A group of flyfishers from Germany, The Netherlands and Ireland made excellent use of the calm weather last weekend by landing nine blue sharks up to 60 – 65 lb on the fly in two days.
Fishing on board of Tom Collins’ boat Loch an Iasc, which sails from the Reen Pier near Union Hall, the Saturday was a hectic day with numerous sharks hooked and lost due to the hook coming out or leader breakage, even one rod broke in the process. Tom Collins did a great job in working the rubby dubby to get the sharks close to the boat and the first blue shark that was hooked, took the fly in full view of everyone on the boat. Dutch freelance photographer and writer Rudy van Duijnhoven fought the fish for 25 minutes on a #12 weight outfit before Tom was able to net the fish and a load roar was heard on board. This fish had an estimated weight of 60 to 65 lb and was returned after taking out the barbless (!) fly and making pictures on board. Rudy also landed the second fish that day, this one was a bit smaller, but with its 40 lb still a lot larger than what most flyfishers will ever land on a flyrod.
The second day the group came better prepared and after a slow start all hell broke loose.
Another five shark were hooked and lost this second day. All fish were hooked when stripping the fly, often even within sight of the people on board. There was never ever the need to fake by adding juices to the fly or putting a piece of mackerel flesh on the hook. The shark took the streamers of 20 to 25 cm in length like there was no tomorrow.
The Loch an Iasc is a fast worker 36 built in Valentia and refurbished in 2005 under department of marine supervision specifically for angling charters and whale watching. She is licenced and insured for 12 passengers and carries a P5 licence which allows her to operate within 30 miles of designated ports. For customer comfort there is inside seating for 12 passengers and it has a toilet as well. The Loch an Iasc is powered by two Caterpillar 3126 engines giving a total of 700 horsepower which means that our customers can get to fishing grounds faster or when the whales and dolphins are offshore you will get more time with them.
In 2014 Tom Collins invested in new electronics and fitted new led lighting for night shark fishing trips. Tom has found in the past that lots of light at night attracts baitfish which in turn brings in the big predators. For information on trip from the Reen Pier in Union Hall, County Cork, contact Tom Collins at +353 (0)87 – 279 2983.