Last year I was on to the Fenit marina , my 6.2-meter boat there for two months ‘April and May. As those months are off-season, it was at a lower cost, under 30 euros a week. Cost will vary…. for different sizes of boats. My first trip was with Dan at the start April it was cold and the water temperatures were well down. We fished all the areas that should have fish but there was not even a crab. We put in ten hours and we decided to take a trip out of the bay to see could we save a blank with a dogfish. We were at least four miles outside the lighthouse in deeper water we sat there for another hour without a touch. Dan dropped the size of his hook to a 2 and a smaller peace of crab looking for some type of flat fish. He got that lovely bend on hid quiver tip rod then the reel screamed off. With only a size 2-hook and 15lb line, the fish was bend and pulling every part of the fishing gear to its max. When it came to the surface, it was a cracking size stingray. with Dan battling it for another few minutes I slipped the net under it and brought it on board. What a way to save a blank. We have fished the same spot a good few times without even a dog. It was the only fish we had for 12 hours fishing. Weekend one over
Dan with this cracking 33lb stingray it was the only fish for 12hours fishing
I made a promise to my six-year-old daughter that if the weather was good and warm i would take her out on the sea boat. In addition, low and be hold the weather was super, now it was time to see had she her sea legs. The plan was to aim for a two-day session; this would be down to Amy if she were up for it and if there was fish around. As we arrived at the pear Amy was all excited for her first proper boat trip. As the boat was on the marina, it did not take long before we were at anchored and fishing. It was a slow start with only a few dogfish much improved since the last day. To be honest I was delighted to see her handling the dogs with ease. As the hours passed and the tide turned twice I taught it was going to be a bust until her rod bent over. It was crazy watching her fighting a ray. as the fish dove you could see her little feet move up to her toes and back down. I had to put my hand onto her life jacket for safety, as she was starting to struggle with it. As the leader came out of the water, I grabbed it and pulled the ray to the boat. It was a large undulate, Jorge grabbed the net and put it under it. As there is a length base specimen for them, [85cm is the target] we put it on the measuring mat. With the undulate on the mat, it measured 87.5cm what a good start to her boat-fishing specimens
With the undulate on the mat, it measured 87.5cm what a good start to her boat-fishing specimens . contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the measuring mat
Amy’s first undulate and it was a specimen. I was over the moon and she had a smile on her face that made the trip worthwhile.
We had another small male before the sun started to set, and as Amy wanted to stay out a bit longer, we decided give it one more hour before we headed into the marina. With the rod and bait settled it was amazing watching the sun disappear over the water and land.
Our boat and rods sitting still as the sun started to set
With the hour disappearing fast, I decide to give the boat a light wash down. As I lifted, the bucket of the water into the boat the butt of the rod hit me in the mouth and as I was just go to curse the reel gave a good few clicks. As I looked up the rod, it was bent over. Then Jorge said he was in a fish. With both rods bent, it did not take long before we had them to the surface. It was a male and a female undulate. That was it for another 10hours day
Amy gives the thumbs up for a good days fishing
With ever week that passed the fishing slightly improved but not as good as resent years. I think it is down to the lack of knowledge that the see anglers have. I say this because I have seen numbers of dead undulate and thornbacks dead along the pair [ especially after 2am] and I do believe if sings were placed along the pear with photos saying what fish were protected undulate, sting rays and angle sharks] a lot of the dead fish would have been put back alive.
With my good friend Jim Leahy living a few minutes from feint and he has a very good grasp of were the fish could be, he said he would shear a few marks to try out.
Jim and mike Dennehy showing us a mark in the middle of the bay that produced some nice rays
The next session  [over 57 hours of fishing for a hand full of undulates a few thorn-backs and dogs] Terry Jackson joined me, the weather was warmer and the water temperature was up and still it was hard going but we got what we were after, specimen undulates, Terry had two and I had one. Terry did his own article on it. See http://www.angling-ireland.com/
My first undulate ray length was 87.5cm the same as Amy’s, I fished a lot of hours for it over 80 hours [I am so so happy to get it]
My next trip was two weeks later with Terry and Amy the week after tag a ray. However, the fishing that weekend was good for the taging, when we were there it was awful really really bad. There was not a ray to be caught. Therefore, I phoned my friend Jim for some advice. He said the fishing was shocking for the last few days the only fish that was being caught was Tope. With that, he gave me a mark and I headed for it. It is a good spin from where we were but we had known choice but to go.
With the boat at anchor and the Tope rods out we decided to put some smaller baits out to see was there dogs and rays about. We were there for only a short time when we got a Tope run but it dropped the bait. By the end of that day, we had fore Tope, Terry with a forty pounder and Amy had two, the biggest was 26.5lb and I had one about the same. See http://www.angling-ireland.com/ for full story
Amy with her first Tope over 26lb
My next trip was a few weeks later, it was going to be for smoothhound off Wicklow. So with that trip planed by one of the lads i had to take my boat home and gave it the tlc it deserved, but sadly at the last minute the lad that planed it pulled out what a lot of time wasted getting ready for it. With the weather going to be super, I decided to go back to fenit. The main reason was my friend Jim and mick were going to head out to the 200ft plus marks looking for spur dogs, it is a fish I had not caught in years. It was going to be a double type of fishing trip, first day Tope and Undulate with Amy and Glenn. The next day was a two-boat trip for spur dogs. On my boat with me was Ross, Glenn and sidekick Amy on the other boat was Jim and mike.
As Glenn had a long drive from Dublin, we decided if he drove to my house, I would drive to Fenit with the boat so he got some sleep. As we arrived in Fenit Glenn opened his eyes and said what an amazing looking place and you could see the excitement building up in him. With very little effort, we had the gear in the boat and the boat in the water. the only thing was the chum bag
My boat ready for launch, feint bay was a flat as a pancake, what a morning
Amy getting stuck in and helping with the chum bag that had about ten different types of fish and smells to go with it
We were heading for the Tope mark first as the tide was pushing too hard for the monk hole. With the rods ready for action Glenn was saying a Tope of ten pounds would do him, as he never caught one before. As Glenn was taking some video shots I looked up, I could see his float running towards the boat. It was a Minnie version of when jaws was pulling the yellow barrel around
With the balloon passing the boat I said it is heading for the anchor, Glenn tightened up just as it hit the rope and with his quick reaction he got up to, the bow of the boat and got his rod and line under and away from the anchor rope
Glenn with his first Tope that weighed just over 25lb he had another over twenty about twenty minutes later. What a start to the day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JTG6FOke9c
As the tide started to slow, we decided to fish the slacker part of the tide in the monk hole. With the boat re-anchored and rods out it was time to sit back and take in the amazing weather we were having. As my eyes were starting to close Amy’s reel gave a few clicks and then nearly started to melt, what a run, as Amy got the rod in her hands I was hoping that she could manage the blistering run. With the Tope after taking a few hundred yards of line off the reel, Amy looked very comfortable fighting it. With nearly all the line back on the reel, I was able to grab the trace and pull it towards the boat. With the Tope on the deck and Amy in the cabin for safety [until I unhook the Tope and get it under control for a photo] it weight over 30lb her new PB
Amy’s new PB Tope just over 30lb she did a great job fighting it. Go to
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr6JYLcdBEE to see the run
As the tide slowed, I got an unexpected run off a Tope, it was on the ray rod that has 40lb mono and a small strip of bait. All I could do was try to enjoy it before it bit be off. As the fight was getting longer I was thinking the hook was in the corner of it mouth. Even if it was all it has to do is turn its teeth towards the line and it could be game over. With every head-shake my hearth was in my mouth. it was only until the net was under it that I could relax.
This mid thirty gave me grate sport on light gear
As the light started to fade Amy’s and myself were into an undulate ray each. With the rays in my red recovery bucket. I re-baited and dropped back down, as Glenn got the camera ready. As we were just going to lift the rays out of the water, the rod I just dropped down bent over. that turned out to be thorn-back ray
Two nice undulate and a thorn-back ray ready for their picture after been kept safe in the recover bucket
Buckets like this are necessary if you are thinking about fish safety, it keeps the fish active in water until you get yourself ready for a picture.
As the day was ending glen was still praying for a new specie that was an undulate. And just as I said five more minutes Glenn was into a fish, I had my fingers crossed that is was the fish he was after. In addition, as it breached the surface it was the second of his target fish for the trip. Spur dog next
Glenn with his first ever-undulate ray
As we were heading out of the Fenit bay at 6am in pursuit of spur dogs. we decided it was time to head in and get some sleep. As my alarm went off at 5.30am, I stretched my arms and legs and I could feel the heat of the morning sun rushing through my sleeping bag.it is so nice to have good weather.
With the jeep packed and everybody on board the boats, we started our engine and headed for Jims and micks mark. With a few stops on the way looking for mackerel, we were still there just over an hour and a half. The way they fish down there is drifting over a grid area [that Jim marked for me] then keep moving and searching until we find the fish. It only took a few drifts before we were picking off small spurs. Then we were getting a mixed bag of small fish [red gurnard and whiting] the fishing was like that all day, good fun and enjoyable. Then Ross had a large red gurnard that was lightly hooked, and as Glenn went down to grab it. Ross tried to pull it over the gunnels and by doing so the fish flew off the hook and swam back where it came from. [It was easily a specimen] we also had some octopi that Amy had some fun with. The fishing was enjoyable but as Glenn had a five-hour trip ahead of him when we got to dry land. We decided to go while the going was good.
Amy first time holding an octopus
Glenn with his largest spur of the day.
Remember life can be shorter than you thing so try to enjoy every minute of it. the resin I say this is that on the way home a deer hit glens car as he was on the motorway and he spun off the road the car was a right off, he was very lucky that there was no one killed or hurt
some pictures of the trips in Fenit
Boat fishing tips
- Fresh mackerel or good quality frozen is perfect other baits to try sand eel and crab
- when at anchor be quite and if the boat is moving side to side use heavy leads up to 12oz and loosen your drag on the reel just enough that when the boat moves the line will come off the reel. Your bait will stay in the same place and the fish can find it faster. You will get more takes by doing this.
- Tandem hooks 4/o 3/o are about the right size tide to 40lb or 50lb mono
- 20lb to 30lb rods are super but I still love putting an up tide stile rod out
- Multipliers reels and good fixed spool reels loaded with 40lb 50lb braid
- There are some large crabs called spiders crabs and will take you bait of your hook faster than a ninja and sometimes your hook will be gone
Spider crabs weighing over a kg can be common at certain times of the year
- when making a chum bag put the onion bag in a bucket and over the rim this will stop the deck of the boat getting slippery
8. a large bucket that can fit a large ray or 3 is necessary when you are into taking photos
looking forward to this year