All quiet on the Southwest Tip


Posted on: 10th June, 2016

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: Jim O'Donnell

Above: Union Hall Skipper Tom Collins and his boat Loch an Iasc, finding plenty of fish over what was a tough

Firstly my apologies for shorter report this month, but from a fishing perspective it’s been a quiet month. In the last issue I wrote about how late spring is this year and although our fishing, both fresh and saltwater, is picking up daily, it’s certainly not an early start to either season, fresh or salt.

In Freshwater, things are looking very good. Despite very little rain over the past four weeks there is now a good number of Salmon coming from the counties larger rivers and even more stories of fish hooked and lost with some monsters to boot. The River Bandon has fished particularly well over the past fortnight with double-figure fish appearing steadily along the BAA club waters and reports of fish up to 20lbs lost at the net. Information on day tickets can be found on the Bandon Angling Associations website.

Pike fishing is also on the up this past month. From late March to early May, Pike spawn, and are notorious for not feeding throughout this period. Some good news for predator anglers is that Pike activity has slowly increased over the past month and Pike and Perch are now a worthwhile target. Towards the start of the month, small jack Pike were busy post spawning, but each week since has seen the size fish being caught get bigger. The best Pike I have heard of so far have been caught from Lough Allua, which has been producing plenty of double-figure Pike and a couple of near twenties, for guests of Guide Greg Latour. Greg runs offering boat rental, guided fishing and lodge accommodation at Tir na Spideoga Fishing Lodge on the edge of Lough Allua.

In ‘sea fishing’ this month, it’s been very quiet with sporadic reports here and there, but no consistency or size to any summer species of yet. Last month, I touched on May bloom or ‘May Rot’ as it is otherwise known. Currently our waters are full of this microscopic-planktonic marine life, which causes oxygen levels in the water to fall and thus affects our fishing for a few weeks until it clears. Low oxygen equals No baitfish: No baitfish equals no Big fish and the Key to catching fish, or at least being in with a chance, is to find clear water. This time of year in sea fishing separates the men from the boys and those who understand wind and tides, and can predict areas that will have more or less May Bloom, are the anglers that generally get the results.

The Bass fishing from Wexford to East Cork has been consistent over the past month with an equal number of Bass falling to both lures and live baits. At times, the water clarity in West Cork has looked excellent for Bass fishing – indeed my good friend Alan Houlihan of had a beautiful Bass just over 10lbs from a secret location two weeks back – but, as I type, there is still no consistency to the Bass fishing west of Cork harbour. Reports about general shore fishing and beach casting have been just as patchy, with odd Conger, Bull Huss, Dogfish and Pollack from piers and headlands, putting in a lucky appearance for those that have persisted with the tough water clarity.

From the boat this month it’s also been very quiet, with skippers struggling to get to sea due to a mix of windy days, and poor domestic tourism. The slow start to spring has stunted the fishing and the low temperatures are certainly keeping day visitors to West Cork’s fishing harbours fewer than the previous couple of years, but when local skippers have set sail, reports have are good. All the counties reefs, from Kinsale to Baltimore, are starting to produce plenty of good summer Pollack and Cod fishing, and a huge congratulations to David Edwards skipper of the ring Based Charter Boat Tigger, for catching the counties first Blue Shark of the season on May 26!

Things bode well for the season ahead!   

Tight Lines until next month


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Have you ever wondered how you can see whales and dolphins from the headlands? This is your opportunity to learn. Cork Nature Network are delighted to be able to offer an exciting event at the Old Head of Kinsale. All levels welcome. The event will be guided by Emer Keaveney, who will explain what to look for and which species can be seen from land. The event will include an optional tour of the lighthouse which costs €10 payable on the day. Those not wishing to avail of the tour can attend the whale watching event at no cost.
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