We were to fish off a saltwater mark on the Waterford coast, specifically targeting bass and a chance of a possible sea trout. Before I continue, note that if you are specifically targeting sea trout you need a state license. Also, we were not fishing an estuary or anywhere near a river so close season does not come into the equation.
Hoping to fish the dropping tide, we knew it was going to be an early start. We reached our destination before first light and it was bitter, with a very light northerly wind and frost everywhere. Our plan of attack was to use fly and lure. Rigging up I begun with a savage gear psycho sprat of 28g weight to bang across to the far side of the channel. Fishing our way down with the tide dropping sport was slow, with just one dropped fish on the fly for a friend.
As the tide hit rock bottom it was time for lunch and to try and warm up...we were frozen. I think the big difference between air and water temperature was a big contributing factor towards the lack of action that morning. Sandwiches eaten and a glance at the water told us to get our asses back in gear as the tide was on the way in again. At least now the sun was up and air temperature was on the rise.
At this stage I had switched back to my trusted kilty lure, an old reliable that keeps on producing. Concentrating our efforts on a particular spot one of the lads let out the roar of fish on! The fish played well and kept quite deep and it wasn't until it was beached that we saw that we had a sea trout.
A lovely fish about 2lbs weight. The photo mightn't show it properly but she was reconditioning well after the rigors of spawning. However you can see her body isn't exactly pristine and we put this down to net marks, with several lines along her upper flanks. The big lesion, which was also on the other side, may have been caused by coming into contact with a net before entering freshwater, which would have taken the scales away. This vulnerable area than picked up an infection in freshwater but looked like it was healing now its back in saltwater and feeding. James didn't catch the fish, another friend of his did and it was returned to continue feeding and hopefully make it back to the river to spawn again. The fish was caught on a P boy metal lure. Interestingly, he was using an "assist" single hook up at the head of the lure and took off the treble hook at the end. There is a reasoning behind this madness though as he believes fish attack the head of a lure rather than the back and so uses this method with all his metal lures. Food for thought for the future...
A lift in confidence for us all now and the hope of more fish to come spurring us on, apart from Usna dropping a fish after brief contact, that was to be it. Great to get out again though to dust off the cobwebs!
On the river front, it has now been confirmed by IFI that the Bandon will be open for salmon fishing from February 15th. Fishing for sea trout below Innishannon Bridge is still prohibited until March 17th though, and rightly so.