Our guide to Shore Fishing around the Irish coastline. Please feel free to add any fishing spots you want mentioned, by leaving a comment below. We would be glad of your input!
Located in Co. Wexford, Hook Head is one of the many great shore fishing spots in the south east. There are plenty of rocks around the coastal area which attracts many fish. Spinning or float fishing for Pollack, Coalfish and Mackerel in season can be good and there’s also some excellent Wrasse fishing. Bottom fishing over rough ground will find Conger, Rockling and Dogfish, with the possibility of Flatfish and the odd Bass over the sandy areas.
The Burrow Shore
This location is between Hook Head and Kilmore Quay. A well known shore fishing mark, popular for competitions. Whiting, Codling, Coalfish and Flatfish (mostly Flounder) are common catches here, with the odd Ray and Smooth hound in warm weather, especially after dark. Tope sharks are also known to enter the area in the summer. Dogfish were common also but catches have declined.
Spinning is popular for Bass and Mackerel in the summer from the rocks at the bridge, with Bottom fishing off the pier limited to high water conditions and capable of producing Flounder, the odd Bass and Mackerel. Mullet have been taken on float fishing gear from the pier in the harbour.
This is a rough ground venue, and it is particularly well known to the quality of its Wrasse. This point is located halfway between Kilmore Quay and Rosslare.
Located just outside Rosslare town this is a small beach and bottom fishing offers you Dabs, Flounder, Dogfish and some Bass. Mullet can also be caught here and small smooth hounds in summer mainly during night time.
Rosslare Harbour, Strand Point
You can fish off rocks at Rosslare harbour and there is a lovely sandy surface around 20 metres out from the rocks. Pollack, Dogfish, Mackerel, Garfish and Wrass cam be caught here in the summer, with the odd Flatfish in amongst all the Dogfish over the sand are the main attractions.
At Rossslare strand a lot of people go night fishing for Dab, Flounder and Dogfish. You can also catch Ray at this location. At Rosslare point it is said to be the best place in the county to catch Tope sharks at full tide as the point hold a deep water channel. A large bait such as half of mackerel or flounder usually on a sharp size 6 hook.
Most places around the harbour are excellent for shore fishing, there has being a new quay built recently just behind the “Talbot Hotel car park” this has become popular from autumn/winter Codling with the best bait being peeler crab and lug worms.
There is also a bridge around the harbour area where night fishing is most popular on incoming tides for anglers looking for bass or flatfish drop nets are required. All around the harbour bass can be caught and it said to be the best area to catch them, usually spinning is the best method. Bass have also being caught from bottom fishing in this area along wit dogfish and flatfish. There is a catch limit in this area and a closed season from 15th May – 15th June every year.
It is mainly a spring and autumn fishery. Fishing a full tide produces the best results particularly at night.Species: Bass, smoothound, flounder codling, dab, whiting and dogfish. Season: May/June and September/October: The beach is made of fine sand backed by dunes. Recommended baits include crab, ragworm, mackerel and sandeel.
This is perhaps the best known shore fishing venue in Wexford and has hosted several premier league and international beach fishing competitions.
Species & Techniques: Bottom and surf fishing will produce Bass, Smooth Hounds, lots of Dogfish, different types of Ray in the warmer months including Sting Rays. You can also catch Spurdog, Bull Huss, Flounder, and Dabs also being weighed and measured for points.
Anglers can also go out on boats with local fishermen in town such as Kilmore quay, Duncannon and Courtown harbour.
This is an excellent place for shore fishing from the beaches that are rarely busy, and from the rocks that are often deserted yet a lot of superb bass are caught here.
The Ferry Point
This is located directly across from Youghal town. Flounder, Coalfish, Whiting and Codling can be caught here in winter with Bass being a possibility. There is a small mussel bed around this area which is marked with an aluminium pole Bass are often caught here on a plug or spinner. There has not being many Cod around this area but fish to double figures have being caught here in really cold winters.
There are plenty of fishing spots on and around the beach where Bass do be caught (often large fish) There is also Flatfish around the area.
Once a key commercial fishing port, the charter boats now bring anglers out to around the Harbour itself and further afield out around the Saltee Islands.
Species & Techniques: You can bottom fish from either pier but recently there has been little caught apart from small Flatfish and lots of crabs! Float fishing will take Mullet and Mackerel in season. A better mark is the flat rocks just past the harbour heading west. There is a small informal car park and worn paths down to rock platforms offering deep water access over very foul ground. Spinning will take Mackerel and Pollack. Wrasse will fall to float fished worms. Locally it is well known and can get crowded when the Mackerel are “in”!
The clue is in the name! This is an excellent mark and offers a wide variety of species and fishing techniques.
Species & Techniques: Spinning and float fishing from the rocks will account for Bass, Wrasse, Pollack and Mackerel in season. Surf fishing will generate lots of Flatfish and the odd Bass, even a Sea-Trout, with bottom fishing taking Dabs, Plaice, Cod (one of the few marks from shore that produce Cod as well as Codling ), Dogfish and the odd Ray, but no Whiting! Accoridng to the forum, Dr Sea Fish reports a 9 lb plus bass taken in March 2004 with a squid and lugworm combination. March 2004.
The beach itself is not fished that much, but the side close to the roundabout in the town fishes well. This can be a popular beach at weekends during the summer so best to leave it late or avoid the weekends.
Species & Techniques: Flounder, Dab, Bass, and Dogfish will be taken off the beach. Whiting and Codling will show in colder snaps during the winter and it is a great Mackeral venue in high summer at dusk.
Not as prolific a mark as you might think, this promontary offers rock platform fishing, with spinning or float fishing over foul ground.
Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for Pollack and Mackerel is augmented by some decent Wrasse fishing, with Conger and Dogfish available. It might fish better in winter but it is little used given its exposed nature and the better marks available locally.
A lovely little fishing village with a small strand, in danger of being swamped with holiday homes, Ardmore has a fine pier and offers excellent sheltered shore fishing.
Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for Sea-Trout, small Pollack and Mackerel, with Mullet in the summer around the harbour itself. Bottom fishing will produce Bass, Flatfish (Plaice and Sole both recorded) and Dogfish.
This little used beach is one of the premier shore fishing venues in Ireland, and certainly along the south coast. You can fish either side of the Black Rocks that characterise the mark.
Species & Techniques: Surf fishing will produce Bass, Dabs, Flounder, Painted Ray (no Thornbacks) in summer and quite close in, the odd Sea-Trout and Dogfish. Coalfish reported recently to a decent size and some Whiting showing too. Crab is the ideal bait but lugworm, squid and mackerel will work. More specimen fish have been recorded here than on any other beach or mark in Ireland – quality not quantity! Recent reports suggest that fishing is best done at night and that the middle section in between the rocks is a decent spot as well.
8 – Bunan, The Puffing Hole and Cusheen
These three marks range from the headland back towards Kenmare and are all access from the casot road, the R571 west of Lauragh. There is parking at the point itself.
Species & Techniques: No reports at yet, but you can asssume that this produces standard rock platform fishing returns. Wrasse, Conger, Bull Huss, Mackerel and Pollack are the listed species, to which might be added Coalfish, Launce and other smaller species.
9 – Bird Point to Dog’s Rock
Take the country road due north from Ardgroom, over the lagoon where you can dig lugworm and collect crabs (mostly hardbacks but good for wrasse fishing especially in the autumn)
Species & Techniques: No reports as yet but you can asssume that this produces standard rock platform fishing returns. Wrasse, Conger, Bull Huss, Mackerel and Pollack are the listed species, to which might be added Coalfish, Launce and other smaller species.
10 – Carrig Fada to Oileanin
There are four marks here, the middle two being called Cuas A Teorann and Cumar Dron Leac. Oileanin is the Gaelic for “Little Island” and Carrig Fada means “Long Rock” so no bonus points for finding them! The best road access is on the R575 west from Eyeries towards Ahilies, but if you find yourself turning due south, you have gone too far. There is a smaller side road leading north west that will bring you all the way to Carrig Fada.
Species & Techniques: No reports as yet, but I understand that this is rock fishing interspersed with small patches of sand for a bit of variety! Wrasse, Conger, Bull Huss, Mackerel and Pollack are the listed species, to which might be added Coalfish, Launce and other smaller species.
1 – Ballydonegan
Just past the village of Ahillies, this effectively holds two marks, from the beach and from the little pier.
Species & Techniques: The beach offers standard Flatfish and some Bass with the best position being at the mouth of the small stream. The pier offers access to deeper water on the flooding tide and adds Dogfish to the list. Nothing special but nice…
2 – Dursey Sound
You cannot visit Dursey Sound without taking the spectacular cablecar ride out to Dursey Island – an amazing place with an awesome history. The sound fishes extremely well at all stages of the tide, thanks to the depth of water.
Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for Pollack and Mackerel over a very foul bottom. Most of the Pollack are typical shore fish, up to 4 lbs and will fall to lures or floated fish baits outside of slack water. This is augmented by some excellent Wrasse fishing just north east of the cable car station – bring worm baits with you for the Wrasse as they accept nothing less! The far site of the sound, fishing off the island reputedly offers even better Wrasse fishing and excellent quality Congers, especially at night, but it is a difficult spot.
3 – Fair Head
Past Castletownbere, a big commercial fishing point, the road stops rather abruptly… It is a bit of a hike from the end of the road, so keep the tackle bag as light as possible! You should make your way down to any point opposite the lighthouse on Bere Island. This is an excellent shore fishing spot.
Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for Pollack and Mackerel over a very foul bottom is augmented by some excellent Wrasse fishing. The deeper water is directly out in front and Codling were reported last winter.
4 – DOD Pier
Right in the middle of Castletown Berehaven, a busy working port, there is the Department of Defense pier. If there are no ships tied up, then off you go…
Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing will find Dogfish but the mark also produces regular catches of Thornback Rays. Mullet are common in the harbour but difficult to tempt to a bait, although fish pieces or offal might succeed in producing some sport.
11- Carrigin (“Little Rock”) on Bear Island
People rarely bother fishing off islands here and yet the returns can be far better than the mainland, perhaps thanks to the complete lack of angling pressure. Species & Techniques: No report yet but it appears to be standard rock fishing. Wrasse, Conger, Bull Huss, Mackerel and Pollack are the listed species, to which might be added Coalfish, Launce and other smaller species. Excellent shore fishing.
12 – Rinn Beag & Serragh Rock
These marks sit either side of a small but often cascading whitewater river estuary. If there has been heavy rain forget it and head for a sterile beach or rock mark.
Species & Techniques: Mullet are everywhere, but difficult to tempt to a bait. There is definitely plenty of Bass on both marks.
5 – “The Airport Strand” aka Bantry Beach South
The airstrip is owned by a pharmaceutical company who are constantly telling people not to walk on it. It’s also been fenced off to stop dog walkers marching up and down. Below this there is a very steep beach – these beaches are rare in Ireland and it gives access to deep water and fishes onto clean ground.
Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing off this beach will produce Thornback Ray, Dogfish, and Bull Huss. Founder and Dabs are available on shorter casts, but the longer you can cast, the better. Codling are reported in the winter, with whiting present year round… July 2004. Henry Gillbey has reported lots of good Bull Huss from this beach in 2004.
6 – Collack
The Sheepshead Penninsula really ought to have more than two known shore fishing marks on it but there you go…More to come soon! Driving west along the road it is difficult to see any difference much less a specific mark in the surf bashing off the rocks down below (and it is a fair walk down a steep gradient through the fields)
Species & Techniques: Most people float fish for Wrasse hoping for the big one, although you could also find Pollack, Coalfish, and Mackerel in season here. One also suspects that it would offer Conger, Bull Huss and Dogfish to bottom fishing baits, but you are facing extremely foul ground.
7 -Dooneen Pier, Kilcrohane
This pier is just west of the village of Kilcrohane, on the southern side of the Sheep’s Head peninsula.
Species & Techniques: There’s plenty of Pollack and Mackerel to be caught on the spinners, Ballan Wrasse will fall to small crab baits and night sessions will produce a good variety including; Dogfish, Bull Huss, Conger Eels, and Whiting. For the more adventurous, try parking at the top of the access road and walking around the headland. There is a little secluded beach here that holds good shoals of Mullet in the summer and I reckon that there is a good chance of taking Bass on Plugs for those who like rock hopping!”
Shore Fishing – West Cork