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Catch & Release

Reports: Sept 2007 (Paul Blyth)

Trev n Pete collected me gear Sunday evening 9th for the long drive/ferry to the Dingle peninsula. I followed in the early hrs of 9/11 flying from Stansted on the 6-20 arr 7-30, a 1hr drive in hire car saw me in Dingle by 9am. Weather for week dry n bright, changable wind, the odd shower, big tides early on.

DAY 1, 11th Sept Pete dug lug and a few silvers while i popped em into bucket, a pod of porpoises played near where what was to be our 1st sesh.Trev went to a different location after bait mackies. at 1pm to 5 (high tide) we fished Log rock and came up with a selection of pollock wrasse n doggies to 3lb, plaice n mackies in the GIN clear water.

2hrs later we where due another sesh on Trabeg beach, I lazily packed up my gear throwing prebaited macky traces intact into my box, much to the heckling of the masters. Arriving at Trabeg 7pm, 3 guys where packing up and had 5 rays on the flood, good signs.I was quickly set up and punched the 1st rod 120yds and while setting up other rod the rod rest was dragged over, blimey that was quick,reeled in and soon had the 1st thornie on beach some 5/6lbs, a 2nd soon followed and very soon we were all into them. In a 4hr session we had bagged 18 rays, all but one 4 to 7 lbs but that other one a superb 11.5lb small eyed ray from Trev about 10 oclock, Pete n me also had a smaller version of the same.Pete also had a mixture of flatties while i had a 3rd rod out baited with lug n rag and casting 20 to 50yds in the light surf missed 2 stunning takes, the 1st ripped rod out of rest and dragged along beach, baitrunner set too tight,reeled in a straight hook!!!my own fault for using fine wire hooks in this awesome place. The 2nd bite happened while i was reeling in a ray, Trev heard my baitrunner screaming but another had thrown the hook, was using sensible hooks now. A 3rd slammer of a bite revealed a 2.5lb bass and a flounder on the wishbone rig. We put the missed bites down to bass n based our next trip on that.

DAY 2 After being 'rayed out' on day 1 and with signs of bass decided to make them the target. On the same Trabeg beach, fished 2-30 pm till 10 armed with 3 rods each,2 rods for bass, mainly on worm or peeler and the other on macky and/or sandeel for some more of them rays, just to keep up interest!!. A steady flow of flatties came to Pete, also the occasional gar n macky and at the end another 5 rays. Trev was still pulling in rays with regularity, 5 to him too but his specimen for the day at about 90yds a magnificent 5lb 3oz Turbot on HTide. No sign of bass today even in a more surfy sea i played about beach float fishin for 5 gars but did pull in 3 rays on me Zippy bass rod, 1 of which a good 7lb. 2 days gone, 31 rays to 11.5lbs, a 5lb+ turbo and a whole host of other stuff. Tides were easing now and changeable winds, that was the best of the fishing.

DAY 3, Another old haunt for for P n T, a 1st time for me at Minard castle in bright conditions and a light surf, after scrambling over boulders to access beach we settled to a beautiful day to fish the ebb and maybe the flood, 6ish. Trev had a few bits n pieces, Pete 3 conger to 7lb and me 3 doggies. Realising we would be washed off ot HT and fishing relatively slow opted for a move.

After a bit of homework on venues plumped for a rockmark at Dun-An-Oir, this visible from our chalet,it took a 10 mile drive ending with a very rough track the last mile. We walked the final clifftop half mile, mountain goat Pete scaled the last 5mtrs to a flat rock, followed by Trev, wimp Ped stayed on upper deck and fished about 8m above sea level, still had a doggie and pollock. P n T had a steady stream of wrasse to 3.5lb, pollock to 3lb, mackies,coalies and a 1lb cod.

Headed back well before dark. In the evening i ventured to Wine strand cove for a short session, big lumps of loose kelp made it unfishable.

DAY 4, Me n Trev had another go on log rock, i nearly had a brace of pollock about 5lb, the second dropping off as about to be lifted, some flatties n dogs. T had pollock, wrasse, dogs, macks n a flounder, he also lost a fairly decent conger.
Pete walked the surf beaches for 2 bass pushing 4lb. A recce round Slea head ( beautiful scenery) brought us to Ventry, Paddy O'Sheas restaurant. P n T took a walk round the headland to a small cove for next to nothing returns wise, while i took the easy option and fished the pier for a couple of dogs and a wrasse, The last hr of daylight P n T joined me for a final fling of the day. Pete was into a brace of 2lb wrasse then a flounder while fishing between the boats. T settled for a dog and a flounder.

DAY 5, I had a couple of lunch time hrs to blank at Wine strand again. A lot of surf on other side of bay enticed Pete to bag up on flatties and a 2lb bass while me n Trev went to a fairly rough Trabeg during the afternoon, we blanked. Moved onto cloghan estuary near Brandon for the evening flood, we had a few flounder and T a 2lb bass. DAY 6, Early morning start for bait mackeral, P done Dingle rock for about half a dozen, me n T struggled for 3 from brandon and Dingle piers. Pete hit the strands again for more of the same flatties etc, me n T did log rock for a few bits n pieces, nothing exceptional in the bright conditions. I ended my week up Dingle harbour,a 3hr sesh, ht just into darkness for Conger with T. I started feathering for 3 macks in half a dozen chucks on helipad. T was soon into a run, after 5 secs of bent rod and head banging it chomped thru 100lb braid!!! That really was it, just a few more twitchy bites.