Darren O’Rourke had his first bass fishing a favourite mark on the east coast last week…

I landed a smashing sea bass off a beach in Wexford last week. I returned it to the sea without weighing it as I had no scales, but it measured just under 2 feet.

Darren with his first bass – nearly 60cm long.

Weather was warm, about 17 to 18 degrees and I had started fishing about 21.30. The tide was in and the sea was very calm. I was fishing with a 1 up and 1 down rig with refrozen squid from two weeks ago (really bad smell as my van stills smells a week later!). My first cast was out for about 45 minuets I got one tap on the rod missed it. I recast out and landed it on the sand bank where the water is about 3 to 6 foot deep on the top of the bank depending on the tide. Within a minute the rod bent over, I took up the rod set the hook and at first I tough a seal took my bait! The line ran out uncontrollably and up and down the beach it took 10 to 15 minuets to get in as I was using light line – 10 lbs. I couldn’t believe my luck when it came up on to the beach – my first bass. WE got a couple of photos and sent it off on its way again.

I  didn’t catch anything else that night. Not many people go where I fish and there was no one else fishing that evening but me and my 9 year old son. I have been fishing that area for two years on the weekends, usually in the evening to dark in all type of weather. Using mostly ragworm and squid I have caught a lot of fish on the beach – dogs , smoothies, flounder, eels, whiting etc but that was my first bass.