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Friday, 6 October 2017

Oh Ireland!

Been a couple days back home from my holidays in Ireland and one thing I have to say is that I will definitely be going there again!
I went with my girlfriend Claire and we spent a week in County Kerry. This was most certainly not a fishing holiday but the travel rods went into the suitcase of course...
I didn't have any serious targets or 'must catch' fish list in mind, though I definitely wanted to get some wrasse and if possible a bass or two. Moreover I'd be taking the LRF gear as well so any of the smaller predators would be very welcome especially with some scad among them!
I had done some homework before the trip and had scores of points on Google maps ready to be sussed out...Most areas were exposed rocky coastlines and beaches with the occasional harbour/pier for the light stuff. I had heard only the best and was fired up to get started!
The weather was ok to begin with and we got a couple decent days but I only fished a bit here and there with the LRF and managed to catch my first Irish fish... Not a scad but a coalie 😆
Little did I know that the weather would turn bad and I'd get few chances to fish the more exposed marks I wanted.
Not a scad!
The first area we stayed in was Valentia Island and from Google Earth and the web I could tell that it would be very suitable for wrasse fishing, plus having some piers/harbours close by would offer ample opportunities to fish the light gear.
This being the open Atlantic, the swell was present at various intensities throughout the week and I only managed one HRF session for wrasse before the swell build up.
What a session it was though!
After a bit of a hike in the wind and rain with Claire we found the path down the rocks and on first look it was pretty rough (but still fishable). Thankfully we found a hollow at the rocks and out of the wind to settle down and fish from.
I was using my Spro Mobile Stick 80MH paired with the Shimano Stradic FK C3000 and the rig of choice being the good old Texas rig with a 20g tungsten bullet weight, glass bead and #1 wide gape offset hook. I would be using 3" Gulp Alive swimming mullets in a simple drag and pause retrieve.
From the first cast the fish showed their presence but instead of wrasse I got some pollock! Definitely not what I was looking for there..! Soon enough though, I started getting the familiar sharp taps of wrasse and after setting the hook a different fight ensued...
It didn't take long to get the first ballan out and there were many more to come!
All of them around the 2lbs mark but fighting hard and in a ravenous mood... Haven't had similar wrasse-fishing since I left the Channel Islands...


Them lips!

On the act!

Decent size...

Cant say no to them!

Big gob!
Conditions were lively...

I love wrasse!

That was my most memorable session of the trip. The next day the swell intensified considerably and
I had to find sheltered areas to fish. This meant more LRF and I had good sessions with mackerel, coalies and smaller ballan and corkwing wrasse but unfortunately no scad!

Dingle harbour breakwater.

Lovely corkwing.

Loads of mackies about.
My LRF setup was a 7'2'' (0.5-7g) Snowbee Kuroshio travel LRF rod paired with my Shimano Stradic 1000fc and using mainly small cheburashkas and metals. I didnt take too many softplastics with me as the space was limited and again I relied mostly on the Gulp.
We spent the last couple days on the Dingle peninsula and in retrospect we could've spent the whole week there as it simply has got it all!
Got pollock from the rocky points, wrasse in the harbour and while I snuck out before breakfast for a few casts, had a feisty bass on the trusty Megabass Zonk Gataride. Unfortunately this was gonna be our last day in Dingle and I didnt get the chance to fish there more... What a place.!

Before breakfast.
It was a great holiday in all and got some useful observations/notes for the next time:
  • much cheaper and convenient to get the ferry there in my own car. Too much unnecessary hassle renting one there..
  • No need for fancy rigs and many lures. 
  • A tubular tip LRF rod might have been more suitable as when I encountered a bass following my tiny softplastics, I couldn't use a topwater or a jerkbait to potentially tease it into striking.
  • Just 2 setups would be enough. a 1-10g for light game (but capable of something heavier) and a sort of 10-30g for the bigger stuff. 
  • Swell forecast more important than weather forecast...
 I'm working on the videos now and should be up next week sometime!

Tight Lines!


  1. Hi Dimitros,
    your blog is awesome, thanks for it.

    I want to start LRF as well, but can't make decision on a reel, planing to use 4-6lb braided line. Could you recommend me a reel in a budget of 100 pounds, that can handle such line.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Thanks. I have tried both shimano Stradic ci4 and the Fk and have both proven very reliable, thus I suggest either the Ci4 2000 or the Fk 1000.
      All the best

    2. Thanks a lot, I bought the FK1000, like it more.

      Will follow you blogs, they are so interesting :)