Above: John and Colin from Castletownbere about to release a Blue Shark.
Clonakilty Coastal and Deep Sea Charter’s boat ‘Tigger’ is shipshape for a very busy summer season. Last year owner David Edwards welcomed onboard visitors from all around Ireland, each of whom thoroughly enjoyed the quality of fishing and wildlife available so close to our stunning coastline. David was delighted and a little surprised to also see so many visitors from Europe and even further afield (including the USA and Australia) booking charters on Tigger. So far this year he has taken bookings from even more overseas anglers, in particular from Germany and Holland – with some even booking dates for 2016!
More than 30 different species of fish were caught on Tigger’s trips, including a Blue Shark that was bigger than the official Irish Record. Like all sharks caught, it was released back into the water after measuring.
Mackerel were late arriving this year but anglers were compensated by a big increase in cod being caught; since April David and his clients have been catching larger and more numerous cod than many longtime anglers around West Cork can recall. Ling also seem to be making a comeback with fish of more than 20lb being caught close to shore.
This year, the Clonakilty Sea Angling Club is hosting some of its competitions onboard Tigger and according to David, “so far the fishing has only been beaten by the craic on the day.”
From a wildlife perspective it’s been a very varied year so far. “Some days we see hundreds of dolphins and several whales during our trips, while other days it’s only the rich West Cork birdlife that puts on a show for us,” says David.
On several trips David’s clients have also encountered basking sharks and sunfish and he is confident that the chance of seeing such wonders will get even better as the water temperature increases in the coming months.
Tigger has just completed its biennial full survey by the Department of Marine, which is a strict requirement for licence renewal. This survey is a very detailed examination of all aspects of the boat completed over two days. Tigger has passed with flying colours and is now clear to operate until May 2017.
Due to insurance restrictions Tigger is unable to operate from Ring during the winter so from October to March they now operate from Castle Park Marina in Kinsale. The last two winters have seen some excellent Whale and Dolphin activity and also some very good fishing but it is a case of wrap up warm and hope that the weather is kind.
“Let’s all hope the sunshine and light winds hang around a while to help bring a smile to all of our faces,” says David with his fingers crossed.
Tigger leaves Ring Harbour from Deasy’s Pier from April to October. Contact David on 083 4491403 or see www.irelandseaangling.com.