One of the most enjoyable Irish trips I have ever done

Although we had some pretty damn good bass fishing over the course of our six days over on the south coast of Ireland, in my mind a really good trip is so much about a combination of factors, indeed we have sometimes had some pretty tough fishing yet come away having had a blast. First and foremost it’s the buzz from going fishing over in Ireland that makes these trips over there very special before you’ve even started, but sometimes everything else comes together and the odd trip elevates above the rest and will therefore rest so wonderfully in the memory……

The location aside, surely it has to be the people you fish with and spend time around that counts for so much. I can’t pretend that I derive nearly as much pleasure from fishing on my own as I do from fishing (and laughing and laughing) with friends, and I am honoured to be able to call a number of anglers my friends - both the lads I travel over with, and of course the various Irish anglers who we know and so look forward to seeing and fishing with. Make no mistake, we take our fishing seriously and we put a lot of time and effort into it, but without that all essential laughter I just know I wouldn’t enjoy it half as much. We put the time in and for the most part we giggle and take the proverbial like a bunch of school kids. I can’t pretend the humour is terribly advanced, but put a bunch of mates together who share a common interest such as fishing and I would worry if one didn’t spend a lot of time laughing. Sure, we are all trying to catch a bunch of decent bass, but humour doesn’t half get you through those times when the fishing might be tough or you can hardly make sense because of a lack of sleep.

It still amazes me how few anglers we see out and about over there, yet with some of the stuff I hear about hordes of marauding visiting anglers apparently occupying all the best fishing spots, I can’t help but wonder if us lot are in fact fishing all the duff spots!! Whatever the real case may be, we met a few local and non-local Irish anglers out and about, and as per usual it was humbling how friendly and welcoming they were. For the most part though we were fishing as a group and seeing no other anglers where we happened to be. Heaven on earth?

You take the weather and conditions you get and you roll with it. We pick the tides and just hope that we might get a few sessions where everything comes together, but without a doubt this whole clean beach, white senko night fishing thing is changing my outlook on the bass fishing I do around the south coast part of Ireland I so love. As a photographer and angler the big part of me wants bouncy conditions for the open coast, and if I get a bit of decent light as well then I feel truly blessed. I can’t get away from how creatively unfulfilling this night fishing is from a photography point of view, yet at the same time a growing part of me is hoping for calm and clear (but dark) conditions so that we might hit a few of the clean beaches and fish the senkos at night. Believe me, I never thought I would say that, but holy cow it’s some awesome stuff when it fires. More to come on that sometime soon.

I also love where we stay over there. Dungarvan is a great place, although of course we spend a fair amount of time in that den of filthy fishing temptation that is Absolute Fishing along the coast in Tramore, plus of course there is stacks of bass fishing around there. Basing ourselves in Dungarvan gives us so many fishing options, and the people who run the Gold Coast self-catering operation could not be nicer or more helpful. Seriously, if you are thinking about visiting this part of Ireland for some fishing, give them a shout and they’ll sort you out a treat. There’s a stack of places in and around Dungarvan to grab a bite to eat etc.

And of course it helps when you get a bit of decent fishing, and I reckon we had some pretty special stuff on this trip. The whole bouncing soft plastics in shallow water with a rip of current floats my boat in a big way. I like the touch and feel required to hook bass, and as I said on the blog the other day, wow do bass scrap properly in a run of current. There is also something seriously special about hooking these perfectly magical fish in bouncy surf conditions. Hell, bass fishing is special as it is. When the open coast is firing it can be something else, but I wonder if the newer visiting anglers can sometimes get too wired into fishing that admittedly very seductive coastline a bit too much - and then miss out on all the other bass fishing there is around there.

Anyway, it was an epic trip in so many ways and I have tucked some glorious memories away. Note how I am back in time for the start of England’s World Cup campaign this evening, but in truth I wanted to be at home for my eldest daughter’s 11th birthday tomorrow. Working in fishing has taken me away a lot this year. Travelling is a privilege, but nothing beats getting home. You all have a good weekend and may England please, please start as they mean to go on in the Fiji game tonight……..