On a recent work trip down in Cork City, I managed to cram in quite a bit of specimen hunting for several species, and thanks to my angling mate Sid Kennedy, I also squeezed in a very enjoyable Rudd-Bream Hybrid session. Sid had kindly pre-baited a secret location on the local dam, one that could only be accessed by boat in order to make sure the spot would be vacant. With a little bit of lady luck, there should be a few large Hybrids sniffing around.
Bill Brazier, another friend and angling nut would also join us, and I eagerly anticipated the chance to fish with two highly qualified anglers. Apart from being on the same wave-length regarding specimen hunting, it is always an added opportunity to pit my skills against a crack team. The bonus being I usually end up having learnt a lesson or two from the experience!
We met up, bank-side early evening, loaded the boat with all and sundry and carefully made our way to Sid’s potential hot-spot. I half expected to be blind-folded on the way, but I reckon Sid trusts my discretion by now. I don’t like all this “cloak and dagger” stuff as a norm, but sometimes it is necessary to guarantee an un-disturbed angling mark, and when a lad is good enough to take you to a favourite swim, there are occasions when you have to respect his secrecy.
We were soon on the mark, and eagerly setting up before the sun finally began to settle behind the tree line. The baited area was at forty yards, and once the distance had been gauged correctly, I used the line clip for ease of accuracy, dropping a feeder “on a six-pence” with every cast. Small Roach were in abundance, and although a bit of a nuisance, served to pass the time, along with keeping an accurate and steady stream of feed going in. This can be extremely useful, also serving as casting practice to “get your eye in” for the hours of darkness.
With the sun now well and truly over the horizon, the Roach bites began to slow down. I am never sure whether this is simply the Roach going off the feed and settling down for the night, or the larger Hybrids moving in and pushing the smaller fish out of the baited area. Either way, when the Roach quieten down, it usually heralds the arrival of the larger specimens, and I am glad to say, tonight was no exception. Sid was first to find a decent Rudd-Bream Hybrid, as they moved upstream, homing in on the scent trail of continental ground-bait and ground hempseed. With me in the middle, I was next to sample the dogged fight of a specimen, soon followed by Bill. It is always satisfying when all anglers hit into quality fish in the same session.
With this shoal of hybrids averaging two-three pounds, they weren’t huge by any means, but with the specimen barrier set at just over two pounds and ten ounces, we were quietly confident of finding our three qualifying fish each. By midnight, we had each achieved the three specimen target, and continued catching in the hope of bettering our results. To be perfectly honest, this type of feeder fishing with quality fish on the go, it is just too bloody enjoyable to quit.
With all three of us having to work the following morning, we gave ourselves a 2am time limit, which came all too quickly! It is almost impossible to leave feeding fish, with the adrenaline keeping the tiredness at bay, but we have all been here before, burning the candle at both ends and absolutely fit for nothing the next day! We did the right thing and packed up the kit, sorted out the boat and headed for home. Thanks go to Sidney for putting us over quality fish yet again, and to both Bill and Sid for an enjoyable angling session in good company.