There were strong east winds forecast for the rest of the week after today, so I was keen to get out. I chose a deep water rock mark over the hill on the Bantry Bay side of the peninsula. I set up with two big baits - mackerel heads and squid/mackerel cocktails.
It was a grey old day and quiet choppy, and it proved desperately slow for the first couple of hours. When I lost one set of tackle in a snag I replaced it with a two hook paternoster with size 2 Aberdeen hooks and mackerel strip baits, to see if there were any smaller fish about.
Everything remained quiet.
Finally a rattle on the big bait rod ... then a couple of feet of line dragged off. I struck and contacted the fish, and quickly had this strap conger up on the rocks.
After unhooking it and returning it, I was starting baiting up again when I noticed the line on the paternoster rod had gone all slack.
I wound down and struck into a heavy weight. It felt much better than the strap I'd just returned, and here's what came up to the surface ...
Well you don't see that every day! A double shot of congers, fortunately I suppose both only straps about 5lbs each.
I managed to slide them out onto the rocks. Remarkably neither had bitten through the 20lb nylon traces, or bent out the Aberdeen hooks - though the hooks would never be quite the same again.
The tide was dropping quite quickly now, so I didn't bother setting up the paternoster again. I fished on with just the one big bait, and after a couple of missed bites finished the session with a small bull huss.