It is with regret that I read Neil from Baitdiggers Blog is leaving the beautiful Co Clare to head further afield.  Neil has given us some wonderful, well written and interesting accounts of the joys and tribulations while fishing on the Clare coast. He captured us in his various battles with the fish, some he won ……..and some he lost !

Here are some snippets of Neil’s articles and photos…

As I write my grief is immeasurable and I guess on this day of loss that I was also to lose the only fish I hooked, and I could kick myself for not paying more attention. When I was looking to get some lures for this season Graham Hill suggested that I should try a Lucky Craft Gunfish   but to change the hooks when it arrived. Did I listen? In around two feet of water a good fish slammed into the gunfish but was gone in three shakes of its head.

I had headed South West from home in search of some action, the delay from my last post wasn’t caused by a lack of sessions but by a lack of action.  Sadly North Clare is not fishing, the water is dull, the sky is empty but hopefully this change in weather may just give me the send off I need until I return next summer as a tourist.

I tramped around the coast in a bereft self-pity and stupidly mourned my loss rather than celebrated the almost unique lifestyle I have been able to live…. how many anglers can say they have landed fish close to fifty pounds from the shore?

I came across these marks on some flat rocks well below the tide line and I believe it is the work of mullet hoovering the algae off the warm rocks. the marks were nearly two inches across so the mullet would have been massive.

I have much more to say and hope I get the chance before I leave this wonderful land but it has all happened so fast and at the wrong time(if there is ever a right time) this little blog seems to have caught a few peoples eye and over two thousand people have read it this month alone (imagine that) and there is still ten days left.

I have found family here, family I never knew I had and to be honest the similarity between myself and my second cousin is startling, we look like twins(sorry Ciaran, you must have had a hard life.) I met them finally when they were on a stag night so the pints were flowing but I promised I would use my name after constant “cad is ainm duit” (sorry if that is not quite right) So after years of anonymity here my family tell me my name is Neil O’Sceallain

A selection of Neil’s Fish….

26th July Neil reports: I am seeing signs of life returning to the estuary which has for so long appeared dead.  Some big bass have been caught from North Clare in the last week,  I heard of an eleven pounder, eight pounder and seven an a half all to the same angler using a bubble float and eddystone/redgill type eel.  The elusive mackerel were abundant at the flats in Ballyvaughan even if most of them were infuriatingly small for those who want them for the table.  For the hunter of toothier fish the joeys were perfect bait size.

Bon voyage Neil.