It's so good to be back here, but it's been pretty calm and very clear for a while over here now, and all the bass guys are really wanting some more life to the water. Can't believe that here we are in October asking for a bit of breeze and "fizz" to the sea - but conditions are starting to come in now. We fished an estuary mark on the Thursday ebb tide, and I had a couple of bass on small paddletails fished right into a bit of more turbulent water that we found.
We took the decision not to even bother heading out on the coast yesterday afternoon for the bass. Much as we wanted to, we thought it was worth waiting until these conditions we are starting to get now coming in. But this is Ireland, and if you are up for it there is always some kind of option to go and smash a few fish. I dread to think how many pollack Nick, Cian and I ended up catching - no real size to them, but we just smashed them good and proper. Nick nailed easily as many on the fly as we did on the plastics, if not more. He also sight fished to a really nice wrasse on the fly that he saw creeping along the rock edge, and that's the first proper wrasse I have ever seen actually taken on the fly. I know Nick was really made up with that one.
Pollack have always done it for me, and with the insane numbers of fish around yesterday we could really go to town on experimenting with different lures and techniques. Fishing a Mann's Hard Nose 5'' HN Freefall Worm on an Owner 3/8oz Darter Type jig head was catching silly numbers of fish, but only when we fished them sink and draw - cast them out, let them hit the bottom, and then start to sink and draw them back towards you, but really nice and slow. All the fish came on the drop. Deadly. This is the first time I have ever used these Mann's soft plastics, and that "hard head" on the front of the lure really toughens them up on the jig head. OK, so I lost a couple in the rocks, but the lures never got torn up at all with silly numbers of fish we were catching.
We went out on the coast this morning, but conditions were only just starting to liven up. Cian said it might be a pollack kind of morning, and he was right !! I have always heard about guys taking pollack on surface lures, but I had yet to see it - conditions were looking really nice for working the surface stuff for bass, yet on my first chuck with that (lethal) IMA Popkey, a little pollack jumped clean over the water and over the top of it. I was after bass, but for about half an hour I could not get away from taking pollack off the top, including a nice one around 4lbs. They loved swirling behind it and then hitting the Popkey when you stopped it dead. Huge fun. I love it when fishing just makes you giggle for the sheer joy of it.
Gotta give the local man his dues. We were smashing these pollack this morning, but he was telling me about the exact rock he was going to cast a lure at when the tide dropped a little further. Cian waited and waited, and then moved into position like a gazelle. OK, possibly not like a gazelle, but he did take this stunning condition 7lb bass on his first chuck at that exact rock, and it went like a train. The lure ? Begins with a "G", and it's got a hinged lip. The MegaBass Zonk 120 Gataride. The lure that catches lots and lots of bass out here. Whine or moan about that fragile lip all you like, but the simple fact is that we are using and abusing this lure in areas and over ground that it simply was not designed for. But it happens to smash bass - all I can do is to tell you truthfully what we are catching on, but it's up to all of us as individuals to make the decisions on what we buy and use ourselves. Anyway, we're heading back out now, catch up soon. Hope to see some of you at the Open Day for Cian's tackle shop Absolute Fishing here on Sunday.....