Release the Hounds!
With the second last exam of my degree done and a 10 day study break before the final exam the only logical thing for me to do was to drive to the other side of the country to go fishing!
I dropped into Portumna en route to join the IKA for a day on the water. With the sun almost splitting the stones the fishing was slow with just a few pike and hybrids making up the catch. The closest I got to a fish was finding a floating, smelly, slimy, dead bream!!! The conditions were a little cooler the following day and a couple of very decent pike were landed but I was already on my way to the east coast for different prey.
Landing in Wexford I paddled out to my mark and dropped anchor. Shortly after I dropped some bait to the deck; peeler crab. Peeler is a fantastic bait for a range of species but it is a firm favourite of the smoothhound and that is exactly what I was after. First few drops saw the baits hammered by the ever present dogfish and some tiny codling. Still, it was nice to feel the rattle on the rod tip and to connect with fish once again.
Before long the action dried up and things went quiet. Momentarily. Soon a procession of bites converted themselves into a procession of smoothhounds, punctuated by the occasional dogfish and codling. Smoothhounds are a different animal to dogfish and upon setting the hook you can instantly tell that you are connected to a sleeker, more powerful and more agile quarry. They scrap hard and are great fun to catch.
Most of the fish I caught were small, pups really, the majority under 2lbs. Looking for something bigger I switched from the 3/0 Power Fast Bait Holder hooks to the 5/0 Meat Hooks from the Cox & Rawle range. I figured that by presenting a bigger bait I might be able to avoid the pups and select some bigger fish. The plan worked and I saw the size increase from small to reasonable with a couple of fish approaching 4lb and one approaching 6lb. Then the tide started to turn and that was the end of that!
That was the signal that the session had ended. The only photos I have are ones from my phone; an exploding battery pack meant no Gopros for a couple of days. It is great to see the hounds back in and once I get next week’s exam out of the way I will do another 500km round trip for a go at a bigger specimen. I’m already looking forward to it.
Kit, get ready for some bookings, Southside Angling, get some peeler in for the rush!!!