This morning I woke up at precisely 3.50am because my head is bouncing and I am so ridiculously overexcited to be heading over to Ireland tomorrow morning. I appreciate that I am 40 years old, I go to Ireland a fair bit, and that perhaps my excitement levels should be diminishing, but this is me, I love the place and I am the way I am. How boring would life be if things like this did not float one's boat ? The hard part as ever is leaving my family behind, but we do what we do.
September in Ireland always gives me that extra lift, and yes, I do hear these rumours floating around that perhaps I should be promoting Cornwall more because I happen to live here and that surely I am being paid by some shadowy organisation to promote the fishing in Ireland - to which I do my usual and get on with what I do and ignore such ignorant, ill-informed nonsense. If you read this blog then you will know that I go to Ireland for one principal reason, and that's to get fishing related material for my magazine articles and other such related work. I make no bones about the fact that I went and fell in love with the country many years ago and that the fishing over there does it for me in a big way, but that aside it still makes good business sense for me to head over there and do what I do - and what's wrong with loving what you do ?
As always I'll take what I get with regards to the weather and conditions, but recent reports are of some good fishing out along the Copper Coast and surrounding areas (Dungarvan Bay, Tramore etc.). A friend of mine had a 5/0 weedless hook straightened the other day with a bass he put at 13lb plus that hit him right off the end of his rod tip on a soft plastic rigged weightless. Does that get me going ? Damn right !! I am convinced that the cold start to the year has affected things more than we will ever know, and without doubt the Copper Coast has taken a while to come to life properly, but with what I am hearing about at the moment it seems that autumn might be doing its good stuff. No two years are ever the same, but this time last year we had some pretty awesome bass fishing (check here for example).
I am really pleased that a friend of mine is coming over to Ireland for his first time ever, and while I have been telling Mark to try and manage his expectations, I know what it's like to count down the sleeps to a fishing trip, and especially when it's to a place such as Ireland which has such a reputation for fishing. Sure, I have heard of some very up and down bass fishing everywhere this year, but I can speak only from my experiences and also via anglers I know.
I understand completely how easy it is to read magazines, books and perhaps even blogs and think that a place like Ireland is paved with bass related gold and that all you have to do is head on over and big bass will come swarming up your line. It's no different to looking at glossy photos of somewhere like the ultra-remote Seychelles atolls and thinking that you need to do no more than stumble out of your cabin and GTs will be everywhere you look in their eagerness to get caught. It's fishing and it's the way it is. I would then argue that enough anglers know how to be realistic and realise that no matter where you go in the world, you still need to fish hard, hope for conditions, and manage those expectations.
I accept that I know a good number of talented anglers who help me out hugely, but I am not about to throw my hands in the air, say this is unfair and not tap into their knowledge and experience if they are so kind as to offer it to me. I have also been going over to Ireland for a number of years now and it would be somewhat worrying if I was not getting better at working out what to do and when. I love how "contacts" so often become good friends and I would hope that this says a lot about how I go about my work. I also am becoming more and more convinced that visiting anglers who come to Ireland on the hunt for bass especially need to start thinking out of the box that bit more. Bass fishing may be bass fishing wherever you go, but I do think that it's very easy to ignore local variations if you like that might well produce more and better fish for you.
I can think of any number of occasions over the last few years especially when it's been those bays and estuaries that have produced the fish for us, and increasingly it's been soft plastics we turn to. I can't tell you much I love the drama and the excitement of the open coast, and when it's firing I love it like you would not believe - but we all know how the open coast really needs certain conditions to get it going properly, and without a doubt when those conditions aren't happening, the "quiet places" often do their thing. As I said, I have been going to Ireland for a number of years now, but I would increasingly encourage visiting anglers to really do their research and then think outside of what they think they know - and of course drop in on Absolute Fishing in Tramore to get some up to date info on what is going on. The lads will help out all they can, but on the flipside you can't expect some of the more out of the way and unknown spots to be handed to you on a plate. Anyway, as per usual I will keep you updated with how we get on.......................