Another windy morning in Foxford, we appear to still be on the conveyor belt of low pressure which has resulted in another week of wind and rain. We did however get a little window of opportunity on Tuesday night and took the chance of heading to a Pier. High water was in the late evening just after dark so we timed it to be there an hour before. The plan was a two or possibly three-hour session
Target species: Whiting
A few weeks ago, there was a lot of reports of whiting along the mayo coastline. In the past we have had some good success with whiting from this particular pier at night. While whiting was the target species one never knows what an after dark session will throw up. We were going to be fishing primarily on sand so we could encounter some flats, dog fish normally make an appearance, it’s probably a little early for cod but who knows and a bass would be a bonus. Plenty to aim for and its only a short session so after a quick rummage in the attic, off we go.
We arrive as planned an hour before high water and not long after have three baits in the water. P.J and Mike are using mackerel strips while I’ve opted for a cocktail of lug worm and squid. The three rods are rested on the railing at the head of the pier. We have little lights (Starliites)on the tips so we can see them in the dark. We also have a little bet on for the first fish, five euro if it’s the target species and two euro for anything else. Although the wind is not very strong the sea is rough, big rolling waves created by the recent gales are crashing onto the beach to our left, an amazing sound in the dark.
We fish for about an hour without any action. Suddenly Mike gets the first take, the tip of his rod is bouncing and we can see the starlite dancing in the air as something takes his bait. His rod doubles over and he grabs it to wind in, a very heavy strong pull as he makes slow progress getting it in. After a few minutes and some intense speculation as to what it might be we get the first sighting, a large clump of sea weed that’s getting pulled by the tide, no prizes for that!
It takes a little while to get Mikes rig sorted out, it’s amazing how twisted it got so quickly, obviously there was serious movement in the water and the weed acted like a propeller spinning around. The addition of a few little crabs which occasionally fall from the weed add to the excitement. Two of them are scurrying across the pier making their way back to the water. We now have a new form of entertainment, crab racing. In the final stages of the race and as we are getting a little excited and starting to cheer on our favourite, there’s a voice, “Gardai, Is everything ok”.
While we were busy sorting out our tangle a patrol car had been driving past the pier, noticing the movement of our head lights in the dark they came to investigate. I’m not sure what they thought was going on but three men racing crabs across a pier was obviously not what they were expecting. “Alls good Guard just out fishing for an hour”, a cursory look at us and our rods, a bit of a grin and they wished us luck and left. I would love to have heard the conversation in their car afterwards.
By now we were beginning to feel the cold, our hands were wet and the breeze was biting cold and blowing directly into our faces. A unanimous decision to cut short the session and stop for coffee on the way home.
Although it was a short session and conditions were bad, it was good to get out and get a start made on some winter fishing. It’s a little bit like exercise, sometimes we need to force ourselves to make a start and once we manage to do that it seems easier the next time. Now the rods and all the bits and pieces are ready its just a matter of grabbing them and heading off whenever we choose. Hopefully next time conditions will be better and we might even catch a fish.