On a bit of a sensory overload at the moment and I'm trying to store all these experiences in my head so that I can recall them forever. At one point this afternoon we are nearly over the top of our waders in water and there's heaps and heaps of stingrays swimming around us - while these magical creatures are nosing around we're also smashing a heap of bass on shallow divers, all with a backdrop that causes one's jaw to hit the floor. I've seen and caught plenty of stingrays overseas in tropical waters, and I have heard a fair bit about the stinger fishing around Tralee especially when the conditions are right, but never for one second did I think that I would ever be wading out in (cold) northern European waters and have them swimming around me while we're lure fishing. Somewhat surreal.
A little later on and Andy comes running around the corner in a complete state. It eventually pours out that he had hooked and landed a stingray estimated to be around 20lbs on one of those shallow diving Daiwa Shoreline Shiner lures, and fair and square in the scissors as well. How about that ? I think that for a split second he thought that he'd gone and hooked the mother of all bass !! What a fish to take on a lure. We saw flounders scooting around, mullet, sea trout, silly numbers of bass, gannets diving everywhere, truckloads of stingrays milling around, and later on this afternoon we even saw another lure angler actually fishing in this part of Ireland............nearly fell of my rock in shock.
To be honest my brain is hurting with the amount of lure fishing potential around here. Seamus and his mate Aidan have been seriously at the lure fishing for a couple of years now and they're gradually and very successfully getting a handle on the sheer amount of bass fishing on this coastline, but they would also be the first to admit that ten lifetimes would not be enough time to fully get to grips with it all. The weather can and does do almost anything in Kerry, but the great thing is that there seems to be the potential to tuck away if needs be and still have awesome bass fishing almost whatever the weather does.
Tomorrow morning we're off down to Dungarvan to get at the Copper Coast and the surrounding area, all in time of course for the first Irish Bass Festival this weekend. We've been getting reports that the bass fishing down that way is starting to fire so here's to the next few days and all that I really hope is that the visiting anglers get a taste of how awesome it can be out here. Be careful though because you might well end up with the kind of very serious addiction for Ireland that I have, and it's got me in a vice-like grip that just gets more and more serious the more awesome places I get to see out here - and of course it's thanks to a number of incredibly kind, helpful and welcoming people in Ireland that I get to see and experience what I am lucky enough to do. If any of you reading this blog are around for the festival then I look forward to seeing you on Sunday evening at the Grand Hotel in Tramore, and if not before in that den of temptation otherwise known as Absolute Fishing.