Well, it’s that time of year again! A time for reflection as to how 2012 worked out; the captures and near misses and amazing species brought before the camera. Every trip is an angling education, yes, even the failures!
My year of 2012 began with a worthy challenge. A tough pike water had proved difficult to crack. We decided on a lengthy pre-baiting regime, allowing ten week-ends to see the venture through. Finally, after six visits to the water, the topped-up scent trail had worked its magic, seeing many double figure fish find their way to the un-hooking mat in a single session!
With this challenge met, a new one was dreamt up. This involved my life-long ambition of landing a three-pound perch. My angling buddy Glenn Drennan and I ear-marked dozens of waters around the country and ticked off each venue in turn, as we fished them exhaustively. This took up every week-end throughout March, April and May. Some venues managed to produce spectacular results, especially to drop-shot methods, and eventually, we realised our goal with several three-pounder’s landed and released.
Over the past few seasons, I have wanted to “branch out” and target species that I haven’t run into before. This is only natural for a specimen hunter, which led me to Lough Mask in search of Ferox Trout, wonderfully marked predators that hunt the limestone loughs of the west of Ireland. This was a learning curve, which resulted in a stunning five pounder caught and released, with a larger trout that smashed my line as though it were cotton. I learned a great deal from this experience and will hopefully return in 2013 to even the balance!
A few days later, I joined buddy, Andrew Wolsey for a Roach-Rudd Hybrid session, happily finding a few two-pound plus fish. Soon after, it was back down south to Cork City, this time in search of something a little larger. One of my angling mates from this “neck of the woods” is Sid Kennedy. He successfully guided me to many double-figure carp in the past, and this trip was no exception. While I was in the vicinity, I took the opportunity to target the huge shoals of specimen Rudd-Bream Hybrids with great success.
In between then and now, countless Spurdogs, Bull-Huss, Common Skate, Pollack and Cuckoo Wrasse have graced my boat with their presence, many bringing a smile to my angling buddies as they find their own specimen fish and memories to cherish.
I have come to the end of my photograph folder of 2012. There are many other angling experiences amongst them, but this was a précis of my most memorable trips of the year. Memories that give me the urge to return to successful venues with my usual angling posse, but also the will to try new venues and species that I have yet to experience. Many thanks to Pure Fishing, their tackle, bait and lures successfully landing all my specimen fish yet again.