You know you've messed up.........

...........when you arrive at the ferry port in Cork 1.5 hours before you are due to sail and there is literally nobody around. You know that sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach when it dawns on you that there is a major chance you have made a proper mistake and there ain't nothing you can do about it but admit to being a complete and utter tit ? Well that was me last night when Nick and I turned up at Ringaskiddy to find the place devoid of life. I have never, ever done anything like this before. The Swansea Cork ferry had sailed the night before (Saturday), but I got straight on the phone to the StenaLine people to book in for the Monday morning sailing from Rosslare to Fishguard. My next call was to a very good friend in Tramore to firstly admit my stupid mistake (cue the inevitable falling about laughing on the other end of the phone), and secondly to ask if Nick and I might come and get a bed for the night with him and his lovely wife. What awesome people. No hesitation at all, and they even fed us when we got there. Plus of course they never took the piss out of me at all !! This outstanding couple know who they are and I owe them even more thanks than I did already. Thanks so much guys, and I know you are never going to remind me about turning up for a ferry on completely the wrong day !!?? Please come and stay with us in Cornwall someday soon and let us look after you instead.

Anyway, this extra day's fishing that Nick and I sort of had by mistake on the Beara turned out pretty well in the end. The day before we had seen a stack of mullet up feeding off the top, but of course we did not have our mullet gear with us. So we went back armed to the teeth, but of course every day is different and we only saw a few milling around.

So what do you do in Ireland when plan A goes slightly awry ? You fish for something else in exactly the same location of course. This is the beauty of an area like the Beara. So much water my head aches at how much fishing there is. I smashed this 8lb pollack on the drop, in that my MegaBass Spindleworm was falling through the water column on its long way to the bottom. I felt a hard tap as it sank and then wound like hell to connect with this fish. Some anglers for some reason don't much like pollack fishing, but to me it's about as good as it gets. How could you not enjoy hooking a fish like this in deep water on a lure rod I use for my bass fishing ? Savagely unsubtle is a good way to describe a pollack, and this fish even took a little bit of line off a very tight drag. OK, so we might have missed our original ferry, but another day in paradise more than makes up for a slight delay in getting home. Nick also nailed a few nice pollack on the fly and also have a tidy couple of mullet turn on his surface fly. Another time.......

I also owe another monster thank you to Paul and Anne Harris who so kindly had Nick and I to stay at the their stunning Dromagowlane House B&B on the Beara peninsular. People like this have my utmost respect. They work for so many years in the UK and then choose to move to an utterly stunning part of the world and open up such an angler-friendly B&B. Talk about making a life decision. I have known Paul and Anne for some years now and it was a proper privilege to be able to go and stay with them again in this little known about corner of south west Ireland. Sure, Kerry and Dingle get a hell of a lot of (quite rightful) publicity on the fishing front, but I can not tell you how special and unspoilt the Beara peninsular is. Under two hours' drive from Cork and it's like being in another world. If you see another angler then you will be in shock. You must bear in mind that although heading over to Ireland is my job, it's a part of my job that I am in serious love with, and to make my time as efficient as possible I make sure to load the dice in my favour and work with the right people. The Beara is a massive area to fish in and around, and how stupid would I be not to work with Paul and his extensive knowledge of the place ? He is a fishing junkie just like you and I, and rest assured that the kind help he gave Nick and I is no more or less then he cheerfully provides for any visiting anglers to their B&B. Believe me, Paul requires no great excuse to head out fishing !! Thanks guys, and please can I come and stay again soon ? As much as I love heading home to see my family, it is always one hell of a wrench to leave Ireland. Even if you do turn up at a ferry port on completely the wrong day !! Honestly........