There is a spot that I am very fond of for its sheer beauty. Way out west, it features a beach framed with dunes and the finest sand. Crystal clear water breaks onto the crescent shaped utopia. It was here we headed for today.
The drive along the coast road in Connemara can be breathtaking. The dive inland, past Lough Corrib and through places like Oughterard and Maam is just as stunning. Rough and rugged, it is a real wild landscape where the pace of life just seems to be a step or two slower than the rest of the world. We passed through this magical landscape en route to our next adventure.
We descended on the beach which was noticeably quiet for such a fine day. Launching into the surf, I hoped to encounter pollack but they were just a side attraction for today. I had also brought bait in the form of sandeels and my anchoring kit. I fished for a short while for pollack with the results being very poor indeed. The area is a popular spot for anglers and none of them present were having any luck at all. They either weren’t present or just were not ‘having it’ today.
After the couple of sessions I had with them during the week I wasn’t too upset and, using the echo sounder, I found a patch of flat ground in twelve metres of water. I dropped anchor and rigged up for ray. The intention was to use a flowing trace with a sandeel mounted onto a Cox & Rawle Chinu hook. The gape would allow the point to stand well clear of the bait and not impede hooking up with fish.
First drop down saw some minor nods on the rod tip and when I struck into nothing I retrieved the bait to see it had been shredded. Crabs! Hopefully they were not present in large numbers. I lowered the bait again and after a couple of nods on the tip, the rod leaned over and kept going. Striking, I felt the resistance of a ray kiting in the current. A small fish but one that got me off the mark, I was happy to see it, unhook it and release it.
What followed was a steady stream of thornback ray. Nearly every drop down resulted in a ray but the sizes were small. This area has produced double figure ray for me before but they were definitely absent today, the largest fish running to maybe a couple of pounds. Ray after ray came aboard the kayak and it appeared that they ruled the substrate this time; no dogfish or any of the other species that I have taken in this area before.
With the wind stiffening and the chop growing on the water the decision was made to quit while I was ahead. I hauled anchor and headed for shore where Emma was waiting for me having gotten bored with the kayak fishing. She headed in for a snorkel and we regrouped on the beach before packing the gear away.
Still relatively new to the area, we decided to head south on the Wild Atlantic Way to have a look at some more places and, being the clear and sunny day that it was, just to enjoy the drive. We saw some stunning looking areas and Emma marveled at the spectacular vistas. I was too busy looking at the potential of the area for kayak angling; launch points, ease of access and the likes. I guess anglers are hard-wired to see things a little differently to everybody else, especially where water is involved!