Galway Bay & North Clare
The foreshore on the northern side of Galway Bay is very rocky and difficult to fish. In summer, mackerel occasionally shoal close to the land at Spiddal, Furbo and Salthill and on these occasions they can be taken on feathers or spinners cast from the shore. Pollack are also caught frequently in this area. From the beach below Barna flounder, dabs, dogfish, bullhuss and occasional ray and bass are caught on summer evening tides.
Where the tide causes a black eddy east of Seaweed Point dogfish, bull huss and bass are caught when bottom fishing. Dogfish, bull huss, flatfish, mackerel, occasional mullet, conger and bass have been recorded from the mixed ground between Blackrock and Salthill.
Mid summer is generally the best period for fishing in this area.
At Galway there are various shore fishing stations between Nimmos Pier and Lough Atalia.Freshwater eels, mackerel and flounder can be expected at the freshwater outlet at Nimmos Pier, mackerel strip being the most productive bait.
From smaller piers in this area, mullet, dogfish and flounder are the main species on offer. Mullet are very plentiful behind the fish processing plant on Lough Atalia - small float fished baits are best. Pre-baiting brings better results.
The shoreline south of Galway is very broken, shallow and very muddy, offering little prospect for the shore angler. Flounders are, however, probable from some of the creeks. From the shore at Rinville tope are frequently caught.
At New Quay bass and mackerel have been caught in the deep channel. It is very rocky ground and tackle losses may be heavy. Dogfish and occasional tope are caught when bottom fishing with fish baits. The tide is very strong in the main channel and the use of grip leads is advisable. Crab is available under the weed to the east of the quay at low water.
In the estuary, behind Muckinish Castle lugworm can be dug in quantity. Crab inhabit the weed at the base of rocky outcrops in the bay.
From the eastern shore facing Rynn Point, bass and flounder are caught on the bottom. On the western shore, large lugworm are present in the sandy patches and between the boulders. Crab are found among the rocks and weed at the end of the lane.
From Ballyvaughan a charter boat operates for the summer months. Several small inshore boats are also available for hire locally. Among the species to be expected in the area are porbeagle and blue shark, tope, ray, cod, pollack, coalfish, ling, conger, turbot, plaice, dogfish and John Dory. Much of the Blue Shark fishing is carried out in deep water to the west of the Aran Islands, where there is also fine reef fishing for pollack, ling, coalfish and cod .
West of Ballyvaughan, to the southern corner of Galway Bay, the coastline rises and becomes steeper and rocky. Just inside Black Head there are two well known shore angling locations at Inner Rocks and the "Flags". Bottom fishing produces ray, dogfish, conger and flatfish over sand, while spinning accounts for mackerel and pollack. Float fishing close to the rocks will produce wrasse and rockling.
The rocks around Blackhead Lighthouse are much favoured by local anglers and although the land is very rough close to the shore, a modest cast will put a bait onto sand. Dogfish, conger, ray ( including occasional sting ray ) have been recorded. Wrasse are very common among the weeds and boulders. Spinning produces pollack to 2.6 Kilos as well as mackerel.
Sandeel can be dug at low water on the beach at Fanore, the southern end being most productive. Surf fishing at Fanore produces bass and flatfish. In calmer conditions, especially at night, ray, dogfish and bull huss can be caught. Care should be taken when handling fish on this beach as poisonous weaver fish take anglers' bait regularly.
The small rocky beach at Trawee can be a difficult place to fish. Bass and tope have been taken there. Float-fished large baits tend to give best results.
There is superb bottom fishing from the rocks at Ballyreen where ray, conger, dogfish, bull huss and plaice are common. Garfish and wrasse can be caught while float fishing, pollack and mackerel to spinner. Occasionally tope will take a bait here and porbeagle shark have also been landed.
Ground close to the shore and rocks is very weedy and broken. However, a cast of 60 to 70 Metres will land bait on clean ground. As at Black Head, this area is a popular venue for anglers and the rocks have numbers painted on them for club competitions. Just south of Ballyreen at Poulsallagh, spinning and float fishing will produce mackerel, pollack and wrasse.
At Ard na Glaise and Pouloraveen, spinning will take mackerel and pollack
and float fishing produces wrasse and garfish. Bottom fishing sometimes
can be good for dogfish and the occasional tope is caught at Ard na Glaise.
The small south west beach facing Doolin is very dangerous for swimmers because of severe under currents. However, occasional bass can be taken while spinning from the rocks at the northern end, or by bottom fishing over sand. Dogfish and flounder can also be expected. Occasionally, boats can be hired at Doolin Pier, from where a ferry operates in summer to the Aran Islands.
To the south of Doolin, the rocks become quite precipitous but there is access at Trghleachan, where rock fishing is often productive over the rough bottom for wrasse, mackerel, conger and dogfish. South of Traghleachan, the coastline again becomes very steep, culminating in the majestic Cliffs of Moher, over most of the way to Hags Head, then turning east towards Lahinch and Liscannor.