So the decision was made that I was going to have a Christmas Day fish, regardless of weather or sea conditions. The thought of catching a bass on Christmas morning before most of the country was even awake was certainly appealing. And it just happened that all the necessary conditions combined for perfect bassy conditions. A fair onshore breeze, high tide coincided with sunrise, a nice big tide of the back of the springs and weed free water with reasonable clarity. Now, if you give me those conditions on this mark in the summer period I would be sure of seeing a few bass. But in all honesty I wasn’t overly sure of much action, being that I’m still relatively new to this game I haven’t yet built up a good repertoire of how my marks fish in the winter.
My mind was made though and I was sure to fish, I arrived on mark in the pitch black and started slinging the lures. It was hard to gauge the conditions in the dark but as the sun started to rise it revealed some lovely clear fizzed up water and it was just a pleasure to be out on my own fishing. I spent most of my time on my favourite part of real shallow reefy ground, a spot where I’ve lost 2 very big fish. I chucked everything out there with no success so I move further down to a spot which I have not necessarily had much success over but certainly looked the part today with fizzed up water over shingle bottom with broken rocky ground below. I broke out the big guns with the IMA Hound Fang 125 F in cotton candy, a lure I’ve not had loads of success on but it was perfect conditions for it. After a few casts my rod arcs over and I feel the wonderful pull of a fish. It was one of those that took me by surprise and once I had the fish landed it was only a schoolie, but that was fine with me. I must say in that highly oxygenated water the bass really punched above his weight. That was the only fish of the morning but I couldn’t have started the day any better.
This year has certainly brought me a lot of joys in the ways of fishing, I may not have done as much as had wanted to at home on my own turf, but the fishing I have done has certainly been pretty epic stuff. What with having 2 sessions down in Cornwall with Nick Mackrory from Bass Go Deeper, to visiting Ireland twice this year Totalling 6 weeks in total. I’ve been lucky enough to break all my PBs for Bass, Wrasse and Pollock In fact I’ve broke my Bass PB 3 times this year. I wouldn’t be able to pick one single moment throughout the year that was my favourite but here are a few. First off fishing on the rugged Kerry coastline for big shore Pollock, it’s like nothing I’ve ever done. This was part of the guided trip I did in August with Thatch Cottage Fishing Lodge. Between the 4 of us I can be honest in saying that we had it handed to us on a few occasions with a few of the boys getting fully beasted by some big crash diving Pollock. I am happy to say though, that I did manage to tame a 6lb beauty of a Pollock. Another highlight had to be when I was back out in Ireland in October this time on the Copper Coast fishing for bass. After periods of no fish and bad weather blowing the whole coast out I managed to nail my 3rd PB bass of the year. It was a beautiful 7lb prime Irish bass, and what made this fish even more special was the method in catching it. It was using the famous Black Minnow 120 off shore head in Khaki fished by bumping it in the current of an estuary. It was a tactic I hadn’t used until I came to Ireland and is such a hard was to fish until you have success. It feels so wrong banging out a lure and doing nothing but holding your line tight waiting for the rod to arc over. But when it happens you certainly have a scrap on your hands especially when the fish has the current on its side.
Another would have to be my second trip when I went to Cornwall to fish with Nick Mackrory, we visited several marks in the day and it just all seemed to come good, with numerous Bass Wrasse and Pollock, no monsters but the plenty of fish to satisfy me for the day. Also with the crystal clear water that they had down in Cornwall throughout the summer it certainly made for some fun viewing, those moments you see your lure cruising back to you over that last gulley and out of nowhere wallop. A nice bar of silver doing what they do best, ambush.
Over this year I’ve been very lucky to have met some awesome and influential people within the fishing scene. People such as Nick Mackrory owner of Bass Go Deeper who is a Cornish Fishing guide, I’ve had a couple great sessions with him and already have plans to get back down there next year. John Quinlan from Thatch Cottage, an Irish fishing guide who I’ve stayed with twice and is always happy to help you out onto some fish. Henry Gilbey who was also Guiding and photographing with John over in Ireland, a very kind and genuine guy who is always happy to answer my questions I give him. Steven Neely owner of the online store Fish on Lures, and his dad John. When I arrived in Ireland on my own I agreed to meet them for the day and they were so helpful, they went way beyond the call of duty to set me on my way. Also Steven is always there to feed my lure addiction with the latest goods. And Cian O’Halloran owner of the awesome Absolute Fishing shop in Tramore Ireland. Again during my 5 week stay recently in Ireland Cian was another guy who was more than happy to help, bearing in mind I had never met the guy. He gave me some cheeky little pointers and when my rod tip snapped and waders leaked he was straight on the case getting them fixed for me, top bloke. I’m sure there are more but to everyone who has helped me this year in the world of fishing I can only thank you and can’t wait for more of the same next year.
I do have a few plans for next year that I want to get done, such as spending some time down in the Isles of Scilly chasing big shore Pollock and wrasse. Getting back down to Cornwall to fish with Nick. And the obvious which is to get back over to Ireland, preferably for as long as I can.