Monday, 21 July 2014

Thunder Gets Em Going

Just a quick update on fishing over the last few days as I said in my last post I wouldn't be updating until after the Bass Festival. The latter half of last week saw a big change in the atmosphere, with thundery conditions prevalent. An early morning sortie last Thursday saw bass going like the clappers as I caught 3 in less than an hours fishing using the IMA Komomo SF-125. The last Dicentrarchus labrax really had my Shimano Stradic 3500 FJ singing and I estimated it to weigh around 6.5lbs. A faster retrieve did the trick with this hat trick of fish.

Thursday night I met up with a buddy who had just returned from his travels and we set out to tackle the Bandon browns. The cloud was thick and we knew at any time we may have to leave as we could see lightning streaks in the distance. However, trout were rising everywhere and we enjoyed great sport with spirited fish up to a pound weight. Best flies on the night were darkly dressed size 16 wet flies. Also evident was a couple of salmon going absolutely berserk with the anticipation of rainfall... tomorrow could be worth a shot I thought!
Friday saw the river fresher than the previous day due to the stormy downpours. Salmon waiting down in the estuary reacted to this and I came across a brace of feisty grilse hungry for a bait of worms during a brief afternoon session. They weighed 5 and 7lbs respectively.

These fish were fighting fit with the bigger taking nearly 20 minutes to land. Over the weekend the river benefited from another more appreciable rise of a foot and this saw many more grilse and summer salmon running. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A Variety of Fish in Dry Weather

It has been nearly a month since I updated this blog as I was waiting for rain but it looks like we're enjoying our second dry summer in a row. Like the rivers, the salmon fishing has more or less dried up as the Bandon awaits bigger runs of fish with the next flood. Some grilse and bigger fish are trickling through on the tides but a flood is whats needed now to bring in the new fish and wake up the old. Alas, I haven't fished for salar very much but released one more fish around the 10-12lb mark which felt like chewing a worm.

Although not exactly prolific, sea trout have turned up in somewhat better numbers this year than previous. Since the 2nd week of June, small sea trout have arrived in decent shoals. These can take vigorously and provide great sport on light gear. Put anything small, flashy and silver onto your leader and they will take it. The Medicine and Alexandra have been working a treat and my best day yielded 8 fish but hardly any broke the half pound mark.

These small sea trout have many names such as schoolies, juniors and finnock, to name but a few. At the moment there is an absence of sea trout around the pound mark but a few bigger fish are slipping their way up river all the time. Whilst trying out a spot below Bandon with my dad one night, he connected with one of these and stole the show by  returning this fish we estimated to be around the 3 to 3.5lb mark. For scale, that is a Medicine tied on a size 8 low water salmon single hook in its scissors.

On the bass fishing front, seeing as the river is so low I ventured out a few times to a couple of rocky shore marks and estuaries. Its brilliant to see that the fish are in great condition and are really putting up a good fight! Sometimes bass don't seem to be the greatest of fighters but the last few have really given a good account of themselves. The lure which has been doing the business for me, again, is the IMA Komomo SF-125. Of course I use plenty other lures to suit the ground, water depth, clarity, etc but time and time again the SF-125 comes up trumps. No big bass for me yet, the biggest I estimated to weigh about 5lbs and the rest around 3lbs.

Like most salmon fishermen I can't wait for the next flood to hit the river and for the fish to start running again but until then its great to just fish for various species. That's the beauty of living in West Cork, no matter what the weather conditions there is nearly always a chance of sport at this time of year between salmon, sea trout and bass. My next blog post will be of a report from the Irish Bass Festival 2014 which is on the weekend of July 25th to 27th. I cannot wait for this, fingers crossed the weather will behave!