Neil from Baitdigger’s blog heads out for one of his last angling outings in Co. Clare before he heads off to pastures new and tells us:

So my time has run out, the journey is over and a last chance was not to be missed. I packed up the van for the last time and headed for the pollack mark.

On arrival I was greeted by a gentleman who introduced himself as Tom, whether the meeting was chance or not I do not know nor care.  Tom said he had followed my blog and wanted to give me some blue-green lures to try for the wrasse on.  I suggested Tom join me and we headed down to the water chatting away and I must apologise here for not receiving emails sent to me earlier in the year, I do always answer emails even the snotty ones!

My usual route was blocked and I did not want to upset the old fella who stood guardian to my path.

This is the first herd I have seen this year and I wondered if it is an omen of ill weather that they have come down from the mountains?

At the water’s edge I Texas rigged one of the lure that Tom had kindly given me and although I was getting a few knocks close in things were very slow.  I did connect with a small pollack on a lure with the curly tail cut off.

We were joined by Red Joe, just so it doesn’t get too confusing, who soon took the liberty of catching my wrasse, for which I was delighted as he was very impressed by the fighting ability of these rock fish. We landed them in the drop net and I explained to Joe about releasing them as sometimes they can be a little fragile.

Good fishing for Red Joe
Good fishing for Red Joe

As Joe was unfamiliar with handling wrasse I went through basic handling including not putting your fingers in theirs mouths.  I don’t think this lesson would need to be repeated.


The pollack never came on the feed and we tried all of the likely spots along the mark.  To rub salt in the wound Joe managed a second Ballan.

Joe you have all you need to exceed my achievements it is just down to you to put the time in and learn the marks and why they fish.  Take the lesser walked paths and find the kelp bullies and crab crunchers, then you can show me where they live when I come back.

Shortly after I landed my final fish in Clare, a good pollack of around six pounds that had taken a four-inch storm wildeyed sandeel mounted on a 1/0 hook destined for wrasse.  The bigger pollack always seem to be in the most unlikely places.

Disaster struck on my next cast when for no apparent reason mid-retrieve the top three inches of my rod snapped off like a piece of glass! I have a feeling it was not a fault of the rod but the snap can be attributed to my own misfortune.  I have become very particular about cleaning my lure gear.  After each session I wash the rod and reel in fresh soapy water.  A few weeks ago during the course of one of these cleaning sessions the top section slide down the draining board and  hit the support of the gas ring on my hob.  There was no visible signs of damage at the time but today was time to pay the piper.  I will contact Hart now and see if I can get a replacement section, if not I will have it cut down to 8′ 4″ and treat myself to another rod.  Decisions, Decisions.

……read more of Neil’s article…‘An deireadh – the end’


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