A few weeks ago Inland Fisheries Ireland distributed an online survey through social media, looking to gather information from all Irish sea anglers. The survey was part of a new programme called the Irish Marine Recreational Sea Angling Survey or IMREC for short. IMREC’s aim is to show how fishing activities relate to stock levels. The collected data can improve the management of fish stocks and hopefully preserve them for future generations.
Since this is an area of great interest not only to me but also to all sea anglers, I contacted Diarmuid Ryan, the program manager for IMREC, and invited him to the podcast. Diarmuid kindly accepted the invitation and today I am bringing you our conversation.
Out of all the topics we discussed, we probably spent a disproportionate amount of time talking about bass angling with lures. But I’m not going to apologize for that! Even if you’re not into lure bass fishing, in this episode you will find plenty of interesting and important information.
The choice of fishing marks, limited by the lockdown, forced me to settle for spots that I could reach without breaching the geofence set by health authorities. Check out this short story about working a new bass fishing mark.
James is a fellow blogger and vlogger on Irish Angling Adventures. We had the pleasure to host him on episode 42. The second part of that podcast was dedicated to his trip to the Norwegian island of Vega. We finished that podcast with James’s plans to come back to this excellent fishing spot. Not long ago he and his fishing buddies came back from their second trip to Vega island. That right there should tell you exactly what this episode is about.
This is another episode of the podcast dedicated to sea angling. Our guest is James Raymond, the man behind the website Irish Angling Adventures. I had a great time talking with James about all things sea angling. As a seasoned angler myself, I could quickly tell that James is a hardcore sea angler like many of my friends. Yes, he is one of those folks who spend silly amounts of time on the shore chasing fish with a rod and line. And at Tommy’s Outdoors we love them for that! During our conversation, we discuss the secrecy of fishing marks, angling etiquette, overfishing, sea angling safety, and many other angling related issues. James also shares with us stories from his fishing trip to the Norwegian island of Vega. It is a great episode for hardcore anglers by hardcore anglers. And once you are done listening to the podcast, don’t forget to check out the Instagram page @irish_angling_adventures where you can find many inspiring angling photos.
I was sitting at my desk working when my phone rang. It was a text message from my friend and charter boat skipper Luke, who was our guest on episode 41. He had some spaces free on an upcoming fishing trip and was checking if anyone was fancy to go.
Regular listeners of the podcast already know that for more than five years I went crazy for sea angling. It would be hard to recall all the trips I took and all the fish I caught. However, for the last few years, I have been involved in other outdoor pursuits and my fishing rods have been gathering dust. Needless to say, I was keen to get back on the horse, or rather, on the boat. After a three-year-long hiatus, I wanted to remind myself how great sea angling is off the south-west coast of Ireland.
A typical boat fishing day starts on the pier where the anglers load their tackle and the skipper gives a safety briefing. Usually, the first order of business of the day is to catch some bait fish. Although the use of artificial lures is common, no bait works better than a strip of freshly caught mackerel. Early in the year catching mackerel may be a little problematic, so it’s always a good idea to read catch reports and have some frozen mackerel with you, just in case.
Once enough bait is caught the skipper heads off for more open waters. The most typical target species are fish from the gadiformes order. That includes pollock, coalfish, haddock, ling, pouting and whiting as well as cod. Of course, that list of species is far from exhaustive and anglers often catch various species of wrasse, gurnard and other fish. Fishing for sharks and rays is also possible but they need to be specifically targeted to increase the odds of catching them.
It is worth noting, that unless you are skippering the boat yourself, it is the skipper who does most of the work to catch the fish. It is his job to put the anglers on the fish. On our trip, the weather, although sunny and beautiful, was not favourable for angling. Light wind and calm conditions caused the boat to drift slowly, keeping us from covering a lot of ground. This made getting onto the fish more difficult.
It didn’t really affect us much though, as we were in very capable hands. It was a pleasure to watch our master-skipper at work! Luke tried a few promising marks from his vast collection of fishing spots. We fished deep muddy grounds, slightly shallower reefs and shallow rough ground close to the shore. It was not surprising that some of them were quite productive. In the end, every angler on the boat caught a good number of fish that day.
If you interested in booking a day out with Luke, visit Fish and Stay website and check his facebook page for regular fishing reports.
This episode of the podcast is especially close to my heart as our guest is my friend and seasoned charter skipper, Luke Aston. I have spent many hours at sea on a purpose-built, first-class sea angling boat, Clare Dragoon, skippered by Luke and operated by Carrigaholt Sea Angling Centre. If that sparks your interest then, just after listening to the podcast, you should visit Fish and Stay website, where you can book not only a sea fishing trip with Luke but also a whole holiday package that includes meals and accommodation. One thing is for sure when it comes to sea angling, it doesn’t get any better than this.