Category Archives: Fishing

Kayak Fishing around Ireland’s Eye

Kayak Fishing

A day on the water in the kayak

The weather forecast was looking good. At least it said there would be little or no wind which is ideal for us kayak fishermen, so myself and my namesake Dave O’Donovan (who is more than likely a not so distant relation) arranged to met up at 8am in Howth Harbour.

Now 8am in Dublin during the working week is basically “the commute” and I’ve done that commute for the past thirty odd years. However, since my “retirement” the commute has become a thing of the past (thankfully), so I was kind of dreading the slog.

The kayak was loaded onto the car from the night before and all the fishing gear was in the boot. Alarm went off at 6am, fell out of the bed, fell into some eggs, fell into multiple layers of clothing, fell into the car and fell into the line of commuters heading for Dublin.

What a fooking nightmare! Thick fog! Gobshites driving with their parking lights on so they were basically invisible to everyone else and another idiot in a Mercedes overtaking a line of six cars on a bend. Eventually got to Clonee only to be stuck in a traffic jam all the way to Blanchardstown which took the guts of 20 minutes instead of 3. Of course when we got to Blanchardstown there was nothing holding the traffic up and thankfully it flowed freely all the way to Howth.

Dave was already there and there was no fog at the coast. The water was flat calm in the harbour so down the slipway we went, and kitted ourselves and the kayaks out in preparation for our spin over to Ireland’s Eye.

Kayaks on the slipway at Howth Harbour

Kayaks on the slipway

Now at this point I must mention a little competition that is taking place amongst the good people of the Irish Kayak Angling Club of which both Dave and myself are members. Gist of it is there are teams of kayak anglers trying to catch the most number of species over the coming year. Now Dave is NOT on my team, so anything I can do to scupper his chances of catching a fish is good for my team and bad for his – take note Captain Pat! I pondered various tactics like drilling a hole in his kayak or standing on his fishing rod but the opportunity didn’t present itself.

So off we paddled out through the calm waters of the harbour and into the swell. Problem solved. Dave has no sea legs and he was sick as a dogfish :-)

In all fairness, he persevered and we paddled around to the back of Ireland’s Eye where we tried hard to catch some non existent fish. Apart from a few passing seals, the only bit of action was watching the local fishermen checking their lobster pots.

Lobster fishermen at Howth

The Lobster Pot Men

With no fish showing, we got to watch the multitude of planes coming in to land at Dublin Airport.

Flight Path over Ireland's Eye

Flight Path over Ireland’s Eye

Hunger beckoned so Dave called me on the radio to say he’d beached for some grub so I duly followed him in taking a shortcut into a little inlet which was guarded by vicious man eating seals. Dave had chickened out when he saw them and went round the long way, nearly getting ditched by a rogue wave in the process – Come on Team Pat!

My kayak in the inlet guarded by man eating seals

My kayak in the inlet guarded by man eating seals

The cute little seal cubs eyed me nervously, especially when they saw the big club in my hand (only joking).

Seal cubs on Ireland's Eye

Seal cubs on Ireland’s Eye

Have to say that the weather turned out gorgeous for the time of year and when the sun came out it was just stunning. Forget the fish, it was a day to be out paddling and enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer. And of course it’s all free!

Kayak fishing on Ireland's Eye

One man and his kayak

Eventually we gave up as the fish apparently decided to stay indoors beside their warm fires instead of impaling themselves on our hooks. We set off back towards the harbour as the fog was beginning to gather in the distance. One last look at the island as it was lit by the evening sun and of course to show off my new Scotty Triple Rod Holder and Camera Rig which had just arrived yesterday from Bantry Bay Canoes.

Scotty Triple Rod Holder

Scotty Triple Rod Holder

One final note. You’ll have to excuse the poor quality of the photos. I got myself a new’ish camera specifically for the kayak. It’s a Pentax Waterproof Point & Shoot that has a mind of it’s own when it come to exposure and point of focus. It only shoots jpegs and has auto ISO, auto aperture and auto shutter speed. Everything is bloody auto so it should really be called a Point, Shoot and Hope!


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