Ross Macklin is one of Ireland’s top specimen hunters, a fish ecologist during the week and a fishing nut in his free time. If it swims Ross will be out fishing for it and as we done the interview Ross is heading off for the weekend after another specimen. Not as active as he would like recently, as he is busy finishing a Phd and he also set up a fishing guiding company last year with Sidney Kennedy on the Lee system in Cork. Always great craic and with a love of anything got to do with water, here is Ross’s interview…..
Me: A great golfer once said “the more i practice the luckier i get”. You are one of Irelands most active anglers over the years, i know your not getting out much with the PHD, but how have you so consistently caught great fish?
RM: Right Time, Right Place, Right Bait, Right Mind… my four R’s of Angling… if you get those right then your winning. I think my mate Terry Jackson probably is the closest I have ever seen to embodying those virtues of angling.
Me: Your knowledge of Irish lakes is something to behold, how did you amass such a reservoir of venues?
RM: Well every week from my teenage years I embarked on little journeys by opening discovery series maps and getting lifts from my mother (the poor lady) and later when I had my first car there was no stopping me. Later still I started to work as a freshwater ecologist and was lucky enough to travel to every county in Ireland where I always engaged with local anglers.. still love that today..
Me: What anglers have inspired you?
RM: Without doubt my friends and those with similar life experiences… I couldn’t name them all but I’ll be fishing with them all this spring…
Me: The Lough in Cork is where you met a lot of anglers. you have introduced us to many anglers like Sidney Kennedy, and Bill Brazier and up and coming angler Adam Barrett. It must be like a fishing university at times on the lough with people coming from all over to fish?
RM: Yes myself and Sidney have been friends since we met in 1997… they call him old whiskers down these parts… and of course Bill Brazier (we are all off to a not so secret fishing destination as I write this)… The Lough is our back yard and whether your fishing or walking around there’s always an interesting character who teaches you something new..
Me: What are the biggest known fish in the Lough these days?
RM: I imagine 24lbs… the truth is that the lake has too many fish and the growth rate of the bigger fish will suffer consequentially.. Back in the late 90’s there was over 30 different 20lb fish…. those were the days…
Me: You have caught nearly everything, what catch did you treasure most at the time?
RM: Most recently it was a stone bass.. a nomadic wandering fish that sits under floating debris on the sea.. they follow ruby duby trails laid out when shark fishing…. the fish has a blue iridescence that emanates from the dark grey scale pattern making them quite remarkable.. I was shark fishing with some good friends including Jorge Alvarez and Luke Harman… on board a vessel chartered by Tommy Collins… we had great craic and fished all night… skipper told us to wind up and at the moment rod screams off and I landed this beautiful fish…
Me: They are a gorgeous fish alright Ross we have been lucky enough to see a few. You run Lee angling services, can you tell us about it?
RM: I set up Lee Angling with Sidney Kennedy and the main aim was to share some of our experiences with other anglers through guided angling. It helps cover our enormous fishing tackle bills at the end of the year!
Me: What interests outside of fishing have you?
RM: I love scuba diving, a wee bit of surfing, music and travelling. Jeremy Wade’s ‘River Monsters’ is very appealing…very well done angling show… hope to replicate the show with Ross Macklin’s…’Sea Monsters’… LOL currently looking for sponsors…
Me: And finally What would be your most wanted specimen?
RM: I would have to say the Atlantic Salmon… very hard fish to get at 20lbs these days… just look at all the top specimen anglers in Ireland that have caught multiple species… the majority are missing salmon… because its a very tough quarry to get over that magical 20lb figure…
Me: Well Ross thanks for the chat and hope you catch loads the weekend and I’ll see ya soon….
Me: No problem Paddy see you on the Lough soon…