My Ireland Trip 2002 Part 1

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Simon R

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I've posted this in two parts because its rather long and I don't have time to complete it all in one go!


My eagerly awaited trip to Ireland commenced at the ungodlike time of 4am on the morning of August 1st 2002, had to load up the car and be at Dave's for 5am, ready for the 200 mile drive to Stranraer and the 10am ferry.

A quick run-down of my companions this year - Dave (organises the trip and gets all the bait sorted out), Peter (Dave's dad - and I'm sure he won't mind me saying, very much a part-time angler), Richie and his 10 year old son Josh.We took two vehicles this year, some of the venues we fish are best with only a couple of anglers and this makes it easier to split up.

After an uneventful journey we arrived at Cootehill just after 1.30pm, checked into our digs at "The Manse" and after a short chat with Michael, the owner, went up to see CJ Fay, the local bait stockist and font of all knowledge. Picked up a couple of gallons of casters, a gallon of maggots and a sack of brown crumb, then decided to have a drive round to see where was fishing. Checked out all the usual popular venues (Drumlona, Killyvaghan, Bairds Shore) and there was nobody there!

With no up-to-date information available we decided to have a run down to Lough Ramor (it's a 60 mile round trip but petrol's cheap in Ireland!). We'd been told about a spot called Foxy's Point, apparently you drive across Virginia golfcourse, park at the bottom and then you have a 100 yard walk through the trees to the pegs. We found the pegs easily enough but the 100 yards was a good 10 minute walk and there was no way we were going to be able to manage that with the mountain of kit we take to Ireland.

I'd printed out the instructions Stu Dav and Scales had given me regarding the pegs on the opposite bank and after a few visits to farmyards we found this car-park.
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and decided to pre-bait the pegs on the wall with 100 balls of groundbait or so
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That done, we had a meal at the White Horse back in Cootehill, a couple of pints to wash it down with and were tucked up in bed by 11.

The following morning dawned grey and damp and after a hearty breakfast we arrived at Ramor just after 9am. Everyone decided to commence on the feeder, except Dave, who, because of the lack of wind, elected to fish the waggler.
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Here's Josh playing to the camera, followed by my gear, then Dave, Richie with Peter just round the corner. Everybody caught steadily for the first hour, many of the bites coming on the drop when those hybrids would almost rip the rod out of your hand! But as the morning wore on the fish seemed to back-off, you'd catch a couple then have a quiet spell. I tried switching to a smaller feeder which assisted for a while but I couldn't keep them coming. Dave had been catching really well on the waggler, but his swim died too and I doubt he had a fish in the last two hours. Richie on the other hand was flying and by the time we called it a day at 6pm, it was debatable who had top weight.

Josh managed just over 11lbs, Peter 17lbs 8oz (his best weight in Ireland in the three years he'd been coming with us). I got this net of just over 23lbs
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Dave caught 45lbs 3oz but Richie just pipped him with this net of 48lbs 4oz
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The following morning we were going to fish Lough Sillan, one of the few venues we fish that doesn't benefit from pre-baiting, however the pegs we wanted were already taken so after discussing a few options we decided to go to Lough Drumlona - one of our 'banker' venues that we always fish. The only problem was that, as we have proved in the past, Drumlona definately does benefit from pre-baiting. Drumlona was well up, its part of the Dromore River system, which is itself a tributary of the Erne and the floods of earlier this year had still not subsided (it was maybe 18" above normal level, but with the shallow margins that meant we were almost fishing in the trees)

It was another calm day, with initially an annoying persistant drizzle and everyone decided to start on the feeder again, except Richie who fished the waggler 'up-in-the-water'. In the past we've had catches approaching 50lbs on this lake fishing a 6m pole, so this was maybe not a bad idea.

We all started well again, but as with the previous day catches tailed off (except for Dave who caught steadily all day). I tried fishing the pole but because we were fishing further back than normal I was unable to get far enough over the first shelf and kept getting snagged up. I went back on the feeder and for some reason started catching again, if we'd stayed another hour I probably would have overtaken Dave.
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This gives you an idea of how high the lake was - where Dave's stood is normally dry-land.

Dave ended up with the top weight of 33lb 9oz, including this 3lb bream.
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I had just over 29lbs of skimmers and hybrids
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Richie caught 24lbs on the waggler with Peter managing 13lbs and Josh 9lbs.

After packing up at Drumlona, we decided to split up the following day, I wanted to fish Bream Island on White Lake, where I've had some excellent catches in the past, whilst the rest of the lads decided to concentrate on Killyvaghan. We split up to go and prebait and then met up again at our favourite Irish boozer, the Ducome Inn on the shores of Lough Lisnalong.

The following day dawned with blue skies, a hot sun and little or no wind - not exactly ideal bream fishing conditions. I wasn't too concerned though, I fished this peg opposite Bream Island in almost identical conditions four years ago and caught just over 100lbs.
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We kept in touch with each other by text messages (the wonders of modern technology!)and although I'd caught a couple of bream and some skimmers, my swim died about 2.30pm and word was they'd had a few more bream at Killyvaghan. I weighed my fish and was pleased to see that I'd caught a new personal best Irish bream of 5-14, in this net totalling 20lbs 15oz.
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I had a short drive around before rejoining the others and other than a few locals fishing on Bairds Shore, there was nobody about. This was a major problem because you normally get a lot of good information from fellow anglers, especially those who are leaving. I called into the Ducome Inn to pick up some cold drinks (the temperature was now in the 70's) and arrived at Killyvaghan just in time to see Peter landing this bream.
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Shortly followed by Richie getting this one
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Peter had never caught a 'proper' Irish bream before so was understandly somewhat pleased to land 9 of them for this net full weighing 37lbs 10oz.
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Richie went one better, catching 10 for just over 40lbs
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Even Richie's son Josh got into the act, catching a 4lb bream on his first trip to Ireland, part of a 11lb total
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Dave was sat between Peter and Richie and despite casting into almost the same area had only a single bream and a skimmer for a 3lb 12oz total. He was understandably less than impressed!
I didn't particularly fancy another day on my own, so Richie said him and Josh would move over and I could drop in where he was fishing. We prebaited the pegs again and then went for a very welcome cool pint in the Ducome Inn.

Part 2 to follow soon!
 

Dave

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Great report Simon and some great photos icon_smile.gif

Can't wait for Part 2 ...


Out of all the places I've fished I have yet to fish in Ireland.... talk about wetting the appetite

Dave
 

norm

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good one mate

nice to see some bigger bream there

i only got little fellers

WHO`S PEG CAN I CAST INTO?
 
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