Dark Thoughts!

My oh my it’s been a long time since I’ve been fishing but today was the day I finally got out on the coast for the first time this year and in what seems an absolute age. Lockdown has just meant the usual period of ‘cabin fever’ was extended with endless surfing the internet looking out for new things to try…. and safe to say I’m rubbish at trying to resist.

So it was I headed out this morning with a few new lures in the bag and other things to try out along with a bunch of old faithful bits of course. Wasn’t really expecting much as water temperature is still down, light north easterly winds and smallish tides would not add up to my ideal recipe for success. However, I was just happy to be making my way back to the coast. Below zero when I arrived, brisk walk required!

Set-up today was a lighter one – Tailwalk Eginn 8’6” L-R 24g rod, Shimano Stradic 3000 FK reel with two spools – one with 12lb Tasline Elite White braid and the other with 20lb Savage Gear Silencer braid both with Seaguar fluorocarbon leaders and a Breakaway mini clip to the lure. A few hard lures with me but mostly had soft lures as those were where my will power succumbed more predominantly over lockdown.

First off though it was go with the tried and tested to see if I could get myself off the mark first time back in the saddle so on went the trusty DoLive. Plenty of cast and retrieve searching out rocks and gulleys but nothing doing. Wandered on enjoying being on the rocks again despite the chill in the air, clipped on the Patchinko 125 and for the first dozen or so casts again nothing stirred but then out of nowhere the surface erupted and I was in! Nothing huge at all but a very welcome first bass of the year…

With a blank saving bass safely caught and released it was time to experiment a bit so had my first play with a Savage Gear Gravity Stick – the pulse tail version. Really liked the action of this lure from my first cast with it and within a few minutes a bass followed it almost to the rod tip without committing. Tantalisingly close but that was as good as it got with the Gravity Stick today. Switched spools from the Tasline, of which first impressions are very good, to the spool of Savage Gear Silencer to see how that performed. I also put on a Megabass Dark Sleeper goby imitation lure to give that a go as I had seen a few snippets about them so decided to take a punt on one – could see no reason why it wouldn’t work and after a number of casts working out that a slow erratic retrieve gave it a good action I got the proof that I needed that they would indeed work! Retrieving through a gulley and the rod looped over with a better fish which gave a decent little account of itself before I was able to slide it ashore, a nice 57cm bass, circa 4lb…

That was it though for the session on the bass front, but I’ll take that for an opening attempt of the year given what we’ve all been through. Boy was it good to be back out there on the wild coast, a real tonic and now I just want more of it…. have missed it immensely.

Did get me surmising I may need to look into these Dark Sleepers in more depth as they come in different weights, lengths, and patterns… can see them being very useful at some of the spots I fish where you can just imagine the bass searching out prey like gobies and blennies. They look very realistic and it’s paddletail has a great action, definitely warrants more ‘Dark (Sleeper) Thoughts’ for sure…sorry that was an awful pun!

Until next time…

Getting out more…

Since the last post I’ve managed three more trips and all have been productive in their own way. Seem to be a few more bass showing themselves to lures though I’ve had nothing to write home about size wise – a lot of schoolies readily around with the best fish a fat mid-50cm fish, so I guess roughly 4lb.

Rewinding a bit, the first of my recent trips was not about the bass… it was about nurturing my son’s interest in lure fishing and that meant getting out for a spot of mackerel fishing with some small plugs and metals. Picked a nice, calm, warm evening and the mackerel duly obliged. In fact, as it turned out, we had some really good sized mackerel between us especially on metal shore jigs with the occasional ‘double’ hook up on the assist hook present on some jigs…

I used to take him when he was a lot younger but his interest didn’t really hold as I guess there were just too many teenage distractions shall we say! However, and by his own admission, he appreciates the benefits of the great outdoors a lot more these days and especially spending a few hours fishing with his old man! He’s got the patience for it which you definitely need at times, just need to get him on the bass now!

We had the added bonus of a spectacular sunset to end the session on…

The next two sessions were going solo and both produced decent quantity of bass if not any real size to them. First session was over reefy ground and almost all taken on surface lures and of similar size to the one below on the Patchinko 125…

The last of my recent sessions was at the weekend and this time it was back on the beach and numbers again good if size again fairly average. A variety of lures produced from metals to medium divers, like the Megabass Zonk, and also off the top again with the Patchinko 125 and it’s bigger brother. Some nice bouncy conditions and water colour to go with it meant the bass were nicely energised and whilst they were certainly no monsters they scrapped well and all taken at no distance at all, maybe 20 yards at most.


Hoping to get out again this weekend and this time getting my lad on the bass…. if I can get him out of bed at the witching hour!

Until next time…

Hard Slog…

It’s been a while…

As some may have noticed I’ve really been rather tardy in my updating of the blog since September last year and if I’m honest I lost a little bit of enthusiasm for writing things up despite another great trip to Ireland in November in somewhat challenging conditions! Fished some new ground for me around Courtmacsherry area for a couple of days before heading down to Thatched Cottage in Kerry to meet up with my mate Nobby for the excellent hospitality and guidance on offer from John and Lynn. Best fish of the week was actually the first one I had based out of Courtmacsherry and while quantity was better in Kerry the fish were on the smaller size and boy did a lot of effort go into catching them!

Fast forward to this year and the virus hits.

Until very recently fishing has been a bit of a non-event as it has for most and I have only very slowly started getting out there amongst it. First couple of local sessions with Nobby resulted in a single fish between us barely bigger than the lure itself  and then on our first excursion meeting up in Dorset we both blanked on a half-hearted recce trip…. more depressing was seeing inshore netters once again throwing their nets out within casting distance. Let’s not go there.

And so to yesterday’s hard slog… been keeping an eye on conditions for a Chesil trip and with winds dropping down a little and having a fishing itch to scratch I booked a day off work, dragged myself out of bed at 2 a.m., drove for an hour and a half, walked for a further half an hour and was just about fishing for first light. From my start point it was walk and cast, walk and cast, walk and cast, and so on with lure changes to boot for the next three hours I think…. not so much as a sniff, zilch! Frustratingly, no more than 300 yards offshore I could see birds working the surface for whitebait and what I would guess were mackerel breaking the surface from beneath but couldn’t be certain from a distance. Water clarity was patchy given the winds of late but certainly not soup and eminently fishable…. it was becoming a bit soul destroying so by the time I’d reached as far as I thought I could go taking into account the return trudge I stopped for breakfast and had a quick shut of the eyes!

It was a good job when a shower passed over to wake me up and get me moving again…. only a nap honest! It was time to head back and follow the same process of walking, casting and changing lures intermittently largely on the basis of slight changes in water colour. I hadn’t long changed from my favourite Pearl Rainbow Zonk to the Hot Shad version of the same lure when out of nowhere… BANG!… the rod bent over and finally I had a bass! It may have only been a schoolie but I don’t think I’ve ever been so pleased to have a blank saver!

Being I still had a fair trek ahead of me I was freshly invigorated and every cast for a while I was expecting the rod to bend over again but guess what….. nothing, no knocks, no sight of a fish in the waves, absolutely nowt… and still the birds fed 300 yards off shore!!

A single fish was all it was to be and I don’t mind admitting I arrived back at the car shattered…. my health app told me 18000+ steps which on those stones feels twice that believe me! I just kept telling myself at least I hadn’t blanked but truthfully I had hoped for a little better. For the dedicated lure angler we can only hope things pick up now and into the autumn….. fingers crossed anyway!

Until next time…

Couple of nice one’s…

There’s been some lovely bass fishing conditions of late on the south coast and despite the limited time I’ve had  available I’ve been lucky enough to get out a couple of times and get amongst some fish. The first session I had a couple of weeks back yielded over twenty bass with most being in the 50-55cm bracket with the exception that is of a nice fat 68cm fish pictured above.

I started this session as light was coming up using the ever reliable Megabass Zonk which produced a couple early on as did the Savage Gear Seeker which I put on next. However, as dawn broke properly conditions looked good  for the infamous Xorus Patchinko II and that was what nailed the majority of the fish thereafter, including the chunky 68cm one. This top water lure certainly holds it’s own in a bit of surface chop where I think other surface lures struggle – it certainly came up trumps for this session anyway.

None of the fish were taken at any distance, 30 yards out maximum. Another shot of the 68cm fish…

Set-up for the day was 10’6″ Triple Cross TCX-1062Surf, Van Staal VR-50 loaded with 25lb Gosen braid, 19lb Seaguar Ace Hard Fluorocarbon leader and a mini Breakaway clip.

Second session was this weekend and again conditions looked good for bass with a bigger swell, more chop and even more white water than previous trip…

Again, started around first light and picked up a couple on the Zonk. What the above photo doesn’t really show   was a stiff south-westerly blowing and the Zonk is one of the lures I find casts well into a headwind. It turned out to be the best lure I had in my box with all eight fish taken succombing to it’s action! The bass were all around the 45-50cm mark this time with the exception being a nice one that was again touching 68cm albeit not as fat as the one from the previous trip…

Set-up was similar to last time with the only change being I chose to go with the Tailwalk Eginn 9′ 6″ rod as opposed to the Triple Cross option. Once more none of the fish were taken at any distance – almost under the rod tip at times.

One final observation before I finish off with a few more pictures from the last couple of trips – the Van Staal VR-50 reel I am really liking, especially with the Gosen braid. Whilst I haven’t given it enough water time as I would have liked this year I’m not experiencing wind knot issues and whilst the line lane is not as good as a Shimano reel in my opinion, it is certainly not something that is causing me issues when fishing with it. I did load the braid on initially by submersing it in a bucket of cold water and have very slightly underfilled the spool which may have helped? I know some far, far, far more experienced and respected anglers than myself have found it does not suit their fishing but I’m loving it! Undoubtedly it’s a personal thing, no-one is right or wrong… it’s fascinating how things work differently for all us anglers eh?!

Anyhow, here are a few more pictures from the last couple of weeks…

Until next time…

First of the year…

Have been a bit slow to get going this year so after a couple of short sessions where I’d done nothing better than a blank and a wrasse it was nice to get a few bass this morning. Just the three – two off the top on the Patchinko 100 and one on the Shimano Silent Assassin 129F.

There could well have been a couple more had I managed to connect with takes on the Albie Snax. I haven’t used the Snax much to be honest but I know many lure anglers love it. It’s a tougher soft plastic and I’m wondering whether the hits but no hook-ups were because I had it rigged on the wrong weedless hook with not a wide enough gape on it? Or maybe, I should have drilled the hook hole slightly bigger to let the hook ‘dislodge’ easier on a hit as I’ve seen on an on-line video. Food for thought next time as the bass clearly like it.

The takes on the Patchinko couldn’t have been more different, the first smaller fish was on a very slow retrieve and it was the tiniest of plucks that snared it – was hooked very tentatively in the lip so much so that it threw the lure once landed!

The second fish which was slightly bigger absolutely launched at the Patchinko and was nicely hooked. The third bass taken on the Shimano Silent Assassin again nailed the lure hard and had taken it deep so it took me a while to delicately remove the hooks. Was very conscious I wanted to get it back as soon as I possibly could so no pictures of that one. Concentrated on the recovery and it did swim off strongly which was pleasing.

After the couple of early season blanks it was nice to get off the mark for the year with these bass – hopefully many more to follow in the coming months.

Until next time….

Ireland 2018 – Part Two

Well, you can see from the above picture that on his last full day of fishing UJ did finally lose his lure caught bass virginity…. and it really was getting near the last knockings when it happened!

The day started so dramatically different to any of the previous one’s we’d had all week – hardly a breath of wind and the seas had completely flattened off so first up we decided on a spot of pollack fishing for a couple of hours. The fish duly obliged with bends in rod aplenty! Nothing big but good sport nonetheless. Next up was a stunning bass spot John wanted us to fish where he knew there would still be a decent surf running given it’s location – it would have been totally unfishable earlier in the week. First cast for Nobby and ‘bang’ – fish on! We thought we might be in to a shoal but not another sniff…. strange how it can be at times.

With nothing more happening at this mark it was getting to the time in the tide where John wanted us back fishing the reef I’d caught at the day before. Back in the wagon and soon enough our lines were in the water. Nobby and I were fishing the DoLive Stick but UJ had switched to the new Gary Yamamoto Swim Senko in white. He was fishing between Nobby and myself when all of a sudden his rod looped over and a few expletives filled the air followed by a “you beauty”…. UJ had at last got his bass!!!! It wasn’t the biggest bass you’ll ever see but it was the most hard earned and well deserved bass I think I’ve ever seen experienced and we were just off the scale chuffed too bits for him….

It really was the fish that made our week when I look back on it – Nobby and myself have been lucky enough to catch a few in our time but to see someone who is new to the trade catch their first lure caught bass and work so damn hard to get it, in such a stunning  place… well, it really was the highlight of the week and we could only do one thing after that to celebrate…

Day six and UJ didn’t need to take off until after lunch so with his bass virginity lost the day before it gave him the opportunity of a further half day fishing. There was a better swell and surf running so we were off to a mark we’d looked at earlier in the week which had been unfishable. Today it looked good and after starting on the far side of the bay we worked our way to almost the middle of the bay where there appeared to be a gulley running behind a sand bar – it created a nice bit of movement with water running against the incoming surf. On went the Line Thru Sandeel  working it through the current and second cast ‘bang’ fish on!

Unhook, release, cast again and the next fish hits. By now Nobby and UJ are also into fish with UJ picking up a small sea trout and then his second ever lure caught bass…

Meanwhile, whilst we were obviously into a decent shoal of fish John is trying to get some scale samples and tags into the fish – I think at one point there were three fish hooked up and one on the beach!

These fish weren’t monsters but with the tough conditions we’d endured earlier in the week it was very welcome to get into a run of a few fish on the light gear… they certainly scrap better in the surf with the more oxygenated water giving them a bit of a turbo boost. The fish moved on though and so did we to rocks the other end of the bay where Nobby and I  picked up a couple more bass including one off the top on the Patchinko 125. UJ picked up a pollack as well so he’d had a three species final morning –  a nice way to finish you’re first foray into lure fishing I’d say and more than merited for the effort he’d put in all week.

After lunch at Thatched Cottage we bid UJ farewell and headed out again, fairly local thsi time, with a few more schoolies found over reef ground before an executive decision to declare early for a well earned pint. It had been a twenty bass day in total which was decent given the cold November winds, we’d certainly have taken that after the conditions at the start of the week.

Our penultimate day was once again different – things had flattened off again with much less surf running but given the success at the spot the previous day John couldn’t ignore it and we went back to see if the fish were still around. By now we had been joined in Ballinskelligs by Malcomn and Ian who had made their way down from the Dingle area. The fish were still there but not in the same numbers with half a dozen between us I think, here’s Ian with one…

The afternoon saw us back over a bit of reef where Nobby picked up one on the ever reliable DoLive before we headed back to the surf as the tide flooded – despite looking fishy, and one missed take, neither of us hooked up. The final mark for the day saw us fishing into the dark over shallow reef but aside from a couple of small pollack that was it – the bass certainly weren’t playing ball so it was time for a pint and John’s fish and chip supper!

Our final day was now upon us and the conditions could not have been more different to those when we rocked up a week earlier – it really was benign in the bay with hardly a ripple on the surface. We tried a couple of marks but there was nothing happening so it was off to a spot again we’d been too earlier in the week which had a better chance of some current in the water with the option to fish from the beach or from some rock groins. I stayed on the beach in the surf and picked up four schoolies while John took Nobby off the rocks where he nailed a few pollack on surf lures… spot the fish in this picture!

We were nearly done for the week but one last throw of the dice back in Ballinskelligs Bay as the tide flooded yielded a small bass each for Nobby and myself – both on DoLive Sticks – and that was as good a place as any to finish on as the sun headed for the horizon…

This was my fourth trip to Ballinskelligs and Thatched Cottage and as I said at the very beginning of the ‘Ireland 2018 – Part One‘ post it’s been a fantastic week. Tough at times, especially to begin with, but lots of smiles, banter and laughter along the way in a quite stunning part of the world. Big thanks to Malcomn, Ian, UJ and of course Nobby for your splendid company and enjoying the craic, but I’ll reserve my biggest thanks for John and Lynn….. yes, it’s the fishing that draws us back year on year but hats off to you both for the huge efforts you put in to make it happen for us anglers day in day out, often without a sign of a break – it doesn’t go unnoticed by many of us and is hugely appreciated.

Keep that spirit of Ballinskelligs Bay riding high my friends…. it’s a very special place and thing you have going there.

Until next time…

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…

Frustrating start but a few bass in the end…

Fishing for me is my time to relax and forget about the day-to-day things in life and very seldom do I let anything to do with fishing dishearten me. However, I must admit that’s how I felt just as the light got up on Sunday morning. My intention was to get some early morning fishing done in the dark for an hour or so before dawn. So, I’d dragged myself out of bed just before 3 a.m., drove for an hour and a half and then yomped for a further 30 minutes to get to chosen mark. I like to fish here at low to particularly get the first push of the tide and the timings were favourable for this early start in the dark at this spot.

It’s usually a fairly reliable mark and I was surprised that for that first hour or so in the darkness I didn’t have any interest whatsoever… top water, shallow divers, soft plastic – zero interest. Then the light started to come up and  the reason became fairly clear – if you look carefully in in the cropped photo below you’ll notice what I was faced with…


Yep, strewn out for probably 200 metres in front of me was a net pretty much in casting range, in fact if I’d had a metal lure to give me extra distance I would definitely have hit it. Frustrating and above all disheartening. Needless to say I moved on and later I saw the net owner come along in his little boat to retrieve the net with his catch. Really wish there were some ‘no net zones’ for the good of all marine life and not just to appease the recreational anglers amongst us.

Anyhow, the move along the coast was a positive one and soon enough my mood was pepped up as I was into a few fish. As with my last post the bass were all small with the best topping out at 55cm. At least they put a bend in the rod and there do seem to be plenty of them around this year which I guess can only bode well for future bass stocks…. if they’re left alone of course.


You’ll notice the Patchinko 125 was once again the weapon of choice, definitely my favourite lure of the moment. I just feel really assured it will pick me up fish versus other options… amazing how much confidence plays a part in lure fishing eh?!

Hopefully, will be out again in the coming weeks for a few local(ish) sessions but the countdown to Ireland in November is well and truly on now. Shouldn’t wish your life away I know but I can already picture it… and of course taste the Guinness.

Until next time…

Liking this Patchinko 125…


Well, once again it’s been a while since I’ve blogged and to be frank I’ve disappointingly managed relatively little fishing over the summer period – general life stuff getting in the way and the real need to get a project completed at home…. more on that later. The few times I have ventured out over summer I’ve found to be relatively hit and miss on the bass front. So with autumn knocking on the door it’s been good to finally get out and have two multiple fish sessions in quick succession – albeit all schoolies up to the 3lb bracket.

What has been particularly encouraging is the catching ability of the new Patchinko 125. Let’s face it, it had a lot to live up to with both its’s smaller brother the P100 and the bigger Patchinko II, both of which have been proven ‘catchers’ for a number of years. The problem with the two siblings, in my humble opinion, is there was too much of a size difference. The smaller version would sometimes be ineffective if conditions got bouncy, be out of reach for the fish, or simply be too much of a magnet for smaller fish whereas conversely the big brother can be too ‘noisy’ in calmer conditions and lack the subtlety that is required in a given situation.  The P125 looks to have filled that void very nicely with very few compromises. I’ve found it casts slightly differently compared to the Patchinko II which you could fairly wallop out to the horizon if you put your body and soul behind it. To get the best out of the P125 I’ve found it’s all about hitting that sweet spot and then it will give you that distance and there’s no question it can fly! The nice thing about it is it seems to be consistent in the disturbance you can create on the surface with it and by that I mean it seems to work as you would expect equally between it’s two siblings – capable of a bit more disturbance than the P100 but not too much that it puts fish off, it can hold it’s own in choppier conditions and like both of it’s forebearers is incredibly easy to work. Above everything else though it has maintaned that irresistible action that bass seem to love.

That brings me nicely to Saturday when I took a trip down to Dorset where the Patchinko 125 was the weapon of choice and amongst a plague of garfish, and a few mackies, a dozen bass were caught – nothing big as indicated but okay numbers. The white version of the P125 was certainly working well (apologies for picture quality below)…


The second session on the P125 was on Monday for a couple of hours at a venue closer to home and again it did the business with the infamous 500g version a clear winner. This was a classic case where the P100 just would not have reached where the fish were shoaled up. Again, roughly a dozen caught similar size to below… the P125 certainly gets the thumbs up from me!


Generally, it’s nice to experience, see and hear of more fish being caught as autumn looms large so let’s hope for more of the same in the coming weeks… particularly ahead of the now annual trip to Ireland which is in November this time around. Just cannot wait!

Before I finish, you remember that project at home I mentioned earlier? To cut to the chase it was basically a shed building exercise that got out of control…. I’d got so far with it so thought why not make it into a part fishing den/man cave sort of shed thing…. somewhere to hang the Patchinko’s up at least!

The Tackle Box

Until next time…

Ireland 2017 – Part 3


Day 5

Refreshed from a good nights sleep and another hearty breakfast it was probably mid morning before we headed out and this time it was out of Ballinskelligs Bay itself to try and fish somewhere where there was a bit of movement in the water in the hope of bass being around. Again we had bright skies and a fresh northerly wind to deal with which weren’t ideal conditions but  when we got to the piece of coast John had earmarked, despite the lack of fizz and the pretty clear water, we were encouraged by the water movement.

Rossbeigh 1

First area we could only manage several small pollack between us despite seeing a large bass mooching around with some equally big mullet – none of them appeared interested in feeding at all but then we were at the bottom of the tide by now. Soon enough John had us moving on and after an early lunch we were off fishing some likely looking reef with relatively shallow ground, intermixed with lots of boulders and plenty of weed. It looked good and it was time to clip on the Do Live Sticks for sure.

Cave 1

It was slow to start with but then as the tide started to push and we found a particularly interesting looking boulder field we found fish. First I had a couple of plucks but no take and then a few casts later the rod slammed over and I thought I was into a really good fish the way it fought but as it turned out it was a feisty fine conditioned fish of about 4lb.


A couple more followed on this stretch of coast and one was lost, all on the Do Live Stick, and all went like the clappers as if they were fish caught in highly oxygenated surf! Terrific ground to fish on and not a bad result in the end considering the bright conditions over head and the water clarity. We had a fair walk to get back to John’s car and set off in good time for dinner…. only to be way laid by an old boy who was repairing gate… I swear if we hadn’t rolled up our sleeves and helped him out he would still be there now! Nice too help out though and he was very grateful… not that we understood a word he was saying!!

A few pints of the black stuff that evening at Tig Rosie’s finished the day off nicely!

Day 6

We woke slightly bleary eyed to be met with an overcast sky and hardly a breath of wind on our penultimate full day in Kerry. Tides weren’t the best for bass fishing in the morning so we spent a few hours on deeper water marks having a blast at the pollack. We had a fair few in a short space of time up to about 4lb again I guess but no beasts!


It wasn’t the easiest bit of climbing after a couple of those lovely Guinness drinks the night before and our general feeling of unsteadiness today was probably best demonstrated by Andy as he made his way across a particularly precarious little gully…

Andy staggering on rocks

After a spot of lunch on a nearby beach we headed around a headland with shallower reef looking for bass but it was still pretty calm and we only managed further pollack so John had us on the move again back into Ballinskelligs Bay over a shallow reef as the tide flooded. The wind had picked up but it still had a lot of northerly in it so wasn’t conducive to any swell or disturbance and the water was absolutely crystal clear… there were no bass to be had today.

Day 7

Our last full day in Kerry and it was raining with a nice bit of breeze…. the surf beckoned and we were joined by Nick and Ian at the same spot we’d caught right at the start of our trip. Conditions looked almost identical and we all waded in with hopes high…. but nothing! Not a single fish or even hit between the four of us!! So, John moved us on again to a more reefy spot where  Ian quickly picked up a small fish…


The rest of us were struggling until Andy moved further on round with John and found life! Cormorants on the water and terns overhead he fizzed his Hound Glide out amongst them and within  seconds…. wallop!! Nick and I were probably some 300 yards back along the reef at this point but we heard the whooping as Andy pulled in the best fish of the week going 67cm on the tape…lovely fish!

Nobby Bass 5

What a cracking way to end our final full day in Kerry and of course with a pint of Guinness to celebrate.

We did fish briefly on our final morning for one small bass but in all honesty we were fished out by now and it was time for us to reluctantly turn our thoughts to de-rigging, packing up and heading back cross the Emerald Isle for the ferry home. What an absolute blast it had been yet again!

Final Thoughts

I think one of my opening observations in the Ireland 2017 – Part 1 blog article about this trip was that this place gets under your skin and all I can say is that every time I come away it just gets that more tucked under. It’s not just the fishing… it’s the scenery, it’s the people, it’s the pace of life, it’s the quirkiness, it’s just the whole craic of the place…. it truly is magical being in this part of the world and it just wants you coming back for more.

I can’t finish without saying thanks to Paul, Rick, Ziggy and Monica for your company, to Nick and Ian (and Eileen!) for sharing fishing time and plenty of laughs but above all, once again, on behalf of Andy and myself a huge, huge, “Thank You” to John and Lynn not just for the guiding and the wonderful hospitality but for all the banter, laughs and friendship you show which makes our trips out to Kerry very, very special indeed. We will be back…. if you’ll have us!!

Until next time!