Meath angler Noel O’Shea reports on a recent trip that brought him a super specimen bass:
I went shore fishing on Sunday 14th on a County Louth venue. I was actually supposed to go on Saturday but ended up fishing in a Small Boat competition held by Howth SAC, and that turned out to be a lucky call…
When my fishing colleague Joe from Dundalk and I arrived at the mark, we were disappointed to find that the wind had changed and no one was else fishing, not very promising looking.
As this was our first time fishing together in over two years, we decided to give it a go and use up our bait, ragworm (Bought in Swords Angling), mackerel and frozen crabs while passing a few hours on a pleasant day and catching up on some events.
For the first few hours, nothing much was happening except a few flatties for Joe which were returned to the sea. Then I got a decent bite, I didn’t expect too much when I held my rod, but then the drag came into play when the fish started to run. I knew then that this was going to be a decent fish if I was able to get it ashore.
A bit of an audience had gathered (including a dog not on a leash) as we could see the fish was fighting hard and coming to the surface. After several anxious moments and with Joe’s help, we had the beautiful Bass landed.
It measured in at 76cm plus, as it wouldn’t keep still, it was hard to measure. A couple of quick photos and it was released back into the sea to the disappointment of many, including my wife when I got home. I’ll have to settle for fish fingers.
We can come back another day and try our luck again, it’s hard to release a rare Bass that size, but it’s the right thing to do; several other anglers had possibly caught and released this same fish over a period of possibly 8 to 11 years of its life so I believe.