West Cove Pier

There comes a time when I think to myself that it is time to try a new spot, just to see what is out there. It may be the case that it will turn out to be a complete waste of time or it could be the opposite and produce some good fishing. West Cove Pier is located in the South West of Kerry and is a nice easy laugh for the kayaks. We did fish here last year but that was only a short trip out. This time we could spend a little more time paddling around and checking what is on the bottom.

We arrived early enough with the tide dropping and a calm bay greeting us. We rigged up the kayaks taking with us some light gear and medium as it would be more of an exploring session that knowing what was out there. Rigs consisted of simple double hook ledger rigs which always get a few fish when not knowing what is about. Kayaks rigged up we hit the water.

Kayak on Slip

The Irish Kayak Angling Species Hunt was on my fathers mind as we got on the water. He went just behind the pier and used a small size 12 hook and a split shot to tempt a small Rock Goby up. It is amazing the lengths we go to when wanting to get the species tally up. Not a great fight to say the least and with that we headed out the bay to get into some deeper water.

Dad Micro Species

Dad holding GobyOnce out of the sheltered bay the open sea was like a glass pane. Not a ripple on the surface and a reflection of the rising sun on its surface. The fishfinder was on and keeping a close watch on what was on the bottom or patrolling at various depths. I stopped in 60ft of water with a rough bottom and sent down my double hook trace which had two small mackeral baits on. The drift was not fast and pretty much at a crawling speed which was good too as it allowed me to consistently keep my bait bumping on the bottom. Then a double knock type bite which resulted in a small Ballan Wrasse. Down went the bait again only to produce another lovely coloured Ballan Wrasse. It was a sure sign that the area was going to hold a good number of these fish.

Ballan Wrasse 1

Ballan Wrasse 2

I decided to move off and try another area. This time a little deeper and around the 70ft mark with a rough patchy bottom. Again the double hook trace baited with Mackeral was sent down. A good number of bites happened which turned out to be Cuckoo Wrasse. It is amazing the color contrast between the males and the females. The males are vibrant blues, purples and various color pigments while the female is an almost constant orange and pink tinge with a spot on the tail area.

Cuckoo male head

Female Cuckoo Wrasse

It was clear that fishing smaller baits was only going to produce wrasse. With that in mind I switched over to my SL20 reel on my light boat rod. I baited this single hook pulley rig with a head of a Mackeral. When using head baits I like to cut at an angle from the top of the head and across the body to keep some of the insides for added attraction. No need for cotton here. I hook the head bait through both lips and send it away down to the bottom. We were still drifting in and around 70ft of water. While waiting for the head bait to get some interest my lighter rod was still getting loads of action and next up was a Pouting.


The drift continued and the a breeze had come up. I deployed the drogue anchor to slow my drift down. The head bait then has a thump. I knew it was not a big fish but still something was interested. I thought it was a Conger Eel but striking into the fish it was clear it was not. I had the fish to the side of the kayak and it was a small codling. That was a pleasant surprise.

Small Cod

So with the morning turning into lunch time we decided to have one last drift. I came across a shady patch in between the rough area and had a small bite. During the morning I had a number of small Whiting and thought that this was one attacking my bait. Lucky I did not grab the fish when I lifted him out of the water as it was a small Weever Fish.

Weever Fish

So with that concluding our days fishing at West Cove Pier we headed back in to the Pier were we launched from. I think it is great to get out and try new spots. It takes away the monotony of fishing the same areas and catching the same things. It brings back the excitement and the unknowing of what you can find. So that was it for another day out on the kayak. My days are numbered now on the Ocean Kayak as my Hobie will be arriving soon and I cannot wait.

Until next time,

Tight Lines.


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