Wednesday, July 9, 2014

West Coast trip

All I can say about the West Coast of Ireland is that it has surpassed my expectations in all the possible ways! From breathtaking scenery, people's hospitality and most of all fishing!

It was far from being easy since the only guide I had was Google Earth (what a good friend that is for the exploring fisherman), but ended up having some of the best fishing experiences of my life!

Got up the first morning after 2 hours of sleep (what an overrated thing this sleeping habbit is, huh? ) and walked around a few miles to find me some bass. I was later to find out that I went in the wrong direction if it was bass I was after, but that's half the fun anyway.

After 3 hours of fishing in one of the best fishing grounds I ever layed my eyes upon, decided to check out a mark that appeared to look very interesting (at least from the satellite pictures).

I reached the mark after half an hour of walking alongside electric fences and old deserted houses, and I was not dissappointed! Everything around screamed "fish"!

I tried for bass in the shallow rocky area right in front of me, but it was only when I made a cast further right over a steep drop-off, that a pollock came out speeding from the deep, hit my lure - a Megabass x-120 SW, and jumped clear out of the water holding tight the shiny piece of plastic.

I nearly fell of the rock with excitement!

I landed the fish after a short but brutal fight. Looked every bit of 6 pounds. The camera was a long way back climbing the slippery wet rocks so I released him as soon as I could without taking any photos (long live the barbless trebles) , and fished on.

Switched to a Savage Gear Sandeel Slug after a series of shy follows and undecided bumps on the hard lure, and, on the first cast, I hooked an even better pollock than the first one. This was the first fish to peel line off my reel, and proved to be a new personal best for me at over 8 pounds. He even managed to put a serious bend on a brand new Savage Gear darting weedless hook, and, man, those things are tough!

In the next 20 minutes I caught 5 more fish, none over 3 pounds and then everything went silent as the tide dropped and exposed the rocks in front of me. 

Just in time for breakfast!

Next high tide was at 6pm so Adriana and I decided to head for a mark that produced nice bass last week.

As soon as we arrived I saw a big splash in front of the beach, so I grabbed the rods, clipped on a IMA Komomo 125 in a Bay Area Pro Blue colour for Adriana and proceeded to tie a new fluorocarbon leader for me. 

First cast in for her and it was fish on! After a thrilling fight she beached the fish nicely. Her first seabass!

Quick series of photos, a nice release (of course) and we got back to what we were doing: me tying leaders, and Adriana catching fish.

So yes, by the time I got my leader tied, she landed two nice bass in 3 casts...Talk about happiness!

In the next hour or so, neither of us got any hits, so it was time to move to another mark, 100m away.

Went there by myself since it was a rather dangerous descent on the slippery sharp rocks and in the end I did save my self esteem (or at least a part of it), by catching a nice Atlantic bass on the notorious Megabass Zonk 120.

Next morning I was on top of the pollock mark at first light, of course, but only caught one, on the first cast.

So after half an hour without any action I switched to a 7g jighead for my Sandeel Slug and on the first cast bouncing it between the boulders I had a nice tap and got my first Kerry wrasse.

What came after blew me away!

I had the most amazing two hours wrassing of my short saltwater fisherman's life, landing over 40 fish, none of them under 3 pounds with the biggest going well over the 5 pound mark.
Most of them fell to the Savage Gear Slug, but had to switch to my go-to wrasse lure (an Illex Gambit Paddle tail) just to save my slug stock from the wrecking teeth of the coloured soft plastic munching creatures.

What a way to end this perfect trip!