It is always great to receive a phone call during the week to discuss the possibility of getting out on the kayaks. It has been a long spell of consistent rain and heavy winds which have made my kayak fishing come to a standstill. Needless to say that when I heard that there was a break in the weather I was filled with the excitement that most fisherman get when they know they are going to wet a line. The plan was to fish in South West Kerry where there is a deepwater mark that holds a vast variety of species and also has the potential to throw up some surprises every now and then. Friday night was spent packing all the kayak gear and getting the rigs ready for the following morning.
Arriving at the launch site the sea was calm. A slight breeze blew across the bay and it felt a bit warmer than the last few days. The tide was near full at the time of launching so we would be fishing the outgoing tide for the entire session. I have found at this mark that it never fishes to its full potential when there is an outgoing tide. The kayaks were rigged up and soon we were out on the water heading for the depths to find anything that would be willing to take a bait.
I decided on taking three rods with me. I like to keep one rod always rigged up with a set of smaller feathers. This allows me to drop them quickly if I come across a shoal of baitfish. I can also bait these up and fish on the bottom and pick up the smaller species. On the other two rods I vary the rigs depending on the ground I am fishing over. Today the rigs were two simple double hook traces for fishing over the rough. It is always my plan to get some fresh bait but at this time of year it can be a little difficult. Frozen baits like Mackeral are always a blank saver and I had some in freezer which I took with me on this day.
On the way out to the deeper water I failed to come across any baitfish so it was to be the frozen Mackeral for the day. I baited the small feathers and sent them down to the bottom which was approximately 120ft down. I had a few taps and I was into the first fish. I got the little fish up to the surface which showed itself as a lovely colored Cuckoo Wrasse. The colors on these fish are just amazing. I took a couple of photos and let the wrasse make his journey back down to the bottom.
It was clear from the beginning of the session that it was going to be tough. There were plenty of small fish which came in the form of Whiting, Poor Cod and the odd small Ling. I was not complaining as I am happy catching anything but I know this mark fishes very well at times. In amongst the small fish I had an all too familiar take on the baited feathers. I lifted into it and I immediately knew what was at the end of the line. No head shakes and almost a dead weight is what it can be described as. I knew I would have my hands full when it came to the surface. A few feet below the surface my suspicions were correct as I saw eight tenticles coming up to the side of the kayak – an Octopus. As it came up tot the side of the kayak he tried to get away by passing a jet of water out which sprayed me in the process.
I find these creatures fascinating, the way they can camouflage themselves and fit into the smallest areas. They do make a nuisance of themselves if they start grabbing onto the kayak. I handle them with care and release them after a photo. This was a nice surprise and made the day that bit more enjoyable.
The day passed quickly and the wind picked up a little which made the deeper water mark a little choppy. We decided to head back into the sheltered bay to pass the last hour or so trying our luck there. On the way in I had a few frozen Sandeel with me which I trolled slowly across the rough ground and structure. I hooked a few small pollock and decided to call it a day after that.
It was great to be out on the water again after such a long time of not being able to launch my kayak. The fishing was not as good as it can be but with the amount of fresh water that has fallen and the outgoing tide I had a feeling the day would be tough. Hopefully I can get out to some other marks over the next few weeks and try target some new species.