Alan O’Neill of Fly ‘n’ Lure describes how February fishing went for him:

February, the month of a new beginning can often  throw up  surprisingly decent sized fish. There is at present a positive run of Sea trout but as past records have shown, the best of those runs have yet to come. Bass being caught are generally small in size, not to say that the occasional large Bass is not an impossibility. Coalfish are still present and available to the fly n lure angler, Sporadic catches of larger Pollock have been caught, an obliging species willing to save an angler’s day by ferociously taking most of what an angler has to offer before going on electrifying  downward runs.

The first week of February introduced strong winds of up to 50 knots which decreased water clarity considerably making fly and lure fishing difficult.  As the month progressed, fishing improved. Mid month welcomed  return catches of small Bass, along with Sea trout which momentarily seem to have the stronger presence.

The occasional catches of  larger,  solitary  Bass came throughout the month during a familiar pattern of mild weather, coinciding with spring tide cycles.

Damien with 9lb 12oz  Bass in pristine condition
Damien with 9lb 12oz Bass in pristine condition

On the decreasing side of the mid month 4.90 tide, fishing improved immensely with some good catches of Sea Trout and Bass. With more kind weather and into the second decent tide cycle of the month, the latter days gave Northerly wind and sunshine, a cold week with calm seas, plenty of anglers about, some going home without getting a result, but one local angler took full advantage of the pet weather on Sunday 24th and took as far as I know, the Best Bass of the season so far.

Not forgetting another species available to fly n lure anglers.

This month and March associates with the reintroduction of mass shoals of Mullet, some of which can be caught unintentionally by lure anglers intending to catch Bass and Sea Trout.  Whether caught intentionally or foul hooked, the Grey Ghost portrays their magnificent fighting ability with reel screaming runs, all day long. A species that takes a back seat with most anglers but as fly and lure fishing progresses further and the skill of how to consistently catch this mystical species slowly becomes common knowledge, the Grey Mullet I think will become a more highly sought after  sport fish of Irish coastal waters.

A foul hooked, Spring running, Common Grey, one of three species of Mullet that can be targeted using fly or lures.
A foul hooked, Spring running, Common Grey, one of three species of Mullet that can be targeted using fly or lures.

Alan O’Neill

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E-Mail: [email protected]