Underway in 2017

It's not been a hectic start to 2017.


I've had two blank mullet trips, a night session on a local pier that produced only two poor cod and the smallest conger I've ever seen, and today a session on the rocks locally that produced a few rattly bites but nothing that held on to the large hooks I was using for huss or conger.


In the midst of all this, a small success story. I headed down to Rosscarbery last Tuesday for a go at the mullet. I'd been there the previous week and blanked, though I'd seen a few mullet moving. Today was such a mild day I really fancied my chances if there were any mullet present. It was so calm when I arrived I was sure I'd see any mullet if they were about, but disappointingly the normal swims down the west side of the estuary pool seemed barren of fish. I walked round to the bridge arch, still without seeing anything. Then, to my relief, I saw a few fish moving further along to the east.


It's not an area I've fished before as it requires an awkward jump down from the road causeway then an undignified scramble back up at the end. Still, needs must ... a few minutes later I was back with my kit. I had one leger rod set up so I put out a pop-up crust bait on that while I set about making up my second rod. The line was half-threaded up through the rod rings when I noticed a couple of bumps on the tip of the rod in the rest. Line bites probably ... I stopped a moment to watch, and suddenly the rod pulled right over. I grabbed it as the rod rest threatened to collapse, and a great scrap followed with a thicklip that turned in at 4lb 6oz ...


It was my first ever January mullet, and also the one that meant I had caught mullet in twelve consecutive months from February 2016.


Sadly though the little group of fish had melted away. I fished on for 90 minutes without another touch, then decided a move was in order. As there didn't seem to be a lot of fish at Rosscarbery I relocated east to the estuary below Clonakilty.


The tide was about half way out when I arrived, and I started to see mullet moving down with the ebb. As the flow eased off towards low water, the number of fish increased and by the low water slack there were hundreds in the stretch where I was. They were bow-waving, swirling, splashing and jumping ... everything apparently except feeding, as I couldn't get a single bite and left in frustration as the light faded away into the evening. A couple of days later I went back. It had been a colder night and it was a colder day with a touch of east in the breeze. As far as I could tell there was not a single mullet in the estuary.

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