The seas around Ireland are so prolific that they can turn up anything from a Tompot Blenny of a few grammes to a giant Tuna of over 400kg!
On the south and west coasts, the warm North Atlantic Drift merges with the cooler waters of the Arctic. Sub-tropical species such as triggerfish, red mullet and gilt head bream intermingle with cold water fish, such as cod, coalfish and haddock, offering anglers a remarkable choice of catch and an exhilarating fishing experience.
Further north, in the cool Atlantic, there are cold water species, tope, pollack, thornback rays and sea bass – so you’re spoiled for choice fish-wise!
Shore angling in Ireland is a recreation of great contrasts. From springtime, bass fishing in a roaring surf in the south west is followed by mullet fishing around mid-summer in the quiet backwaters and estuaries of the south, through to cod fishing on a steep-to east coast beach in winter.
Boat fishing, either from a registered charter vessel or privately owned boat, offers great opportunities to tangle with some of the bigger fish that frequent our coastline. Tope to 25kg, Blue shark to 50kg, and Common Skate to 90kg are some of the species regularly taken.
- One of the best ways to experience the excitement of sea fishing is to join a charter vessel from a specialist centre, such as Kilmore Quay, Cork Harbour, Kinsale and Westport on the south and west coasts, or Portrush, Portstewart and Ballycastle on the north coast.
- The sunken wrecks on the north and south coasts, remnants of two world wars, are home to large numbers of specimen cod, coalfish, conger, ling and pollack. It is here that Irish records were set in the past and certainly will again in the future. Some of top centres are Courtmacsherry, Schull and Castletownbere in Cork, and Downings and Culdaff in Donegal.
- Small boat angling is developing all around the coast and there is nothing like skippering your own vessel on a successful day. Two long running small boat festivals take place annually at Rosslare and Cork Harbour.
- For the shore angler with an explorer’s instinct there is still much virgin territory on the beautiful south west peninsulas of Beara, Iveragh and Dingle, where top class rock and beach fishing are carried out in magnificent natural surroundings.
- Salt water fly fishing for sea trout, bass, pollack and mackerel is growing in popularity and can be practiced almost anywhere the shore touches the sea. Check out the River Boyne Estuary, Cloghane/Brandon Estuary, Shannon Estuary and the Wexford Coast