Andrew McIlhone 17/12/2017 | Posted in Fishing, Internationalisation, Ireland
A few months ago a few of us kayak anglers hired out a charter boat to take us 20 odd miles off the south cost of Ireland to target Blue sharks from our kayaks.
I was looking forward to it as iv never caught a Blue shark before never mind anything as big of the kayak, this was going to be a real adventure.
The day before the trip I packed the van, quite light as I did not need much gear, just a heavy rod and reel set up and a few bits of terminal gear to target the shark.
I set off around 6.30pm and drove for around 6 hours to get to the location in West Cork at the very south or Ireland. On arrival I met up with Graham Smith, Mike Sherwood and John Harrington in the put around 1 am, no real surprise here!!
After a few quick pints we all headed down for the night as we had a long day ahead of us the following morning, while trying to sleep that night in the van we had very strong winds tropical rain and thunder and lightning, so it did not look promising fro the next morning.
Too our suprise the next morning was beautiful, much o my delight as I would now and again suffer from sea sickness and the last thing I wanted was to head out in poor conditions. After a quick breakfast we met the charter boat owner Tom Collins and loaded our gear and kayaks onto his boat and headed off on the adventure. We stopped and fished around a few islands on the way out collecting some fresh bait for the Sharks, maybe an hour in total to fill the box. As we steamed on out to the shark grounds we had great crack on the boat telling each other some old fishing stories and getting safety briefs on handling Blue shark as they are very flexible and can easily turn there heads nearly 180 degrees to take your fingers or hand off, all of a sudden the excitement was not just the same lol…….
Once at the mark we rigged the kayaks and got on the water, this was a strange sensation 20 odd miles from shore in quite thick fog tho it was pretty much flat calm so we were all happy. Tom started the chum trails hanging barrels of bait over the back of the boat to attract the shark while the four of us sat on our kayaks in the slick hanging baits over the side waiting on the Blues to appear.
There was nothing happening for the first couple of hours apart from the swell picking up and my belly starting to do cartwheels!!!!!!
Well that escalated quickly…. at this point I was ground baiting myself and felt terrible so there was an early retirement to the mothership for me. Once on the boat I felt worse, tried eating and drinking water but nothing was working so I lay down and went to sleep..
An hour or so later I was awoken by the excitement of everyone as two of the lads Mike and Graham had hooked up from there kayaks. I jumped up in excitement and completely forgot about the sickness… for a while anyways!!
The sea had got much worse and to my suprise John had retired to the boat for safety, and before my eyes he hooked a Blue shark right infront of me and landed it.
I had to get one and not waste all this time trying….
I grabbed my rod and dropped a bait over the side, there was Blue shark everywhere around the chum buckets and as I was in a daze watching them my rod was nearly pulled over the side with a take…… I let it run for a minute then tightened up my drap…. shark on and it felt like I hooked into a bus. It put up a great fight for around 15-20 minutes before I landed it and broke my PB for biggest fish, also my first Blue shark so I was over the moon.
Mike and Graham both landed shark from there kayaks whilst John and myself caught from the boat, I was disappointed not catching one from the kayak but there’s always next year!!!!!
Things got pretty bad shortly later resulting in a small blue biting the safety briefer Graham on the hand leaving a nasty little hole, the sea state blowing up and the skipper calling it a day. On returning to the rear of the boat Graham also took a wobbler and fell in to the shark infested water lol well I can tell you he was out that quick I don’t think he got wet lol.
All in all we all caught what we went for and it was a very very eventful day from shark bites to sea sickness not to mention falling in. It will be an annual trip now and I look forward to it next year………