We got lucky on our first night when we went for a night session. The first mark produced a nice 65cm fish for me and a schoolie for Tim.
On arrival to the mark there was a lot of action on the surface. Suddenly the water erupted all around us. There was some serious fish here feeding hard. It took a while to get a bite but eventually I struck into a hard fish that erupted in between us in a couple foot of water.
The fish made a short run before settling for headshaking on the surface. Only ten foot out I contained myself from turning my headtorch on as I didn’t want to spook the other fish. It didn’t stop thrashing hard, really hard before It finally got free. It had bent the lure clip… it was a piss poor clip and all down to being my fault I just didn’t have any others… I wont make that mistake again! Shaking I started setting up again before a call from Tim. I could hear his reel screaming off, I danced over the rocks still full of adrenaline as he calmly slid his fish into a gully for me to grab. What a fish!
75cm but in ours eyes not enough for a double. Still a PB for Tim (Irish PB) I was buzzing for him and soon forgot about the one I lost. The moon came out soon after and the fishing almost instantly went quiet… Then the sun came up and all that was left was some mullet skimming the surface. What a night and one we will never forget.
We had to return the next night to try again but it wasn’t the same. Tim landed a couple 3lb fish but did drop another that went off like stink. I only managed a 4lb fish and dropped another similar at my feet. Once again it all went very quiet when the moon came out.
We had spent the first few days checking marks in the daylight and fishing the nights. We finally headed to the copper coast and got to Absolute fishing to see Cian and meet up with Steve for a few days. We were received with banter and laughs from the off. We got kitted up with a few bits including some good clips and set off for our first proper session on the copper coast.
We managed a couple fish each ott in the daylight with me christening my new skimmer with fish to 57cm which I actually got the camera out for.
We had a good session that night. We all managed fish with Cian taking the best fish around 5lb. As the tide dropped us three headed to the next mark with Cian getting an early night. Instantly I was into fish, missed a couple and dropped a couple but as the light came up I missed a donkey as It created a huge boil on the surface as it nipped my frankie. I stilled ended the night with 11 fish to 60cm and Steve with the biggest at 6lb.
We had a couple quieter days as the conditions weren’t ideal and made fishing hard though conditions where stunning in the day the tide times weren’t. Our last night with Steve was a funny one. Howling winds and rain made life no fun. We still went for it but the lads soon bailed leaving me to battle it out. I eventually managed a fish before calling it a night. The rain and wind was brutal to say the least.
Steve was due to meet up with Henry and Mark then next day and we went our separate ways before the comp. Me and Tim had another day on the copper coast. Firstly heading west in the day to check out more marks. We bumped into a couple of really nice fisheries officers that we chatted to for ages about lure fishing before I found out that the tip on my rod had snapped. No idea how but this rod is virtually irreplaceable and I love it… Gutted! We had a another tough night on the copper coast before finally moving marks again before the light came up. I missed a fish and got snapped before Tim lost a really nice fish at his feet and landed a schoolie. This is where Tims reel after all the praise he gave it finally met its end. Just too much salt water and abuse over the last few days… the light came up and the fish went off the boil. I did my best to get one to take OTT but it wasn’t to be.
We signed on first thing and got to the first mark. Tim enticed 3 big fish and dropped one of them after it screamed off with his DC9 while I failed to see anything. The DC9 was the only thing he go a positive hit on while they swirled at his weightless sluggo. The session ended bad with Tim’s rod breaking as he tried to pull out of a snag. He put this down to previous knocks though this set us back on sleeping time having to drive to buy another as he didn’t bring a back up like me. The afternoon session saw us fishing a lovely spot of reef in a big swell that was pretty messy from the strong side wind. The area was full of weed too and really hard to fish anything. I had a decent fish follow me in too my feet as I stood on a high rock away from the swell that gave me confidence but I couldn’t fish through the weed. I opted to use the Austrie 130 for max distance on my not so ideal Spro travel rod. I was nearly hitting the back of the reef where the birds where diving. Working the Austrie back I couldn’t help but notice how well it worked just under the surface. It clicked that this might work to my advantage. On the next retrieve I mixed it up cranking it under with a couple twitches before pausing and giving it a couple slides on the surface. As I pulled it under for the last time a good fish came up from below slashing at the lure. I paused and with one final twitch on the surface it came back to engulf it. Oh how I should have looked how I was going to land this fish. I panicked and attempted to bring the fish up a gully with the swell. Tim tried grabbing the fish but missed the fish went backwards snapping my rod but luckily for me the lure snagged in Tim’s waders. I held onto Tim as he took a soaking for me and then managed to get them both up safely. We retreated back to the shore where I let the fish recover in the water as Tim go the ruler and camera ready.
She went 65cm and the perfect start for me though she might have gone more if she stopped flaring her gills. She swam away quickly but cost us another rod and a pair of waders in he process… That evening/night was poor and we failed to get anything.
We where pleased walking away from this mark and got what we came for. One good fish now and it was game on… We tried a slightly different mark this morning on the rise to high but unfortunately it didn’t produce. Sure the last time the onshore wind would have helped push the bait and bass in here but we had none this morning and no fish. We moved around and got into the flow as the tide ebbed. Tim nailed a 54cm fish first cast bumping his black minnow down the tide. I’m useless at this and never seem to do well with this technique. Probably confidence more than what I’m actually doing though… The weed was bad but we carried on knowing we could get a donkey any moment. Tim lost a very nice fish at his feet easily a 60+ and proceeded to hook into two more very powerful fish that also shook the hook… Meanwhile I carried on blanking. We could and were going to move to my reef mark but I thought we both stood a better chance of that one 70+ fish here even if I was never going to catch it. Unfortunately that was how it ended for us. A poor show from me and bad or unlucky angling from Tim though we were both happy and very tired. We did make one last trip to the reef mark but over low tide it was almost impossible to find somewhere fishable with the water being so far out. We called it quits and retired back to the shop.
4 thoughts on “Irish bass festival 2016”
Great read and some stunning photography,a true Irish adventure, some lovely fish and hard some bad luck on the lost fish
Thanks William, looking forward to the next adventure!
Feck me how many rods did you guys brake ? Sounds like you worked hard for your fish well done
Haha yes Mike, 4 rods in total… Tim did 2 reels even though they just need a grease up. One pair of costas, my coat and headtorch, a Sammy, my phone, tims waders… yeah turned out to be a rather destructive trip with regards to equipment haha