Following on from my last update I have been getting out every couple of days. The fishing has been spread between Connemara in Galway and further south along the Clare coastline. Each time I have travelled light, just taking the kayaking essentials, some small amounts of lure fishing gear and kitting myself out with the Cascade drysuit, the Kaikoura PFD and the Shoot boots. Incidentally, the boots are great for traversing rocks with a kayak on your shoulder and a fishing rod in your other hand (I will put together a review on them soon). The last blog saw me hitting modest enough sized pollock in Connemara, being the fun that they are to catch, I just had to go back and give them another go. Tactics were unchanged and I targetted them by casting lures from drifting kayak and slowly cranking them back towards me. Sport was fast and furious when I located the fish, done so by locating gullies on the sea bed. These fractures in the bedrock showed up on the echo sounder and it was a case of just working the lures along these points and allowing the marauding pollock to smash into them. As the week wore on so did the average size of the fish and by the end of the few Connemara sessions I had bagged myself a few crackers. All fish were returned to fight another day follwing a quick photograph.
The transient existence of a budding marine biologist meant that soon afterwards I had to point the car south. I was headed back to County Clare for another week of working with the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation. The week consisted of taking tour boats to photograph dolphins in an attempt to photo identify them through marks on their dorsal fins. It wasn't all hard work though! I managed to get the kayak out and I really had my sights set on some bass. Again, using the echo sounder I was able to locate some rough ground in seven metres of water. I started to work the lures but the bass were not interested.
Luck was on my side though and I did not go home empty-handed. There may have been no bass present but I started to smash into what can only be described as jumbo pollock. The dives that these fish make just have to be experienced, real powerhouses! Fantastic sport resulted in six jumbo pollock gracing the kayak, all of which were returned bar one. The fish that was kept was taken back to the lodgings where it was baked and fed a team of hungry biologists. I really am having so much fun with these pollock that it is difficult to tear myself away from them to try to catch other things. Work see me board a research vessel for a survey for the next couple of weeks but when I return to dry land I will try my best to ignore these powerful predators in favour of something else. It's difficult when you are catching fish like this though;
By Gary Robinson