Sea fishing on the East coast

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Sea Fishing in Irelands North East

Sea angling is available along the beautiful Co. Louth coastline from Ballaghan point near Carlingford Lough to Clogherhead. The main fishing stations are Carlingford, Greenore, Ballaghan, Templetown, Cooley, Gyles Quay, Blackrock, Annagassan, Dunany and Port Oriel. This area offers shore, rock and boat fishing and there are numerous species to be found. Carlingford Lough, which produced the current Irish record Tope, has some excellent fishing during the summer months with Ray, Spurdog, Tope and Dogfish all being present. Mackerel and Codling are also abundant. The pier at Greenore produces good mackerel fishing in summer. Dogfish, Ray, Spurdog, Bass and Mackerel are all possible from this shoreline. All other venues produce an assortment of species including Bass, Mackerel, Mullet, Dogfish, Codling, Coalfish, Pollack, Ray and Conger. Some Smoothound and Ray are to be found off Dunany Point during the summer months. Click here for map.

The Dundalk Sea Angling Club operates in this area and runs a number of competitions each year. The club has a membership of approximately and information can be obtained from club secretary Rod Coan or Pat Rankin at 042 9339695.

Carlingford

The picturesque village of Carlingford is located north east of Dundalk, Co. Louth on the shores of Carlingford Lough. The Lough, which is overlooked by Slieve Gullion and the Cooley Montains produces good catches of mackerel in summer and flounder and whiting in winter. The area is best known for the superb tope fishing, which is available during the summer months. Small boat anglers will find the most productive fishing is achieved at anchor. A number of slipways are located along the southern shore from Omeath to Greenore for launching small boats and charter boat services are available at Carlingford. Further information is available from the Loughs Agency, Old Quay Lane, Carlingford, Co. Louth. Tel: 00 353 42 9383888

Species: Codling, ray, dogfish, mackerel, flounder, whiting, pollack and tope.

Season: May to September.

Ground Type: Primarily of shingle interspersed with mudflat, sandbanks and rock.

Bait: Mackerel and sandeel in summer from boats, lugworm in winter from shore.

Method: Leger fishing with fairly large baits is most productive.

Fishing Tip: Use a “rubby dubby” bag attached to the anchor rope when fishing for tope.

THE PICTURESQUE SCENE OFF CARLINGFORD CO. LOUTH

Greenore

Greenore is located on the southern shore of Carlingford Lough two miles south east of Carlingford village. The pier can be a popular spot in summer and the shore around the lighthouse at the mouth of the Lough provides excellent sport for an array of species including mackerel, sea trout, pollack, spurdog, ray and dogfish. Bass can also be taken in this area with spinning offering best opportunities. Anglers should exercise extreme caution, as there are fierce currents close to the shore in this area. Fishing from the cobbled beach south east of Greenore also produces a number of species with codling being available in numbers on occasion, especially at night during the winter.

Species: Mackerel, sea trout, pollack, spurdog, ray, bass, codling and dogfish.

Season: May/December.

Ground Type: Mud, sand and shingle.

Bait: Crab, ragworm, shellfish and sandeel all produce results.

Method: One or two hook paternosters clipped down behind a breakaway lead.

Fishing Tip: When the tide is running, cast uptide and the bait will swing round naturally before bedding in on the griplead.

Ballaghan Point

Ballaghan point is located south east of Carlingford and Greenore. The very mixed ground north of the Point is very difficult to fish and tackle losses are inevitable. However, mackerel and pollack can be taken by spinning at high water and flounder, rockling, dogfish, “strap conger” and ray can be taken in the sandy patches. South of Ballaghan are Whitestown and Templetown beaches where dogfish, flounder and occasional bass are found in summer, with codling turning up at night in winter.

Species: Flounder, codling, dogfish, conger and ray.

Season: May/November

Ground Type: Very mixed ground consisting of rock, sand and shingle.

Bait: Ragworm, lugworm, crab and sandeel.

Method: Ground fishing with single hook paternosters or spinning.

Fishing Tip: Spinning lures such as the Jensen type are very useful here.

WILLIE ROCHE DISPLAYS A FINE POLLACK TAKEN ON A LEADHEAD

Cooley Point

Cooley Point south to Gyles Quay consists mainly of steep-to sand and shingle beaches, with a little mixed ground fishing for dogfish, flounder, wrasse and ray. Spinning form the rock outcrops which can be cut off by the rising tide can produce mackerel, pollack, coalfish and sea trout. From Cooley Point south to Gyles Quay the shoreline is very broken and consists mainly of weed-covered rock and boulder interspersed with shingle and a little sand in places. Despite the uncompromising nature of the area there is a little mixed ground fishing for dogfish, flounder, wrasse and conger. Spinning from several rocks can produce mackerel, pollack, coalfish and sea trout. Gyles Quay is located south of the R173 on the Eastern side of Dundalk Bay. It is a very popular small boat angling location during the summer months and there is a large slipway situated close to the pier, which affords easy launching. Fishing with feather lures from boats will be rewarded with good catches of mackerel in summer, while bottom fished baits will attract dogfish, spurdog, codling, whiting, dab and occasional ray. Fishing from the pier at high water in summer can produce dogfish, flounder, mullet and mackerel.

Species: Shore; dogfish, flounder, wrasse, mullet, mackerel, pollack, coalfish, conger, and sea trout. Boat ; Dogfish, spurdog, codling, whiting, dab, mackerel, ray and tope.

Season: May/September

Ground Type: .Very broken shoreline of weed covered rock. The sea bed is generally flat and sandy.

Bait: All baits should be tried while shore fishing. Mackerel and lugworm are by far the best baits while afloat.

Method: On the shore float fishing and spinning are most widely practised methods with legering most common from boats.

Fishing Tip: Try freezing down baits in fish oil. Baits treated in this way can be very effective in attracting fish into shallow water such as found in this area.

Gyles Quay

From Cooley Point south to Gyles Quay the shoreline is very broken and consists mainly of weed-covered rock and boulder interspersed with shingle and a little sand in places. Despite the uncompromising nature of the area there is a little mixed ground fishing for dogfish, flounder, wrasse and conger. Spinning from several rocks can produce mackerel, pollack, coalfish and sea trout. Gyles Quay is located south of the R173 on the Eastern side of Dundalk Bay. It is a very popular small boat angling location during the summer months and there is a large slipway situated close to the pier, which affords easy launching. Fishing with feather lures from boats will be rewarded with good catches of mackerel in summer, while bottom fished baits will attract dogfish, spurdog, codling, whiting, dab and occasional ray. Fishing from the pier at high water in summer can produce dogfish, flounder, mullet and mackerel.

Species: Shore; dogfish, flounder, wrasse, mullet, mackerel, pollack, coalfish, conger, and sea trout. Boat ; Dogfish, spurdog, codling, whiting, dab, mackerel, ray and tope.

Season: May to September.

Ground Type: Very broken shoreline of weed covered rock. The sea bed is generally flat and sandy.

Bait: All baits should be tried while shore fishing. Mackerel and lugworm are by far the best baits while afloat.

Method: On the shore float fishing and spinning are most widely practised methods with legering most common from boats.

Fishing Tip: Try freezing down baits in fish oil. Baits treated in this way can be very effective in attracting fish into shallow water such as found in this area.

Dundalk and The Castletown Estuary

The Castletown River, which flows through the town of Dundalk, enters the Bay between Tippings Point on the Eastern shore and Soldiers Point to the south. The estuary is made up of alluvial mud, which gradually becomes sand beyond the buoyed channel in Dundalk Bay. There is some fishing for mullet and flounder in the estuary, with occasional seatrout and bass. The bay is very shallow, seldom deeper than eighteen metres at low tide. Access to angling for small boats is restricted due to the shallow nature of the bay and the fact that literally miles of sand are exposed at low tide. The best access points to the bay are located at Blackrock and Annagassan. The main species encountered in this area are dogfish, tope, bull huss, mackerel, codling, and spurdog. Beyond the “Dundalk Patches”, in deeper water, outside the bay, other species become available including whiting, coalfish, ling, gurnard, wrasse and pollack. Charter boat services are available from the Castletown estuary at Bellurgan.

Species: Dogfish, tope, bullhuss, mackerel, codling, spurdog, flounder, whiting, coalfish, ling, gurnard, wrasse and pollack.

Season: May/October

Ground Type: Mainly sand with occasional shingle banks and rocky patches.

Bait: Mackerel, squid, ragworm, lugworm and crab.

Method: Both paternoster and leger tactics work here.

Fishing Tip: When using mono lines for fish such as tope and spurdog, a piece of electric cable sheath about six inches long, can be placed over the line at the hook. This protects the line from teeth and also acts as an attractor.

Blackrock

Blackrock village is situated on the R172 just to the north of the River Fane, where it flows into Dundalk Bay. The beach here is a very flat expanse of sand and mud crisscrossed with numerous gullies and channels. Best opportunities are for shore angling at the mouth of the Fane, where mullet, flounder, dogfish and bass can all be found. Small boat anglers can gain access to the bay from Blackrock but please note that if you launch a small boat at this location it could be up to ten hours before you can retrieve your boat.

Species: Mullet, flounder, dogfish and bass.

Season: May to September.

Ground Type: Sand and mud.

Bait: Crab, ragworm and mackerel.

Method: Legering, or fishing with long snooded paternosters in the main river channel.

Fishing Tip: Do not venture too far out across the mud as the tide can come in very fast at times and could cut off the unwary angler.

Annagassan and Salterstown

The rivers Dee and Glyde converge just before the sea at the picturesque harbour of Annagassan. High water presents the best shore fishing opportunities in the river channel and from the outer quay wall for mackerel, bass, flounder, dogfish, mullet, eel and seatrout. Small boats can be launched from the slipway on the southern side of the harbour, however this access is entirely limited to high water conditions. Anglers should note that if a small boat is launched at this location, it could be up to ten hours before it can be recovered. Boat fishing is for tope, ray, spurdog and dogfish with the possibility of also finding smoothound. The shoreline between Salterstown and Dunany Point is made up of sand and shingle interspersed with several rocky outcrops. Bass, flounder and dogfish are the dominant species for shore anglers in this area.

Species: Mackerel, bass, flounder, dogfish, ray, skate and mullet.

Season: May to September.

Ground Type: Mainly sandy, in shallow water.

Bait: Lugworm, ragworm and crab from shore. Mackerel and crab from boats.

Method: Leger techniques are best suited for virtually all species.

Fishing Tip: “Up-tiding” (casting baits away from the boat) will bring increased catches while afloat in this shallow water area.

Dunany Point

The rivers Dee and Glyde converge just before the sea at the picturesque harbour of Annagassan. High water presents the best shore fishing opportunities in the river channel and from the outer quay wall for mackerel, bass, flounder, dogfish, mullet, eel and seatrout. Small boats can be launched from the slipway on the southern side of the harbour, however this access is entirely limited to high water conditions. Anglers should note that if a small boat is launched at this location, it could be up to ten hours before it can be recovered. Boat fishing is for tope, ray, spurdog and dogfish with the possibility of also finding smoothound. The shoreline between Salterstown and Dunany Point is made up of sand and shingle interspersed with several rocky outcrops. Bass, flounder and dogfish are the dominant species for shore anglers in this area.

Species: Mackerel, bass, flounder, dogfish, ray, skate and mullet.

Season: May to September.

Ground Type: Mainly sandy, in shallow water.

Bait: Lugworm, ragworm and crab from shore. Mackerel and crab from boats.

Method: Leger techniques are best suited for virtually all species.

Fishing Tip: "Up-tiding” (casting baits away from the boat) will bring increased catches while afloat in this shallow water area.

Port Oriel

To the north of Clogherhead lies a long flat beach, which is crossed at a number of points by small streams. Several shore angling hot spots are located where these streams cross the sand and mullet, bass, flounder and sea trout can all be taken. Night tides are generally most productive. Clogherhead is a busy commercial harbour and it is advisable for small boat owners to make arrangements locally (Clogherhead Fishermans Co-op. Tel: 00 353 41 9881403) to gain access to the slipway. Boat fishing off the head is for codling, dab, coalfish, dogfish, ray, and tope. The pier and adjacent rocks offer shore anglers a wide array of vantage points for flatfish, mackerel, mullet, pollack, coalfish and strap conger. The slipway at Port Oriel is easily accessible and there is adequate parking for both trailers and cars at the top of the slip.

Species: Tope, dogfish, flatfish, pollack, coalfish, codling, mackerel, mullet, ray, whiting and conger.

Season: May to September.

Ground Type: Generally flat featureless sand except in the vicinity of Clogherhead where fingers of weed covered rock project into deeper water.

Bait: Worm and fish-baits of all types.

Method: Float fishing and spinning from pier and rocks, bottom fishing from beach and over sandy patches at pier and rocks. Mainly leger fishing from boats.

Fishing Tip: Use surface fished lures and plugs around the rocky outcrops to avoid getting snagged in weed

ea Angling Clubs

Dundalk Sea Angling Club: The D.S.A.C fish this area regularly and hold a number of competitions annually. The club consists of approximately 30 members and the comittee is made up as follows.

Secretary: Rod Coan

Chairman: Pat Rankin

Treasurer: Matt Campbell

Shore map of Carlingford to the Boyne Estuary [.doc, 1MB].