A very common small flat fish found on the North, East and South coasts. Less common in the West although not unknown. Hot spots are Cork harbour and Dunmore East where a record fish of 2.2 lbs was taken in 1989.
The Dab is an inland coastal fish that is usually found over clean sand or mud. It can also be sometimes found at the mouths of estuaries over seed mussle beds. Found in very shallow water right up to 160ft. Larger individuals are sometimes found where rough ground leads onto clean sand. Dabs like all flatfish, like to exploit tide flow channels and sand banks.
Generally speaking, Dabs are normally taken on worm baits. The Dab is however, a true opertunist and will take mussel, shrimp, Razorfish, small strips of sandeel, small strips of Mackeral and peeler crab.
Tides and Weather:
Dabs are not really afected by the tides. Springs and neaps both fish well as long as the tide run is not too strong. In the deeper water Dabs are not as easily put off by roughish weather but it is true that calm seas suit them better. Dabs are always on the cards after a storm as they go on a feeding frenzy for crab and shellfish killed in the rough waves..
Dabs are considered as an all year round target species. There seems to be a lot more of them around in mid summer and November.
Simple over the side tactics work well for Dabs as does the baited spoon technique. Some anglers swear by afew coloured beads threaded up the line just above the hook. Try using the uptide technique in a tide with a bit of movement with a rolling lead. This will allow the bait to find its wat into those Dab holding gullies. As Dabs are usually very small bait robbing pests it is best if targeting them to use very light tackle. They do not put up a good scrap but at least you will have a good chance of noticing their bites.
Dab Profile
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