A step closer to spring

Posted on: 8th March, 2016

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: Jim O'Donnell

Jim O’Donnell is a fishing guide based in Courtmacsherry. You can send your fishing news and photographs to Jim by text or by email to 087 3388626 jim@jimodonnell.ie. To find out more about Jim’s guided fishing trips check out www.jimodonnell.ie.

Pictured above: Ian Walker with his specimen sea trout.

Another month passes. Trying to stay positive for the second month in a row…the good news is that spring is a month closer!

Apart from the odd codling from the shore for those that dare, most sea fishing has been off limits for most of the past month and boat fishing has certainly been a ‘No Go’ everywhere.

But, as I mentioned last month, if you’re a proactive angler who is always willing to turn his hand to something else, all is never lost and as February marks the start of the River season, this month seemed a good month to look at some of the Counties Salmon and Sea Trout fishing.

On February 15, many of the counties rivers, and the clubs that manage them, opened their fisheries to anglers for the first time in 2016, so this month I managed to collar all round good angler and club secretary of the Bandon Angling Association, Jason Nash, to give the low down on West Cork Game fishing and the River Bandon.

The River Bandon

Rising in the Shehy Mountains of Dunmanway, the Bandon River meanders its way south east wards to the coastal town of Kinsale. Whether you’re hoping for the dainty sip of a brown trout, the electric slam of a sea trout or the unmistakable draw of a salmon, its fast runs and relatively shallow, gravelly pools, are perfect for all types fishing. Bandon Angling Association possesses fishing rights to approximately eight miles of unspoilt double bank fishing on the Bandon River. Our waters stretch from west of Innishannon, at its confluence with the Brinny River, to upstream of Desert Bridge, just outside Enniskeane.

Opening day of the new season on the Bandon was on February 15 and with it came refreshed enthusiasm and vigour. We hoped for more rain in 2015 after the droughts of the previous two years and we certainly received it! For the majority of the summer the river was in beautiful condition for salmon fishing, with the best action coming in July and August. Some anglers enjoyed very good sport, with the bulk of the catch being made up of grilse (salmon which have spent one winter at sea, averaging four pounds). We witnessed an improved run of sea trout with some beautiful fish amongst them. Catch of the year went to Ian Walker who caught an excellent specimen, which he sportingly released, weighing nearly seven pounds. It is so encouraging to see fish of this calibre are still very much there. Several anglers also experienced excellent brown trout fishing when conditions suited, both in quality and quantity. The average trout encountered weighed 12 ounces, but better fish to four pounds were also reported. As fly fishing is the only method permitted for trout on club waters, some great sport can be enjoyed.

Visitors are welcome to fish our waters throughout the season, until it closes on September 30. Members and tourist anglers alike are free to roam the river once a club permit is acquired. Along with permits, a state license is also needed to fish for salmon and sea trout. These can be purchased from most local tackle shops. Up-to-date catch and river level information can be viewed on our regularly updated website, www.bandonangling.com, and Facebook page: Bandon Angling Association.

There is much to look forward to in 2016. The summer of 2015 finally saw the commencement and completion of our river works plan. This work consisted of enhancing angling potential and counteracting erosion on six pools upstream of Baxter’s Bridge. Already, the work has proved extremely successful with several salmon caught. A new website is in the pipeline, offering people an enhanced interactive experience. We are launching a guiding service, which will be of immense interest to tourist anglers. To improve your chances of catching a salmon or trout, our guides can show you the best pools and how best to fish them. Also, ladies world fly casting champion, Glenda Powell, will be making her annual visit where she will be instructing youths and seniors in the art of fly casting. This event has become hugely popular and is usually run in April or May. Further details of our guiding service and Glenda Powell’s visit will be available on our website shortly.

Other rivers in West Cork

Further to fishing on Bandon Angling Association waters, fisheries also exist in Enniskeane, Ballineen and Dunmanway. Excellent fishing can be enjoyed throughout the season on these waters, be it for salmon or brown trout. For information on fishing and permits, contact Inland Fisheries Ireland Macroom at 026 41221.

Throughout West Cork, we are blessed with several productive game fisheries, which all have the potential to produce some memorable moments. Just west of the Bandon, the Argideen, meaning ‘Little Silver Stream’, is a very productive sea trout fishery. Anyone looking for a challenge should give this little river a go. With some patience, perseverance and careful planning before a cast is made, the rewards can be great.

Further west along the Wild Atlantic Way, the River Illen flows through Skibbereen and enters the sea at Baltimore. Salmon fishing here is best on a dropping flood, with the main run of salmon entering the system in July. Successful sea trout fishing can be enjoyed under the cover of darkness on warm summer evenings. The River Illen Anglers Club manage a large portion of the fishing and permits can be acquired through their website, www.riverilenanglersclub.ie.

Venturing ever deeper into West Cork, Bantry is home to a variety of small spate rivers. To be in among the salmon and sea trout, good timing after a fall of rain is necessary. Again, the main runs of salmon appear from June to September. Rivers here include the Coomhola, Owvane, Mealagh, Glengarriff and Adrigole (the latter is a Catch and Release fishery only).

For brown trout fishing enthusiasts, as mentioned above, the Bandon provides excellent fishing, but the Sullane in Macroom should also be paid a visit. This is a well-developed fishery, with good access throughout its length. For information on fishing and permits on all of the rivers mentioned above, contact Inland Fisheries Ireland Macroom at 026 41221 or look up their website www.fishinginireland.info.

Tight lines for 2016


Latest News Articles:

Sam Maguire School Tour launched
Fundraising drive to get Kinsale students to World Robotics Championships to Kentucky
Answer the Call to save lives on March 23
Clonakilty students return from trip of a lifetime to rural Malawi
Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads
Clonakilty Access Group AGM hears of many frustrations and challenges for people with disabilities in the town
Schull student scoops top invention award at BT Young Scientist
Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race

Join us on Facebook

Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

... See MoreSee Less

20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
... See MoreSee Less

8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
... See MoreSee Less

20th February, 2018  ·  

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Jump to: