Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Good Times

Darren Ward

Ireland.... Wow !. It's got me bad, its in my head and under my skin, i can't stop thinking about the place. It's only been in the last couple of years that i have managed to get over for the fishing. I had in the past worked over there and honeymooned there but hadn't managed to wet a line until recent years.

I know an old Welsh farmer with big man boobs called Kev who likes a trip or two to the Emerald Isle. Together over a pint in the Blue Bowl after a days fishing at Chew the seed was sewn and my first Ireland trip was in the pipeline. We headed over there in the spring and i was full of anticipation, hopefully we were going to catch a few fish but more importantly we hoped the weather would be kind to us. As you can imagine when fishing big Irish waters you are very weather dependant, big winds are a curse which can put a stop to the fishing, big winds equals big swells and you don't want to be out on the Loughs in those conditions, its not safe. Additionally and importantly you can't fish how you want and it becomes a test of endurance and a war of attrition, and that's not good.

Tackling these big Irish loughs is what gives me the buzz, its an amazing feeling when you have been fishing a bay and you then nudge your boat past the headland back into the main body of the lough. Wham !, there in front of you are endless miles of water, more places to search more places to fish, it really is awesome.

Fishing these waters lends itself to my favourite methods of fishing. Don't get me wrong i really enjoy a day afloat watching the floats waiting for a run, horses for courses but when tackling big unknown to me waters i have to go hunting for the pike.I love fishing all types of features and the searching and searching for the pike.Trolling baits and lures,covering water and hopefully finding fish by drifting and casting lures to any likely spots. These are the methods i enjoy the most, covering water and depths until something happens and the pike start showing what they want on any given day.

My first trip to Ireland was good, we had the weather and we had a few fish to boot. The bug bit me bad and from now on its going to be Ireland in the Spring every Spring. I'm currently working on the wife to see if i can nick another week at a different time of year but she's proving stubborn and resistant to my charms!.

The trips are predominately about the fish we hope to catch,but the side show that comes with it is important too, good friends and good laughs are all part of the package and make these trips special. Getting back from a days piking with battles lost and battles won and then sharing a beer with the others is magic.
Classic moments like Rodders and Winnie passionately blurting out " it means nothing to me, nothing to me ohhh VIENNA " had us pishing ourselves laughing and Harrys likeness to Peter Kay was a trip classic.

The landlady grabbed us and asked quietly "is that the man off the D.V.D's?". To which of course we replied "he was" and introduced Mrs T to Mr Peter Kay!.

"OH MY GOD !, you are the most famous person to stay with us!" she told us. Harry was naturally trying to deny it but Winnie was kicking him under the table. Mrs T by now in histerics told us us all " I have only ever met one other famous person before"." Who was that we asked?". "BONO!" she shouted. Laugh !, we didn't stop for hours.

You soon get used to fishing every day and it's great having a few beers to cap the day off.

When we go to Ireland we take our own boats over and every time i get back home i find my boat needs something adding to it. My first item on the shopping list was a bigger engine as my 30 wasn't big enough!.

Well to be truthfull it was really but i've had Kev circling my boat as we are flying off to a spot then slowing right down letting me go a hundred yards, only to fly past me leaving me in his wake!.Kev's was a 40. I've had Rodders do the same, he'd casualy come alongside as i'm going at full speed, then he lets rip and i just watch as he disapears. Rodder's engine was a 50. This wasn't happening again i vowed, next time we are over i'll show em so i got myself a 50!.This baby would be bigger than Kevs engine, plus my boat is lighter than Rodders boat, so it would now be full-bore from me and ripping the pish out of them for a change!.

HeyHo !, it wasn't to be, fishing these big loughs does something to you mentally and it makes you want bigger and better engines. Rodders goes out and gets himself a 90 and Kev gets a whole new outfit with a 60 on its arse, the bast~~ds, trailing behind them again!

Yep i've got the bug bad, it's certainly the highlight of my season venturing over to Ireland tackling a big lough, seeing what turns up and sharing Good Times with good friends.

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