Sea Fishing

Fly Fishing for Sea Bass and Pollock

Fly fishing for bass and other marine species including Pollock is a rapidly developing niche of sea angling. While many tackle manufacturers offer purpose built rods, reels and lines any angler can get started with a 7/8 rated 9' fly rod, a weight forward floating line and reel to match.

Fly choice can seem daunting but the basic rule in fly fishing of matching the hatch applies; so concentrate on patterns that are suggestive of sand eels and sprats. Standard patterns such a "Lefty's Deciever" in chartreuse and white are firm favourites of those in the know. Lightly tied 1 to 1/0 will be of most use. However, size of fly is down to how big you dare to cast, limited by what your gear can cope with. Leaders and tippets need not be overly fine and should be aimed at turning over the fly. 9' of 15lb straight through is acceptable

For prospective first timers the emphasis should be getting out and building time on the water rather that waiting to have all the "right gear" before you try this exciting branch of bass fishing for yourself.

Where to fish for Sea Bass and Pollack.

The outer reaches of Cork Harbor provide a selection of small sandy beaches and rock facing in a south westerly direction and all offer a good opportunity of some bass  ranging from 2 to 8 lbs. Beaches worth a try are White Bay, Trabolgan, Inch and Ballybrannigan and all have recorded specimen bass exceeding ten pounds. The flooding tide is the most productive stage using sandeel, crab and lugworm and some of the larger fish are taken during darkness hours. Many of the rocky headlands in the same area provide access to deeper water where anglers can spin or plug or even try some fly fishing with a bonus of pollack and mackerel as well. The most popular hotspots are Ram Point on the western side of the harbour, the rocks on the northern side of White Bay, and the rocky channels in the Roches Point area. The eastern shoreline at Inch Beach is also a productive area using a variety of plugs, spinners and artificial lures. Fly fishing is a comparatively new concept for bass angling and is proving very successful. Pollock can be found on most shore lines around the Cork coast where rough ground is present and range from 2- 15 lb and are regularly caught on fly and spinning from these areas.

Sea Fishing in Ireland 
The island of Ireland has for many years been recognized as one of the Worlds premier sea angling destinations. The 5000 km (3000 mile) coastline is among the most varied and spectacular in the northern hemisphere with it’s hundreds of tranquil bays and backwaters, roaring surf beaches, and miles of awe inspiring sea cliffs. The diverse nature of the coastline and Ireland’s unique geographical position, on the edge of the European continental shelf, where the inshore waters are warmed by the North Atlantic Drift (an offshoot of the Gulf Stream) means that the native marine life is extremely rich and varied. The coastal waters of Ireland abound with fish and visiting sports fishermen can expect something in the region of 80 species to aim at, so anything from a blenny of a few grams to a bluefin tuna of over 400 kg can be expected!

Ireland as a Sea Angling Destination 
Sea Angling in Ireland can be divided into three distinct categories:Shore Angling: (spinning, fly fishing, bottom fishing) from beaches, rocks, estuaries, quays and piers. This is probably the most widely practiced form of sea fishing, and is enjoyed all round the coast, being most popular south of a line from Galway to Dublin.

In -shore Angling; (trolling, bottom fishing and spinning) from self drive small boats up to 6 metres (20 feet) in length, in bays and sheltered waters, generally less than 5km (3.5 miles) from land. This is the fastest growing branch of marine sport fishing in Ireland, and from its traditional bases on the eastern and southern coasts is rapidly growing in popularity and spreading to other areas.

Off shore or deep sea Angling: (trolling, bottom fishing, wreck fishing, and drift fishing for shark) usually from purpose built charter vessels of 9 metres (30 feet) and over, and capable of carrying 12 passengers up to 32km (20 miles) offshore. This is the form of fishing on which much of Ireland’s international sea angling reputation has been built. There are currently over 100, top quality, state certified, charter boats dotted around the coast offering the whole gamut of offshore fishing experiences. It is most popular in the south-west, west and north-west of the country.

Michael Drinan