What Can We Do?
Ireland is being battered at the moment. We are suffering storms that have caused damage not seen for quite some time.
This article’s featured image, shot by George Karbus, shows the surf town of Lahinch being pummeled by the Atlantic last night. Similar scenes are being recorded all around the country and the forecast looks bleak. Damage done is already being estimated in tens of millions and there is worse to come. The graphic to the left from www.magicseaweed.com shows another weather system that is being lined up to hammer the west and south coasts of the country on Monday. Fasten your seat belts and hold on tight!
It should go without saying that even the notion of going kayak angling in conditions like that are for only the certifiable. There will be no action for at least a week, looking at the forecasts. That makes for a very long week. So what can we do? Not a whole lot really. There are some relatively sheltered lakes close by that do harbour coarse fish but they are beyond flooded at this stage and they never fish well in these conditions. I may take a paddle out that way during the week just to avoid ‘cabin fever’.
Now is the time to have a look over all the fishing tackle. Items damaged in the last year need to be replaced and rigs need to be retied. I will be pouring over maps and putting together some plans for the coming year, both for the fresh and salt water. The last couple of years have seen me kayak fishing almost exclusively on the sea and I would like to turn my attention back to the rivers and lakes. Hopefully this year will see a balanced approach to both.
I have the chance to catch up on some reading and one book in particular that I was fortunate enough to receive as a Christmas gift was ‘Nomads of the Tides’ written by Chris McCully and Ken Whelan. Sea trout were my first angling love and I spent many a night chasing them on my local river when I was growing up. Leafing through the book has gotten me thinking about casting flies in the dark for them again which will be fun and perhaps this time I can utilise the kayak? Ashley Hayden from An Irish Angler’s World made an excellent choice in this gift – what appears to be a very useful tome full of information that I will absorb myself in.
I have a couple of rigging projects to get underway. I await delivery of some hardware and once I receive it work can commence. I will share the projects with you when they are done. The main thing I have in mind is a live well for keeping bait alive and kicking. Using live fish baits in freshwater is illegal in Ireland to try and stop the spread of fish disease and invasive species. The use of such bait is perfectly acceptable at sea and I very much need a container that can keep crab or sandeel alive and in good condition on the warmer days of the summer.
I may tie some flies for some projects that I have planned for the year that will involve both myself and members of the Irish Kayak Angling Club. I’m not saying much about them yet but they promise to be a couple of firsts for Irish kayak angling and should provide a bit of craic also. There are still some creases on the organising end of things to be ironed out but all the signs are promising at the moment.
Other than that there is not much I can do only await the delivery of my rigging gear. I only hope that the weather doesn’t blow the roof off the house in the meantime! Stay safe and away from exposed coastal areas.