Terry’s Travels – Flounder trip
A specimen flounder for me!
For quite a while now, I’ve been planning to hit some shore marks in search of large flounder, and with the chance to try out one of the Abu Garcia Atlantic range of beach rods, it was time to make my plans a reality. From the three rod options available, I chose the longer 484 model at 15ft 4 inches, casting 3-6oz. This would give me an opportunity to feel how a longer rod casts. It would also allow the use of 12 ft traces and 4 ft snoods if desired, which adds extra movement to a baited hook, and can work well, particularly when flounder fishing. I matched the rod with a Penn Mag multiplier, loaded with Spider wire Invisi-braid for a perfectly balanced set-up.
A perfect combination Abu Atlantic rod matched to a Penn Mag Multiplier = Specimen flounder!
I arranged to meet up with two pals of mine, Des chew and Ian Mulligan, two top Irish shore anglers and dedicated specimen hunters. They know this area well and promised to put me on the flounder mark here in Wexford. Like so many large fish hot-spots, it doesn’t produce quantities of flounder, but fish of quality. Magic words for a specimen hunter!
On arrival at the estuary, it looked and felt just how a flounder mark should, and I could hardly wait to drop a fresh crab and lugworm bait into the middle of it.
Crab and Lugworm cocktail
There was a little tide running, and a couple of practice casts with the
Des was next to see some action and his obviously large “flattie” unfortunately shook the hook just as it broke the surface. He was gutted, but it showed a promising start to the session. With no bites for me, I was wondering if I had done something wrong, and Ian diplomatically handed me one of his tried and tested traces to try. I was delighted to see that it was almost identical to mine, even down to the white attractor beads above the hooks! Promising to give it a try on the next cast, I looked up to see the Atlantic give a deep “nod”, quickly followed by a second nod and then a slack line. All typical text book flounder fishing. “Just one more pull”, as I willed the rod tip to move again, and it promptly obliged. There is rarely a need for vicious “strikes” when flounder fishing at short range, especially when using braid, and as I carefully reeled the fish towards the shore, I could tell this was larger than most flounder I have taken in my lifetime.
As it broke the surface, I lifted it to safety, knowing immediately that it was over the magical 2.45 pound specimen barrier. Weighing in at just below 3lbs, a cheer went up and the lads were genuinely as pleased as I was. It occurred to me that having caught literally hundreds of flounder on the north coast of Ireland, I had never seen a flounder that size, but managed a specimen on my first cast down here in Wexford!
I knew that a fishing session with two anglers of Ian and Des’ quality wouldn’t see me ahead of the game for too long and I was right. Within minutes, Ian lifted into his second fish that pushed the scales round to 3lbs. Two specimens in ten minutes is excellent shore angling by any ones standards. I felt sorry for Des, having missed out on his large fish, but he was totally delighted at seeing two fine flounder in one session. We continued fishing through the run of the tide, landing quite a few decent fish, and to round off a perfect day, Des finally slipped a huge looking flounder across the surface.
Des Chew with his specimen flounder.
Matching Ian’s’ previous specimen, it too hit the 3lb mark. How good was that? Not only three specimens in the one session, but completely balanced out at one apiece, among a tally of around a dozen in total.
Left to Right: Terry Jackson, Des chew and Ian Mulligan show three specimen flounder to the camera.
With the tide now at slack water, and a four hour drive ahead, it was time to say our good-byes and hit the road. It’s extremely satisfying when a plan comes to fruition, good friends, great fish, and superb fishing tackle.