Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Good Weekend

Looking up the tides for the weekend they looked perfect for a cast for a bass. I recently purchased some new gear from Absolute Fishing in Tramore and couldn't wait to test it out. The gear included a new rod, the Graphiteleader Argento RV, 8.5ft rated 6-28g, aswell as a few new shiney lures. For a review on the rod click here.
Geared up I headed for the rocks on an incoming tide, 2 hours before the full. Checking out a few spots and concentrating my efforts on the most likely looking to produce a bass, an hour and a half had elapsed without as much as a sniff. Time was ticking now and reflecting on the terrain I had fished over I went back to the most likely looking of the lot and thought I'd spend the last push of the tide here. Clipping on a Megabass Zonk Gataride 120, I hurled it out into the fizz and on the 6th cast as it was coming by a rock out to the left of me I was smashed! Lifting into the fish the rod immediately keeled over as the fish made a dash for the rocks. Applying pressure and keeping the rod high I managed to steer her away and after a few seering runs for the open sea I managed to gain control and glide her onto the rocks behind.


After a couple of quick snaps I brought her over to a filling rock pool to let her recuperate. I was delighted to have caught my first big fish of the year. It made it all the sweeter that I had never seriously fished this place for a bass before and to have a result on the first outing was brilliant. Tides and date noted!
On the river Bandon fishing front, salmon have been very slow. Not many are being caught at all, especially with the dearth of fresh fish that seem to be running. Looking at the tide one evening for half an hour 3 is all I counted in the 6/7lb range. On another tide, it was 3 seals...
Sea trout however have been great for the time of year. Dropping river levels made night time fishing easier and I had good sport with sea trout to just over a pound weight, all fresh. Sink tip lines and big flies made it seem more like fishing in April or May, especially with the cold nights! Best time to be out was from the end of dusk to 11 at the latest as after this time it just got too cold and put the fish down. I couldn't tell any real difference between the effectiveness of dark or bright flies as I caught on flies form Alexandras to Stoats Tail's. I also caught on a self tied Executioner fly, which gave me great satisfaction and confidence in my fly tying. I haven't been fly tying for all that long but practise makes perfect! One thing to note was the amount of fish I lost, one night the tally being 9 after catching 3. Looking back the first 3 I hooked I landed, the rest were a matter of grabbing the fly, slashing at the surface and gone. The only reason I could put this down to was as the night was getting colder the fish seemed less reluctant to give chase, plus fresh sea trout means soft mouths. Great to have some night time sport again!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Sport in the salt

Nice to get away from the river now and again and in the last couple of years, although I haven't done it too often, going out lure fishing for bass is great fun. Some of my experience from fishing the river has helped, and some of what I have learnt whilst fishing in the sea has also helped my river fishing. Last weekend, after a catch up with the lads on Friday night having not seen them since I've been away, we wearily made our way to an east Cork mark in search of the elusive bass. Our aim was to fish hard and soft plastics on a dropping tide. Conditions looked great and although it has been a topsy turvy summer for bass fishing due to so much rain, we were confident of some sport.
With 4 of us fishing we spread out and concentrated our efforts on likely looking channels and, casting an xlayer there, an IMA komomo there, we we're happy we were covering plenty of water with varying techniques.
About an hour into the session and a fair walk down the coastline Paddy was the first to get in the action.


A little lift for all of us we were waiting for our lure to be smashed any second but the next few fish came to Paddy, including one that shook the lure close to shore estimated to be the size of, not 1, no not 1, but 2 bulls!!... I had one follow on a Patchinko and James had some interest to but it was Paddy's IMA Komomo SF 125 that did the business on the day.

After a small break we headed for another spot as dusk was approaching. Here the beach was stuffed with fisherman after the late summer bounty, mackeral. The place was HEAVING as 4-5 were hauled in at a time by each rod. We took a few to keep the gang back home happy. Bass was the focus of the evening but unfortunately the mackeral were to provide the only sniff of action we were to get that evening.

The next day I went out again to a more local mark sussing out the bass potential on offer. The jaw dropped as I watched the tide pushing out revealing gullies, eddies and drop-offs galore but with a strong southerly blowing right into our faces we made way for a more sheltered spot.
Chucking all manner of lures left, right and centre, pollock offered some excitement, with Usna catching a decent fish around the 2-2 and a half pound mark.



Sunday, 9 September 2012

Down on the Laune

Wednesday and Thursday last I was down in Killarney, Co. Kerry. On Wednesday I went to see Torc Waterfall and Muckross lake, some spot especially with the weather we had!



Thursday was the day for business though so the gear was prepared and it was off down to Beaufort bridge to fish Beat 3 of Laune Salmon and Trout Anglers Association. First of all, what a place to cast a fly. The water was absolutely savage and for where I fished there was very little water that I walked passed writing off as useless.
Starting off at the bridge I tackled up using my multi tip spey line to which I attached an intermediate tip, a short leader of a few feet and a silver bodied orange Ally's Shrimp size 10 treble. Fishing the bridge all I had was plucks from a few trout down at the tail. From here I fished my way down to the corner covering every likely looking spot to no avail.
By now the absence of fish was evident so with the possibility of fish travelling keeping their heads low and resident fish low also I changed over to an S1/S2 tip but stuck to the same fly as it looked the job in the slightly coloured water.


I must have walked a good deal of the water avilable to me but try as I might I couldn't winkle one out. I did meet one other fisherman who said he turned 2 fish using a spinner but they weren't interested in the fly and I didn't see any other fish. Looking back the conditions were probably a little against me as you can see above it was clear blue skies and bright sunshine giving me a fine red nose! Not seeing any fish was disappointing also. Reading reports there aren't that many being caught at the moment. A fish was caught on Thursday evening on beat 3 by a local, which goes to show how invaluable local knowledge is. 3 and a half hours of solid fishing with nothing to show for it but what a pleasure it was to fish such nice water in jaw dropping surroundings. The piece I fished was a credit to Laune Anglers with very well kept banks and footbridges put into good use for trekking the more boggy areas. The Laune and the Kerry salmon won this battle but I'll be back next season for sure!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Its been a while!!

Having been away for a year and a half working and travelling in Asia and Australia I am now back on the river. Driving into Bandon and passing the river it was great to see it in great nick and dropping slowly. While away I kept a track of how the fishing was going and while it was a washout of a summer the salmon fishing has been brilliant with plenty caught, and a lot of them big.
Since the 31st of August I have been putting in a good few hours, mainly on the fly upstream and downstrem of Bandon on Bandon Angling Association waters.


The closest I've come to catching salmo salar was on a size 8 orange Ally's Shrimp with a silver body fished off an S1/S2 tip at the head of a pool. Literally the 1st cast of the morning it just smacked the fly and charged down river. However as soon as I lifted into it I could feel it wasn't hooked right and it was off within 10 seconds. I never saw the fish so don't know what size it was. But a fish on the hook after the first cast, surely more were to come...not a sniff. The nearest I came to one was a follow from a grilse which chased my flying c right to my feet.
At the moment it looks like there is no great amount of fresh fish coming in, only the odd one off the tides. Fish are in the river but not fresh and will become increasingly difficult to tempt until fresh fish come in and stir them up. Being Septmeber and with building tides at the moment I'm sure a run of those silver bars is just around the corner!
It hasn't been a total blank though and I have managed a couple of sea trout. Fresh trout are running and the photo of the one below is typical of the size for the time of year.


Tomorrow I'm heading for Killarney and will be spending a few hours on the Laune with the fly rod. Been a long time since I fished so cant wait to put a line across this beautiful river.