Yesterday was the first day in ages that felt like a summer’s day. So after work I headed down to the shore. I arrived as the tide was pushing in. Although the weather had been calm all day there were still sizable swell breaking over the rocks. I started fishing an area of very shallow water that can produce bass early on the rising tide as they move in looking for crabs. I wasn’t too happy with the colour of the water, it had a yellowish tinge. It didn’t seem to be due to sediment more likely an algal bloom so I hoped that would not have a detrimental effect on the fishing. I fished the first mark for about an hour without success but I did see a couple of splashes just beyond casting distance.
I made my way eastwards, fished a mark where I lost a good bass a couple of weeks ago but again nothing. Close to dusk I reached the eastern end of the bay. I tried a few different soft plastics then put on a yellow tailed jellyworm as the water was even more murkey than in the western part of the bay. I thought that might be easier for the fish to see. First cast I felt tugs on the lure but the fish was not hooked. On the second cast the lure was grabbed by a fish. Initially I thought it was a pollack but then it burst on to the surface and I realized it was a bass. It was not a big fish but still gave a good fight as I eased it in across the shallow reef in front of me. It was a 49 cm fish. After measuring it I went to get my camera and discovered I had left it at home!!!
Next cast with the jellyworm I could feel the lure been hit several times as I retrieved and then just a few meters out it was grabbed by a pollack of about 1.5 lbs. After that almost every cast was finding fish, some were just striking the lure without been caught and quite a few managed to shake the lure before I landed them but I did get some onto the shore. Then I felt a strong tug but a second later the fish was gone. When I retrieved I found that there only about 3 cm of the jellyworm left on the leadhead!!!
I then changed to an Xlayer and picked up a few more pollack. On about the fourth or fifth cast with the Xlayer I hooked a fish about 30 m out which was putting up a different fight to the pollack and broke to the surface about half way in. This was another 49 cm bass but plumper than the first.
I had a few more casts but again the pollack were attacking the lure almost as soon as I began to retrieve. I changed to a surface lure – an Asturie –  hoping that might attract a bass. Second cast the lure was snatched by a fish 40 m out. This was struggling on the surfare, not diving like a pollock, so I reckoned it had to be a bass. I had it in close, to the edge of the reef but as I was waiting for a breaking wave to surf it over the rocks the fish managed to shake the lure. The bass was probably much the same size as the two I had previously caught.

Pollack and Bass 5th August 2012
Pollack and Bass 5th August 2012

I had a few more casts with the Asturie and then tried a Patchinko but there were no more takes. I changed back to the Xlayer. It was dark at this stage but the pollock were still hitting the lure. Then it was struck by a much stronger fish. It kept deep so I reckoned it was another pollack but bigger than the 1-2 lb fish I had been catching. It fought very strongly, keeping deep all the way in. It was the biggest fish of the evening, a stocky 52 cm pollack weighing a little over 3.5 lbs.
I had another small pollack after that and then decided to pack up.
That is the first time this year that the pollock have been out in force. I fished that mark at the same stage of the tide and similar time of the day about two weeks ago and struggled to get three small pollack. But this time, while I lost a lot of fish, and a lot were not hooked, I could feel pollack hitting the lure on almost every cast on the jellyworm or Xlayers. Interestingly I failed to get a bite on Waveworms, Slug-gos, Spindel worms and Savagear sandeels.
So after a very poor spell it looks like the fishing is finally beginning to improve with the warmer weather.
Bass with ruler 26th July 2012
Bass with ruler 26th July 2012

Compliments of:
South Coast, Ireland