I had been back in the UK for a few days for my Mum's 90th birthday party, and flew back into Cork yesterday on the same flight as my friend and NMC chairman, Steve Smith who was over to stay with us for a week.
The weather was against us today, grey and blustery and intermittently wet.
We decided to start at a sheltered pier close to Kilcrohane. I hung a bread bag off the end, and set about trying to catch a few mackerel for tea while the tide was still high. Steve started tackling up to fish for mullet.
Almost straight away I saw a small mullet on the surface. I called Steve over and we saw it again, but before Steve had finished setting up it had disappeared.
An hour passed with just three mackerel for me and Steve one missed bite on the float with bread bait. I decided to join the mullet hunt, and set up a sliding float to fish deeper than Steve, about twelve feet.
I was soon getting tiny bites that dinked the float and just occasionally held it down long enough to strike - and miss! I must have missed ten or a dozen over half an hour or so and my guess was the culprits were small mullet struggling to get a size 10 in their mouths. And so it proved when I finally latched in to this thicklip estimated at 1lb. A pretty little fish but not much of a result for the session ...
We moved on to a small harbour further east along the peninsula. The tide was dropping but there was still a good depth of water inside the harbour wall. We fished about an hour but we didn't get any bites or see any mullet.
We decided to chance a rock mark on the north side of the peninsula as I expected the swell to die down over the low water period. It did indeed but the mark was still only marginally fishable with mullet tackle, a strong breeze from the left pushing our floats through the swim too fast.
I only mustered one bite, a small coalfish. Soon after that, I heard a shout from my left and I looked round to see Steve's rod hooped over ... the fish was really going. I hurried over with the net just in time for the first glimpse of the fish ... a big bronze flank as it turned ... not a mullet but a pollack. It dived for the kelp several more times and Steve did a great job keeping it out with a light travel float rod. The pollack was soon in the net ... a touch over 4lbs on the scales ... certainly the biggest pollack I've ever seen caught on bread!