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Catch & Release


Reports: July 2008 (Peter)

Day 1: Got down to Dingle at around 6:00, and wasted no time grabbing a spinning rod and heading down the Ventry with a box full of various lures. Stopped off at in the small shop opposite Paidi's pub for a few batteries for my camera and started fishing at around 8:00. After a few follows and numerous changes of lure, I eventually managed my first bass of the year, but when I went to take some photos, my "new" batteries powered the camera just long enough to tell me that the camera was low in power and turn itself off! I didn't mind too much, as I was sure there would be plenty more bass during the week, so took a picture on my phone and returned him to the sea... that was the last bass of the holiday!

Day 2: Went to Dingle lighthouse to try for a few ray. I started early, feathering for mackerel and 4 hours later I still had none! Eventually I caught 2 and set up for the ray. At least they were obliging - the 2 mackerel lasted me about 1.5 hours and accounted for 4 ray and a small conger. Then it was back to the back-breaking business of more feathering! Not a bloody mackerel for the rest of the day...

Day 3: Determined not to have a repeat performance of the previous day I went down to the village to but some mackerel. Then it was back to the lighthouse for more ray and conger. I also managed to catch a few fresh mackerel, which were vastly superior for the ray. I finished with about 6 ray and then fished closer for conger resulting in 3, up to 15lb.


Day 4: A friend from work, Brendan was coming down with his family and was planning on trying for ray that evening so it was back to feathering for mackerel for bait. Same old story - only for a full house half way through the day I wouldn't have had any! I met him at Dingle lighthouse and he caught his first 2 ray (I caught 1).


Day 5:
We both spent the evening lure fishing for bass and despite numerous follows, all we managed to catch were a few small pollock.

Day 6: Macartan came down for week 2 and as he's never caught a bass, we went Ventry again. I was more determined than even to hook up and fished hard, but again, to no avail.

Day 7: Feeling completely disheartend, we opted for some easy fishing so chose to go the a rock mark in Dun an Oir for wrasse and pollock, both of which were obliging. No great sizes, but at least we were catching again!

That evening, the 3 of us went to Dingle Pier to try for conger and all managed to catch. No great sizes, but it was hectic action with all of us having numerous missed runs and a few fish each.


Day 8: We decided to have a full day lure fishing for pollack so returned to Dun an Oir. Unfortunately, we were stopped in our tracks by the farmer who wouldn't see reason at all. We then, very unwisely, decided to give Ventry another go. Surely we were due a bass there? Not a chance...

Day 9: Macartan hadn't given ray fishing a go yet on this trip so we planned on having one last trip to Dingle lighthouse. I just couldn't face any more feathering though, so we headed over to the self-drive boats in Brandon. 3 hours later we had a bucket of mackerel so we headed back to Dingle. We were both dying with colds at this stage, so we opted for an early night and a fresh start the next day

Day 10: Back to Dingle Lighthouse and another day of ray fishing. We both caught early on and then fishing dried up, so we both opted to change tactics for the conger. Again, no huge sizes, but plently of action.


Overall, it was a dissapointing trip. Plenty of ray and conger, but the lack of mackerel and bass was very dissapointing. The guy who hires the self-drive boats also nets for sandeels to sell as bait and he said that he couldn't remember a worse year for them so that would probably explain the lack of mackerel and why the bass weren't taking the lures... Either way, I spen far too muck of the trip feathering for bait and plugging in Ventry. On hindsight, we should have varied the fishing marks a lot more, but we were hampered by a strong westerly wind for most of the time and by our colds, which Mac had the decency to bring with him. Still though, I have my two weeks booked for 2009 and I can't wait!