Friday, January 28, 2011

Specimen Ling....

Members of Cobh SAC took advantage of the recent settled weather and what a day they had!!! Skipper, Donie Geary, takes up the story....'on Friday last, a group of local anglers hired the John-Boy to fish an offshore wreck. The weather had been settled for the best part of a week and the tides were suitable with a midday low water. We left Cobh at 9:30am with 7 very eager anglers, to fish a wreck about 20 miles from Roches Point. We started our first drift in 250 feet of water shortly after 11 o'clock. Things were very slow at first, only picking up several cod, but to 6lb nonetheless. We also had some fine whiting and a couple of nice ling in the first half dozen drifts. As the tide turned I decided to anchor in the hope of better fishing. Almost immediately, Ruud Boulhower (our local Dutchman) struck into a fine fish. However, he also got caught on the dreaded net that has been lost on the wreck. After about 10 minutes trying to coax it clear, the net eventually won and Ruud lost everything. Almost at the same time, Tony Maguire struck and landed a fine ling to 17lb despite having a major struggle with his reel. Tony also landed the next two ling of about 12lb. However, at that stage his reel had had enough. Fishing was steady with everyone landing some nice ling, conger and whiting. Gerard Richardson had at this stage the best with a hefty ling of 20lb. Ruud, though, wasn't to be outdone and struck into a good fish. We first thought it was a conger. Ruud had to gingerally reel the fish in as he was wary that the relatively light line on his hokkai rig would part. Eventually, he landed a fine ling weighing in at 25lb 2oz....a specimen, and Ruud's first at that!!! This is also the first specimen aboard John-Boy for 2011. Well done Ruud! We left for home at 4:30pm, with everyone in good form after an enjoyable day's fishing. With 10 miles left for port, Martin Perryman called out that he had seen a spout of water about 50 yards astern. I immediately swung around and headed for the disturbance on the surface. As I did this giant of a fin whale breached the surface 20 meters away. From the boat everybody just looked on in amazement at this monster, estimated at about 60 feet. It was the size of a small island and just as quick as it appeared it disappeared under the water again. We waited with cameras at the ready but that was the last we saw of him. On arrival back at Cobh and with Ruud's specimen ling confirmed, all the talk was about our encounter with this monster. How lucky we were to have the pleasure of being so close to such a creature as he swam in the open sea. In nearly 50 years of charter angling, I have never, or doubt I will ever again, witness such a fantastic sight.'

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Light Line Comp Part Deux....Dab hunt.

After such a good day on Monday, and with the weather staying relatively calm, a plan was hatched to have a follow up. This time, though, the light line comp was to be a dab hunt.

Two boats headed out this time. First out was Dasher Doyle with Martin Perryman, Arthur Kavanagh, and George Stockley onboard, followed later by Sandra Anne with Danny Kane, Pat O' Shea, & Sandra Murphy onboard.

The plan was to target the numerous dabs that have shown up over the last few months. There have been many quality dabs showing up of late and it was hoped that we might be lucky and get a specimen.
Danny wasn't sticking to the plan, though. He wanted another cut off Ger Keohane's ling mark for just one hour! One hour turned into three. However, we couldn't complain as the fishing was alright. We had ling to 7lbs, cod to 5lbs, whiting to 3lbs, pouting to 2lbs, and numerous cuckoo wrasse. With an hour and a half of light remaining we headed back into a harbour mark.
Dasher Doyle had a great lead on us at this stage. They had fished Deep Hole at the start and then moved to mark outside the Harbour Rock. This proved fruitful with plenty of dabs, whiting to 2lbs, small codling (with a solitary 5lber), poor cod, and lsd's. Not to be outdone we headed to Deep Hole and in the last hour managed 32 whiting, 7 dabs, 7 codling, 7 poor cod, & 7 lsd.
Again, not a bad return for a couple of hours fishing in January!

Impromptu light line comp....

Over the New Year weekend a plan was hatched to have an impromptu Light Line Comp....and so, on the first Monday of January 2011, eleven brave souls from both Cobh SAC and Crosshaven SAC departed early in the morning (....well, actually not so early after all).
Three boats set off from East Ferry Marina; Dasher Doyle, Sandra Anne, and Eva. Sandra Anne, with Cobh SAC Master Angler, Danny Kane, Club Treasurer, Pat O' Shea, and Ger Keohane headed straight for the Ling Rocks. The other two boats, Dasher Doyle and Eva, with Martin Perryman, Frank Burke, Martin's brother, Arthur Kavanagh, Ruud Boelhouwer, Gerard Richardson, Greg Manning, and Tony Maguire, opted for the Smiths instead. It was bittingly cold with temperatures hardly getting above 4 degrees, but with very little wind it didn't feel that bad at all. In fact it was almost calm, which made the trip out to the Lings fairly comfortable compared to normal.
As our expected quarry was expected to be bigger than the normal stamp of fish encountered in the light lines a concession was made; main line was to be no more than 15lb but rigs and snoods could be heavier. On our boat, Sandra Anne, Ger Keohane got off to a great start. On a cliff-face mark north of the Lings themselves Ger started clocking up the species, bringing in pollack, whiting, and pouting in quick order. To put a stop to his gallop we moved onto the Lings proper!!!
Here we were into a better stamp of fish; Ger and Danny fishing bottom rigs started bringing in ling. Both landed fish to 9lbs. Pat stuck at the gilling alternating between shads and jellyworms. On both set-ups he was landing pollack on every second or third drop. The better fish seemed to fall for shads, though, and most were around the 6lb mark. To try for variety (and clock up species points) Danny dropped his hook and bait size. Soon enough, a number of ballan wrasse and cuckoo's were swung onboard.
With the number of ling coming onboard Ger Keohane was convinced that a mark of his, east of the Smiths, would produce bigger fish. With an hour of daylight left we decided to give it a shot. It produced bigger fish alright, but not the expected ling; Pat managed a fine pollack of 9 1/2lbs...the biggest fish of the day. A few ling were landed, but they were smaller than outside. We also had whiting, cod, haddock and lsd's. One of the haddock, a nice fish of 3 1/2lbs, had savage bites taken out of it....probably an attack from a big ling. Maybe there are big ling on Ger's mark after all! Pat really did well on this spot. This didn't go down well with Ger who soon took a knife to his line. Too late Ger, it was lines up anyway! A call to the other boats soon confirmed that they had had similar fishing with plenty of whiting and haddock in particular. Many of the whiting were upto 3lbs with Frank Burke managed a fine one of specimen size. Heaviest fish between the other two boats was a fine 8lb cod for Arthur Kavanagh.
What a great day, especially for January. Between the three boats we had managed to catch lsd's, pollack, cod, ling, haddock, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, whiting, and pouting; a total of 9 species. We had been restricted to mackeral and squid for bait; if we had rag and crab maybe we'd have had more. What harm it was great fishing anyway!