Fishing Report 26-01-2015

Checking up on local reports on whether a fresh run Salmon had been landed yet on Lough Currane, I was surprised to hear that the first fish had not been caught yet. With this in mind I decided to give it a go in the morning, trolling around for an hour or so. To be honest it was more of an exploration trip really. I only ever fished one area of the lake so I went out with the intention of just paddling and seeing what the contours of the bottom were like and maybe find that elusive fresh fish in a new area.

I trolled using various Rapala shallow running hard baits and was able to put into action the Cox and Rawle inline replacement single hooks that they had sent me out which I previously wrote a post about at the link here. I paddled the edges of the lough and got a take. Not much of a fight and definitely not that fresh Salmon I am eager to catch. It turned out to be a small trout. After a quick photo the small chap was put back to hopefully grow to the monster sizes that this lough often produces.

Small Sea Trout

Small Seatrout Release

The wind was blowing a little at this stage so it was best that I stayed close to the bank where I was protected from the wind in case it blew up quickly. The lough can get very rough quickly so I prefer to be safer. I continued along the bank and got another take. This time a better bend in the rod but no, another kelt Seatrout. I quickly unhooked the fish and then released it after a photo. There does seem to be a lot of kelt around.

Seatrout Kelt

Seatrout Kelt Release 1

Seatrout Kelt Release 2

The day was starting to deteriorate so I decided to paddle back to where I launched from and got a take on the way back. A small brown trout. I let this small guy back on his way. No fresh Salmon for me yet but hopefully I may get one this season.

Brown Trout

Brown Trout Release 1

Brown Trout Release 2

After this days fishing, the first fresh Salmon caught on Lough Currane was landed and weighed in at 17lb 10oz on the 27/01/2014. A lovely fish and well done to the angler that got it. I await my turn eagerly.

Until next time,

Tight lines.

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Fishing Report 24-01-2015

The weekend is finally here and that means that its is fishing time. The good thing is that I get to fish with my father. He has entered the Species Hunt 2015 on the Irish Kayak Angling Website so he is always eager to go now. The weather predicted southerly winds to increase in the afternoon so we decided the night before that we would be better off going in the morning and give it an hour or two. We headed to a local deep water mark in the hope of some fresh Codling.

Paddle Out

Once we got out there was a breeze already starting and the sea was a little lumpy. With this bit of wind and an outgoing tide I used my drogue to slow my drift down over the 110ft rough ground mark. First to get a fish was my father and it turned out to be a decent Pouting. This got him off the mark for 2015 so he was delighted.

Drifting

Dad Pouting

It was not the most eventful morning we have had out there but the tide was going out and was very low. This spot does seem to fish much better on the incoming tide. I then had a take, which were few and far between, but only turned out to be a Dogfish. Not a great sign, but at the pace the fishing was this morning I was glad to have something on the Kayak.

Doggie

The wind started coming up a bit at this stage so we paddled around the island to get out of it. I had one last drift over a shallower patch of ground. Plenty of Poor Cod around. I then got a take and bought up a fine sized Whiting which had taken a Poor Cod that was hooked and did not even know about it. Oh well, fishing I guess.

Whiting 1

I guess that with the outgoing tide at this mark put us at a little disadvantage but when the opportunity comes to get the kayaks out at this time of year we do. Not any monsters but there is a long year ahead and hopefully some real fish to talk about.

Until next time,

Tight lines.

Fishing Report 19-01-2014

It seems that I cannot look out the window without wondering whether there are fish waiting to be caught or not. The weather forecast for this day was predicted to blow up in the afternoon so I got up early in the morning and looked out the window. Not a breathe of wind and to my surprise, some sunshine. Luckily the car was already loaded from ,my previous days fishing so all that was needed was to load some mackeral I had frozen. Driving down to the spot it looked good. I wanted to see were there any Bullhuss around and also to try out Cox and Rawle Uptide Extra Hooks that they sent out to me.

Paddle Out

cox and rawle uptide extra

It was a short paddle out to the drop where the channel flowed through. I anchored and fished in around 40ft of water and using a single hook ledger trace which can be seen in the video below. The tide was flowing in and I sent out a mackeral head bait on my trusty centre pin reel on a spinning rod. I had another rod with me which was rigged with some sabiki feathers which I used to try get some fresh bait. The first fish to be caught was a mackeral. Strange, but I did not complain as I had some fresh bait now.

Mackeral

My trusty spinning rod and centre pin then had a knock and then the fish started taking line. I was a little impatient and struck into the fish. After a couple of seconds, nothing. The line went slack. Not like me but it is fishing. I checked the bait and it was then changed to the fresh mackeral head. While fishing with my second rod I managed a tiny whiting. It was when this fish was bought on the kayak that the head bait got picked up again. This time I left it a bit longer before setting the hook. I was delighted to feel the solid weight and knew it was a huss. After a brief fight I bought the fish onto the kayak. A nice bullhuss. It made the cold hands worth while.

Bullhuss fight

 

Bullhuss head

Holding Bullhuss 1

After a quick few photos I put the bullhuss back to hopefully grow much bigger. By now it was time to up anchor and head in. The wind had come up quite a bit at this stage but nothing I did not feel uncomfortable with and my kayak dealt with the chop easily enough.

Until next time,

Tight lines.

 

Fishing Report 17-01-2015

Today was the opening day for the Salmon fishing season on Lough Currane. The day before, the seasonal licenses were sorted out and last night the gear was being prepared. Full of optimism, my father and I joked about who was going to get the first fish of the season. We are not big Salmon anglers but rather do it for the new experience and something different. We had our rods ready and the car packed the night before even though we only stay two minutes from the waters edge. Here is the view from the house.

Lough Currane

The tactics that were used involved trolling shallow running hard baits around the known salmon lies in hope of a fresh spring Salmon. The morning alarm went off and looking outside revealed that it was still dark. After a quick cup of tea it was done to the water. I was using my trusted KP centre pin reel from South Africa and a second rod with a Shimano Calcutta bait caster. On one rod I used a 13cm Rapala and the other an 11cm Rapala. The morning was bitter cold but we went ahead with it as it was the first day of the season. Taking minimal tackle with us we launched at a local slip and started trolling.

I had a feeling of confidence as I started trolling. I do not know what it is, but when you have that feeling, you know it is going to be a good day. I heard my father yell “fish on”, I paddled over to him only to hear he lost a small trout next to the yak. On my way again I trolled. I passed an area where I had seen fish caught last year and I was rewarded with my soft rod bending over and I was on to a fish. It was not a great fight which was a sign that it could be a Kelt. A returning fish from last season. After a brief fight the Kelt Salmon was lifted in to the yak. I did not care it was a Kelt because to me its a salmon, be it fresh or not. A quick few photos and he was sent on his way to continue his journey.

Holding Brown Kelt

Brown Kelt Face

Releasing Brown Kelt     Releasing Brown Kelt 2

Back to trolling again and I passed another area known to hold the Salmon. As I came around the rod buckled over again. This time the fish came out the water and jumped a few times which you can see in the video. The fish put up a good fight and presented itself as a small Seatrout. Pictures taken, the fish was then sent back, (well jumped back). The funny thing was that my father was trolling at the same speed, in the same area and not doing much different yet had not another take the rest of the day.

Holding Small Kelt

By this time the boats had come out in force. There were a number of boats on the water, all with the same ambition. We decided that we would paddle out of the traffic and head over to another island in the lough. On the way there my rod once again had a good take. A better fight but still not that elusive fresh Salmon. It was a lovely Seatrout which looked like a fish on its way back to the sea. Once again the pictures were taken, the fish was released.

Holding Silver Kelt

Releasing Silver Kelt      Releasing Silver Kelt

We decided that we would give it a little while longer but to be honest the traffic on the lake was a little much for the two of us on our kayaks. I managed a small brown trout which took the large 13cm Rapala intended for the Salmon. A nice fish. Once again, a few pictures and the little fish was sent away.

Holding Brown Trout

Releasing Brown Trout      Releasing brown Trout 2

After the days fishing, me and my father discussed the possibilities of why he never got a take from a Salmon. Of course I told him because he was not good enough which did not impress him much. But we did come to some interesting thoughts. The rod I was using was 10ft in length and very light and flexible. When paddling my rod would bend forward and back on the stokes of my paddle. This in turn would have the effect of an ever changing speed on the lure being pulled on the troll. This small bit of difference between the two of us may have been the factor. It was just a thought we had.

What a great start on the opening day of Lough Currane. Below is the video of the days fishing.

 

Replacing Treble Hooks with Singles

The weather at the moment is not great at all. Very strong winds, sleet and hail are all hitting the South West Coast. It looks like the kayak will be on dry land till this weather system passes. Using this time I was thinking back to last year when my father and I were fishing for Salmon off the kayak. I managed to hook one but lost it in the net with the treble hooks getting caught in the net and pulling out the fish. I was not very happy to say the least. My father managed some kelt but we never got a run off a proper spring salmon. So this year we are going to make a real good attempt at getting a fresh run salmon on Lough Currane. Here is a picture of one of my dads kelts he got and a Sea Trout I managed.

         100_1062                sea trout 5

The season is due to open this coming weekend so its time to get the new years license and get the hard baits ready. The tactics involve trolling shallow running hard baits along the routes we assume the salmon travel when making their journey from the sea through Lough Currane to their spawning grounds up the feeding river systems. Last year was our first attempt at targeting Salmon so it was all new to us. We watched the locals and took any bit of advice we could and now we are more confident even though the Salmon can be a frustrating quarry.

I have never been very confident when using treble hooks. I find that fish have a way of levering themselves off but this is just my own personal experiences with them. With this in mind I was delighted when Cox and Rawle sent me over some Inline Replacement hooks. These have an inline eye to allow the hook to sit straight on the hard bait.

20150110_155313

My preferred weapon of choice for the early spring salmon is the Vampire coloured shallow running hard bait which dives to around six foot in depth. Using the the size No. 2 Inline replacements in the image above, I replaced the trebles on some of my favorite lures. First I removed the trebles off the hard bait and checked the split rings to see they were in good condition to be used for the new season.

20150110_160041

Next I cleaned the hard bait, removing any blemishes to ensure that it had maximum shine. Then I added the Inline Replacement singles onto the hard bait ensuring the barb faces downwards as in the picture below. This will ensure the hooks lie proud.

20150110_160611

The next thing to do with these hard baits is to try them out. Hopefully the weather will permit this in the coming weekend. I used the bigger sized 1/0 Inline Replacements on another hard bait. It should be interesting to see whether the swimming action of the lure is compromised by the addition of these hooks. But I am already more confident with having single hooks instead of trebles and the results will hopefully resemble this.

20150110_205630

Another small problem I found when using hard baits was storing them when using them off the Kayak. I know there are boxes you may purchase but I am more of a hands on person so I like to customize items that make my fishing easier without breaking the bank. So after a bit of thought the idea of using a small bucket to hang the hard baits was used. I did this by using a simple bucket with a lid, then marking out all along the rim, approximately a thumbs width is the distance I used.

                 20150111_115710             20150111_115918

I then cut out the notches in which the hooks of the hard baits would sit into. I also drilled some holes in the bottom of the bucket to allow any excess water when changing my lure to drain out.

                  20150111_122149           20150111_122125

So that is the basics of it and now the hard baits can be kept without getting tangled with each other. The lid also fits over the notches with the lures in place. This will also hopefully prevent any rusting with the holes in the bottom. Also, if the lures were to be used in saltwater I may fill the bucket with freshwater after use thus removing salt from the lures and preventing rust. I hope it works for me so we shall see over the coming season. Here is the finished bucket…

20150111_124013

Until next time,

Tight Lines

Fishing Report 04-01-2015

So with the weather looking decent enough to get some fishing in on the Saturday, the first chance for 2015. Loading up all the gear the night before saw ourselves ready to hit the deepwater after some cod from the last day experiences. Well needless to say the forecast must have changed and conditions at our preferred spot were quite bumpy with the wind blowing directly in our face, we decided to head for another spot.

At the second spot it looked a bit more promising but with there now being a bit of a drizzle the second thoughts were coming into our heads on whether to go home and sit by the fire or chance it….

Early morning start

Paddle

After a bit of a paddle and nothing happening in the form of flatfish we decided to fish over some rough ground in close to the cliffs. At this stage my father had caught some mackeral and whiting so he was off the mark for 2015. I had the pressure from him now to get a fish as well.

Drift

Drifting over the rough ground I was using a two hook trace with the weight at the bottom tied rotten bottom style. Bait consisted of frozen lug and the fresh caught mackeral. I went for the cocktail and waited both hooks with worm and a silver underside belly of the mackeral. We were fishing in around 60ft of water. It was not long till I felt the tap tap which was sure to be a wrasse. I set the hook and had a little battle with this wrasse. Couple of photos and he was sent back on his way. First fish for 2015.

Wrasse 1

Wrasse 1 Face

Release wrasse 1

So we decided one more fish. I rigged the same cocktail of baits and sent it to the bottom. Once again, tap tap, I lifted into another wrasse that wanted to head back to its hiding place. Great little fight from these guys. Wish I bought the LRF rod out. After a quick photo he too was sent on his way.

Wrasse 2

Release Wrasse 2

Until Next time.

Tight Lines