Where on earth do I start? Yet again my pal Andy and myself have just got back from another quite fantastic and awe inspiring jaunt down to Thatched Cottage in Kerry under the excellent stewardship of John Quinlan. This being my third trip to Kerry and I’m actually struggling to find the words that best describe this quite magical part of the world…. what I do know is it gets under your skin and you just want more of it.
We took the same route as last year via the early Irish Ferries sailing out of Pembroke Dock to Rosslare followed by approximately 5 hours on the road in Andy’s van down to Ballinskelligs Bay. After a quick cuppa with Lynn what else was there to do but get out for a couple of hours fishing…. and it didn’t take long to produce with Andy having this nice 63cm fish… and we hadn’t even started properly!
Day 1… proper!
The nature of the trip meant there were other people coming and going whilst we were there and it was first good to meet up with Nick and a couple of Dutch lads Paul and Rick whom we fished with on our first full day. John had us on an estuary to begin with and as the tide started to flood the fish moved in. Strangely in an estuary my first take was from a large garfish which nailed a Savage Gear Line Thru Sandeel but then the bass moved in – several bass were taken here amongst the four of us, – nothing big but nice rod benders all the same.
The scenery of this area is breathtaking it really is and the beauty of fishing here is the diversity of the marks in relatively close proximity. After a spot of lunch within fifteen minutes we were at a rocky mark where once again John put us on the fish with bass in the 3-4lb bracket – Andy with this nice one…
All in all a damn fine first day in Kerry…. and that includes a bit of roadside maintenance on John’s wagon after his driver side front tyre, well, let’s just say may have perished slightly on the inside!!!!
We woke on day two with much more ‘bassy’ conditions, bit of rain, bit of wind and a nice looking swell coming in which meant only one thing…. get in the surf after the bass. The Dutch lads had headed home but Nick joined us for the session. You certainly needed a lure that was going to give you a chance in the strong head wind and the weapon of choice was most definitely the Savage Gear Line Thru Sandeel which proved very successful almost from the outset…
In a relatively short space of time there were circa. fifteen fish landed in total with Andy again nailing the best of the bunch after a really good fizzed up scrap in the highly oxygenated water. In the picture below he’d walked this one in a fair bit which doesn’t do justice to the way the conditions were playing out – there was certainly no clean tables of surf with the wind giving it a very random chop and standing waves up in multiples right in your face!
All good things come to an end and as if someone turned a tap off they were gone. Hung around to see if there were any big stragglers hanging on but alas it really had died off so it was back to base for a cup of tea and a change of clothes… unless you had 100% watertight clobber on you were always going to get wet in those conditions!
After all the mornings activity the afternoon was a bit of an anti-climax on the fish front… after another quick burst in the surf with nothing happening it was on to some more sheltered reef but even on a now flooding tide things had calmed down considerably and we couldn’t coax a take between us…. but it had been a good day and a pint or two of the black stuff topped things off nicely.
Ireland 2017 – Part 2 to follow!
Until next time…