Throughout the year Irish kayak Angling club host around half a dozen competitions in Ireland, stretching the length and breadth of the country.
The Donegal competitions each year on the Inishowen peninsula, Ireland’s most Northerly point is the one I personally look forward too the most. The fishing is superb, the scenery breathtaking and the wildlife is out of this world. I have witnessed things up here I will remember for the rest of my life from Sharks, Basking sharks, Dolphins, Whales and Bluefin tuna busting not to mention feathered wildlife. Everyone has there favourite spot and this is mine!!
This year our competition venue was Culdaff, a bay I had not fished until now, and I can’t wait to get back. There’s something here for everyone, from fishing around the harbour and in the safe shelter of the bay too venturing offshore after bigger nastier beasts of the deep…..
The comp kicked off at 11am after a short safety brief and ended at 6pm, as with most of the IKA comps it consists of catching a certain selection of fish with a rare one as a joker. First person to complete the challenge wins…….
I set off and paddled straight to the harbour and targeted mini species, after 30 minutes playing with hooks I could barely get bait on and 2 species later I paddled out into the bay and got my anchor down. The fishing out here was slow to start but picked up as the day went on, there was certainly no shortage of fish.
Usual tactics are one rod set up with a running ledger and size 2/0 hook and the other set up with a 3 hook rig (bleeding glow worms from shamrock tackle). This gives me a decent variety of assorted baited hooks on the bottom at once for a wide variety of fish off all sizes.
Once those two rods are out I would sometimes play with the LRF rod for tiny species for the added boost but that depends on weather and tides.
Too no surprise as Donegal never lets me down, at one point there was around 20 kayaks spread across the bay and we where visited by a few pods of Dolphins, some jumping within feet of some of the kayak. Absolutely superb to whiteness!!!!! As the day came to an end I managed 12 species of fish and had completed the challenge earlier on in the day with the added bonus of the Joker caught a Plaice this time.
It was a superb days fishing and I managed first place in the competition, a new venue so I was well pleased with the results.