Picking & Choosing in Ireland

Since we began stocking a bit of lure tackle at the shop we have had mixed reviews.   Opinions seem to range from “why have you got this in a fly shop” (the phrase “going over to the dark side” has been heard being quietly whispered in a corner) through to those who see lure fishing as a method with characteristics not too dissimilar to fly fishing … and are keen to give it a go.

If you fancy targeting Bass with light tackle, then it is the definite way forward.  Take a look on the internet and you will find any amount of blogs, forums and general banter related to this exciting form of angling.  And I think we fluff chuckers should be taking note.  Make no mistake that during my current visit to Ireland I am longing to catch as many fish with the fly as possible.  On some marks the fly has even out fished the lure.  But there is a “But”.  Had I decided to head out early this morning with just fly gear then I would have been in deep trouble. 

Double figure Bass for James Barry

Henry photographs James Barrys huge Bass caught on lightweight lure tackle

For sure looking out over the coast things looked just perfect, light winds, mixed clouds and sun, just the conditions which produced fish to the fly earlier this week.  Arriving at a stunning looking set of ledges I reckon I could have spent around 10 minutes comfortably casting and not with a #8, no it would have required a #10.  Soon afterwards I would have been sunk, that is unless I was carrying a lure rod.

Chucking a stunning bit of plastic known as a Feed Shallow with ultra fine braid and a super lightweight 7’ 6” Mazzera lure rod I would love to say that I went on to bag up as the wind steadily increased in strength whipping up a substantial surf.  My efforts were rewarded with a follow early in the session but our conclusion was that the drop in pressure and temperature had taken effect, leading to slow fishing. 

James Barry with a 5 1/2lb Irish Bass

James Barry with 5 1/2 lbs of Irish Bass

But it’s not just about the fish.  I had a thoroughly enjoyable session in the company of James Barry of Absolute Fishing, chatting tactics, weather conditions and hanging on to his every word regarding technique.  These guys are just so willing to help.  But this session was only possible because I was carrying a lure set up … now is that going to the dark side or plain practical?  Fishing is very personal of course and some anglers just love casting flies so much that nothing else will do, but if you are struggling at times to cope with conditions while fly fishing for Bass I urge you … grab yourself a lure set up!  I have some thoughts on this subject with regard to the similarity to fly fishing but that is for another blog.

If you are thinking about it, but are not quite convinced then I urge you to head over to Henry Gilbeys blog and check out a simply sublime session that we enjoyed yesterday, Bass maestro James Barry scoring a trio of stunning fish including a double.

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