Ireland 2018 – Part One

Another year and another fantastic week in the company of John and Lynn  at Thatched Cottage Fishing Lodge in beautiful County Kerry has come to an end. Fishing was tough at times, particularly to start with – no two days were the same that’s for sure – but really and truly that just added to the challenge. I’ve said it before and will say it again, there’s something very special about this place and I don’t just mean the fishing – it’s the whole backdrop too it – the scenery, variety of ground to fish over, the people and above all it’s the spirit of the place which has really, really gotten to me.

This year’s trip saw the usual suspects of Nobby and myself joined by his mate Richard (‘UJ’) for whom this was a first delve into the wonderous world of lure fishing for bass…. excuse the pun but he was definitely in at the deep end!

After a few early inconveniences, like having a chat with Mr Plod about being slightly overexcited to catch the ferry and then the ferry itself delayed for a couple of hours, we eventually found ourselves on the good shores of the Emerald Isle. It was then the jaunt from Rosslare to Kerry before us…. you could have worse journeys and the anticipation of getting there meant the miles and time were eaten up –  before we knew it we were through Caherdaniel, over the hill and before us was Ballinskelligs Bay (with some  ferocious looking swells and waves I might add). Shortly after we arrived at Thatched Cottage to be greeted as warmly as ever by John and Lynn. A quick decant of fishing kit, chatter, a couple of wee shots, lovely food, and a couple more wee shots and we were ready for bed ahead of our first day of fishing.

I’ll make no bones about it, the first couple of days were tough – the big swells and waves were still there and the water colour was downright filthy in most places. Not ideal. Between three of us, in the most sheltered and best coloured water John could find, we had one pollack for Nobby and a lost bass to UJ to show for our efforts.

That provoked  a change of plan from John for day three with us heading north to the Dingle peninsula to try the surf beaches there – a first for us on our trips to Kerry. There we also met up with a couple of well known bass anglers Ian and Malcomn who were giving the bait option a blast in the surf. The decision to head to Dingle finally paid dividends with our first lure caught bass of the trip landed, albeit only a small fish. The Savage Gear Line Thru Sandeel doing the business for my good self.

I had one one more hit that didn’t hook up as did Nobby but that was as good as it got despite fishing hard into the evening…. tough November fishing all round but at least the bass account had been opened. Our bait fishing friends only managed one in the same surf on the same session so not bad for us lure fishers we surmised…. we called it a draw anyway!

Day four back in Ballinskelligs and dawn brought us brighter, calmer conditions and thankfully clearing water with a nice table of surf running in the bay which John got us fishing first off. Nobby and myself cast out pretty much side by side and he shouted across to me “Looks fishy, doesn’t it?”….. “Oh yes it does” I respond with the devil in my eye as I’m into a bass first cast! Only a fish of a couple of pounds and again the Savage Gear Line Thru was on the money. That was the cue for a few more fish for Nobby and myself, here’s John with one of them…

UJ was still plugging away but was yet to be rid of his lure caught bass virginity – we were all quietly willing it to happen but it wasn’t to be in this  surf session. The fish had moved on and that was the cue for John to get us on the road too and off the surf beaches altogether to fish some shallow reef on a flooding tide. This was a familiar and favourite spot of mine from previous trips and it came up trumps again with the ever reliable DoLive stick accounting for this bass…

Both Nobby and myself had further hits – alas no hook ups – but the tide was now pushing us off the reef anyway so it was  time to retreat and once again move on. A couple more spots saw no action as we finished after dark but it had been a better  day on the bass and a couple of pints of the black stuff made for a suitable reward.

Whereas Nobby and myself still had four days fishing ahead of us UJ was always heading back early so only had one more full days fishing ahead of him…. was he going to lose his lure caught bass virginity?

Until next time…

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