So it has been a while since I have done a bit of proper bassing … Despite chasing and catching small silvers over in the Channel Islands it just wasn’t quite the same as being back on my old stomping ground around the south coast of Ireland in search of some proper lumps!
Excited doesn’t even come close to how I was feeling over the few days running up to our departure! It was nearly a year gave or take a day or two since I had been down and if you take a look back on my blog you will see we had a rather special trip last season … but we weren’t expecting a repeat performance.
We got a rather mixed bag with the weather, but sure when as anglers do we ever get what we want weather wise? We had norths, souths and east winds which made everything interesting to say the least.
My father had fish straight off on the first morning which was awesome and at least, if nothing else, the pressure was off! We also met up with some other angling mates who had made the trip over from parts of the U.K. – If nothing else the banter, jokes and stories make trips like these such a blast.
Day two the weather began to kick up and thankfully just before things got nasty we got ourselves out on the open coast and I landed a nice fish around the 5lb mark – it was a typical open coast, true bred Irish bass, which really scrapped in the fizz!
Day three we both blanked … the weather wasn’t making things easy and despite our best efforts we couldn’t get a sniff …. but what was to follow was worth the minor blip!
We had two more days left of our trip and although we had some decent fish we really wanted to nail a few more so we hatched a plan to fish some soft plastics in current in the hope of connecting with a few more bars of silver.
The plan worked! Over the course of the last two days we connected with some real sturdy fish with my father coming out on top with a lovely fish of around 9lb! It was a proper chunky bass with broad shoulders who was evidently well used to mooching around in the fast flow. Seeing a fish in this conditions is a privilege and possibly the best thing is watching them swim away.
My best fish of the trip was around 7lb and I had about half a dozen fish between 5-6lb which was just awesome sport on the soft plastic gear.
The killer lure was the Illex 4.8″ I Shad Tail which we fished on a range of jig heads weighing up to 20g presented in fast flowing current. I absolutely love this style of fishing, keeping in contact, feeling every little bump and waiting for the rod to slam over and the fish to scream off – hard to beat!
Sometimes I have to pinch myself and take a step back and realise how lucky I am to have some of this awesome sport only a few hours from the doorstep … I completely understand the draw and attraction of Ireland for UK and European anglers … of course there are other places around the UK that have equally large bass and others which produce massive quantities but every now and then Ireland just shows off and if you happen to be there when it does, I think few places can beat it.
But it isn’t all easy sailing … I don’t know how many trips we have had were you come home nearly a broken man from constantly casing and chasing your tail but stick at it and the efforts will be rewarded and when they are … well is there any other word for it other than awesome?
Keep your eyes on some of the angling publications over the next few months for more in depth articles and write ups and of course some more photos of the tactics, the trip and the fishing we had!