Well as May came around Ian and myself decided to do our annual trip to Donegal. Watching the weather and trying to organise days off work we had a few days to spare so we jumped at the opportunity. I drove from Cork and arrived in Galway to collect Ian, got our bait, put all of Ians gear in and headed straight to Donegal. Our target species were Spotted Ray and Plaice.
We arrived at the first mark just before darkness. Baited one rod, cast it out and before I even got the other rod rigged up I was away. First of the target species caught. A lovely spotted ray. Delighted to have got one so soon considering last year I couldn’t get any. After this the dogs came on the feed and it was hard to keep the baits in the water. With the dogs not letting up and the clock turning over to 2:00 am It was best to head back for a bit of sleep.
The next morning we were up early to fish the same mark as the night before. With hopes high and no doggies on the feed it was just a waiting game. It wasn’t long before we were away again. This time we were getting thornies. All small fish about three or four pound but nice to see. With the tide getting low and the fishing starting to turn off we tried another close by mark.
The next mark was another pier with similar ground as the previous but worth a shot as we were waiting for the tide to turn. We fished here for a few hours with only a flounder on the last cast. Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener. We packed our gear and decided to drive around a bit to let the tide turn and to see other marks for future trips.
Arriving at the our mark for the night we knew the pressure was on especially after wasting too much time at the previous mark. Rigs baited and casted out the wait was on. At this point it began to rain quite heavily, which was not predicted. This made fishing miserable. After a while we finally started getting fish.
Ian managed to get his nice little spotty so we know only need a plaice. Thornies and spotteds were regular catches for the evening until it started to get dark. From the night previous we were watching decent double figure congers moving in the kelp below us so we had to have a go for them. I dropped down a mackerel head hoping for a bit and it wasnt long, before I got to the rod it was gone. Ian then instantly dropped his bait and before it hit the bottom he was on. This wasnt a conger and we joked that it was a Pollack. It was. As Ian shouted for the net I then saw this beast. This was the biggest Pollack Ive seen from the shore and the oddest way I have ever seen one caught. A quick photo, measured and released we still couldn’t believe what just happened. As the night rolled on fishing became slack. Poorcod , doggies and straps were now on the feed and it was difficult to keep bait on the bottom. We packed up the gear and decided to head back to the accommodation.
The next morning we headed back to the same mark. Hoping for a last minute plaice or a possible turbot it was all systems go. We arrived at 8am and got everything casted out. Using mackerel, crab and sandeel for the majority of bait as we had no lug or rag, getting a plaice would be difficult. It wasnt long until the rods started to bounce. Thornies and Spotteds were on the feed again.
With the tide coming in we started to get dab and flounder on peeler but still no sign of turbot or plaice. Ian had a few double shots of dab and flounder or dab and thornies to end the session. After a few days of great fishing it was time to packup before the weather turned and we headed back home.