Last year I visited the Copper Coast In Southern Ireland in search of the bass for which it is famed. The bass proved elusive but whilst fishing for these bass I caught sight of large numbers of grey mullet. My mate John Avery is a dedicated mulleteer and agreed to join me in a trip this year with lure bass addicts Ashley Clarke and Colin Joy.
Whilst the mullet were not as prolific as last year they were certainly there in good numbers with both thick lipped and golden greys abundant. More impressive than the numbers was the size of fish we glimpsed in the harbours and coves. I am always reluctant to put sizes on fish but confidently state that we saw several fish well in excess of the Irish record of 9lb 1oz.
Catching the mullet as always proved a challenge and success was hard to achieve. On day one fishing a pretty cove John got the week off to a great start landing a mullet of 4lb 12oz that we estimated at a lot less until we got the fish ashore and saw the depth. This made us ponder further on how big the other fish were?
Day two and I hooked a good fish after just a few casts that gave a thrilling scrap in the close confinements of Dungarvan Harbour. At 5lb 1oz it was a pleasing start.
For the rest of the week we struggled to tempt the mullet as the basked tantalizingly around the boats and moorings around the harbour.
We had some success fishing the pretty coves and missed a few opportunities on the open coast. A lucky wrasse of 4lb 5oz put an impressive bend in my float rod when it seized my bread flake.
On the Friday I had a very productive 20-minute spell after four hours without a bite. With confidence draining I was almost shocked when my float plunged beneath the surface. The rod was brought smartly up and contact made with a hard fighting mullet that eventually came to the net. At 4lb 14oz it was a very pleasing fish. Buoyed by success I dropped the float back into the harbour as the tide ebbed. One cast later the float once again sank from sight. For the next five minutes a big mullet plunged to and fro between the harbour wall and the boats and moorings. John waited patiently with the net until I was able to coax the beaten fish in. I was on cloud nine as this was undoubtedly a personal best and pulled the scales tantalizingly close to 7lb before settling at 6lb 14oz.
The bass were a different story and once again proved elusive and in all honesty I feel certain that Ashley and Colin would have caught more at home on the North Devon Coast. But there is more to fishing than catching fish and traveling to new ground brings a new dimension to the fishing. The scenery is spectacular, the people friendly and the food good.