave Worm OTD.

A Cod on a Storm Sand Eel.

Double Hook up.

Double Hook Up.

Another Double Hook Up.

Crevan With a Kiimore Pollock.

Pats new best friend..

Oh the hat is out lad …..

On the first trip the fishing was patchy, there seemed to be no trend to where or when the fish appeared. We usually have the better fishing on the fall, particularly if high tide is at dawn. The takes seemed plucky and timid compared to the usual smash and grab antics, leading  us to strike into the fish more than usual.

A day would not be complete without a Wrasee.

The lure hits the bottom and ‘BANG’, we were into fish straight away on the second trip, all doubts about the current murky conditions put firmly to the back of the mind.

The fishing was hectic at times, the fish were feeding very aggressively, ripping the SP’s to pieces when they missed the hook.  Slim profiled SP’s preformed particularly well on the Pollock. Wrasee were scarce, although a good number of Cod showed over the bottom of the tide, Ling also made an appearance, with Crevan getting his first one on a SP.

Ling incoming

Ling took a liking to the One Up Shad

Crevan’s Ling

‘A bird never flew on one wing’………no, but with 2 wings it flew straight into my line !!

Houston we have a problem.

Not impressed

It was very placid to be fair

The Heron Gull hit my line at full tilt and managed to wrap the line up around its wing. I got it to the boat and after several minutes we managed to free it, the beak was held as it appeared to have a taste for fingers !:

Here is a few more random pictures from the trips:

Business end – Pollock

Business end – Cod

Business end – Cuckoo

Navy on patrol

Look just above the wheel house, that is a retreating ‘Tornado/water spout’ !! Mental

A selection of some of the Lures I used.

The one that got away. I wont even bother telling the story..I am still raging over it!

In all the two trips were decent, both trips seen a good quantity of species up to decent size. Now if only the Jet Stream would go back to were it supposed to be, we might get some stable weather so we could head out again!

The Big Fish Hat.

Your next one could be your best one.

Danny.





Kilmore on the Soft Plastics.

22 05 2012

I am a few weeks late on my updates….

May 6th 2012 We took our first excursion out to the Kilmore reefs on board Wahoo. A full Moon ensured we would have a large tide to fish over throughout the course of the day. Conditions were calm with a slight offshore Northerly wind.

The day did not start out great when the handle of the Bilge pump snapped while Pat was replacing the Diaphragm . It was looking bleak but Pat pulled it out of the bag with the aid of some well placed Silicone. We arrived to a busy slip at 09:30am some 5 hours later than planned.

With the boat launched we were under way pushing out against a racing tide, delighted that we made it out eventually. There was plenty of boating activity around the island, the good weather obviously tempting a few of the smaller boats out.

We initiated our first drift and flicked the Soft Plastics up tide. The tide was on the ebb and the drift was running at just over 3 knots, making us work hard to keep the lures in the strike zone. The fast run resulted in heavy loses on the business end with many a lure lost on the peaks and drop offs. 

Wave Worm rigged up and ready for action.

Storm Sandeel rigged up and ready for action.

The fishing was patchy but produced some decent fish when the tide slackened off. We landed Pollock, Wrasse, Coal Fish and Codling.

Olive One Up Shad tempted this Cuckoo Wrasse.

Pat with Pollock taken on a Slug Go.

Crevan with a Kilmore Reef Pollock.

The takes were varied from a small pluck to a full speed hit and run, there was no pattern throughout the day.

Danny with a Pollock taken on a Fin S Lure.

The local bird population were stalking us as usual, and we seen a pod of Dolphins too which I tried to get on video before they were out of sight….

Plenty of competition for food.

Squadron Leader and his mate.

On a mission.

Crevan and Pat both hooked into 2 decent fish at the same time as we drifted over a drop off, among st the chaos of the 2 lines crossing and tangling, we approached a line of pots at pace. The result was Crevan landed his and Pat lost the lure and fish on the Pot rope….he was not a happy camper!

Crevan with his fish and Pat with…that smile is fake!

Barry with a Pollock taken on a Wave Worm.

This plump Wrasse hit my Fin S worked hard on the bottom.

The Business End.

Majority of fish were in the 3-5lb bracket with a few over to 8lb.  A lot of Wrasse in the 2-3lb bracket too. Codling were scare, we only encountered a handful of them during the day. Coal fish were also fairly elusive on the day.

The local KIlmore Seal.

Under water view.

No particular lure or color stood out during the day, the speed of the drift stopped us from settling on one area too long.

We went out again last weekend and it proved to be alot more productive, update to follow soon.

Your next one could be your best one.

Danny





A look back at last week end.

3 05 2012

The weather was atrocious, not to put too fine a point on it. Friday afternoon arrived again and we were free from the shackles of work, regardless of weather there was only one direction were we heading …seawards.

The tide was looking OK with a nice peak time, the plan had been agreed days in advance so there was no messing about, we got in there like swimwear!

Rolling in.

The chosen mark has been good to us on weaker tides, but this time it was choked with suspended weed, small fragments littered the layers. A couple of seals were approx 200yards further out than usual, they know the game and were out there for a reason. Our stubbornness saw us fish on for 2 fruitless hours, we don’t give in too easily. We scouted the area constantly moving as usual looking for a small break in the weed, we came across a fantastic looking area, previously overlooked . Our thoughts were confirmed by a couple of Gannets patrolling a very tight area for 30mins or so. This area was clean with a great flow through it, but we happened upon it to0 far into the tide, the area we wanted to get the lures into was just out of reach this time.

A quick look at the watch indicated 60mins of rising water left, options limited with weather and tide we made a call and gave the Pony some nuts ( Copy Right Pat Gahan 🙂 ).

We arrived on the second location but Crevan was not convinced, communicated through ‘Im not feeling it’ ( Copy Right Crevan 🙂 ). I was feeling the Buzz so there was no debate from me, I was down to the mark as quick as I could set the pace. I Dont think Crevan and Pat were sharing my Buzz, I was just happy to be out of work/house for a few hours and no weed was gonna take the shine off it!

We split up a few hundred yards apart, conditions were better here, and it wasn’t long before Crevan changed his tune, I could he was bent into the first fish in the distance and Pat confirmed it as he raced across the rocks. I followed suit and grabbed a quick picture and called Barry to tell him it was worth coming out for a while.

Is this man feeling it ?

I made my way back and began fishing again, and was soon rewarded with a nice fish which fell to an X-140 on an erratic retrieve. A bit of commotion followed before the fish was brought under control, it was a lively one, long lean with a big head.

The business end.

The Release,
The Release,

Did I say I had a Buzzz…. Pat joined me and we fished into the fall, I connected with and landed another Bass, this time the fish took took the lure very timidly, similar to a take on ‘dead sticked’ soft plastic. I unhooked the fish in the water and it shot off, I think shes been here before!

Barry arrived soon after and made his way with Crevan to another vantage point out of sight. Pat and myself fished on, moving in the opposite direction. The moon lit the sea up nicely as the Northerly wind gathered pace, the tide continued to fall… I hooked into another fish awhile later the rod arched, drag chimed and then the fish was gone. That was to be the end of the action for us, it was becoming bitterly cold so we called a halt. Barry and Crevan met us on the way back, turned out Crevan landed a nice 6lb Bass which gave him a great fight on his first cast into a nice flow of water. He was certainly felling it now 🙂

That was all my fishing for last week end, fingers crossed for this weekend we might just get out on the boat in Kilmore for the first time this year….

Your next one could be your best one.

Danny.





A look back on last season.

14 01 2012

A Belated Happy New Year To You 🙂

Just like that we are back at the beginning of another year, how quickly did that season go eh? Only felt like a few weeks ago we were hitting those early spring Bass and hoping for an epic season. . .

Hope To See You Again In 2012

A quick reflection:

Spring
Started well and fished well up until the Ban. Good quantity and quality of fish were landed and released early April to mid May. Hitting the hard and soft plastics with venom.
There was no consistent pattern to the preferred lure type, they seemed to hit most lures when presented correctly.

Summer
Started slow with quantities landed down on previous years. A slight peak in catches in the last two weeks in July before the Bass done their usual August lure avoidance act!.  The fish appeared to be more timid with there takes during this period.
The Wrasse fishing really picked up with some decent size fish taking soft plastics fished slow.
Soft plastic picked up the majority of the coy fish during this period.

Autum
The weather played havoc with any planned trips but when we did manage a session we got some decent fishing in with good quality Bass Wrasse and Pollock landed from shore and boat.
Hard plastics fished very well during this period.

Winter
We managed a few fish in the first two weeks of November before the blanks arrived and we called it a year on the lures.
Soft Plastics accounting for the fish we encountered.

My last fish of 2011

Two most successful lures I used in 2011 was:

Hard Plastic     

Mega Bass X140

Soft Plastic

Storm Sand Eel

Best Fishing Purchase 

Fuji Film XP30 water proof camera (see Blog pictures)

Personal Bests

Shore

Bass        12lb +

Pollock  9lb

Wrasse  5lb +

Boat

Wrasse 5lb +

Thanks for taking time to have a look at the Blog in 2011.

I did not get out as much as I wanted to in 2011, so the quantity of posts was lower than I would have liked but sure there is always 2012 to get back on track. Barry has just started 2012 with a BANG ….report to follow.

Your next one could be your best one.
Danny.





On the Reefs in November

30 11 2011

With the curtain closing in on the Bass season and the weather taking a turn for the worse, my mood followed suit. Spring is a long time away ….

A weather window had presented itself and it was decided that Pat was gonna get the Wahoo wet one more time this year, one last throw of the dice for the Soft Plastics over the reefs of Kilmore was on the cards.

Barry, Crevan, Pat and myself were on the slip for first light, boat launched, gear on board and smiles all round as we rounded the West pier and pushed out into the calm morning.

November morning in the South East

Rigging up the Soft Plastics on route to our first location, sure the buzz was only mighty, I was in my element. This was only my second trip on board Wahoo this year… scandalous carry on!!  It then came to light that some members of the Crew brought bait … Sacrebleu !!!  They doubted the pulling ability of SP’s over the reefs this late in the season.  Undeterred Barry and myself would not be turned, we would fly the flag for the lures 🙂

The fishing followed a similar trend that we have come accustomed to over the last few years, excellent fishing early in the morning, which then turns patchy as the day progresses over the neap tide.

As the tide ebbed it created a nice rip over some of the marks which is ideal for some good Pollock on the SP’s

This 8lb+ Pollock took a Lunker City Fin S + 35g Jig Head twitched over a 30ft drop off.

Pat landed this fine Pollock when he switched back to the SP's !

We picked up cod to 5lb over general ground, hitting the SP’s hard and giving a very good account of themselves.

Barry with a nice cod caught on a Hazedong.

Crevans Cod was not caught on Bait !

We picked up 4 Ling on the SP’s, and lost some better ones when they cut through the 25lb leader with their razor sharp teeth. Excellent fight out of these fish on the light gear.

A Storm Sand Eel & a Hazdong ensured this double hook up over a small peak.

Again I encountered a lot of Wrasse while experimenting with different lures, the lads had a good laugh every time I pulled one up…. It became ridiculous at one point, a Wrasse a cast for a duration 🙂

A Specimen Wrasse in November. This Wrasse took a One-Up shad on a 25g Jig Head.

Happy Days.

The fish seemed to be hitting above their weight at this time of year. Some fantastic battles played out over the day with a boat full of smiley heads all round.

Barry battling a morning Pollock.

Pat having success Gilling the SP's.

Meanwhile on the bait rods...

The bait the lads brought along was fresh Sprats averaging around 3 inches long and frozen Mack. These were tried in various ways; on jig heads/feathers/hokkai’s/jigs/flying collar etc and the results were not good. The lads switched back to the SP’s after awhile and got in on the action. They tried the bait at various times through out the day but it was not attracting much attention from any species on the day.

We encountered 6 species in total; Pollock, Cod, Coal Fish, Wrasse, Ling & Poor Cod. Quantity wise I reckon we hit a few hundred ( I didn’t take many pictures – caught up in the buzz!). which brought an end to another season afloat for us. New Years resolution is to get out more on the boat next year!

Another Wrasse.

Fearless.

A Kilmore resident.

Where the rough meets the smooth.

Rear view from Wahoo.

The Killarney heading out to meet one of her colleagues from across the water.

A great sight.

Well that’s another season over from the boat perspective. What fishing we had was of excellent quality and quantity.
Casting up tide of underwater structures and waiting for your lure to hit the zone is something I will miss over the next few months after getting the buzz back from this trip. If you have an opportunity to out in Kilmore late in the season either on a mates boat or a Charter boat I would highly recommend it 🙂

The Lure Boat season comes to an end for us in 2011.

  Your next one could be your best one.

Danny.





The Kilmore Challange….

6 11 2011

Kilmore in November

We spent the day aboard Wahoo today out on the reefs of KIlmore.

Bait Versus Soft Plastics

Pat and Crevan were on the Bait for a duration.

Barry and Danny flew the flag for the lures.

Care to hazard a guess on the results?

Report to Follow
Danny.