Ireland’s Eye and a few Mackerel

Mackerel fishing at Ireland’s Eye.

Lots of fishing but very few Mackerel.

The weather of late hasn’t been playing ball along the East coast when it comes to kayak fishing. The wind has been relentless especially when I’ve had a bit of free time. In fact I had planned on a two day trip to Howth with the Irish Kayak Angling Club last Saturday and Sunday but it was cancelled because of the bloody wind. However the forecast for Monday was giving it calm with the wind picking up later in the day so nothing for it than to load up the car on Sunday night ready for an early start next morning. The water was flat calm at 8.00am which made for a nice easy paddle over to Ireland’s Eye.

Kayak on slipway at Howth harbour
Nice and calm at the slipway

The water was full of bait fish, mostly sandeels and the birds were feeding in their droves. Droves? Do birds do droves? Anyway, there were lots of birds, lots of bait fish but no mackerel.

Gulls and Gannets feeding at Ireland's eye
Feeding time for the birds…

If you don’t believe me, have a look for your self. Hard to believe there were no bigger fish feeding on this lot.

Having fished from early morning up until around 1pm without so much as a nibble I felt like giving up. However I persevered and next thing – BANG! A full sting of lovely mackerel out of nowhere. This is it I thought, I’ve found them. Of course multiple jumping mackerel leads to tangled lines so it took me a couple of minutes to untangle my feathers and get them back into the water again. Few seconds later the rod is jumping and I’m in again. Just two this time but while I was reeling them up I could actually see mackerel on top of the water chasing the sandeels and with that the gannets came diving to attack the mackerel! Fierce exciting stuff altogether. I quickly unhooked the fish and dropped the feathers again………….nothing!

That was it. It must have been a small marauding shoal of  mackerel on the move and they just disappeared. I never got a bite after that.

Mackerel caught at Irelands Eye
This years first Mackerel

I fished for another while with no luck so I paddled around to one of the beaches and filleted the fish. I planned on changing tactics and using the smallest fish for bait on a Shamrock Tackle Mickey Rig but noticed that the wind had picked up a fair bit. The flat calm water between me and Howth Harbour was now being whipped up and the white horses were showing so I thought I’d better head back before it got worse. It was one hell of a paddle back towards the harbour. The tide was strong, as was the wind and the waves were pounding me side on. That meant I kept having to paddle into the bigger ones which was bringing me back out towards open water rather than to the safety of the harbour. Thank crunchie my Wilderness Ride 135 is a stable kayak!

Back in the harbour I met a chap who had been fishing close to me from his boat and he’d managed just one fish for his day so i didn’t feel too bad with my five. We cooked them the next day for dinner and I have to say, there is nothing to beat the taste of fresh mackerel.

 

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