Tales from the Tendring Flatlands

Tales from the Tendring Flatlands
Summer Bassing

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Somewhere in South West Ireland.....

Off to West Cork with The Mighty Turdster and guide Jim O'Donnell. Arrived early enough for a quick fish on Sunday and managed to see a pod of dolphins and snare a mullet of about 2lb in the harbour, before retiring to The Lifeboat Inn for a welcome pint and a bite to eat.
Monday was the first full day and after a blank hour at Ring, plugging for bass, Jim suggested a trip to a rock mark, protected from the moderate easterly wind. The Turdster had a nervous look on his face when Jim put on his rucksack which was adorned with assorted rock climbing equipment.
The first mark resulted in a lost pollock for Jim, but little else, so on to the next mark we went. We were into fish immediately, starting off with some decent pollock, mostly 3-4lb, on red gill type lures. I then changed over to wrasse gear with stick worms fished really close in. 
There were wrasse everywhere and I had fifteen casts resulting in a bite or a fish, before I managed a retrieve without any interest. Most were 2-3lb, with the occasional bigger fish . It was great sport. After a while I changed back to the pollock gear and had a couple more. Final tally was eight pollock for Jim ( and several more lost), plus a few wrasse, five pollock and seven wrasse for me and a couple of pollock for Turdster. A really enjoyable day.

Tuesday morning dawned sunny again and thankfully the east wind had dropped right off. Jim suggested a quick session after mullet at Rosscarbery. We arrived to see fish everywhere, big buggers too,
but they were incredibly shy and drifted off as soon as they saw or heard you. We were fishing with bubble floats and bread crust on the surface and soon we were all getting fish nudging and swirling at the bait. I was somewhat surprised, as I've always found mullet almost impossible to catch.
After about half an hour I hooked a fish that shot off at a rate of knots in the shallow water. With only a 5lb trace I had to be careful and I was relieved a few minutes later when the fish hit the net. At 4lb 12oz it was the biggest I've ever had, so I was well pleased.

 As we were photographing the fish, The Turdster shouted out that he had one on Jim's rod, which was just about to be pulled over the wall and into the water, before he grabbed it.. He played it for a fair while before the hook pulled. Bad luck Turdous.
After a quick break for lunch we were off for more rock fishing, this time to a mark that was "more easily accessible". It was certainly easier access than the previous day, although it still entailed a steep climb.
First cast with the red gill and I was in to a pollock of around 3lb. Then another of the same size. Time for a change. On with the wrasse gear and as soon as the lure hit the bottom it was nailed with a thump by a decent wrasse.
Then another. And another. And on it went. Great fun.
After a while we decided to try a new  unfished mark, where the fishing was, if anything, even better. One little cove had 45-50 feet of water a rod length out.
The first few casts resulted in pollock of 2-4lb, then I was attached to something bigger, which quickly became snagged, after it dived into the rocks. Somehow I managed to get it free and as it came into view in the gin clear water it was apparent it was a much bigger fish. A few minutes later I was holding a cracking pollock of just under 6lb, a real corker. The Turdster and Jim were catching wrasse and pollock too and for the last hour of the flood tide I tried various gullies for wrasse, almost all of which produced fish. What a fantastic place.
Wednesday we tried bassing at Ring to no avail, the increasing easterly wind proving to be a royal pain in the arse. Absolutely beautiful place though.
 After lunch we moved to the harbour to try for a mullet. As Jim had predicted, the mullet were making their way into the harbour in a few inches of water, munching on the bread we'd chucked in. Within a few minutes I'd had a big mullet pick up the bread, I struck and missed. Then a few minutes later, the same thing happened. The third time a real clonker picked up the bait and this time I managed to hook the fish, which tore off in the shallow water. It looked massive and I was well relieved when it hit the landing net . A real beast of a mullet at 6lb. I know I'm highly unlikely to catch one of that size ever again.
Thursday and it was livebaiting for bass with mackeral. It was a really slow day, but Alan Houlihan had a real brute of a bass of between 9 and 10lb. Well done that man.
Friday and the wind was worse than ever. We tried a few spots, more in hope than expectation, but over low water I first had a doggie, then a small huss around 4lb. We started to try a bit harder after this and this resulted in a vicious bite and the familiar jagging of a bass, which annoyingly managed to snag itself in the rocks. Can't win 'em all I suppose. The Turdster was rolling a fag when his rod headed towards the sea rather quickly, but somehow the fish avoided hooking itself.
We packed up after this and headed to The Lifeboat Inn at Courtmacsherry. Highly recommended, good atmosphere and decent food. Another place highly recommended is Woodpoint Bed and Breakfast, also in Courtmacsherry. Friendly people, comfortable accommodation and great food.
And finally thanks to the hyper active, super keen Jim O'Donnell for putting us on to fish on a "hard" week, as he put it. Good company, great scenery and some cracking fish. I've had harder weeks !


  1. It's a fantastic place Wak. Scenery is great and the rock marks rarely see an angler, you could spend months there and only scratch the surface.