Having fished The Copper Coast for the last few days the next part of the journey was about to get under way with the trip down to Thatched Cottage, Ballinskelligs in Kerry under the capable wings of John and Henry. Here’s how it panned out….
Day 5…. First fish in Kerry
Today was mainly our travel day from Dungarvan down to the far reaches of Kerry but we did manage a fruitless hour on a local spot…. Again bright blue skies, flat calm water and a light prevailing easterly wasn’t the best but we did find some nice ground with current which could definitely do with being investigated further next time!
We packed up, checked out and drove the hour and a half down to Cork airport to pick up fishing buddy Paul for the onward trip to Kerry hoping we’d get there in time to have a quick fish before the day was done. After making good time through some awe inspiring countryside and plenty of banter we rocked up at Thatched Cottage to be greeted by John, Lynne and Henry. A quick unload of gear, into our kit, rods rigged and we were off for a swift fish before dinner…. and for a limited session it proved successful! No big fish from a local mark but we all bagged bass…
Back at the cottage we settled in for the evening with Lynne’s lovely cooking and meeting up with the lone Dutchman Joran who would be fishing with us over the next few days…. smashing chap who enjoys his fishing for sure! Plan was set over dinner for early the next morning and then it was off to bed in anticipation…
Day 6…. Bass before breakfast then it’s all pollacks!
Alarms went early and after a quick brew it was fishing in the dark first off for the four us under John and Henry’s guidance. We were well spread along the shore and it wasn’t long before we were all into bass – most around the 3lb mark – with the exception of Joran who nailed a healthier 5lb fish. Dawn was now upon us and a mighty fine one it was too…
Once the light was up fully the fishing dropped off and that was the cue to get back to base for Lynne’s hearty breakfast. Once we had refuelled ourselves we were soon off again to a surf mark but there was only a small swell coming in and a distinct lack of bait fish which John explained was unusual.
The winds still had a lot of easterly in them so it was tough going and after about an hour we were on the move again with none of us having picked up fish.
A pit stop for lunch followed with the afternoon spent going after the pollack at a truly awesome, unspoilt location. A bit of a yomp to get there but well worth it…
No monsters with biggest fish around 4lb but boy do they smash you up on the light gear….we lost our fair share of them too! The anticipation before the take was hold on tight to your seat stuff….. ‘pluck’ ‘pluck’ ‘pluck’ before ‘wallop’ as the fish would engulf the lure! Nobby had the biggest fish I think and probably had the smallest too so obviously he had to pose for a picture with that one!!
By the time we’d trekked back cleverly avoiding the electric fencing and negotiating various other obstacles we were pretty much done for the day. Stunning location and good sport on the pollack! Back to base pretty knackered but plenty more banter over dinner saw us through until bedtime ready to do it all over again the next day.
Day 7… Keep on moving!
Same morning routine – cup of tea and out the door soon after 5 a.m. to get the best chance of bass given the benign conditions. One thing that really struck me today was how well John knows his area. The conditions made it mighty tough all week but he put us on fish every day. Giving today as an example we headed out with him wanting to move us around quickly to find the fish. First spot we fished for no more than 30 minutes at most – no fish so move on. Next mark was shallow enough to easily wade out over an offshore reef but before we set off John implicitly said do not be tempted to wade “the fish will be under your feet”. My third cast, as I was about to lift the lure out of the water ‘bang’ I was hit right under my rod tip and a nice 3lb fish came ashore. A few minutes later and it was deja vu as a similar size fish hit me, again no more than a rod length out. As the tide ebbed we were allowed to wade out slowly and again I picked up a fish at no distance and in no more than 2 foot of water at that. Paul, Nobby and Yoran all faired similarly. Good guidance eh?
After breakfast we were on the road again with John scouring the coast with his trusty binoculars looking for signs of fish! The tide was still dropping, seas were flat but we fished a mark for about an hour which John said we’d be back to fish on the flood. We drove on, had an early lunch and tried our luck in a beautiful estuary mark that for all the world smacked of fish – sandbars, decent current, plenty of broken ground mixed in but not a damn sniff! On it’s day it would be awesome… I’m convinced of it.
The tide had started to turn now and we were on the move again returning to the previous mark where both Nobby and Yoran picked up bass on the flooding tide as John had suggested. Again not big fish but bass all the same in what were proving tough conditions. Finally, after more yomping across rocks we headed back closer to base to fish at a more local mark where in the fading light Nobby picked up a bass and I managed the smallest of sea trout in the minimal surf.
A tiring day to say the very least but with those nagging light easterly winds, flat calm seas and not a hint of bait fish anywhere to be seen John had still put us on fish. More frivolity and banter over dinner and a couple of drinks followed before we all crashed out knowing we’d be doing it all again tomorrow!
Days 7, 8 and 9 to follow soon!
Until next time…