Ireland has been kind to me again in 2015!
Two days before, we left I started to sort through my lures that I may need (and ones I wanted to try), for the 2015 Irish Bass Festival. The weather forecast was showing a 'blow up' which could of coloured over a lot of marks and it did!
A mix of shallow running, surface, the odd deeper and soft plastic lures. Hooks changed, no rusty hooks for the competition!
Mark, Steve, Malc and I left Fishguard on the night crossing Wednesday/Thursday to arrive into Rosslare early Thursday morning to drive to Tramore. Breakfast then on to see Cian at Absolute Fishing, the organizer for the Bass Festival. A cup of tea, a few new lures purchased......As if I need anymore! Then a look around some of the coast marks we were hoping to fish. Coloured water and weed everywhere.
We all signed in at the shop for 6am and ready for the off. 1 1/2hrs into the festival and my luck was in, I'd put a fish of 74cm's onto the tape. Ireland had done it again for me.
The Fiiish Black Minnow 120 did it again. The bass tape shows this fish weighing 9.8lbs, and we weighed it at 8.8lbs, one pound difference which is most probably right for the time of year, this fish could be up to the 9.8lbs in late season when feed over the summer and autumn.
Absolutely overjoyed to have a fish of this size so early in the competition (blanked last year), almost every cast was catching weed and we were lucky if we got 1 in 10 runs through weed free.
Many thanks to Mark Padfield (Dorset Bass Guide) for the safe hands on landing the fish.
A few quick photos and then to make sure she swam away safe and strong.
Mark had a fish throw the hook at his feet! This bass could of put him into the prizes as it was estimated at 6 1/2-7lbs.
The next day I was hoping for a couple more good fish to put me in for the running of the 3 best combined fish, I had another two but they just fell short on the measure.
We met up with Steve Richardson, you couldn't meet a nicer bloke and seriously good angler.
Steve won the 3 best combined fish.
On the final morning, after very little sleep (for some none), Steve Mark and I headed out before the sun had risen into the dark for one last session.
Mark is still recovering from a knee operation only a couple months earlier, he took a slip on some mud and went down into a deep hole! At this time in the morning it was pure entertainment for Steve and I! We had to help him out as he couldn't get up on his knee but this was a photo opportunity not to be missed.......
OK, so the weather didn't play ball, but when you have a sunrise like this what more could you ask for.
Prizes: The bass trophy (I love this), Majorcraft TZS-982m rod, Daiwa Certate reel, Costa glasses, a mixture of Fiiish lures. The Visiting Angler prize - 2016 Irish Bass Festival ferry and accommodation all paid for!
Hopefully another return trip this year to Ireland, not looking for small fish this is truly a place where dreams can come true, you never now what could be waiting there on the next cast.
Tackle used: Dorset Fishing Rods 9ft6" / 8-28g Super Bass matched up with a Shimano 4000 Sustain. The Fiiish Black Minnow 120, white pearl TT Shad. There were other lures that were tried, but the before mentioned caught me my fish.