Life for the last four years has been a balancing act between trying to juggle college, ‘work’ commitments, fatherhood and fishing, to name a few. One of the juggling balls has been set aside.
To help me celebrate this new found freedom I headed eastwards and decided to go for a couple of days fishing, meeting up with Alex on both occasions. Interviews delayed me during the morning and arrived fashionably late at the expense of not finding a parking space at my chosen mark. After quick call to Alex over the radio to let him know what was happening, I relocated to an alternative launch site.
It was at this launch site that I noticed a novel approach to enjoying the fine weather; a young acrobat had suspended a line across the mouth of the harbour and was practicing his tightrope walking. A wrong step meant the worst he suffered was a small fall into the water from which he could easily extract himself before trying again. I applaud this young man and his ingenuity; providing himself with a fun, healthy, outdoors activity to enjoy during the fine weather.
The local health and safety constabulary saw things differently and tried to put a halt to this young man’s harmless fun. After being convinced that there are far worse things that the tightrope walker could be doing (which took some doing) they left him to it. In a world where a recent report stated that 75% of Irish children spend more time indoors than prisoners because their parents think playing outside is “too dangerous”, the initiative and inventiveness of this young acrobat should be encouraged and applauded before we all smother in tightly rolled layers of cotton wool.
Soon after that distraction had played itself out I hit the waves. Alex had to head off for an engagement but had told me that he had had plenty of fish, mainly pollock and tiny bait-robbing whiting with the occasional ballan wrasse to boot. I was happy enough to hear that news. I knew there were smoothhounds about but this trip was very much one for a bit of fun and craic, a serious hound session was to follow tomorrow.
I drifted about and came into contact with fish very quickly, a tiny whiting making up the first catch, the first of many of them! They really like ragwrom! I fished on, moving from spot to spot in a bit to dodge the whiting and very soon struck into something a little bit meaner. The ballan wrasse were about and once again they proved why I will never get bored of catching them; a violent tug on the bait followed by some frantic ‘hit and hold’ action as they flee for cover of the weeds and reef.
I fished for a few hours in the fantastic sunlight that were are currently blessed with before eventually calling it a day, the reef that is the tackle graveyard claiming plenty of my weights before I decided to leave. Incidentally, I usually fish solo with the VHF locked to emergency channel 16. On arriving at the harbour two guys were launching a cheap, inflatable dinghy with not even a lifejacket between them. I kept an eye on them and their jolly did not last long with them returning to shore after a very short time. The activity that was heard constantly over the radio told me that the coastguard had a very busy day responding to call outs.
Tomorrow; smoothhounds further south.