|There are two common types of cockle. The common Cockle and the Queen Cockle. both of which in some areas can be a great bait. In some areas they are not so good but they should never be overlooked. especially after a storm when huge amounts can be scattered along the beach and all the fish in the area will be going nuts for them. At these times it is wise to take a trip to the beach and stock up. bring them home and deshell them followed by a quick freeze.
The common Cockle grows to about 2" and is often faun to white in colour. the queen Cockle can grow to about 4" in length and takes on an orangy coulour to its shell.
The Cockle is found in abundance around esturies and muddy beaches. Check among the first few inches of mud at the channels and diches at low tide. Sometimes they can even be seen poking their noses out of the sand if you approach very quietly. Winter time is the best time to collect cockles due to the strong gales we get at that time of year ripping up the sea bed and depositing them upon the shore. You should look for cockles in places that normally have high numbers as plenty canbe gathered in a short amount of time.The best tool for collecting Cockles is the garden rake. keep an eye out for the damper patches of sand where the Cockles don't have to be so deep to retain moisture. A good indication of a good beach or estuary is to keep an eye out for empty shells.Queen Cockles tend to be found further out and for this reason are usually collected after storms.
Using Cockles as bait
make sure and get your hook through the foot of the cockle as this is the toughest part. bait elastic is always used to hold them on the hook. cockle combined with Lug makes a good cocktail bait.
Flounder, Cod, Dabs, Dogfish, Pollack, Coalfish.
Sutton (Dublin), Dollymount beach (Dublin Bay), Malahide Beach (Dublin)
|There are two species of Razor to be found on these shores. The Pod Razor which grows to about 12" long and the Sword Razor that reaches a length of about 6". Razors are found in tightly packed sand on storm beaches but can also be found in estuarys where the tide run is not as strong.
Razorfish can be collected only at the lowest spring tides when the sea recedes enough to expose them to the bait hunter. it is possible to get them at other times but it depends on the place and how flat the beach is. spring tides in times of high pressure in the weather are times when the sea will recede even further and should be exploited. All this makes Razors awkward to collect so many anglers resign themselves to buying them which can prove relatively expensive. razors do not like extremes in temperture and at these times will be found much deeper in the sand. you should always thread lightly when looking for Razors as they will notice you coming and head deeper into the sand to escape makeing your job much harder. you should look out for a key hole type shaped hole in the sand. this is the razors burrow and will always be found near the waters edge. to get them out the secret is to use a squirting bottle with sea water in it with added heaps of salt added to it. squirting this down the hole will bring the Razor to the surface within minutes and then you can slowly travel round and gather them all up. you should never yank them from their burrows. keep a steady pressure on them and they will slowly come free. otherwise you will be left with a shell and the mollusc still down the hole. theother method is to just use a fork! Like the Cockle they can also be collected after storms.
Using Razors as bait
Razors should be secured to the hook using bait elastic. they can be used alone or as tipping bait. Many English channel anglers swear by them for big Cod when piled up the hook.
Whiting, Cod, Flounder, Ballan Wrasse
Dollymount Beach (Dublin Bay)
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