Off to Ireland on Sunday

On Sunday Andy and I are going on what is becoming a regular ferry crossing for me - the 2.30pm StenaLine sailing from Fishguard to Rosslare, and when we dock on Irish soil we're making the journey across Ireland to Fenit on the north Kerry. We are a little bit excited !! I was at Ballybunion earlier in the year for a new fishing show, but I have never been to the Tralee/Fenit area that lies just north of the famous Dingle peninsular - and I can't wait (still haven't been to Dingle yet, and yes, I know, that is awful behaviour). Driving is what it is, and if you want to get places with a lot of fishing and photography gear then you either get on with it or you don't. I want to see places. We are going to fish/photograph for a few days with an angler/bass junkie I have been corresponding with for a while now and finally got to meet up with at Ballybunion, plus it will be very cool to say hi again to all the Kerry lads I had so much fun yapping with at the show. What a sound bunch of guys, and for me it's a chance to see, fish, photograph and start to learn about a "new to me" stretch of coastline............

Then Andy and I move back down to Dungarvan in time for the first Irish Bass Festival that the guys are running out of the Absolute Fishing tackle shop along the coastline in Tramore. It should be a very cool event and I am really looking forward to catching up with plenty of like-minded bass fishing junkies. I am as happy staying in Tramore as I am Dungarvan, indeed both are ideal places to get at the coastline - I have stayed around Dungarvan plenty of times now and we always go back to the same place because it's about as perfectly set up and situated as you like (plus there's some cracking bass marks literally on your doorstep). I like a self-catering option because we can come and go at weird hours and do our own thing without bothering other guests, but hotels or B&Bs suit me on the shorter, more "in and out" trips. This is the place we stay at in Dungarvan - check here. Great people, really relaxed, with a good variety of different self-catering options and even hotel rooms if needs be. Nobody has ever batted an eyelid with us lot leaving and coming back to our house at all hours of the day and night, and like Tramore, Dungarvan has all the take-aways and restaurants a travelling angler could ever need - haute-cuisine these trips are not !!

I've had a relatively tough couple of fishing/photography trips over to Ireland so far this year, but if there is one thing I am it's realistic, and I know what trips like these are about. Sure, I'd love silly good bass fishing all the time, but I know it's about pushing it hard and trying to take proper advantage when the fishing goes off. All you can do is pick the tides and hope for decent weather and conditions. You live for those special fish or insane sessions, and I am so pleased that the first Irish Bass Festival is encouraging so many people to have a crack at the bass fishing in Ireland. If the weather behaves then I reckon some serious fish might be measured, photographed and released, and the end of festival bash on the evening of Sunday 22nd July at the Grand Hotel in Tramore will be a blast. I will be there sipping on my really exciting sparkling water !!

Now this would not be a trip away without a bit of squirrel gear coming along for testing, reviewing etc. "All in the name of research", and nothing at all to do with the fact that many lure anglers seem to be very serious tackle tarts. Not me of course, no way. Along with a bunch of lure rods already packed are a couple more Japanese rods from a manufacturer that I have heard of but never actually used any of their rods. Should be interesting, plus of course there's a few hard and soft lures squirrelled away and ready to be brought out when the time comes. We would never sit in our rented house in Dungarvan having a lure-off for example - only children would do that, and we're adults after all. I'll keep the blog updated as often as I can and next time you hear from me it will be from somewhere along the north Kerry coast.................