New Year, new species hunt. These are the one competitions that I find the most fun. Everything from sand gobies to Porbeagles and everything in between. It really tests an anglers ability to adapt and change to every situation. It really shows who the skilled anglers are.
The first fishing session of the New Year found myself driving to Galway to begin my species hunt. On the first target list was a decent sized founder . With our mark selected we head west. Arriving on the banks of Killary fjord. No wind, very sheltered and specifically not raining, which is odd.
This mark has produced nice sized flounder in the past as there is a deep channel running directly out in front. First cast produced a flounder of 38cm. Quick and easy. With this species ticket off we where quick to move to the next species.
Next mark was to the surf beaches out in Connemara. Some of these marks can have small turbot and other species of flats so its always worth a shot.
The surf was small but the water was gin clear, perfect for these little predatory flatties. One rod close in and one rod far always allows to cover more ground and maybe pick up some other species. The wind was up around 60kph gusting to 80kph and it was cold. I wasn’t keen on staying at this mark for too long but as many anglers know, last cast syndrome is stronger than anything else. Our perseverance paid off and added turbot and dogfish to the list.
We where heading back to Galway and got a phone call from a friend telling us that he had got some sizeable Huss in a mark along the way. Being as brave or as stupid as we are we decided to take a chance and try it. Now bear in mind that the wind has still been climbing, temperature has been dropping and rain has become torrential. Sounds like the perfect weather doesn’t it.
We arrive at the mark and to keep it short. Rain , wind , dogfish after dogfish and no Huss. We didnt spend long here and headed back to Bed.
The next morning we tried to target some mini species , in particular black gobies. When I fish for minis I keep the rigs as simple as possible. 2 hook flapper using 8lb rig body and hook lengths. One swivel on the top just to attach to the mainline. hook lengths are tied using full blood knots and keeping a long tag end to create the desired hook length . This has the added benefit of keeping the hook away from the rig body. Hooks used are size #12 long shank wire hooks baited with small strips of sandeel, mackerel or what ever you choose.
Gobies are aggressive feeders and are a curious fish so when you find one your probably going to find a lot more. This was the case for us. I always find them fun to catch and they have a great personality
With these bagged and recorded we made the plan to head back to try get a Huss. The wind and rain had stopped and the water was like glass.
5 rods in total in the water 4 for Huss and I put out a scratching rig to see what other things could be picked up. The water was very clear and looked perfect for a possible sea trout. All 4 rods had a mixture of sandeel or mackerel to try get a big scent trail. This did not change anything. We only ended up with dogfish again. But as we all know thats fishing. It sometimes never goes to plan.
The species hunt has only begun and I plan on ticking some new species off this year that I have never targeted before. But again, I’ll have to wait and see if the fish turn up.
Until the next adventure.