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.

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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.





South East Smooth Hounds

21 06 2012

I am few weeks behind on getting reports up..

We managed to get 2 Smooth Hound sessions in during the Bass Ban.

Time to set the drag.

The first one was a seven hour session from 11pm – 6am which saw Barry, Pat and myself battle a lot of suspended weed for the whole session. We stubbornly would not give into the weed in our quest for our quarry. I landed an L.S.D first cast and a long lean bass a couple of casts later, both these by-catch took a liking to my frozen peeler crab presentation.

Unfortunately that was to be the only action we had for the rest of the session. Every cast the weed was engulfing the traces, dislodging grip leads and carrying lines down the beach at pace. It appeared the other anglers on the beach were experiencing similar difficulties with the weed, at one point we saw an angler running into the pounding surf around 5am, only to return with a rod and a tripod a few moments later, the weed nearly claiming his tackle!

The second session saw Barry, Pat, Tom and myself put in 4 hours on a rising tide into dusk. Conditions were calm and clear with no swell or surf. Our chosen bait was frozen peeler crab mounted on pennel pully rigs (3/0-4/0) match to 5oz breakaway grip leads,

My ingredients; Pennel Pulley Rig, 4/0 hooks, 5oz breakaway grip lead, bait elastic & frozen crab

Pat waiting to strike.

As expected the session started slow, with the sun nearing the horizon and the tide starting to push we were kept busy landing L.S.D.’s. before the pack moved in.

First cast an L.S.D.

Light faded and takes became more venomous, the pack was in the area as rods began arching over to the sound of us scrambling to adjust the drag. First the pup’s came before we started to connect with some larger fish.

Barry’s first hound of the session.

My first hound of the night.

Back ya go,

They don’t hang about.

Pat with another Hound.

Barry with another.

The fishing was frantic for a couple of hours, with multiple hook ups at all distances. The frozen crab was doing the business and keeping the rods bent for sport.

We called it a night with the fishing was still frantic, we had our sport, around 50 + Hounds between 4 of us in around 2 hours made up for the first session!

Your next one could be your best one.

Danny.





Wexford Shore Pollock

29 05 2012

We are currently near the mid point of the Bass Ban, and since the 15th of May we have turned our attention to the hard fighting crash diving Pollock. Care must be taken with these fish if you wish to release them. They are quite soft so care is needed when handling and releasing them.

Our Target

Conditions we favor for these great sport fish are; a medium to strong rising tide into darkness, high pressure and a calm to moderate sea.

Tackle is the same as what we use use for targeting Bass, for me that is a Teklon Concept Spin 702L, Twin Power 3000 SFC loaded with 20lb Power Shot and 20lb Flouro Leader.

Lures are similar too, the same soft plastic’s generally work well in close, with metal jigs up to 35g being favored for distance fishing.

Location will consist of deep water within casting distance, with a good kelp population and some sand patches.

Technique will vary from a quick steady retrieve to sink and draw at various depths.

We have been out a few evenings targeting these golden torpedoes with mixed results

The fist evening we connected with a few fish up to 3lb in close on the SP’s,with Crevan and Pat getting the spoils as I left early for work. They fished a 30min window before the fish moved on. The conditions were good with a slight Easterly wind, a small amount of weed soon cleared as the tide pushed in.

This Pollock took a Peaboy jig fished sink and draw at distance.

The following evening we encountered a serious amount of fish a good distance out on the jigs, these were good Pollock up to 5lb hitting and fighting extremely hard. It was great craic trying to keep them from crashing into the kelp on the lure rods.

Pat with a fine Pollock caught on a Peaboy Jig

We made another venture out on Sunday, the tide was nearing the neap and with no wind it made for a pleasant evening.  We tried several locations but the Pollock just did not show, Barry hooked a Billy no mates Mackerel on a Chartreuse Jig but that was all the action we seen. The swell and weed was quite heavy, which accounted for a few lost jigs!

Mackerel caught on a chartreuse Jig at distance

Next on the target list is Wrasse on the lure and Smooth Hound on the bait. Lets hope the weather holds up for the next few months…

End of another week

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.





Black clouds, brown water and a flash of Silver…

23 04 2012

Prime conditions for the Black Beetle it wasn’t !

Headed for the sea after work on Friday, Pat and myself scouted a few preferred marks but we were disappointed to see heavy seas creating a lovely brown band reaching from the shore to approx 100 yards out.  Varying wind direction made it difficult to assess the evening’s fishing. A call was made to try a mark that we very seldom fish, en-route we were joined by Barry & Crevan.

Some weather.

We made our way  down to the water and fired out a few lures for the last of the rise into crystal clear water. We could see Gannets bombarding the water further out but our offerings were not touched for around 30mins or so. We made a move and fished on, this time encountering alot of suspended weed which helped the decision to move again.

The wind had now changed direction to Northerly calming the sea some what, the inshore water in front of us appeared clear as we made our way down, we walked for a bit before splitting up, Barry & Pat taking a deeper vantage point, Crevan     attacking a flooded reef while I ventured on to an isolated rock some distance away.

It was cold and wet, and after 60mins I had 2 follows to show for my efforts, I could see see Barry & Pat now back up with Crevan as it was unfishable near the deeper water. I fished on working the lure as close as I possibly to a set of submerged rocks, the lure stops around 10 yards out and I knew it wasn’t stuck. Fierce head shaking followed a strong initial run before I finally landed the Silver. Happy out dot com !!

A Bass in tough conditions.

It was a reward catching it, you take for granted fish you catch on marks you are familiar with and it can  ‘some times’ become a formality on such a mark, not this time. This is a mark I wouldn’t be too familiar with which made it even better when the Silver hit.

We fished on as the tide dropped further out, the black clouds rolled in and dumped its load on us, we continued casting and moving before I hooked into another fish a few turns into the retrieve just over a submerged gulley. It was to be the last fish of the evening even though we fished on for another couple of hours as the rain got heavier…

Very Lean Bass.

A view from below.

Observations:


Both fish were very lean – possibly after spawing already.

Taking under water pictures in April is not good for the hands.

Tuesday looks like a good window !

Yor next one could be your best one.

Danny.