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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.