Author Archives: Sean Maguire

Fishing in Clare

20 Mar , 2017,
Sean Maguire
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Clare has ample lakes, coasts and rivers that are ideal for fishing, making it a haven for fishing breaks and trips. Fishing Adventures specifically runs Sea fishing Trips in Clare but as a result of our enthusiasm for the sport, we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge specific to fishing in Clare. In our post below we cover sea fishing, shore fishing, lake fishing and river fishing in Clare. What you want to catch will determine the type of fishing you are going to participate in.

Sea Fishing Clare Ireland
Owing to having some of the richest waters in Ireland and Europe, and by having a large range of species, Clare is renowned for sea fishing. Mackerel are abundant from April until November and apart from Mackerel as a great fish for the table, they are excellent bait for larger species, including whitefish, bottom feeders, conger eels, and sharks.

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Sharks are also plentiful during the summer months, with a range of sixgill, blue, porbeagle, tope, spurdog, skate, ray, and dogfish. Most of these sharks can be caught only 3-4 nautical miles from fishing adventures harbour, Kilbaha, Co. Clare and are some of the largest species in Ireland. The record breaking catch was a 12ft 9in long, bluntnose sixgill shark, weighing 1,056lb caught by the Clare Dragoon close to Loop Head. Shark is not the only species of fish available to catch while sea fishing in Clare. Depending on the season mackerel, pollock, flounder, turbot, cod, ling, wrasse, gurnard, conger eel, skate and tope are just some of the other species available, depending on what species the angler want’s to target. While some of these species of fish are regularly caught on fishing trips ,some others take a little more time, expertise, and paitence to hook. There are also a variety of exotic species that visit the coast of Ireland from time to time including triggerfish, albacore tuna and bream.

Bass Fishing Clare
Bass was placed on the protected species list in 1990, protecting it from commercial fishing, however bass fishing is allowed, for recreational purposes only, with strict laws around size and bag limit, (EU Law). Sea bass usually tend to spend time along estuaries and shale beaches, very much like the beaches in Clare, and while they can be caught in Clare they tend to favour the sunny south east.

Mackerel Fishing Clare
Mackerel can be found in abundance in Clare and is one of the most common fish caught on our fishing trips off Loop Head. Mackerel swim in large shoals, as a result of their never-ending quest to find sprat. They play an enormous role in the marine food chain and where you can find mackerel you can often find dolphins and whales just like in the Shannon estuary, which is where Fishing Adventures base is located. Loop head is the most popular destination in Clare for mackerel fishing with the Bridges of Ross, Loop Head and Dunlicky all featured on the head land. At Fishing Adventures we usually use feathers to catch mackerel, as well as some specialised equipment such as fish finders and most importantly our own knowledge of the area; spots like the Bridges of Ross and Dunlicky require a little more luck. Mackerel can only be caught in Ireland from April till early November so it is crucial to strike while they are in season.

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Flounder Fishing Clare
Flounders are a popular sport fish, although we rarely catch them on our fishing trips, they can be caught in Clare along our shore line. Flounders are often found on sandy beaches such as Carrigaholt, Doonaha, Kilkee and lahinch. The best way to catch Flounder is by using baitcasting however you can also catch them with a lure. Baitcasting is the preferred method as you can cast further, increasing your chances of catching one.

Wrasse fishing Clare
Wrasse fishing in Clare can be good sport using a baited hook, as they tend to be a bony fish with sharp teeth, extra tackle is needed like metal traces. Wrasse spend their time finding limpets on the rocks close to the shore line. Wrasse are opportunistic fish which means they are relatively easy to catch for shore fishers. You can use anything from crabs and worms to squid or sand eel to reel them in. These fish can often be found in areas like Kilbaha, fishing adventures base, Loop Head, the pollock holes in Kilkee and along the coast of the Burren such as Doolin pier and Liscannor, usually anywhere with a rock sea bed.

Conger Eel fishing Clare
Conger eel is a very popular species to catch in Clare. They can be found along the coast line as conger eels like areas with strong currents where the seabed is turned with the tide. They are also often found around piers where fishermen throw away waste fish. Catching a conger eel can be tricky, mackerel is one of the better baits to use when trying to catch one, you will need a strong line with a metal trace at the end and a relatively large hook as conger eels in Clare can often be over 5ft in length. Carrigaholt Pier, Kilkee Pier, Liscannor Pier, Kilbaha Pier, Ballyvaughan pier and Kilrush are all good spots to try and catch a conger eel. There are also other areas along the estuary that are renowned for conger eel fishing, like kilcredaun, and of course you can book a fishing charter on the Lady Gwen II and fish some very good marks for larger conger eel’s.

Pollock Fishing Clare
During fishing trips with Fishing Adventures, we often catch a mixture of pollock and mackerel. From our base in Kilbaha on Loop Head the environment is ideal for large pollock, with currents from the estuary and plenty of food. Pollock often grow to over 5kg. They can be caught all along the coast line of Clare and live deep among the rocks. Like mackerel, pollock tend to follow sprat and other small fish, so brightly coloured feathers and spinners often do a good job of attracting pollock.

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Shark Fishing in Clare
There are over seven shark species that can be caught during your fishing trip in Clare; blue, porbeagle,tope, dogfish, skate, ray, spurdog and sixgill. Fishing Adventures runs regular deep sea angling trips that routinely catch tope, skate, blue and porbeagle sharks. While sharks can be caught all along the west coast of Clare, Loop head’s deep waters and active marine life tend to attract larger species. Our fishing trips include all of the specialist gear you will need to catch such large species, including rods and bait. As Fishing Adventures is part of the marine sportfish tagging programme, all our shark’s are tagged and released unharmed.

Ray Fishing in Clare
Ray fishing is very popular among shore anglers in Clare.Fishing Adventures run regular fishing trips in the estuary for ray and other species like bullhuss, conger, tope, and dogfish especially if the weather is not suitable to fish the Atlantic Ocean. Many rays can be found on sandy beaches sifting through the sand in search for food, these rays tend to be relatively small, measuring between 1.5ft – 2ft in size. We often catch rays along the shore line but in the open waters on our charter boat skate can be caught. We generally catch these while deep sea angling and at anchor.

Kilkee, A Fishing Heaven

28 Jan , 2017,
Sean Maguire
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The small seaside resort town of Kilkee in West Clare along the Wild Atlantic Way has a long history of of fantastic fishing spots and marks. A must on any fishing enthusiasts holiday itinerary.

Kilkee Bay

Kilkee Pier, on the north side of the main beach, is an ideal location for a spot of angling. Ease of access and proximity to the town of Kilkee means there are no problems with parking or amenities. It’s the perfect place for holiday anglers. You can spin for mackerel and pollock at high tide and at low tide bottom fishing for flatfish or bass using fish bait or lugworms.
Beyond the pier there are plenty of rocky formations and inlets where locals like to fish for conger eels and sink lobster pots. Past the golf club and all the way along as far as the headland, George’s head.

On the opposite side of Kilkee bay, the south side of the beach, there is another angling mark. Flounder and Bass can be caught in this area. Further along the coast road there is a freshwater stream at Edmond’s point, which in the flooding tide is an ideal for pollock fishing using lugworm or fish bait. At the end of the coast road the is a collection of rock pools affectionately known as the Pollock Holes. There is a car park and a cafe here making for a very comfortable fishing experience although be advised at peak times the places is thronged with children and families swimming and relaxing in and around the rock pools. As a side note there is a statue in tribute to the late Richard Harris, the famous actor from the nearby city of Limerick. He spent his summers in Kilkee and had a holiday home along the coast road which is marked with a plaque in his memory.

Dunlicky

Slightly further afield is the Castle Point, at the Kilkee Cliffs, a well known and popular spot amongst the locals, where mackerel are abundant during the summer months. Kilkee Cliffs are 15 minutes (7.5km or 3mi) outside Kilkee by car along the beautiful Dunlicky coastal road. It’s not difficult to find and there is a car park for easy access.The fishing mark itself is down a rough stoney path from the carpark. This is a fantastic rock mark and anglers can expect to have a great day, weather permitting, spinning for pollock and mackerel or float fishing for wrasse. In addition herring and garfish can also be caught here. Down on the rocks, conger eel and rockling can be caught also. The fishing here is from the cliff’s edge, a long fishing line and extreme caution are advised.

Bait Close To Clare

Traditional fish bait can be found at White Strand beach 2.5kms west of Doonbeg or from Carrigaholt pier on the southern side of the loop head peninsula. But artificial lures with feathers, daylights and spinners are much more common and can be expected to be just as effective.

Local Tackle Shops

Happy Fishing.

Loop Head

8 Jan , 2016,
Sean Maguire
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Loop Head (Irish: Ceann Léime, meaning “leap head”)  is a headland on the north side of the mouth of the River Shannon, in County Clare in the west of Ireland.

loop headLoop Head is marked by a prominent lighthouse. The opposite headland on the south side of the Shannon is Kerry Head. The Shannon Foynes Port Company controls navigation in the Shannon estuary and river.

Loop Head peninsula, has the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Shannon Estuary on the other, with barely a mile of land saving it from island status.

In 2010, the Loop Head peninsula was awarded a European Destinations of Excellence Award, which is an EU accolade for emerging tourism destinations which are developing in a responsible and sustainable manner. In 2013, Loop Head was named the “Best Place to Holiday in Ireland” by The Irish Times.

 

KILBAHA

Kilbaha, the  last village on the Loop Head peninsula, is tucked into a  sheltered bay at the western edge of the Shannon Estuary.

Kilbaha pier was built in the early 19th century to cater for the large numbers of people making their living from fishing, seaweed gathering and piloting the ships going up the Shannon to Limerick docks. It was also used by cargo vessels bringing supplies to Loop Head Lighthouse,  west of the village and on the tip of the Loop Head Peninsula.

Kilbaha is the home of the Little Ark which you can visit at  Star of the Sea Church in the village.

 

 

Fishing summer 2015

29 Oct , 2015,
Sean Maguire
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Sea Angling 2015 has been a good season overall with some great fishing, and I met a lot of very interesting people. Lot’s of fine whitefish about including  pollock, whiting, ling, haddock etc and some lovely double figure cod. Even though the weather wasn’t always ideal summer weather we almost always managed to go fishing with very few cancellations, and of course we had some memorable day’s at sea. When it was a bit too windy for the Atlantic we anchored in the Shannon estuary and fished for ray, bulhuss, conger, dogfish etc which can be very relaxing.

Blue shark and tope were plentiful as well this year and a lot of fun to be had with some fine spurdog’s. Fishing Adventures is part of the tag and release program so all sharks are released unharmed.

The Lady Gwen ll  has spent her first season fishing off the Loop Head Peninsula and has passed with flying colours. She will be undergoing a few upgrades for next season to make her even better and more enjoyable to fish from.

Séan