Ireland Trip To Remember… Part One

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Well, well ,well – what an epic of a trip to Ireland’s Copper Coast and County Kerry that was…. conditions were far from ideal for bass by any stretch of the imagination but we managed fish and a whole lot of laughs along the way. First off I have to say a huge thanks to Cian and James at Absolute Fishing for their advice during our time on The Copper Coast and also without doubt to John and Henry for exactly the same during our time in Kerry…. what a brilliant time at Thatched Cottage where I’d extend my thanks to John’s wife Lynne not only for her splendid hospitality but for generally putting up with us for four long days! Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all!

Anyway, about the trip….. the general gist was Nobby and myself would get the ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, spend three full days fishing on the Copper Coast, then drive down to Kerry scooping up fellow fishing comrade Paul from Cork airport en-route. Here’s how events unfolded:

Day 1…. Getting there

Two overly excited grown men set off in the rocking red VW Transporter at 8 o’clock in the morning for the Fishguard ferry with far far too much kit as always! Honestly, there was more kit in there than you’d find in most fishing shops – ridiculous but we had everything ‘just in case’. A fairly uneventful drive (apart from the odd bout of road rage) which was done in no time as we contemplated the fishing that lay ahead of us. Even at this stage the conditions were not looking favourable but we lived in hope that the run of easterlies might change. The ferry was dead easy as well, hardly a soul on there and aside from Nobby getting his head down and farting loudly at a fellow passenger in his sleep whilst I chuckled from behind Sea Angler magazine that too was uneventful. We were staying in Dungarvan so from the ferry we made our way there in the fading light, got our kit sorted out and headed off to the local bar for our first pint or two of the black stuff.

Day 2…. First fish

Nobby needed to pick up a rod from Cian which could handle the pollack when we got to Kerry later in the week so first stop that morning was Absolute Fishing….. just what we needed more shiny lures to tempt us!! It was worthwhile as after a few steers from Cian and his colleague James we were on our way to our first spot. Conditions were pretty benign and Nobby bagged the only fish of the session but still  we were off the mark with our first fish of the week…

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With the tide now on the flood we moved on to our second mark. There was some nice rocks and a decent churn hitting the beach which looked encouraging and just as James joined us for a cast or two I managed to land my first of the week on the IMA Komomo SF-125…. a nice fish of around 5-6lb… please excuse the dodgy looking glasses and head gear!

Ballytowane Bass

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That was all we managed there so James took us to a final spot for the day where we spent a final half hour or so without success. Given it was our first fish in Ireland we went back to our digs content to have caught, hatch a plan for the next day and headed for a couple more pints of the black stuff.

Day 3…. Surf’s Up Dude!

New venue and different type of lure fishing to start with as we made a bit of a hike and then bumped soft plastics in a steady estuary flow. Resulted in a single fish for me on the Fiiish Black Minnow with a wallop of a take… great fun in the current!

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As the tide dropped the surf looked decent at the end of the estuary where it met the sea and with a bit of southerly now showing  in the wind the water churned up nicely. We headed out into the surf and it wasn’t long before Nobby had picked up a couple of real fighters in the highly oxygenated water on the Savage Gear sandeel – what a reliable lure this is, seems to consistently produce fish in the surf…. speaking of being in the surf it was as Nobby was trying to get his third of the day in I managed to take a dunk in the drink as lost footing and subsequent balance issues gave me a soaking… there was bed wetting laughter from my mate as you can well imagine!  A few further fish followed all around the 4lb mark and then they were gone.  A smashing session despite the soaking! Yet more black stuff followed that evening!

Day 4…. It’s not over until it’s over!

Our last full day on The Copper Coast and we were greeted with blue sky, bright sunshine and a light easterly breeze as we surfaced…. it didn’t look ideal at all and we were a little stumped where to fish so we took a chance and  settled on the same venue as the day before in the hope of picking up the odd fish. Unfortunately,  the estuary failed to produce and the surf was flattening out by the minute – not a sniff….. what a difference a day makes.

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We went for some food following this blank session and after much deliberation decided to head back along the coast road in the general  direction of Dungarvan contemplating whether in fact to bin the fishing for the day. However, we called in at a couple of spots on our way back and luckily found a mark we thought looked a bit more ‘fishy’ and decided to give it a go for half an hour or so. There was certainly a bit more colour in the water here which was encouraging and the presence of a couple of seals suggested there might be fish around which encouraged us further. Like the rest of the day it turned out to be slow going but just as we were thinking of turning back I had an almighty thump on the line and the rod bent over… I was in and it felt decent! With seals precariously close all I could think about was getting the bass in before one of the seals snaffled it but that was easier said than done as the fish put in a couple of runs before Nobby could lift it out of the water for me close in….. it was a beauty going 71cm on the tape so about the 8lb mark. At this point Nobby was practically doing cartwheels while I was more in shock I’d landed it with the seals in such close proximity! The IMA Komomo SF-125 had done the business again!

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It turned out to be the only fish of the day but what a beautifully conditioned fish it was…. and to think we nearly didn’t fish that final session was a lesson for the future for sure. All done we headed back to our digs, packed up for our onward trip to Kerry the next day and celebrated with a few more of those lovely silky black drinks they have in Ireland!

Day five onwards to follow so….

Until next time…

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