Now I am a truly happy man - big blue skies early this morning, a nice bunch of fish, and some very good anglers to work with. Life is good. The wind is still playing havoc with most of the open coast marks, but we are tucking away and doing pretty well considering. Andy nailed this tidy bass not long after starting fishing, in fact he caught two in very quick succession. Without doubt the lure of the day was the Ayu colour 4'' MegaBass XLayer fished on various jig heads and bumped gently along the bottom (check out the Photo Essays page for some tips on rigging these killer soft plastic lures). These Irish bass go mad for this innocuous looking lure at times.
I know anglers always talk about the one that got away, but Andy got done by a seriously proper bass this morning. These fish scrap hard in the tide, but this particular bass hit his XLayer and literally snorted off down tide at a scary rate of knots. I have been around enough big fish to recognise one straight way when it is hooked, and this one was just that. Rods bend in different ways when proper fish are on, but this one suddenly came off for no particular reason. Some fish are just not meant to be landed - the hook just came out. The man did really well on the fish today, but to see a bass like this lost is a heartbreaker to anybody. We might have all taken the mick a bit, but all of us were gutted for Andy. Ireland gives you these chances at serious bass from time to time.....
A kind of consolation prize for Andy - this fine fish came right at the end of the session, just before we lost the tide and went for a bite to eat. As always, the fish all went back just fine.
What does a bass guide do on his day off ? Go fishing of course !! Above is Patrick with another fine southern Irish bass taken in the middle of the tumbling surf on a little MegaBass jig. Check out his blog and ask him about guiding you onto bass fishing like this. The Irish anglers know their bass fishing is good, but I don't think they realise just how good and consistent it really is. It often takes people like us to come over from the UK and basically freak out - they kind of look at us a bit strangely and also with a little sympathy...."don't you guys have this kind of bass fishing over there ?" I don't need to answer that question.
Here's the moment every angler wants to see when they fight a fish - the fish is yours in a flurry of spray as the fish grip locks on. Job done. Unhook the bass, grab a few photos and then slip it back into the cold water and watch it swim off. It gets me every single time I see it.
Anyway, time to pack the gear up again and head out to a high water mark that looks like it is sheltered from the worst of the sea. Two and a bit more days left. We are walking miles out here and it feels really good. I had a nice fish turn on my Zenith ZClaw this morning, so I have some unfinished business to attend to. The only thing missing for me is my sheepdog Jess, because she loves it out here - but she's with my family and I will see them all on Sunday for a few days before heading off again on another job.