As the title goes I had planned to go south today in search of a Stingray. Yesterday I had fished a rock mark with my father and managed to get a few fresh Mackeral that would be perfect for today’s session targeting a Stingray and I also managed a lovely little plaice which was a welcome sight on the end of the line. I have not really paid much attention to this mark for the Stingray this year as its really not got me wanting to go there….if that makes any sense…
I seem to be very occupied by outside distractions which seem to be taking away from my kayak fishing so to get out today and be out on the water with no one around is just what I needed and also with a few Stingray thrown into the mix the day would be all the better. I arrived in the car park for around 6:00am as I wanted to get there early and leave around lunch time. I had to wait a little for the sun to rise but i didn’t mind this.
The plan was to fish two light action boat rods couple with two Daiwa sl20sh multipliers which of course are spooled with none other than the Daiwa J-Braid in 30lb breaking strain should I encounter anything of real size. I also bought along my Daiwa Theory lure rod which is very light but still capable of holding its own. This was coupled with a Daiwa Ninja 2500A, spooled with Daiwa 9lb J-Braid.
Traces were kept simple and as always the trusted single hook ledger rig was all I used with the addition of around 10cm of knotable nylon coated wire just incase there was a sneaky Tope around and this would prevent the Tope from biting me off. Todays tide was very slack so there was no need to fish anything over 3oz of lead as this held bottom perfectly and with an easy tide running there was not much weed to deal with. My hook pattern is the tried and tested Cox and Rawle Uptide Extra in a 6/0 size. It may sound a little big but I don’t really like handling Stingray and with the bigger hook it makes unhooking that bit easier.
Baiting up with a full side of Mackeral and using a small amount of bait elastic to hold the top of the bait above the eye of the hook in the tide, I set both rods out in front of me. As the tide turned to come in I had my first take. A solid run and I lifted into the heavy weight as the fish continued to take line. I was sure I was into a Stingray and I was not wrong as a Stingray came to the surface almost looking at me with their sinister eyes. I managed to lift it up for a quick photo before removing the hook and letting it go. I really try not to handle the stingray to much for obvious reasons.
While waiting for takes on my rods fishing the bigger baits I was using my smaller rod to see what was underneath the kayak using small baits. I managed to pick up some fresh Mackeral and had a few small Dab as well. One of the more interesting species to turn up was a little Grey Gurnard. They are an interesting species in the way they seem to walk along the bottom.
I had another two more smaller Stingray to the side of the kayak which I unhooked in the water. By this stage it was nearing lunchtime and with that I decided to head back in. Before heading in I used a thin strip of Mackeral on just a size 10 hook , slowly trolled behind me on the way back. I know there are a good number of Garfish here and it wasn’t long before I had two or three of them in no time.
I also hooked up into a small seatrout on the way in which came as a surprise but welcome all the same. A great little fight on the light rod and then releasing him back to continue on his journey.
So that just about did it for this outing. I loaded up the car and headed home to unpack, wash down the kayak and dry gear and get it all ready for the next day out.
Until next time,
I think that myself and Allen knew that even though there was a howling wind across Ireland for the day we were going to get out on the Hobie’s somewhere for a cast. I stopped off at the first lake to have a look as going to sea was completely out of the question. The first lake was like a washing machine with white horses making their way across one side of the lake to the next, not a good sign and on to the next lake.
Thankfully the next lake is very secluded and hidden away behind a good number of trees which sheltered it from the harsh wind. We decided to have a go at some Pike as there was not much else we could do and being fisherman we were going to try and catch anything. So we met at the lake and rigged up. I was trying my new Daiwa Emeraldas spooled with 20lb Daiwa J-Braid. I have to say that this is one stunning looking reel and with the mag sealed technology it is as smooth as anything. The second rod had my trusty Daiwa Ninja spooled with the ultra thin 9lb J-Braid. Also a value for money reel but quality all the same. When using a braided mainline and lure fishing I always use a fluorocarbon leader. It is just habit and gives me more confidence when fishing lures. I was sent over some Daiwa Tournament Fluorocarbon in varying strengths. This leader is really nice to use as it has an almost stiff feel but still being soft which does not make much sense but it ties really well and has a good feel about it.
We knew that the lake is mostly populated by smaller Pike and thus the lure of choice was a 6.5cm Duck Fin Shad in UV Chartreuse colour. A great colour variation by Daiwa as it glows in the dark and is also a vibrant chartreuse colour with gold flake. With the water having a bit of colour this colour would be somewhat visible. The second lure I wanted to try out was the 6.5cm Daiwa Popper Frog in Albino colour. Although not the best conditions I thought I might as well give it a go as it is fishing at the end of the day.
With the rods rigged my plan was to slow troll the soft shad and cover the most amount of water to see where fish may be more congregated. Using the lowrance fishfinder I wanted to try and find varying bottom conditions which might hold Pike waiting to ambush anything that comes past them.
I made my way around the lake which is not a very large one at that and quickly came across my fist take. Not a very big fish but when using such light gear a small fish always puts up a great account of itself. The small pike nailed the soft shad and using a light 10g Daiwa Jig Head with a 4/0 hook was perfect for the hookup. Letting Allen know I had one I let the Pike go after a photo. A nice way to start.
I carried on around the lake but struggled to find another take until I came to the same area of the lake when instantly I was hooked up again. It seemed the Pike were very concentrated in this area, Another small pike but they were loving the Daiwa soft shad and this time the pike removed the tail off it. By this time Allen had landed a fish of his own and also had a trout take the soft shad but threw the hook at the side of the Hobie.
Staying in the area I decided to cast and work the soft bait on the bottom which showed to be a weedy area on the edge of a drop off. I cast out and let the bait sink to the bottom before lifting it up off the bottom and dropping it again back towards the kayak. I have to say it is a great feeling to have a fish take the lure on the lifting of the lure. I was in again but this time a slightly better pike. I did however change to another lure in the Daiwa range, Full of life, the pike made a good few runs before letting me get a fist look at him. With the water temperatures up the Pike were very energetic and tail walking. This Pike was a better fish for the lake and I was delighted with it on my lap ready for a photo before releasing it.
I continued trolling again with the Duckfin Shads and had a few more Pike but the they were all pretty small and very hungry. They were attacking the lure with force and using light gear is so much fun. The light braid really lets you feel every bump on the lure and also how the lure is working.
Another great way to spend a day when the weather prevents fishing out in the sea. What more could we have asked for. Allen had a few more Pike as well before we decided to call it a day. I really enjoyed these feisty Pike and it was great to see a healthy number of them at the location. Lets hope it stays that way.
Until next time,