Friday, November 29, 2019

My Season of 2019

Hard to know where to start with a 2019 summary as it really has been exceptional in so many ways. The highlights all come from a willingness to push myself into areas of Fishing outside those I’ve become accustomed to which has led to knowledge gains and some great action in many areas such as inshore Kayak fishing, deep water Pollock/Fly, some breakthroughs with Mullet/Fly, more Striper Fishing in the US including some new tactics such as live baiting and Night/Fly along with an introduction to False Albacore or Albies, a mini inshore Tuna species. I’ve further grown my understanding of my beloved Bass in the offshore arena both here in beautiful West Cork and in France with still masses more to learn and share I’m sure.  In fishing I firmly believe we are all still learning it’s just a matter of where on the learning curve you are and it’s up to you to decide where you want to be and how you might get there if you choose to go. I get no greater satisfaction from my fishing when learning, sharing the knowledge with other responsible Anglers and moving forward so 2019 was great in that regard.

Mullet - After a number of hit and miss years of fly fishing for Mullet and following some top tips from Richie Ryan of Eire Bass I got quite consistent with these slow growing but hard fighting enigmas! Landing them up to 5lbs on a 5wt fly rod with a 6lb tippet can put your heart in your mouth, they aren’t called the Irish Bonefish for nothing!

France – Regina and I returned to France for the 2nd year running via the awesome Pont Aven Ferry (More like a cruise liner) operated by Brittany Ferries for the overnight sailing from Cork to Roscoff, followed by a short drive through beautiful countryside to the seaside town of Morgat, Brittany. Apart from a relaxing week away I fitted in a couple of Bass fishing excursions the first from Morgat itself with Louvine crewmate Thomas Gestin who skillfully  operated the boat and located masses of eager Bass for surface lure and fly action on a stunning Bretagne Summer’s evening.

We both met up with another Louvine crew mate Sylvain Garcia of Lorient Passion Peche for an incredible session from his awesome Hi-Tec RIB targeting Bass by Fly and Lure that were chasing mass Sardine shoals in deep clear blue water . Regina and I both boated 15 Bass each, all of a good average size, with a significantly larger one for Regina towards the end to round off a highly memorable trip – highly recommended!

Cape Cod - I was fortunate to do a 4th trip to the famed shores of Cape Cod and the legendary Cape Cod Canal. Travelling over in October is not necessarily the best time of year for Striper Fishing and sadly the Striper population is in trouble anyway but it suits me to go when I do to fish Catch and Release as I do at home. This year I did plenty of Surf casting near to the house I rented and I also fished with my Cape Buddy and Canal legend Bull from Red Top Sporting Goods at the Canal many times as usual.

A live Eel from Canal Bait & Tackle along with some great advice accounted for this beauty.

I was able secure the services of local Expert, Captain and Guide Nick Kathmann aka
Fly Guy Fish Guides to chase his favourite quarry the Albies by boat for the first time which despite bad weather on the day was amazing and something I dearly hope to repeat. 

I also met Cam of Cape Cod Fly (Instagram @capecodfly) who kindly took me for a really interesting and productive Night/Fly session.

Surface Fishing is something I rightly or wrongly put away a number of years ago as the lure fishing became tougher around our coasts but there’s no greater thrill than having aggressive fish chase down and attack a surface lure, often making multiple attacks, before successfully hammering it with the power to wrench the rod out of your hands with one of us on the other end of a tight line and bent rod. This year I found new opportunities to get back into surface lure fishing with devastating effect.

Kayaks & Boats - This year I took my Perception Triumph 13 Sit on Top Kayak offshore for the first time after a couple of years intensively exploring and fishing the local estuaries from it. I quickly realised from a practical and safety point of view it would make a lot of sense to add one of the electric drive motor systems now available, so after some excellent guidance from the highly experienced and very helpful Darren at Darrens Kayaks in Durrus, West Cork I gave him the go ahead to install a Bixpy Drive System along with a Garmin Striker Plus 4CV Fish Finder which absolutely transformed my capability and safety offshore so the late summer was spent afloat well away from my normal shore side haunts mapping the sea bed with the Fish Finder and catching some decent Bass & Pollock in deep water on Lure and Fly (Thanks again Richie Ryan) which was an awesome experience and included a monster Bass lost at the boat (Kayak) but captured for posterity on the GoPro (See last kayak photo below), I expect to build on that area of my fishing possibly with guiding in 2020. With regards to boats I’ve wrongly tended to associate boats with heavy tackle and bait fishing but my experiences both here and abroad in France and the US have clearly illustrated to me that this definitely isn’t necessarily the case and it can be a natural extension of the shore game.

Guided Fishing – This year was busier than ever, I met some great people, most caught some nice fish and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It has to be said that early season was tough due to the low temps we experienced and things didn't really start happening until early July which is very late indeed but that's Bass Fishing and we did get some good fishing from then on.. Looking forward to doing more of this also in 2020, we already have lots of trips lined up with more prime dates available drop me an email to arrange your adventure while there are still some prime tides available!



Thanks as always to LouvineLure Fishing for BassLure Geek  who supported and equipped us in 2019