Articles

  • 6

    Sep
    2015
    In search of a specimen Cuckoo Wrasse
    In search of a specimen Cuckoo Wrasse First, the bad news In my short life-time, I have searched for most fish species in Ireland, in salt-water and fresh.       As a specimen hunter, I have been lucky enough to find many over the hallowed specimen weight, a specimen being regarded as a fish of a life-time for a particular species. However, as the species boxes are ticked, it becomes more and more difficult to find new species to realistically target over specimen weight. I...

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  • 4

    Sep
    2015
    A boat trip at last
      A boat trip at last Managed to find a day on the North Coast where the wind actually subsided a little, just enough to pop out on the Fast Fisher and see what’s about.   It’s crazy, but when I looked back through the calendar, I couldn’t believe it had been almost a full year since I last had my boat out on the water!     And last year only comprised of three trips! Between angling opportunities and temperamental weather conditions, I have almost fo...

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  • 26

    Aug
    2015
    A Mullet Grand Slam in West Cork
    A Mullet “Grand Slam” in West Cork For a challenging Mullet “grand slam” I had the notion to target all three Grey Mullet varieties during one adventure. However, to push the boundaries a little further, how about adding that they would all have to be over specimen size!       The three species in question (omitting the Red Mullet found offshore) are obviously the “thick-lipped”, the “thin-lipped” and the smaller and much prett...

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  • 7

    Aug
    2015
    Mullet and the Greys Prodigy VX
    Mullet and the Greys Prodigy VX   After my recent and extremely enjoyable Tench session, it was now time to switch my attention to salt-water, and to see how the Prodigy VX stands up to the power of a Grey Mullet!         Although strong north-westerly winds were going to be a major problem, the tides were perfect, and I thought I would make the most of this opportunity for a Mullet bash. The wind can be problematical as most of my Mullet angling is carried out ...

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  • 17

    Jul
    2015
    Tench and the Greys Prodigy VX
    Tench and the Greys Prodigy VX It has been a strange season for Tench in 2015! Fair enough, I didn’t put a huge effort into targeting them, but they are normally a little more willing than my results would suggest. Tench angling has been well covered, but hopefully there may be a few tips in this article to take away with you.       I made a huge mistake, thinking that my specimens taken last year were in mid-June, and basically relaxed, imagining I had plenty of time....

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  • 11

    Jul
    2015
    Roach/Rudd Hybrids
    Roach/Rudd Hybrids My annual specimen pilgrimage for these fellas seems to become tougher each year! Now, I realise times change and most venues have peaks and troughs over long time spans, but unfortunately, one of my favourite venues, one of many in my lifetime, has fallen victim to outside influence it seems.     I hate to harp on about our immigrant angling “friends”; god knows it now bores the life out of me, never mind you, the reader. But it is a fact that this ...

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  • 1

    Jun
    2015
    Targeting Bream, featuring the Penn LTD 7000
    Targeting Bream, featuring the Penn LTD 7000 Bloody hell! Fishing? More like that Japanese Endurance show that used to be on the telly. I feel that I’m getting to old for it all, let me explain!       I had acquired a set of Affinity LTD 7000’s, the new Live-liner reels from Penn, and an “Easy Rider” carp barrow from JRC. As usual, I wanted to do a wee write-up on the new gear. Obviously there is no use talking about an item of tackle without actual...

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  • 29

    May
    2015
    In search of specimen Twaite Shad
    In search of specimen Twaite Shad About Twaite Shad In Ireland, we have two species of Shad, namely Twaite Shad (Alosa fallax) and the larger but much more elusive Allis Shad (Alosa alosa). To complicate matters, it is a fact that these species also hybridise usually requiring genetic testing for accurate identification.     The Irish Specimen Fish Committee provides this service when a Shad is submitted by an angler as a possible specimen for verification. The current Irish reco...

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  • 15

    May
    2015
    Large Irish Perch
    Large Irish Perch A week ago Andrew Wolsey and I had a bit of a “red letter” day in the hunt for specimen Perch. With two dozen landed, all between one and two pounds, including two pushing specimen size and one over the magical 1.2 kilo, it was only natural to want to try again.       However, in my experience, and in particular with Perch, a return visit rarely produces a similar result. We caught it just right at the time. Perfect conditions, right bait correct...

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  • 7

    May
    2015
    The hunt for large Perch
    In pursuit of large Perch 2015 has been a slow year for me as a specimen hunter. Commitments at home have been such that time spent on the water has been somewhat limited.   Obviously, when you aren’t fishing, you won’t catch and this is the problem.       A few weeks previous, James Robbins from Shakespeare UK kindly sent over an Agility Drop Shot Rod to have a play with, and with a selection of Berkley lures, new and old, I had no excuses not to get ...

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