So early July saw me head down the East coast to Cahore in Co. Wexford for the second round of the Irish Kayak Angling All Ireland Championship. It’s a great fishing venue with plenty of species on offer and not having been out on the salt for a while, I was looking forward to it.
First port of call was our sponsor, Redmond’s in Ballygarret to pick up our competition cards, some bait and the obligatory breakfast roll and coffee. A few more minutes in the car brought me to our launch point at Cahore Bay where there were already a few lads gearing up to head out.
Now the weather forecast was giving it great for the Saturday but apart from a couple of crazy showers of wind and rain, it was quite nice. So to be prepared, I’d brought my newly acquired beachcaster in case we couldn’t get out on the kayaks. It came in very handy, but not for fishing. Pat was there in his home from home with the club flag doing it’s best to be seen, tied to a tiny LRF rod on the roof of the camper. My beachcaster came to the rescue with the help of a few cable ties and the flag flew proudly in the breeze.
With a target of four species I headed out and off right past the pier and towards the headland. Next I heard Captain Pat on the radio warning me not to go too far around the head as it was a hell of a paddle to get back. He was speaking from experience……..
Decision made (for me) I dropped anchor and set out two rods, one baited with peeler and the other with rag. Within a few minutes the rod with the crab was bending with a good fish. He put up a good fight and when he eventually came to the kayak it was a nice Smoothie, the first of the species. I gave a quick shout out on the VHF to make sure the bugger wouldn’t try bite me before I landed him and took a snap.
While all this was going on, the second rod baited with rag, was also bending over and once that was reeled in I had my second target species, a nice Doggie.
I stayed anchored in that spot for an hour or so only to be plagued with dogfish, after dogfish so it was time to move on. After dropping anchor again it wasn’t long before species number three made it’s way into the kayak. A little flattie fell to the rag and he too was photographed and safely returned to the water.
So that left just the Bass to complete the challenge and I reckoned I was in with a chance. It was time to up anchor and move but by this stage the current and wind had gotten worse. I struggled to get my anchor up so in the interest of safety I had to let it go thinking the buoy would stay on top and I could paddle back and get it. It didn’t happen. Buoy, reel and anchor all stayed under and I never saw them again.
So now anchorless, I paddled the few hundred yards towards the offshore reef where I could see Ian Burton and John Griffin, both with the same idea. Now John was a late arrival to the competition and had just launched and paddled over to Ian at the reef. Of course what do you expect from Mr. Bass himself? First cast! His first f#*^ing cast and he’s in a Bass. The jammy sod! Myself and ian could only laugh and despite both of us trying around the reef, neither of us could catch that elusive Bass. I did manage to pick up a Wrasse and a small Cod though.
By the end of the evening John had completed the challenge and won the competition. Well done John! By 7pm we’d all finished up and we were treated to a beautiful evening as the sun went down behind us.
After a bit of grub it was time to head up the hill to the pub for a few pints before bed. Actually, we had quite a few before settling in Joe’s caravan for more beer before bed.
Next morning saw another gorgeous day with flat calm water. I tried paddling over to where I’d lost my anchor the day before but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack trying to find the exact spot. So I spent the next few hours on the drift and caught doggie after doggie. I gave up by lunchtime and headed for the shore.
A great weekend was had by all with plenty of fish caught. good company, some new faces and some good craic. Looking forward to the Kerry meet at the end of the month.
Here’s a sort video of some of the fishing.