Showing posts with label Sea Bass Fishing Cork Harbour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sea Bass Fishing Cork Harbour. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Bass Alley by Alan Cogan

fly fishing ireland

“I’m in”. I uttered the common phrase used by fisher folk worldwide, announcing to all and sundry that they are stuck in a fish whilst their companions may not be.  It is said in a humble tone in most cases but in reality one-upmanship is to the fore in a subtle yet evil way.

Saying “I’m in” this time, however, really was a case of “I’m in”...up to my neck in salt water.  It had seemed to be going well. Companion  and self were happily peddling in pursuit of bass (yes peddling, more of which later) around Cork Harbour in our Celtic Tiger Yaks (CTY) safe in the knowledge that their longevity and durability was far more impressive than the quality of property constructed in the same period.

It wasn’t as if we hadn’t been out in them before, the usual routine had been followed, forensic inspections of straps on the top of the car ensuring that one of the CTY’s  didn’t slam down a bonnet or, worse still, end up impaled in some ditch.  Fly rods prepared, eight weights, large arbour reels and intermediate lines inspected, clousers tied on and all gear strapped to the CTY to prevent any mishap occurring, little did I know!

Then there was the not so subtle exercise of immersing myself in my drysuit, not an easy task in any persons language especially when I had the ability to make myself look like a priapic seal (for all the wrong reasons) if I didn’t get it right first time.  Suitably immobilised in my dry suit, off we pedalled, yes pedalled, I did say they were CTY’s, not your standard paddle and go model. Theory being we could move as we fished, not so simple an exercise if you have a paddle in one hand and a fly rod in the other!

The tide was just beginning to ebb which meant that the bass would start hunting any small baitfish washed by the current into their path. It really was a case of lambs to slaughter as the tide quickened, baitfish wouldn’t stand a chance in the current and we could see the bass begin to hunt. We had chosen a place I affectionately call bass alley, a narrow strip of water that races alongside an island in the Harbour. I had christened the place one day as I watched my companion land nine bass and miss as many whilst I managed one measly take and promptly missed the fish. In truth I had probably christened the place when I missed that fish but decided, to prevent profanity, to shorten the word I used to Bass!!

Lengthening line I focused on not giving myself an unwanted chartreuse earring, one does feel extremely vulnerable so low to the water in a Yak and a weighted fly whizzing past your ears, or, perhaps, it is just me. I had just assumed my classic angling position of head down shoulders hunched squinty eyed pose when a fish moved to the right of my fly. Leaning back and false casting to cover the fish I noticed that suddenly the landscape had turned on an angle and, for some strange reason the water was coming up to meet me at an impressive speed.

Being in excess of 100kg and overturning a Yak really is a skill that few have mastered, and yet, first time trying, I had carried out the feat with alarming speed and no little grace. I should have been proud of myself...I wasn’t. Managing to immerse myself up to my neck whilst maintaining my hold on fly rod AND not getting my head wet, now that was a feat to be marvelled at.

The companion was used to me uttering the “I’m in” phrase, (unfortunately I was far more used to hearing him say it). He didn’t even turn around, but when I repeated with “no, I’m in” he did turn around. Controlling his laughter and smirks was a feat for which I will ever be grateful but in reality my dignity was at the bottom of the briny, luckily, on its own, as the strapping had contained all my fishing bits in the upturned Yak.

Examining the cause of my immersion didn’t take long. There was no black box examination required. In my haste to be the first one humbly muttering “I’m in” I hadn’t securely clipped one of the restraining straps on the seat, thus when I leaned back, off I slewed to one side with all the grace of a swan after hitting the vodka.

Wading to shore fly rod in one hand, upturned yak in the other I got to thinking that maybe they should have an Olympic event for fastest Yak evacuation. I think I had just made the qualifying standard.

Fly Fishing Ireland