Monday, 4 April 2016

2016 So Far

It's been five months since I updated this blog and it's quite hard to know where to begin! Little did I know when the weather broke last November, while we were still catching bass, that we were in for such a wet winter. So much rain fell resulting in the rivers enduring an horrendous battering, with banks getting hammered by unrelenting, strong currents and pools being altered along many stretches. The season opened on February 15th with the Bandon in beautiful condition. To date there have been half a dozen spring salmon reported caught and although it is not a mind boggling number it is actually quite positive for the Bandon in comparison to the last few years. A couple have also been lost and sightings of fish have been relatively encouraging since the start of March.

Final fish of 2015, a bass measuring 46cm taken on a surf beach at night. Scale readings show this fish to be 8 years old, coming from an average recruitment year in 2007. If you're interested in participating in bass conservation, get in touch with IFI to contribute to the National Bass Programme.

So far I've drawn a blank and have yet to open my account of silver tourists for 2016. Whilst doing quite a lot of fly fishing, as conditions have been suitable, I've been fishing more so with lures of late. Having only fished lures for bass in saltwater before, this is opening up a whole new world when transferred to freshwater. The lures I've been using mostly are from DUO. Matched up with a light rod (Palms Egeria ERNS-74MH 5~16g) small reel (Daiwa Legalis 2500 HA) and braid (10lb Unitika Silver Thread Shore Game PE), the set up is an absolute joy to use. Sensitivity is heightened as I can feel every little twitch and vibration through the rod, right down to the faintest flicker as the lure comes through the current. Whilst fishing for salmon, brown trout to four pounds have shown a liking to this method so far and I can't wait to see how salmon and sea trout will react to these lures when they are more plentiful. 

Brown trout have taken a shining for the DUO Spearhead Ryuki of late. 

For the new year, Bandon Angling Association have set up a new website which you can view here. A new guiding service has been launched in conjunction with this and I'm delighted to be part of it along with two other friends and club members, Peter Aspinwall and Phil Dewey. Details of the guiding service are provided on the website and we're all looking forward to making memories and enhancing people's fishing experiences on the river Bandon.

Glorious spring sunset overlooking the Bandon.

"Off the Scale" has released two more issues since October. Packed with quality material, it is a pleasure for everyone involved to see this magazine going from strength to strength. The editor, Bill Brazier, deserves enormous credit for driving the e-zine and moulding it into the product it is today. Every issue is welcomed and anticipated by a plethora of anglers from sea, coarse and game fishing backgrounds and long may it continue. In the November issue I penned an article on fly tying for beginners and in the latest I detailed fly fishing and spinning tactics for early season spring salmon which I hope readers find informative and helpful.

Latest cover of "Off the Scale", Ireland's leading fishing e-zine. 

Finally, for all those bass lure fishing enthusiasts, the Irish Bass Festival dates for this year have been set for July 1st, 2nd and 3rd. It promises to be another brilliant weekend on the open coast of southern Ireland chasing after these beautiful creatures. Registration closes on May 30th (discount for early entrants before May 15th!) and just to wet the appetite, take a look at this epic video made by James Barry, entitled "Into the Surf: Bass Fishing Ireland". Enjoy!!

Getting stuck into it and reaping the rewards on the Waterford coast.