Once again the seed was sown in the head of many anglers on the Irish Kayak Angling Club Forum as to a planned trip out to Roches Point in Cork Harbour. That is what makes the Irish Kayak Angling Club such a good place to meet new faces and learn new things. For all who want to get into the sport of Kayak Angling, this is a great place to get to know essential safety items and also get to know different tactics for different species. For me, the Irish Kayak Angling Club has been a great asset to my kayak angling and still to this day I learn new things from the vast amount of members.
So with this meet arranged it was time to get my gear ready for my first outing of the 2017 year. I know there are codling that can be caught here and a good number of other species, I decided to put together three setups. I decided on two 6ft spinning outfits which had a Daiwa Ninja 2500A spinning reel spooled with 9lb Daiwa J-Braid. The second spinning outfit had the Daiwa Emeraldas which was spooled with 20lb Daiwa J-Braid. These two outfits are what I would be using throughout the day for Codling as there really is no need to fish heavy. I took up fishing and for me it is all about the fight between the fish and me. So rigging up with overrated tackle just does not do it for me. I did bring along a Daiwa SL20sh spooled with 30lb Daiwa J-Braid in case I decided to chance a Conger Eel.
Rigs were kept extremely simple and on one spinning rod I tied up a double hook rig which I use often over rough ground. I am not sure of the technical term but you can see it in the pictures. I love to use a Cox and Rawle Chinu pattern when using crab baits and I went with a size 1 as I was not sure of the size of Codling that would be present. The second spinning setup was rigged with a soft plastic in the form of a Daiwa Duckfin Shad in UV pearl colour. With the tides being slack and not a massive surge of tide running I was able to get away with using a 20 gram jig head.
I emptied the freezer before leaving the next morning and I was able to find some frozen Peeler Crab which is a killer bait for Coding off the shore when they are fresh. So I didn’t see why they wouldn’t work out in Cork Harbour. As well as this I had a few Razor fish which really I bought with to empty the freezer to free up space for restocking.
The morning of the meet up in Cork Harbour it was great to meet up with the members from the Irish Kayak Angling Club and catch up after the Christmas season. Of course stories were told and the laughs were had before the kayaks hit the water to try and get a bend in their rods. My Hobie Revolution 16 was rigged up and ready and in no time I was out over some promising looking ground. The Hobies’s mirage drive system coupled with the Turbo fins made short work of the distance to the channel. The depth of water I was fishing in was around the 60ft depth with a rough bottom. There were a few small pinnacles that rose up which were bound to attract fish around them. So I baited up my double hook rig with a half a Peeler Crab on each hook before sending it down to the bottom.
Within the first 2 minutes I was into my fist fish and with the spinning rod bent into the fish I was sure I was into my first Codling. The solid head pumps progressed as the fish was worked to the surface where a plump little Codling hit the surface. I was delighted and fishing simple like this always catches me fish. I don’t wait hours for something to happen, I try to make things happen. I unhooked the Codling and sent him back down to tell the others about his experience.
Down I went again with the Peeler crab baits and immediately my spinning rod was doubled over into another Codling. They really do pull for their size on the right setups. This action continued for the next half hour of constant Codling every five minutes or so. I was able to get a few photos of these fish and I knew they would be more than willing to take a Soft Plastic so I changed rod and picked up the other setup to have some fun.
I dropped the Daiwa Duckfin Shad to the bottom and when there I worked the lure up and down on the bottom. I raised the rod and it was greeted by a solid weight and I was into a Codling on the Soft Plastic. It really put a up good little fight and it engulfed the lure as I saw when lifting him onto the kayak.
Down again went the Duckfin Shad to the bottom and again within a minute or two I was into another fish. I was really enjoying myself and this is really what it is about for me. I could hear that all the guys that were out had caught fish which made the day even better. I unhooked the Codling and sent him back again. I decided to take a break and went off the rough ground to see what else was about.
I found the sandy area and started drifting. I was immediately plagued by small Whiting which were present in large numbers but a fish is a fish and like I said, I would rather be catching than sitting. I tied on a set of tiny Sabiki’s after seeing some baitfish on the Lowrance Fishfinder which turned out to be some Mackeral. Nice to see them around in the colder months. I was also able to catch a tiny little Coalfish. A bit of a change from the solid fighting Codling which made me eager to get onto the Codling again. I headed back out to the rough ground and was once again straight into the Codling again. I had great action throughout the day and so did all who were out on the water.
As the day drew to a close I headed back in to load up and head home. Before heading away we all discussed how we had got on throughout the day and it seemed that all who were there had caught fish and that’s what being a member of the Irish Kayak Angling Club is all about for me. Making new friends and enjoying the sport.