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Boat Angling

Inshore Boat Angling

A nice cod

Inshore fishing from small boats, especially during the months from May to September, is a growing trend. There is no better means of appreciating the intimate connection between the life of Irish coastal communities and the sea, than to fish from a small boat equivalent in size to the craft that almost all Irish fishermen used until recent times. Many visiting anglers bring thir own purpose-built 14-18 foot boats to a growing number of centres where guidance on where to go, and on safety issues is available. This is the best way of exploiting the places which are unexplored by bigger craft or inaccessible to the shore angler. All species are available. Great sport can be enjoyed on warm days of late summer when using light spinning tackle for mackerel or pollack. The adventurous angler can try fly fishing. Or one may bottom fish for ray or bigger species - perhaps for tope in places such as the Shannon Estuary, using a mackerel caught earlier in the day as bait. Fishing from a small boat driven by a powerful outboard engine requires a careful assessment of weather conditions, but if the angler follows local regulations and advice, and keeps a weather eye open a safe, enjoyable trip is assured.

Wreck Fishing

Photo: a fine coalfish for a lucky angler

Wreck fishing in deep water marks can be very productive. There are many charted wrecks off the Irish coast, some lying in water over 50 fathoms deep. Many more wait to be discovered and the angler who is in a boat fishing such a wreck for the first time can experience unforgettable sport. It may take an hour to reach these marks, but the time is worth it because of the size of the conger, ling, pollack and coalfish which are boated from them. Other species such as turbot and megrim can also be caught. Anglers who specialise in this fishing use rods in the 20/30lb class and reel lines of 30lbs test, and such gear may be hired from charter skippers. A list of all registered and insured deep sea fishing, angling charter boats in Ireland.

Deep Sea Angling

Photo: A skate tagged and ready for release

Irish deep-sea fishing is associated with charter boats and is a very sociable form of angling. Traditionally, these craft headed to deep water marks from centres which became famous and still provide superb fishing Westport, Fenit and Kinsale. Nowadays, charter boats can be hired from a greater number of centres and they fish for such species as blue shark off the south and west coast, for big conger, ling and cod from sunken wrecks, and for tope and flatfish over sandy ground. Charter boat fishing is lively and interesting even before a line is cast; the skipper will assemble a group of anglers who may or may not know each other at the beginning of the day, but who will surely be well acquainted by the end of it, especially if they have had sport with a big shark or skate. Usually tackle may be hired, so all the angler needs is a good set of waterproofs and a sense of adventure. The skippers have well equipped speedy craft and modern navigational aids but for most, who have come from several generations of fishermen, their knowledge of the sea is as instinctive as breathing. A lot of local lore is passed on during the day and even more in the evening when the boat is tied up and the catch distributed and the scene shifts to a waterfront pub. A list of all registered and insured deep sea fishing, angling charter boats in Ireland.

The Marine Sport Fish Tagging Programme

Photo: Tagged, a beautiful blue shark
The majority of Irish skippers participate in the Marine Sport Fish Tagging Programme organised by the Central Fisheries Board. To date over 30,000 fish have been tagged and released including such species as shark, tope, monkfish, common skate and ray.

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