Cahore is situated in Co. Wexford on the East Coast of Ireland. Once a year the Irish Kayak Angling Club hold a meet here which is a competition based around catching nominated species plus additional points for any other species of fish that are caught. But, besides the competition it is great way to catch up with friends from the forum and also meet new people that are taking up the sport of kayak angling. It’s a social event and all are welcome which makes it great for sharing information and having some fun.
Cahore has a variety of species but the most notable is the Smooth Hound. Another member of the shark family, this species predates on crustaceans and thus having crab baits is a must. This was one of the nominated species along with Bass, Flatfish, Dogfish and the Joker fish which doubled the final points was a Thornback Ray. All these species are readily available to the kayak angler and there is no need for paddling long distances as the fish can be found in close waters. With a strong tidal flow, fishing off the kayak in Cahore requires the use of the anchor if there is more chance of getting on the Smooth Hounds.
I arrived down in Cahore to meet Pat and his wife on the Friday after work and a huge thanks to Dave (Scone) and Pat for putting their heads together to get all my kayak gear up to Cahore. We met at the local tackle store which was great and after picking up a health supply of peeler crabs we went for a meal in the restaurant next door which served a great plaice dish. We made our way to the launch spot in Cahore and rushed to set up and get a bait in the water. Needless to say this didnt take long and we were heading out with our expectations high of a Smooth Hound. Baiting up with Peeler Crab I soon had a small take which turned out to be the ever present dogfish. Not long after this I was into the first Smooth Hound. These guys fight so hard for their size and it was great fun on the lighter rods.
Soon after this there was a black sky approaching and we were soon inside a heavy rain shower which really put an end to the evenings fishing. Peddling back in through the rain to get back was a little uncomfortable but getting back to the shore and having a cold brew was a fitting end to the evening.
The morning of the competition saw lovely sunshine and a flat sea which all were hoping for. Although this weather was set to change it was still great to wake up to sunshine and know there was going to be some fishing done. The plan was to rig up two rods with running ledger rigs with a pennell rig hook setup for keeping the bait presentation ideal. The hooks of choice for the two running ledger rigs were Cox and Rawle Uptide Extra 3/0. The size of the hook would be purely based on the size of the baits and Smooth Hounds have a relatively large mouth so a 3/0 sized hook is not a problem with hookups. On the third rod I used my Daiwa Ninja 2500A and my Team Daiwa light drop shotting rod. This would be rigged up as well with a running ledger but this time with a single size 1 Cox and Rawle Chinu hook pattern. I would use this setup for targeting Flatfish and any other smaller species that were around.
We all headed out to our preferred location and I chose to target the Smooth Hound fist and found a nice bit of water after a while and with the tide running out and very strong I found I had to leave out a good bit of anchor rope to hold bottom. But once I did I was soon into the Smooth Hounds. I like to peel my crab but leave the legs and claws on as when bound up it gives a more natural look and also reduces the amount of dogfish takes. The Smooth Hound action continued for a while and in among them were a couple of small Dab.
I decided to move off and try my luck at a Bass. I chose to slow troll a Tackle House Feedshallow. A great lure with a reputation of producing Bass. Although I am not a huge lure fisherman I have has Bass on this lure and I am pretty confident when using it. I trolled around for a while and noticed the Garfish darting across the surface as I approached them. So with this I grabbed my light Daiwa rod and rigged two trebles and a long slither of Mackeral belly. There is no need for weight as a slow troll with just the hooks and bait is plenty as the Garfish are just below the surface. I finally hooked one after a few dropped takes and with amazing tail walking like some tropical game fish I soon had a lovely Garfish on the kayak.
The Bass were eluding me and I headed over to the rough ground not to far from the shore as it was nearing the end of the day and I wanted to see what was around in the kelp. I used small ragworm baits and fished close to the kayak and according to my Lowrance Fishfinder I was only in 10ft of water but it was very murky so 10ft was ample amount of water to pick out a few smaller fish. I managed a tiny Codling and an even smaller Ballan Wrasse.
So with that the day was over. We all headed back in and discussed our day out. This was followed by a brilliant meal in the restaurant that I had visited the night before. It was great time up in Cahore and the fishing was very good. Meeting up with the guys from the club is always great and getting to discuss fishing stories with all of them is what it is all about. With a second place finish and a few new species it was time to head home and leave Cahore behind me.
A huge thanks to the Irish Kayak Angling club for holding the event and with the organizing involved it was a great weekend.
Until next time,