I was lucky enough to get out on a few short sessions this week and after a few different species.My first trip was to Meadow Lodge in Maynooth, this is a commercial fishery and not normally my cup of tea, as one day a year with my daughter in Oaklands is usually enough to get carp out of my system. In fairness, Meadow Lodge is a much more challenging water and requires all your angling nous and prowess to achieve success.
It is a beautiful little lake with buzzards, kingfishers, reed buntings, sedge warblers, and many wonderful dragonflies and damsels resident to the area. The lake itself holds good stocks of tench, hybrids, roach, rudd, perch, eel, and some golden tench. It also has a good head of carp (to maybe 20lb) of the French variety.
There is a small bait and tackle shop on site and it is well-run by helpful and friendly staff. There is also a private specimen lake with some really big carp.
The evening I fished it, it was quite warm and the sun was threatening to come out which would probably bring the carp to the surface. So the plan was to try and catch some tench on float under the rod tip, feeding just some 2mm krill pellets and fished 6mm pellets or worm on the hook. I would also flick out some floating pellets if carp showed up on the surface.
Over the next hour and a half I caught many small tench (of which there are loads), rudd, perch, a nice hybrid, and a couple of proper tench. By now some carp had started to show an interest in my floating pellets so I set up a rod with a crystal chubber float, 5ft of 10lb fluoro and a size 6 hook hair-rigged to a floating pellet.
The carp were very wary even with the free offerings, but I finally managed to hook up one and what a fight! It went like a steam train. But after about ten minutes it was in the net, 9.45lb mirror carp, mission accomplished!
Couple of days later I was down in Wexford in search of mullet, a species along with perch and tench that I really enjoy fishing for. There wasn’t any sign of them in the harbour so I headed up river to a small lagoon which is only between 18” and 3ft deep. If the mullet travel up that far they usually stay for a week or more as they can only get up or down on a very high tide. Normally you will only catch one mullet here (if you’re lucky) as the commotion scares the rest of the shoal half way to west Cork.
On arrival I threw out a few bits of floating bread and crust to see if any fish showed to it and also baited a small swim under the rod tip with some bread crumbs and flake. No fish showed on the surface so I concentrated on the small swim while I stayed hidden away in the undergrowth.
I fished some bread flake on a size 12 wide gape hook under my trusty drennan driftbeater fishing at a depth of about 2ft on the drop. I got a few little knocks and dips on the float but nothing hittable. Not knowing if it was a small trout or rudd I decided to do something new when after mullet. I moved the shot down close to the hook sitting on the bottom and fished the lift method a la tench! To say it worked is an understatement as in the next 30 minutes or so I caught three lovely mullet and lost one, and in what is usually a one fish swim at best! The biggest was 4lb 8oz.
In a very short session the next day I had my first specimen mullet of the season in the same place weighing 5lb 10oz! One happy angler!
My last trip of a busy fishing week was to a small Tipperary lake after some very difficult moody tench, especially this late in the season. On arrival late in the evening, there were a few anglers on the lake and although tench were showing they weren’t being caught.
On settling into a swim I baited up with a small amount of maggots, hemp and corn. The tench started fizzing straight away but an hour later I hadn’t even got a bite so I introduced some small pellets into a corner of the swim and they were on it straight away, time to make some paste from the pellets. Removing the bottom shot, I used the weight of the paste to cock the float, so if the float lifted either the paste was gone or a tench had the paste. In the next 30 minutes I had four lovely tench to about 4lb and went home a happy man!