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.
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.
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.
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 !