Conger 1 – The Lads 0
Today was a typically Irish January day except for the temperatures which hit 14°C, a big change from just a couple of days ago when the heavy frost had descended.
I try to get my little fella out into the fresh air for at least an hour a day regardless of the weather – there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing. It helps him sleep and there is plenty outside to keep him stimulated for an hour or more. Killing two birds with one stone seemed appropriate so I headed for a sheltered harbour with a rod, reel and some gear to enable us to have a quick session with the local congers.
We arrived at the water’s edge and bundled the little man into his sling and then wrapped him into a couple of layers I was wearing. We baited up the tail end of half a mackerel onto a Cox and Rawle Meat Hook, more than strong enough to cope with stubborn congers. All that was left to do was sling the lot into the water, a few feet from the harbour wall.
I was hoping the bait would not be far enough out into open water that the eels would be able to smell and find it but far enough that they wouldn’t reach the sanctuary of the wall soon after picking up the bait. Congers are next to impossible to extract once they find a nice crevice to wedge themselves into.
We amused ourselves by watching some passing gulls, one that kept circling overhead no doubt looking for a free meal from us. This distraction delighted the little man but what with his shouting at the gulls and my laughing at him I realised that something was having a go at the bait probably a little later than I should have.
I lifted the rod to have a go only to find that the knocking taps had turned into a solid, dead weight; Mr. Conger had made it back to his lair. Try as I might nothing could budge him and we had to admit defeat. They say timing is everything and true to form the not so little anymore bundle on my chest had started to look tired. The fresh air had done it’s work!
I loaded him and the gear into the car and we headed for home. Congers 1 – The Lads 0.