GO TO http://www.angling-ireland.com/ TO find out more
GO TO http://www.angling-ireland.com/ TO find out more
Over the Last few year, I fished for stingrays in Tralee bay at least 10 full days with Dan lynch. With every trip and every fish we landed, we learned more and more about the bay. Through every flood and ebb of the tide, we would move to different locations of the bay for the next tide to start. We learned that certain sections of the bay fish better at different times of the tide. After many wasted hours catching nothing, [or should I say learning hours], we started to get a patterns on how and where the fish are through different stages of the tide. We decided to put our theory to the test last year. The plan was to move to the different spots at certain stages’ of the tide the minute the rods went quite
The weather in 2016 slightly improved in April last year and as we had nothing else to hunt for we decided to give it an early start in Tralee bay
Six am we were at the slipway getting ready for the day light to make an appearance so we could head to the monk hole for the start of the tide
As we arrived at the monk hole at the far side of the bay, we could see some kayaks heading towards us. As we dropped our baits to the bottom, the kayaks were starting too anchored outside us. It is a cool way to fish but I think fishing for fish that could kill you on an oversize surfboard is quite dangerous. I am not having a go at kayaking as I am thinking of buying one myself.
A growing sport is kayaking for rays, if you are unsure of the dangers of fishing for stingrays try to get a local kayak-fishing guide to bring you out and remember a small stinger sting is as deadly as a big one think safety first.
As we fished, the morning breeze got that bit colder and as the tide started to turn, I got a dog type bight on my rod. As I picked up the rod, my reel started to scream, I lifted the rod firmly to set the hook. With the fish using the tide to its advantage, it was hard to say how big it might be. As the ray breached the surface for the first time, we could see it was in around specimen weight. As it dove for the fifth time I could feel it was getting tired, as it came to the surface once more Dan was able to put the net underneath it, I eased off the pressure to let the tide push it into the net. With the fish on board, we drop the anchor buoy over the side, and headed to the shore to weigh it. As the weighing scales hit the 30lb mark, I jumped with excitement. With the photo taking and the fish put back, we headed back out.
My first specimen stingray of 30lb that I caught on crab in Tralee bay, a hard-earned fish that was well worth the effort over the last few years.
With the stage of the tide over on this spot, we headed up further in the bay to get ahead of them in our second spot. With the anchor down and rods out it did not take long before Dan got a small male undulate ray and a few minutes later, I landed a small painted ray.
Dan with a small undulate that was caught on a strip of mackerel on a size 3/0 hook
My second fish of the session was a male painted ray that took a sand eel on a flowing running trace
As it was approaching midday and the tide, starting to weaken it was time to head to the b&b to freshen up from our three am start. With a quick shower and feed, we were back in the water heading to spot three. The winds were warmed as the sun came out. it got so hot sitting in the cabin that I had to take off my flotation suit. Remember if changing into lighter clothing; make sure to put your life jacket on. With a few small Thornbacks rays and dogfish returned it was time to fish mark four with a quick a careful spin across the bay minding not to hit the sand bars. We arrived just as the tide was at its strongest. At this stage of the tide, the fishing is better for Thornback and undulate. Six or so of each were landed in that two hours, mostly caught by Dan. Redemption for me was when I landed a pup Tope and stinger, and just before the fishing tapered off I got a surprise when I landed a small turbot.
This pup Tope was a first for me in Tralee bay I would love to catch more of them in the larger models.
A small stinger can be as deadly as a large stinger in some case more so as they can whip there tale twice as fast as there larger brothers and sisters.
This stunning looking turbot put a great end to an enjoyable fishing day
Day 2 was the total opposite; the winds were ten miles faster and coming from the west. The weed was becoming a problem and the cloud cover brought the temperatures down to six to eight degrees, and the swells made it too dangerous to go into the shallow spots, We made a decision to call it a day and weight for the next good spell.
It was the following Saturday the weather forecast was given good with light winds and good sunny spells. Like last week end we headed off again at three am and was fishing by seven am. This time we were going to fish for the day as our second day was a disaster the week previous. With the boat in the same gps mark all was left was to bait our hooks and get them to the bottom. A few hours passed before the tide started to run this was because that they were neap tides. As the tide started to push in the bay, I landed an undulate then Dan landed one.
These 55cm amazing looking undulate rays can grow a small bit larger and as they are back on the length base specimen list of 59cm it has made me want to catch more of them.
With the rod back in the water we suddenly saw a large sting ray jump out of the water and as Dan said did you see that his rod was nearly pulled clean over the gunnel thank god for his drag was set. With the ray twisting and turning trying, everything to get free, but lucky for Dan the hook had a good hold. When I slipped the net under the fish Dan gave a cheer. With the boat on sour the scales needle spun until it hit over the 40lb mark, what a fish. With the pictures taking and the fish swimming slowly along the shore. Dan jumped back into the boat and started the engine and we went back fishing. As we were talking about that fish and were laughing about we could go home now my rod screamed off and like a flash my rod was in my hand [yes my fishing rod,] and as I was tighten the drag the fish started to swim up tide to me. I gathered as much line as fast as humanly possible, then the fish kiting across the tide it was putting a lot of strain on my up tide rod. it took a couple of minutes more before I could get it under control. With the fish board and unhooked we put it in the sling for a quick weigh and as it went over specimen weight we untied the anchor and headed to the beach. like minutes before the fish brought the needle to over the specimen weight 33lb to be exact. We stayed fishing for a few more hours without going to our other spots. We had a few dogs but we did not care we had our specimen stingers that we worked so hard for we were packed up by half three and home just after six pm what a relaxing day.
Some of the ways I prepare my bait mackerel strip, sand eel and peeler crab.
Dan with his first specimen stingray that weighed over 40lb happy days.
This 33lb stinger put that warm feeling that you get when everything goes right
when putting back rays from a boat make sure they are upright and ready to swim off
The smooth hound season starts around the end of May and runs right through the summer months, all depending how warm or cold the seas are. Last year I didn’t get a chance to go beach fishing or chartering for smoothies. That I sorely missed but this year I got a call off my friend Damo to see if Dan and I would like to go on a trip for hounds with Kit Dunne, a well-known skipper in Wicklow. With the day booked off from work all that was left to do was get some crab. With the peeler crab scarce in Cork, I had to ask Glenn and Killian, the other Dublin lads to add another fifty crab onto his order for me. With the weather looking good and a few specimen smoothies being caught, we set off on the three-hour drive from Cork. As Dan and I arrived at the dock, Kit was on his boat, ready and waiting with the engine running as the lads loaded the gear. Within minutes, we were on the way. It was a nice change not to have to launch our own boat!
Lisin 1 and the Castle Maiden are docked in Wicklow harbour
The Lisin 1 and the Castle Maiden are 10.5-metre (35′) offshore 105 boats with spacious deck and cabin space, ideal for fishing or simply relaxing while taking pleasure in the scenic views. They are fast, modern, fully licensed and equipped with all the relevant navigation, fish finding and safety equipment. Insured to comfortably carry 12 passengers plus 2 crew.
Boat charters with a qualified skipper at all times for Angling, Heritage, Scenic and Wildlife Tours, Safety Boat, Dive Charters, Surveys and Passages. All charters have the provision of a safe and secure trip on-board and a comfortable stable boat with inside and outside seating, toilet facilities and complimentary tea & coffee.
Kit Dunne is a highly qualified and experienced skipper/angler with more than 30 years angling and boat-handling experience, numerous Team Ireland caps, coupled with coaching qualifications. As a local Wicklow man with experience in the RNLI, Kit has a wealth of knowledge of the local coastline, maritime history, safety at sea and the angler’s needs.
After a short journey we were at one of Kits renowned hound marks. He quickly dropped the anchor and when the boat settled, we dropped our baits to the bottom along with it. As our baits hit the sea bed Damo shouted “ten euro a man for the biggest smoothie” When fishing for smooth hounds always have a steady number of extra peeler crab peeled and ready to hook on. The reason is that the faster you get scent in the water the greater the chance of hooking larger hounds. The key for success I have found on these charter trips is to get a bait back to the bottom as fast as possible. Dan and I were soon landing numbers of smooth hound and so were the lads from Dublin. However, as they were catching the larger ones there was another bet announced from Damo which was “Cork vs. Dublin” With the deal agreed, Dan and myself had to pick up the pace, as there was now three anglers against two of us. I changed from a single Pennel rig to a double Pennel flowing trace, which I loaded with crab.
Crab peeled and cut, bait elastic ready. All I would do after unhooking a fish is wrap the next bait over the used bait on the hook. This will keep your bait large enough and appetising for the bigger smooth hounds
Keep a steady supply of crab peeled at all time and keep them covered from direct sun light to keep them fresh, juicy and in good condition
To be honest, with both smoothies and dogfish coming on board fast and furious between us all, it was hard to keep up with peeling the bait and, with the tide pulling harder as time passed, we had to put on a pound and a half to two pound of lead just to hold bottom. With my bait nailed to the sea floor Kit kindly made us our first cups of tea and coffee of the day. With that I put my rod in the strap that are on the gunnel rails and I loosened the star drag on the reel to ensure it didn’t get pulled over the side as I enjoyed my lunch. With just one bite taken out of my sandwich, I got a decent bend on the rod and then the reel started to empty. My reaction was to grab the rod and for the thousandth time I spilled my tea and dropped my lunch all over the deck. [Typical – always happens when you are having your lunch]. With the fish hooked and staying deep, I was hoping it was just one big fish on my two-hook rig. As it came up under the boat I could see it was indeed on its own and of a nice size too. With the smoothie landed, we put it on to the measuring mat and it was shy of the new length based specimen size. We knew it was over the weight though so I put it into the live-well so it could be weighed on land a few hours later.
My first specimen smooth hound of 2016 that weighed 8lb
As Dan and I fish as a team whenever we fish together, we like to joke around and tag each other in for the next specimen. Unbelievably, within a few minutes of me doing this on board Kit’s boat Dan was fighting a good fish! When we got it aboard and on the mat we realised that it was like mine; it didn’t have the length to be a length-based specimen but did look the weight so, as there was plenty of space in the live well, in it went too along with my fish.
Dan with his 7lb 10oz smoothie that took three crab on a 4/0 Pennel flowing trace
Whilst Dan was re-baiting, team Dublin took their turn at the back of the boat as there complaining that all the fish were back there and not on their side. With the lads at the back and Dan and I at either side the funny comments started to being whispered, like “we’ll show those Cork lads now” Then my reel screamed into action with a heavy weight thumping the rod, and as it neared the surface I could see it was a nice Thornback ray.
my first Thornback ray off kits boat
As I dropped my bait back down as quickly as I could, Dan and the lads were into more fish. Damo and Killian were first in with their smoothies and then Dan landed his hound, all 12lb 8oz of it – what a cracker, and even better it was caught from the side of the boat where there were apparently no fish! It was the largest hound of the trip so far.
Dan with this 12lb 8oz smooth hound that was the winner of the heaviest hound of the day
With every drop from then on, hounds and dogs were landed but the specimens slowed up until I had a lovely run from a 7lb 4oz fish, my second specimen of the day.
it can be super fishing up the east coast especially when you have a good skipper and landing quality fish like this 7lb 4oz hound
As the tidal pull had nearly stopped at this stage, I was surprised that all our rods were still thumping over with fish. Not that we minded, of course! Then to top off the day myself and Dan got another nice surprise each; Dan landed a bass, a first off Kit’s boat and I landed a good size Bullhuss.
a nice surprise at the end of the day, Dan with a bass and me with a Huss
with kit calling lines up team cork chaired and the competition results were called out. the “largest smoothie of the day” bet as proposed by Damo went to Dan lynch and the best team “Cork vs. Dublin” challenge, went to cork.
Dan winner of heaviest specimen fish and team cork takes most specimens
The McCormack twins Glenn and Killian, Damo, Dan and myself had a grate day fishing and the crack with the lads on the boat was mighty
Damo and Killian with a pair of hard fighting hounds caught on large crab baits at the back of the boat
Tips on How to calm a specimen smooth hound 1]Have a registered weighing scales and a IFI measuring mat
2] After landing the fish weigh it and if it is over specimen weight for that year put it on the mat and put it noes to the up stand of the mat and stretch it out straight along it, then take a photo. If it is over one meter and you have no scailes it can be claimed as a length base specimen
3] Take a clear photo of it mouth
4] Then take a photo of you holding it
5] Down load and print out specimen forms from http://www.irish-trophy-fish.com and fill out and send them to c/o inland fisheries Ireland, 3044lake drive, citywest business campus, Dublin 24
Until next time
Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga)
Female’s tuna produce between 800,000 and 2.6 million eggs, which hatch within two days. After the eggs hatch, the fish begin to grow fast and they remain close to this area for the first year of their lives. After their first year, they begin to migrate in search of larger food pray. Albacore tuna have a lifespan of 11 to 12 years, but they reach reproductive maturity at around five to six years. They can weigh over 60kg and grow to over 1.5meters in length. The best method is trolling artificial baited near the surface or at a certain depth. Behind the boat. Several lines can be trolled at the same time, by using outriggers, it keeps the lines away from each other and you can position the lures at different ranges to stop tangles as the boat is turning. Like most fish in the sea, albacore accumulates Methyl mercury in body tissue over time. It will naturally remove from the body, but it may take over a year for the levels to drop significantly after digesting by humans. With high and low levels of exposure to it, mercury can be extremely harmful to people. Infants with higher prenatal exposure to mercury than the FDA suggested level have delayed psychomotor development in baby’s that are developing in the womb, these include: loss of neurons in the brain lobes, blindness, deafness, and mental retardation. The Irish record albacore is 29.96 kg, Caherciveen, 2007 Specimen weight: 26.46 lbs (12 kg)
Using outriggers will increase your catch rate and with a bit of practice you can position your lures in a way that when you turn the boat in a slow ark they won’t get tangled
This year I got an invitation from mike Dennehy and James Walsh [Pedro] to go for albacore tuna aboard the silver dawn. As I was talking to the lads they gave me a list of what I needed and to be ready for the break in the weather. With all eyes on all-weather sights hoping for light easterlies winds. As the long rang forecast was looking good for the 5 to 7 September. The lads contacted me and said it looking go.With the trips, going ahead mike and Pedro decided to steam from kinsale to Portmagee, as it would be shorter and less fuel used for the second trip. As I had a fore wheel drive mike asked me could I bring down there bowser (which is a fuel tank) as it would be fare easier and neater than drums of fuel. With theSilver dawn docked at Portmagee it was time to refuel. With all crew members accounted for all was left was to get some sleep before our early start to the tuna grounds.
From kinsale to Portmagee in seven hours and with the boat refueled all was left was to get some sleep before a 3am departure
With the crew on board, we still had about four hours before we would reach our destination. With a mile to go we got our rods ready and out riggers set up, I still could not believe that I had a chance of catching an albacore tuna. As the boat slowed we put one rod out at a time, the diving baits first then the surface ones on the outriggers and middle rod holders.
As the lures were working, the sun started to rise over the horizon it was then the excitement started to kick in
It took just over an hour before the first run, which was on my rod and as the fish was peeling the line off my reel, it got off. I truly felt sick. With the lure checked and back out it only took a few minutes before Pedro rod was buckling. With the first fish landed, we were all looking at our rods as minutes turned into an hour I was wondering did I lose the chance of landing my first albacore, it was nine o clock when Robert and Ross lures were into tuna but sadly Ross lost his after a few seconds. As rob was fighting his fish it was giving long runs and diving hard. At that moment, I really wanted to land one.
Rob Vaughan with a hard fighting albacore tuna that took a surface lure that was set up to the outrigger
As the day was pushing on, I said to myself I still have tomorrow to catch one, when suddenly three rods sprang into action, paddy, Ross and mine. With Ross’s fish nearly betting it gave a last few head-shakes that freed it [sick]. With every other run and head-shake, our fish made, paddy and I were praying that they would stay on. After another minute or so of nerve- racking moments the fish were on their side and it was only when Pedro and rob got the tuna on board we could relax and enjoy the experience of Irish albacore tuna fishing. Sadly, there were the last tuna of the day.
Paddy and myself with our first ever tuna and even better we caught them in Irish water
With the boat back in Portmagee, it was time to refuel ourselves like the boat. With a huge burger and fries and a few pints of coke to wash it down, I could feel myself starting to relax and was looking forward to the next run at them. It was not long before my 2.45 am alarm was going off then the four lads from Dublin were on the pare. With the boat started and the crew on board we headed back out were we caught the tuna. As we were on the tuna grounds, I asked mike could I use my shark fly rod set up and he said if it is up to the job ok but if not put out your 30lb set up. Therefore, with the belief in my fly rod she was set up. With the rod locked into the rod holder, I could see the teaser skipping along the surface. It was a few hours before the magnum plug was hit and then the outrigger rod was slammed, then another three-rod. With the reels loosing line and the lads trying to avoiding there lines crossing, my fly reel stated to go. What a crack. What mike advised us to do was leave some tuna take line as two anglers at a time tried to bring their fish to the boat, this worked a treat.( you can’t bate experience). With all fish on board including my fly rod caught tuna,( that I believe is a first to be done in Irish water) it was time to take a picture.
From left to right Pedro, Joe Divito, Robert Vaughan, Dónán mac Domhnaill, Oisín Mac Domhnaill with some cracking tuna that gave a good account of themselves, I was unable to join them as I was taking the picture
My first tuna on my shark fly rod set up or should I say my new tuna set up what a crack and it may be a first albacore tuna to be landed on a fly rod in Ireland
As mike turned the boat to go over them again, we all scrambled to get out our rods. as we, neared the spot Anthony rod screamed off then robs and Dónán rod. With their fish, diving and twisting trying to shake the hook they soon got them under control and as they came to the surface Pedro and Joe was able to get them a board.
Rob Vaughan, Anthony Hudson (Normally known as HOOK) and Dónán with another three albacore that all took surface lures and as we all agree Mike and Pedro are some men to find tuna.
With the decks cleared there was buzz of excitement on the boat we put out the rods like prows and started to talk about how strong the tuna are. As we, trolling mike shouted there is fish marking and then my fly rod reel started to scream, as I tightened the drag mike put the boat into neutral. I started to wind hard keeping pressure on the fish, as the fish seen the boat it dove hard. I had the drag set quite tight on the reel that made the rod doubled over; it took all the pressure that the tuna was dishing out with ease.
My fly rod with ease was taking all the punishment that the tuna was dishing out what a feeling as it was diving
After a few hearth, thumping minutes I had the fish on board and we were off trolling again. With the day, all most coming to an end, Pedro changed the colour of his surface lure to see would it tempt one more strike. With only fifteen minutes left before lines in Pedro rod awoke with the sound of the drag, the line was peeling off his reel. As Pedro is experienced with much larger Tuna, he soon had it under control. As rob pulled the albacore aboard mick said it time to go. What a great way to end a day.
Pedro keeping steady pressure on the tuna and after a fun battle this 20lb tuna was the prize
My second tuna on my fly rod that is my new PB Tuna at 18lb well worth the money on spent on the set up (many thanks to Richard and the lad in village tackle that made the fly rod for me and to mike and Pedro who made it possible to go after them)
As we headed in the sun started to set on a clam sea I hope to see it again after another albacore tuna trip
Tips and gear
1 A 30lb class rod and reel out fit with the reel loaded with 60lb braid
2 80lb fluorocarbon for your trace attached to a strong swivel
3 good quality plugs that dive a few feet to plugs that can dive at least 30feet
4 some surface lures
5 a frothy foot boat or bigger with twin engines if you can’t afford one make sour when you are thinking about going you are on one
A picture of some lures that will work for albacore tuna I bought these from Dan in halfway angling I was surprised of how much tuna gear he had in stock
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A GOOD READ
Check out Irish angler digest in any good newsagent or download it for €2
TUNA FISHING WITH MIKE DENNEHY AND JAMES WALSH FROM PAGE 55 TO 58
The Thin lipped mullet is a species of fish in the Mugilidae family. It hunts in shallow waters around Europe and is a migratory species.The thin lipped mullet has an elongated body and the head is short and flattened, its mouth is broad with a narrow upper lip and no tubercles. It is steely blue along the back as it swims through the water. It maximum length is around 70cm, with the average being around 35cm. The largest specimens recorded weighed over three kilograms. Spawning takes place at sea, near the coast between September and February. Specimen weight is 1.6kg and the Irish record is 2.86 Kilo taken on 23.8.2014 by Ian Mulligan at Clonakilty.
I have been fishing for mullet for many years but it is only in the past few that I realised that we were catching a few thin lips amongst the golden grey mullet. I got interested in hunting for thin lipped when I learnt how to tell them apart from thick-lipped mullet. This happened by chance one day when Terry Jackson, my son Derick and I were fishing together. On that day we found a small shoal of mullet that we all cast to and as we started to retrieve we all hit fish one after another. As I seemed to have the smallest fish on, it came in faster and to my surprise, it was a Goldie. Then Derick landed his. It looked a bit different to a ‘normal’ grey mullet and had a smaller top lip. I asked Terry to have a looked at it and he agreed it was a thin lipped. With that, Terry eased off a little on the clutch on his reel as he was hoping that the fish he had on was one too. As it got close to the net, we knew it would make specimen weight if it was a thin lipped. The more the fish fought the more we thought it was one. I could see that Terry was getting nervous, scared he might lose it until finally it was in the net. As we turned its head to look at it mouth we could see it was in fact a thick lipped, not a thin after all.
Derick with his first thin lipped mullet that helped me to tell the difference between the species
Since that day I have looked at every mullet’s top lip just in case. This year as I was fishing through the summer months looking for some specimen sized thin lipped, I was able to scratch out a few locations that seemed to hold only grey mullet. I found wherever you catch golden greys you have a good chance of some thin lipped as well. The first thing is to find fish and keep fishing over them, and with every hook up take your time regardless of size (as a small mullet may be a big golden grey!). Most thin lipped will be around 2lb and if there are small ones you can bet there will be some larger ones as well.
When landing a fish in the surf keep the rod high because there is less line for the waves to catch and this will help to stop hook pulls
Tip on Maddie’s
The top bait is Maddie’s [harbour rag]. Most slob banks will have Maddie’s but for easier digging, you need a bit of sand and shale. They are quite easy to dig, as they are less than a fork deep. You can often have over thirty per scoop. If you are digging bait for a few days’ fishing you should separate them into daily groups, then wrap them in kitchen towel, and put a drop of fresh seawater on it every day to dampen it.
Digging for maddie’s: first find your spot of muddy shale/sand and with every forkful break up any lumps. As you pick out the maddie’s be careful, they are easy to damage. As you can see six forkfuls gave me enough worms for a good few hours fishing
With the bait got and separated, the next thing is what rig to use. To be honest the only way is to spin for them. I have seen the same rig set up used in different ways; some use beads above a Maddie-baited hook below a size two Mepps, others have the Mepps about ten inches from the hook, some fish size three blades and so on. They all work because the maddie’s are spun with an attractor [Mepps or blades]. To get extra distance on your cast try a bombarda float
A bombarda float that has float stops above and below it that is then tied to a swivel. Tie at least three feet of line and add your Mepps or blade, followed by another piece of line, whatever length you want, with a size 10 to 6 hook. Around one to four maddie’s should be enough.
Everyone who has fished for mullet this year has noticed that the mullet stocks are at an all-time low and the answer to that is over fishing by commercial boats. The mullet species have no chance because there are being hit by the large commercial herring vessels in the open sea as they shoal up to migrate. I have been told that these boats “accidently” board tens of tons at a time and then “accidently” sell them for a huge profit. People don’t realise that there is no quota for mullet, and they are an easy target for fast money. Whatever the large boats miss the smaller local netsmen get them as they come into the estuaries to spawn. This means there will be no recruitment that year. It is a lose, lose for the mullet stocks. I cannot understand why the people in power of our fish stocks don’t put a ban on taking mullet before it is too late.
This cracking bass took two maddie’s as there were being retrieved through the water. As I was fighting it I thought it was a huge thin lipped mullet!
With the lack of mullet this year, I still had a few lucky fish in between some hard fishing. As well as mullet on harbour rag, I was landing bass, tiny turbot, weever fish, sea trout, mackerel and sand eels.
Sand eel, small bass, a tiny guppy and a palm size turbot all love rag as I found out
Lesser weever fish will take maddie’s so if you see a small silver fish dangling from the hook be careful because the spines are poisonous and will cause a lot of pain
One morning as I landed a nice Goldie I was asked had I ever done the “grand slam of mullet”, which I found out was a specimen grey, golden grey and thin lipped. My answer was yes, but not in one day! I have caught all three in one day but not all at specimen size. Therefore, with that question I had a new challenge to try and do this. Thinking about it, I realised all I needed was one more specimen this year, a thin lipped mullet for the greater grand slam. In my mind, it was my own version of Matt Hayes’ Greater Rod Race so with a new goal I decided to take the family to West Cork as the weather was going to be good and before all the mullet were netted out of the estuaries. After we settled in to our Clogheen Strand holiday home [that is bang in the middle of mullet heaven] my son and I decided to dig some maddie’s for an early morning session. The plan was that I was going to drive along the coast until I found fish crashing on the surface. My first stop that next morning was at Inchydoney beach. It’s a weedy area but still well worth a look, as I found out. Within ten minutes, I was into a large fish and as I netted it, I knew it was a grey mullet and over six pound.
This beach can be weedy at times but still is well worth a look when it calm as this 6lb 5oz thick lipped mullet proved
After about forty minutes and a few dropped fish the tide started to run hard and started to push weed with it. This made it unfishable so back to the jeep and on searching we went. As I was driving along looking at every beach, I found myself at Donore. I could see gulls diving and then Derick handed me the binoculars and said “I think there are some fish close to the beach”. How right he was. I could see fish hitting the surface and jumping. When we got to the spot we only had a few yards to walk before we were able to cast into the mullet shoal. With the usual Goldie taps on the rod as they hit the bait, I got that feeling they could be some specimens in amongst the shoal. With one small bass landed by Derick and a few fish lost, I found myself connected to an aerobatic fish that looked like a Goldie. It was and it was a specimen too! Two down, one to go.
This specimen Goldie brought an inner smile to me, as all I needed was a specimen thin lipped to do the one-day grand slam and at the same time do the greater grand slam
With just over three hours of fishing done, I believed I had a chance to catch a thin lipped before the end of the day; the only decision was where do I go? Therefore, with another look at the tide table, it had to be Courtmacsherry. I knew it was a long drive from where I was but Courtmac’ is the only place I have caught thin lipped halfway through the tide and if that did not work, I could hit Clonakilty or Rosscarbery as the tide was dropping back.As I arrived, I could see that the area was still clear of weed and there was a few fish moving along the surface. With the rods out it was time to sneak to the water’s edge and cast. As I needed a thin lipped, Derick decided to sit back and search the water for other fish for me. Each time I cast I could see a fish or two following the float and then turning away. This happened a few times too many, so I decided to shorten the line between the float and spinner. When I retrieved my next cast, I got slammed and the fish started to shake its head above the surface of the water. As I was fighting it, I could feel my heart thumping and then my hands started to quiver. It’s still nice to be excited when fighting a good fish after all these years. As the fish went into the net I could tell it was a thin lipped, but was it a specimen? As my son got the bag zeroed on the scales I un-hooked the fish. As it was being weighed I had my fingers crossed. Those few seconds felt like minutes as I waited for Derick’s answer… He smiled and said, “Well done, its 3lb 7oz”. What a day, all three-specimen mullet species and my new target broken. I can honestly say if all species of fish were protected, this country would be a gold mine and the economy would be boosted from angling tourism’s and the families that come with them.
A 3lb 7oz thin lipped made me feel like a millionaire, and made my goal a reality
Terry and Dan with their first thin lipped specimens and my daughter Amy learning how to spin for mullet
KINSALE CHARTERS TRIDENT KINSALE
With two spaces available for a shark trip aboard the Silver Dawn, my son Derick and I decided to go. It is a super boat to fish off, and Mike and James [Pedro] know how to find sharks. As we arrived the boat was ready to go, all was left was to get on board and catch some hook baits. After landing enough hook baits we decided to bag up the chum before it toughed out. The silver dawn it a quick boat and as you could guess it did not take long before we were at the right depths for sharks, that is anything over 180ft. with the gear out and the chum searching for sharks, it did not take long before a reel started to scream And then another. The fishing was hectic and saddle I was only able to take some pictures and a small bit of video. If you are thinking about shark fishing, you can book a trip through http://www.kinsalecharters.com
AMY MULLET FISHING OVER THE SUMMER, had her jumping with joy every time she landed a mullet big or small. i hope there is some mullet there for her to fish for in the years to come, as mullet are being netted to death all around Ireland it is hard to see a future for the specie
I HAVE AN ARTICLE IN IRISH ANGLER’S DIGEST FROM PAGE 22 TO 25 ABOUT THIN LIPPED MULLET, HOW TO CATCH THEM AND WERE TO LOOK
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A GOOD READ
Check out Irish angler digest in any good newsagent or download it for €2