I've been away from the water for a while. Only a few weeks but it has honestly felt like an eternity. Yesterday an opportunity presented itself which I grabbed with both hands. Accompanied by a fishing friend, Rory, we headed way out into western Connemara in Ireland with the hopes of catching some ray to tag them for research purposes. We arrived at the beach and hurridly got the gear arranged and launched as quickly as we could. Rory is a fly fisherman at heart but is really diversifying his fishing at the moment. He is a newcomer to kayak fishing and is really enjoying it. What's not to enjoy?
We headed for a point not far from the beach in the hopes of finding rough ground and some pollock to get warmed up on. Rory had never experienced the thrill of pollock fishing with light gear and he was in for a treat on this particular evening. Within a couple of casts each we had locked into some hard fighting pollock and the fun began. The surges and dives that these fish make are dogged and determined; they go straight for the weed and rocks at the bottom. If they make it there they will generally win the battle so heavy pressure is required for their first few powerful runs.
Rory and I proceeded to hit pollock after pollock. The fishing was fast, frantic and great fun, especially on the lighter gear. None of them were huge but they gave a good account of themselves and nearly all were returned to fight another day. One was kept for dinner and it made a fantastic job of it! With the light starting to fade it dawned on us that the ray we were supposed to be tagging had been forgotten about altogether; the research and tagging had fallen victim to the fun that lure fishing can be. We decided that we'll just have to return again soon and concentrate on the ray then. I just hope we don't get distracted by other things next time!
Having grown up in a seaside town on the east coast of Ireland, Gary has been fishing in fresh and salt water since childhood. Between his studies in freshwater and marine biology, he travels the length and breadth of Ireland to fish from his kayak.