Denis Brock is one of the countries top shore fishermen. A founding member of the East Coast Raiders SAC, he is a top match man, and record holder for the Irish off the ground cast record with Sport Cast Ireland. Denis also enjoys his boat fishing and hunting and is a true gent of the fishing world so over to Denis….
Me: What were your first memories of fishing?
DB: My first memories of fishing that spring to mind, would be about 18 years ago every weekend going down to dunlaoighaire harbor for the day, we would go to dun laoighaire angling, it was down the end of the town then, buy our ten rag or twenty if we were lucky, (they were 10 for a pound back then), Eddie used to have them on a bread board and he always throw in a few extra for you. Then into the corner shop to stock up on numerous packets of 10p crisp and chomps or smileys, fish the harbor all day gradually making our way down to the end, catching wrasse, Pollock, pouting, some nice plaice under the two light boats which were in the harbor at the time, and then the whiting would come in in big numbers when it was starting to get dark, and if you caught a dogfish you were the king for the day.
Then I remember my brother always going on about his brother in law, and how he would bring me out fishing with him, his bro in law turned out to be Paul Brierly from Irishtown, an absolute gent and an amazing angler, I was in awe watching him catch fish everywhere we went, he got me into the match scene and ever since then I was hooked, literally.
Me: What was the first fish that made you want to get more seriously into it?
DB: Think I just had the bug from the start, loved catching everything from stickle backs in the river with a net, to tope from the Wicklow beaches. Doesn’t matter what i am catching I just love fishing.
Me: You have had your fair share of shore tope, what tips could you give someone looking for their first?
DB: I was lucky enough to have people like Ian knight and paieder taite around to help me with the shore tope, so it was onto a winner from the start, it’s a patient game with a ridiculous amount of fruitless trips, but when it happens it has to be the best feeling ever feeling the power of a tope on the end of the rod, the runs, the power, even the pain in your back trying to keep the rod up feels good,
Personally I use a 8/0 cox and rawl meat hook tied in a pennel rig with 200lb mono.
Fish a calm evening with a slack tide, I like to fish from low up with Kilcoole, Newcastle, Killoughter been my favorite spots, use a whole mackerel as bait, I personally don’t cut the mackerel at all as find it attracts to many dogfish, who either get hooked or destroy the bait, tie the mack up with plenty of elastic thread, cast as far as you can and leave it there, I personally check the bait about every 30 to 45 mins
When the tope takes the bait at the start let them run a bit with it, keep a slight bit of tension on the line, you will fell the moment as it slackens of and there eating it to lean into the rod gradually setting the hook, from there it magical and a fight you will not forget for a long time.
Me: What catch over the years did you most enjoy at the time?
DB: One evening in particular springs to mind, we were fishing away south Wicklow north Wexford, when we hit into spurdogs, it was the first time I had them from the shore great fighting fish from the shore, would love to hook into them again in the future, although unfortunately there a thing from the past on the east coast shore, unless you go out in a boat(way out)…
Me: You hold the record for the longest off the ground cast in Ireland, how did you get into casting?
DB: I was one of those people who found casting always easy enough, I could always from a young age put a lead a decent way out there, the first time I was introduced to tournament casting was on a club outing where we all went casting for the day up with Sports Cast Ireland, on the day I was shocked that I could reach that golden 200 yard mark, its an addicting and a demoralizing sport at the same time, always trying to perfect your swing, your hit, watching what others are doing, trying there style and stance,
Then there comes the stage where you hit your own wall so to speak, its at this point were every cast you do ends up in about a 5mtr radius and no matter what you do, you cant seem to get over it,
You do get the few days where everything just works out perfect, like the day I broke the Irish of the ground record, I managed a cast of 242 mtrs that day, it’s a great thing to have there when the fishing is tough, to blast a single eel out there for the dogs when nothing else seems to be biting, I recommend anyone interested to get up to Sports Cast Ireland for a day and try it out.
Me: Besides the East coast, where else do you like to fish in Ireland?
DB: Love to fish every where I can around the country been honest, like to travel to youghal in the winter for the cod and painted ray, the Shannon estuary in limerick in the summer for the thornback ray and conger, cashen estuary is nice for some bass and flounder fishing, Killary is another favorite play for ray to.
Me: What advice would you give someone getting into beach fishing?
DB: Try every where you can, don’t be expecting fish straight away from the off,
Try joining a local club or getting out with locals, who fish regularly,
Maybe join sea-angling Ireland, great potential they’re to learn new venues, tips and very easy place to make new angling friends; I have met some great people there.
Bait presentation is the key to hooking the fish, make sure the point of the hook is never masked, and above all have fun because if your not having fun your doing it wrong!
Me: Where else in the world would you like to fish?
DB: Would have to say Norway, that’s the one place I really want to get to, would love nothing better than one of those monster cod at the end of the line.
Me: What are your fishing hopes for 2014?
DB: My fishing hopes for 2014 involve more boat trips, going to spend more time bringing my kids out fishing this year, probably pull what hair I have left doing it but ill enjoy it somehow.
and fish all the east coast raider competitions I can and enjoy the year…
Me: Well thanks for that Denis and talk soon mate
DB: Anytime lads