An early start was rewarded yesterday with blue skies and flat calm water within the harbour.... just the conditions that turn the golden grey on. Although, I was heading out in hope rather than certainty as my last two outings were fruitless. Today my luck was in. I could see plenty of activity on the surface, but that could have been normal mullet. However, as I cast my float rig baited with ragworm over the side, my expectations were heightened.
Within minutes my float shot under the surface and I had a fish on. The fight, though, wasn't as aggressive as a mullet's and I instinctively knew I had another species on. Shortly later I was netting a baby bass of 33cm. These certainly weren't the target species, especially as there is currently a ban against bass fishing in place upto and including the 15th of June. I quickly returned him and got back fishing. The next two casts resulted in yet two more bass. Bloody hell, I'm going to get in trouble here if I don't watch it! I decided to put a bit of bling on. This most likely would put off the bass, but golden greys are a bit partial to this. Besides I could see plenty of fish jumping clear of the surface and they most definitely weren't bass. My persistance was rewarded as when my float zinged off the next time I knew I had a different fish...and so it was, my first golden grey of the year. These are feisty buggers when they are hooked and I even knew before I saw him that he was a golden grey. Sure enough, as he came into view, that distinct golden spot on its cheek was instantly recognisable. Fabulous!
I was lucky enough to catch another but did catch a few 'normal' mullet in between. I have a sneaking suspicion that these are actually thin-lipped mullet rather than thick lipped mullet. I'll have to refer to the 'experts.' All in all it was a great morning's fishing. I'll have to get out again shortly and give it another go before I revert to the bass fishing with a vengence!
The bass are back in the Harbour at last. On the last day before the season closed the Treasurer tried his hand at a bit of lure fishing in the Harbour and struck gold; three fine fish over a short session.
Here's a report back directly from the man himself; "I find normally that just before the bass ban kicks in I just try and squeeze in as many sessions as possible...and so it was the case again this year. On Wednesday and Thursday morning a 3am start saw me down at a favoured mark by 4am. Both were bait sessions, though, and in the two short two hour sessions I managed one fish of 65cm. I was determined to fit in a few lure sessions. Mind you lure sessions haven't been fruitful so far; I have only one fish to show for over two dozen outings.
So, another early morning on the 14th of May saw me once again at my favourite shore mark. In the pre-dawn light I was fishing upto high tide and this state of tide on this mark normally dictates that plugs are the weapon of choice. Two hours of flogging the sea to a foam over a 1/4 mile stretch of shoreline with a variety of baby feed shallows, maria chases, thundersticks and, eventually, out of desparation, a toby, saw once again a nil return. Back again I returned at low water; this time armed with a battery of soft plastics. Again, another blank. Mind you I did see fish. I had been fishing a rocky ledge, a considerable distance back from the edge. As the tide flooded over it a fish passed right in front of me only 10ft away, as casual as you like; the bugger! The water at this stage was only above my ankles.
Two hours into the flood I headed off and opted instead to try a boat outing. For the afternoon I ventured out into Cork Harbour in my boat. Again I headed to a favoured mark, and again I armed myself with a few SP's. First drift, and as my plastic sank to the bottom it was snaffled. I'd forgotten what it was like to fight a feisty bass on light gear and, oh it was a joy. A nice sized bass was soon netted and onboard for a few obligatory pics.
This was a great start but as is always the case with great starts, it was a false dawn. I persisted for another hour but that was it. Was it a solitary first fish into the harbour? A move was in order and so as the tide slowed I covered new ground. I was rewarded; shortly after I landed a better fish of 61cms.
Now the auld confidence was up; could I squeeze a third one out in what little was left of the tide? I did!!! Within a few minutes of returning the previous fish I was into another. This bugger was really feisty and he was the smaller of the three!
Now, completely on a high, I ignored my usual wisdom and carried on. Experience has taught me that on these marks slack water doesn't fish. What the hell, I was fired up, and so I carried on for another, fruitless, hour. What harm; I can retire the rods for the month now less anxious. Roll on the 16th!!!'
Well here is proof in the pudding that Danny can catch them. Next time make sure it is fish you catch Danny. Joking aside Danny, Sandra, and Pete Davis headed out for a spot of fishing on the last day in April. They borrowed a boat from the Bellavista fleet and, as Pete is a journalist from Irish Angler, Kevin gave them the Irish Angler boat to try out. This is a new addition to Kevin's fleet after Kevin successfully convinced the IA team's that it would be better off having the boat operate out of Cork Harbour for the season rather than lying idle elsewhere. Well done Kevin.
Once Danny became aware of the availability of this boat he had Kevin badgered to give him a shot with it. Poor Kevin finally relented and handed over the keys of the Warrior 170. Having collected his crew Danny was soon putting the boat through its paces. Danny reports back that she is a fine vessel and the fishing was very comfortable with the three of them in it. As for the fishing....well that's a different story.
Well actually it wasn't too bad. Danny had a fine seagul!!! He did have a few fish, though. They started off on the Daunt Rock, where they picked up some fine pollack. They then worked the ground between the Daunt Buoy and the Cork Buoy where they had a mixed bag of codling, small ling, ballan and cuckoo wrasse, whiting and more pollack. For the afternoon they headed into the Harbour Mouth where they picked some more codling, with some fine fish around 4lbs coming aboard. Here's Sandra with a fine ballan wrasse around the 4lb mark. All in all they had a good day's fishing. Danny is itching to get the IA boat again soon, so Kevin be warned!
The Treasurer reports that bass fishing finally kicked off in April, much later than normal due to the cold weather and temperatures. Towards the end of April he had a number of really great sessions. Most were from secret rock marks using crab baits. Two or three bass were caught per outing but all were of a good size. The best of these was this 76cm beauty. This weighed just over 9lbs. There is no doubt that if this fish had been caught at the back end of the year it would have been a double. Indeed, the B.A.S.S. tape shows that a 76cm fish should normally weigh about 10lbs. What harm...the fish was quickly returned and will no doubt put on weight over the coming months.
Here's a pic of a another good bass, this time caught on a night time beach session. This fish fell to lug and measured 67cm. If you look carefully you'll see a flounder on the right hand side of the pic, which was part of a double shot landed at the same time.