Where day one on the east coast was all about having the craic and not taking the fishing too seriously, day two was an all out assault on the smoothhounds…..
Traveling south, Alex and I were hoping to take advantage of the extended glorious weather and we had hoped to launch from a regular site. One thing that we had not taken into account was the wind which was blowing down from the north east. Despite the fine weather, the wind ensured good colour in the water and a chop with lots of white horses. Our original plan scuppered, we came up with an alternative launch; better safe than sorry.
We made our way out through the breakers and dropped anchor after finding sufficiently deep water. The plan was to fish peeler crab, Alex offering fresh and I went with frozen offered on Cox & Rawle Uptide hooks, 5/0 being the size of choice with the hope of deterring the smaller pups. All that was left to do was bait up and drop lines.
With a slight chop and a lot of colour in the water I thought that it was going to be a while before the rods registered bites but not long after the first baits went down Alex drew first blood with an ever-present dogfish before following up with a small smoothhound. Soon afterwards the rod tip I was using surged violently and before long the first hound of the session was brought aboard and it looked to be a specimen fish.
From then on sport remained relatively consistent with a string of hounds making it to the sides of the kayaks, the odd dogfish thrown in for good measure. Things started to slow down towards the slackening of the tide. Alex made a switch to some ragworm from the previous day’s session. I sat it out on the crab, confidence fading with the tidal flow.
As I sat and explained to Alex that I have never had much luck during slack water the rod heaved over and I struck into a very hard-fighting fish. I managed to pump it to the surface after a couple of determined runs and before long I was looking at my best fish of the day, likely well over the specimen weight. It will not be claimed though due to me not wanting to stress or kill the fish by landing it to weigh it. It was released to fight another day like all other fish caught during this session.
Alex’s change of bait saw his species tally increase and if I remember correctly he added dab, whiting and codling to his dogfish and smoothhound. With the turning of the tide came an increase in swell conditions so Alex and I decided to call it a day. As we made our way ashore we could see that quite a few anglers were starting to fish into the evening from the beach. We landed and rounded off what can only be viewed as a very successful day – we got afloat, we caught fish and plenty of them and we both made it back to shore safely. What more would you want?
Off to Cork next week to look into preparations for the Irish Kayak Fishing Open 2016 and attend to other things. I might get a session in Galway before that, if I play my cards right!!!