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One Life - Fish it!
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A little bit of a report on my trip to Kilmore Quay this last couple of weeks, not a full report as I may well do an article on it for the web site depending on time.

The first day was quite successful with very good fishing aboard Dick Hayes boat, Enterprise. Species caught included numerous Cod, Pollack, Ballan and Cuckoo Wrasse including the most striking one I've seen in a long while! In addition to that our fishing friend Norman managed to bank a Thornback Ray and later on so did the old man. Plenty of other species where caught including the odd pouting, dab, mackerel, launce and a dragonet!

The second day we were out with Paul Bates aboard the Lady Alison and boy what a day regarding the weather! We were fishing in force 5 to 6 winds quite a bumpy sea and nice big swells! But never mind, we still caught fish! At the final count we racked up 12 dabs, 7 or 8 Cuckoo's, tens of Ballan Wrasse, the odd Cod and pollack and as many dog fish as you could shake a stick out. Again, despite the weather some good fishing was had by all!

Day three and four, hmm, well it was blown off that’s for sure! Strong winds and sheet rain put the boat out of question. So it was a day for exploring the harbour, there wasn’t much else we could do. Plenty of mini species as well as small pollack, codling and coalfish. We also fished the breakwater with the big rods for a few hours but only caught a few crabs!

Day Five, out on the boats again, hurrah! This time aboard the Fiona Tee which was skippered by John Hayes. The weather was rough but was decreasing all the time along with the Fog (which although attempts to clear stayed the whole day!) Not to matter, the fishing was again excellent. Plenty of cod around the 2lb mark as well as pollack. We also managed to connect ling to 6lbs and Ballan Wrasse to 2 and half. There were plenty of fish around and there weren’t many drops without connecting into a fish of some sort!

Day six, again out with John aboard the Fiona Tee, today we where out to try specific species, so we didn’t really expect to catch that many fish. So to cut a long story short we caught so many dabs it was silly! The sea bed must have been paved with them. Also in amongst that lot I managed to pull out a plaice as well as numerous Lesser Weevers! After we got off the boat we had a quick play in the harbour and the old fella managed to pull out a 3lb Mullet.

Days seven and eight and we were out with Billy Bates aboard the Inisfree. Some great angling was had! We counted 12 Thornback rays to 5lb, I caught a Haddock, although small, quite unusual for the area ;) Plenty of grey gurnards and whiting as well as again, LOADS OF DABS and dogfish. This was also the first day that Mackerel were quite plentiful.

Day nine and we were out with Leslie Bates aboard Sailfish. We went out specifically to just have a play around and see what we could catch in a specific area. We caught plenty of gurnards including three tubs as well as a few cod and pollack. Again as many dogfish as you could shake a stick out as well as a tope! But the crowning moment of the day was when the old man managed to boat a Spotted Ray...which he was quite pleased about!

And so to day ten aboard Celtic Lady II skippered by John Devereaux. Most of today was spent trying to get on a wreck, but sadly the weather conditions made it quite difficult but still, plenty of Cod and Ballan Wrasse where caught as well as a Plaice and....a few dog fish (don't you just love 'em)! Day eleven was again with John and again plenty of fish were caught including Turbot, Ballan Wrasse plenty of Pollack as well as some Corkwing Wrasse.

And so to day twelve! This time back on board with Leslie Bates' Sailfish. Plenty of nice fish! Plenty of Pollack to 5lbs, plenty of Pouting (more on these later) loads of Whiting and dabs and of course some weevers! Back to these Pout. HUGE pout infact. I caught the first of the monsters which weighed in at 2.78lbs, Norman our fishing partner however went one better with a fine Irish specimen of 3.28lbs! You should have seen the eyes on these things!

And so to day thirteen! Back with Dick Hayes who we started the trip with for some inshore drifting, which produced some nice Thornbacks and Gurnards as well as the inevitable Cod. We wanted to do so much more this day but sadly the force 7 North Easterly (yes it was a tad rough out there) put paid to that. So it was a case of trying to do whatever the weather would let us do!

And so to the final day! Aboard Autumn Dream skippered by Eamonn Hayes. Again the weather was still rough but trying to calm down throughout the day. We decided it would be best to try for a Tope and that we did. After a little while, yes I know, I managed to tempt one of the little beasts and hooked one around 20lbs, not huge by Tope standards, but a nice fish all the same. It put up a spirited fight and was boated in a few minutes. It was tagged, measured and photographed and then put back, with no harm done. She ended up been the biggest fish of the two weeks and a fine finale to the trip.

I think we ended up with 25 different species in the end.

A big thanks to Dick, Paul, Leslie, Billy, the two John's and Eamonn for yet another great Irish Adventure.

Also a big thanks to Pat and Siobhan at the Quay House for great breakfasts and a much needed bed at the end of each trip!

And of course, a special mention to Kehoes Pub and Parlour for the great food and drink. And to end it all, a big thanks to the Guinness Company for the black stuff!

Mike Jr

P.S Also would like to say hi to the Welsh lads we met during the first week who were staying at the Quay House, hope you all got back safe and sound. And in addition also like to say hi to the Welsh lads who turned up the night we left at the Quay House, looks like you were all having fun when we left the pub for the final time ;) Hope you caught plenty and a safe journey home.
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