Sunday, April 20, 2014

Big Bass show early.....

Well its been an amazing week on the bass fishing front on the outer harbour marks. Not only have the bigger girls arrived, with plenty of fish in excess of 60cm, but there have been reports of three doubles in the space of a few days.
Gavin O'Connor took a break from his exploits in the Light Lines competition and went back to his first love, lure fishing for bass. On Monday he availed of the good weather and targeted the silvers from a favourite mark of his. Although, the fishing was slow he did capture a fine bass of 75cm on a Feed Shallow lure. Later in the week he returned to the same spot and went one better with this fine 79cm fish which came in at 11.5lbs. The plug that did the damage was once more the Feed Shallow.

Not to be outdone, local lure hotshot, Clinton Rachman, targeted some bass on a night fishing sortie. Clinton has been picking up a few of late, all falling to his favourite South African lure, the 'bass bomb.' However, he really nailed it with this fine 79cm fish caught at a low-water mark. The fish is estimated at 11lbs. Clinton didn't weigh it as he had no scales with him and was anxious to get the fish back as soon as possible. These lures are really deadly, have a look here for further details

Pat O'Shea is also reporting some great sport and he has many fish over the 60cm mark this week. Pat reports that he's had one or two fish over the 60cm mark in every session so far with the best going 67cm (below)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Light Lines 2014...the conclusion.

The Light Line series for 2014 concluded last Sunday, 13th April and what a tight finish it turned out to be. Paddy Swan from Wicklow had been leading from the first competition way back in November. However, he was shadowed all the way and on the last day the champion could have come from anyone of three. Aswell as Paddy, Davy McCormick, Millisle SAC, and Pat Condon, Carrigaline SAC, were also in contention.
The It all started last November. On what was a great day's fishing Paddy Swan triumphed. A total of 2,965 fish were caught between 30 anglers. The vast majority of fish were whiting and they were of good stamp too! Many were around the 1.5lb mark, with quite a few over 2lbs, and one or two touching 3lbs. Paddy had a total of 186 fish and was followed in second place by Pat Condon with 160 fish and Michael Barry in third with 141 fish. Michael Barry had a stonker of a plaice that was the highlight of the day!

The December competition, unfortunately, was cancelled. By the second week in December the start of a severe run of storms had begun, a run that we won't forget Winter 2013 for in a hurry! Luckily, there was a break in the weather for the Irish Boat Teams fundraiser over the Xmas holidays. Over 60 anglers fished the event. One of the boats fished offshore on the Smiths but the majority fished in Deep Hole within the harbour. They were rewarded. The harbour mark yielded plenty of fish with many dabs upto 36cm (almost specimen size), whiting to 46cm, coalfish to 46cm, along with codling, flounder, plaice and an assortment of others.

On the Cuan Bawn angler John Angles from Castletownbere thought he was into a big ray when he played out a fish for 15 minutes. Indeed, the area of 'Deep Hole' that they were fishing was a ray mark of old. Unfortunately, for John the line parted. John was using 15lb breaking strain. Shortly, after Pat O'Shea, Cobh SAC, was into another large fish. This time the fish was brought to the surface and the culprit was revealed. It was a large conger. While it thrashed on the surface the skipper tried to net it, but, unfortunately, it broke the hook - a size 6!!! However, after that several anglers hooked into congers and in all 6 were landed upto 25lbs in weight; all on small hooks and slivers of mackeral intended for dabs and whiting.

It is indeed known for conger eels to venture off the Harbour Rock and venture into the Turbot Bank after storms but for them to come so far in over clean ground is unusual.

The light lines got back on track in January and luckily there was another break in the horrendous weather. In fact it hadn't rained for a number of days before the comp and that did help. The numbers of fish were down, though, with 705 fish caught in total. The size of fish was also down and the whiting and dabs were much smaller than previous comps. Paddy Swan kept up his winning ways coming out on top, followed closely by Pat Condon, Davy McCormick and Pat Wright.

The less said about the February comp the better. The fishing was the toughest in the history of the series. No doubt the mid-week storm before hand and the days of rain leading upto the day had a significant bearing. The fishing was appalling. Nevertheless, Paddy Swan won out again with 19 fish. Closely, followed by Davy McCormick and Danny Cannon. A total of 158 fish were caught between the 3 boats. In some of the previous comps that number wouldn't even be enough to win it. One boat had only a total of 19 fish. Pat O'Shea, the 2013 champion, had no fish at all!!!

Things came back to normal, somewhat, for the March comp. A total of 1,946 fish were caught between the 31 anglers giving an average of 63 fish per angler. This time Davy McCormick won out, with the other boat winners being Pat Condon, Roy Kearney, and Pat O'Shea. This set things up nicely for the last competition in the series. With Paddy Swan leading the field he could only be caught by two others; Davy McCormick and Pat Condon. It was down to the wire on the last day!

....and so the pressure was on. A hearty group of anglers from Wicklow and Dublin travelled to lend their support to Paddy's cause. The three leading anglers were placed in Lagosta II to slug it out. With them were some able local anglers who'd give them some stiff competition. As it turned out the fishing was good on a glorious day that was more reminiscent of summer rather than winter. A total of 1,986 fish were caught between the 27 anglers giving an average of 64 fish per angler. These were mainly whiting and dabs but there were a few plaice and dabs scattered in amongst them. Winner on the day was Terry Boyle of Dublin, followed by Martin Kennedy, Danny Kane, and Dave Jolly. Indeed, both Danny Kane and Pat O'Shea had up-scuttled things slightly on the Lagosta by scoring so highly. However, Paddy Swan had come in at 5th place which was enough to secure him the overall winner's spot. Well done Paddy Swan - Cork Harbour Light Lines Champion 2014!!!

Many thanks to Ger Keohane, skipper of the Naomh Cartha, who sponsors the overall Light Lines Trophy. Thanks must also go to the other skippers who also sponsored prizes; Donie Geary of the John Boy, Alan Kennedy of the Lagosta II, and Joe Lynch of the Wreck Hunter II. In fairness these skippers have always put us on the fish and we would recommend them to any angler or group who would like to fish the grounds in Cork Harbour and off shore.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bass....they're back!!!

Local die-hard lure anglers Ray Horgan and Pat O'Shea struck silver at last! The lads have stuck to lure fishing all through the winter and have persevered despite countless blanks. At last their efforts have been rewarded. Over the last few days the bass have re-appeared again on the outer Harbour marks and the two hardy anglers were in the right place at the right time.

Ray reports that he had this fine 60cm fish on a Tackle House Feed Shallow on an early morning session. The water was still coloured but despite that the fish had no problem targeting the lures. Ray lost another fish almost at his feet which he reckons was the same size and he had numerous other fish bump the lures.

Pat O'Shea availed of the fine weather and headed out at mid-day. In a short two hour session he had a 53cm bass to a Feed Shallow and a 50cm fish to a Savage Gear Sandeel. It just goes to show its not all about being there at dusk or dawn!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pollack on the Fly

Richie Ryan of Eire Bass, one of Cork Harbour's top bass guides, reports of his plans for catching pollack on the fly this year. Richie and his clients have had fabulous sport chucking fluff for this very sporting fish over the last few seasons. He reports that he has had great success in water 40 foot deep with HD lines and heavy flies.

Having completed a video editing course, run by soft plastic fishing supremo Jim Clohessy, for the Cork Harbour Angling Hub, Richie dipped his toes in the water and produced some videos. His latest is 'Pollack on the Fly Part 2' filmed in the outer reaches of Cork Harbour. The video was chosen by the site 'Total'l for their Friday film slot.

Many thanks to Myles Kelly of IFI for this report.

If you'd like to book Richie for a day's angling then check out his website on You can also contact him by email on or by phone on +353 (0)86 1940744.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Soft Plastics Fishing Cork - Early Season Pollack

Soft plastic supremo, Jim Clohessy, has been out recently getting in some early season soft plastic fishing. Jim reports on his early season foray....

'Kevin M & myself hit some reefs the other day. Incredibly this was our first trip of 2014! Fishing was steady but the average size was small. We did get a few decent fish. Pollack were the mainstay with plenty of small coalies and a few ling making up the rest. Kevin had most success on metal while I did most damage with a Yokouna Sentail on an articulated head.'

Given the long run of winter storms we had this year Jim and Kevin were indeed lucky to get out. Hopefully, the weather will settle down from here on in and we should see more angling reports coming in all round.

Jim is now doing some fine articles on Check it out!

Once again the lads were fishing onboard one of Kevin's boats from the Bellavista self-drive fleet. If you'd like further details check out or give Kevin a bell on 00-353-21-4812450.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

World Boat Team Qualifying Competition 2013

The National Fish-Offs were once again held in Cork Harbour over the October Bank Holiday weekend. This was the 5th year on the trot that this competition to pick the Irish Team for the World Boat Angling Championships has been held in the harbour. The Irish team next year will be competing in Weymouth, England.

This year was going to be more of a challenge. First of all the tides were the smallest of the month; this can have a big impact on the fishing.  Secondly, the forecast was not the greatest. In fact, the storm that eventually did so much damage along the south coast of England passed through the region over the Saturday and Sunday. Winds on both days came upto force 9 at times with gusts in excess of force 10. This coupled with the occasional downpours made the conditions extremely difficult for anglers. In the height of the tempest anglers struggled. One unlucky angler threw his catch forward to a steward to be measured and recorded only for the wind to catch the fish and carry it dozens of yards from the boat. Crazy!!!

Despite the tough conditions over a thousand fish were caught and recorded on day 1 and on the day 2 this was upped to over 1,200. Now that wasn't too bad; although, it pales in comparison to the numbers of fish caught in previous years, but given the conditions and the tide it was a good results. Once again, the mainstay of the catch were whiting and dab. Just as in previous year's there were many good dabs with some coming close to specimen size!

Well done to the anglers, whose exceptional angling skills resulted in good numbers of fish in such testing conditions. Especially.....well done to the top five anglers, Pat Swan, Michael Barry, Heiko Dreier, Padraig Clear, and Brian Whelan who now join this year's Master Angler, Liam O'Callaghan, on the National Boat Angling Team.

Well done especially to Paddy Swan who won the competition outright. Paddy Swan has been knocking on the door now for the past few years. Paddy qualified in some style this time around!Well done to also to Brian Whelan who fished his socks off on the Sunday. Coming into Sunday Brian was in 32nd spot but his exploits on Sunday catapulted him right into 5th place!

Well done lads and the best of luck in Weymouth next year!!!

For the full results the final scorecard is reproduced below.

Many thanks to the skippers from the Cork Harbour Angling Hub who always ensure that their guests stay on the fish. This weekend they included Donie Geary of the John Boy, Vince & John Geary of the Lee Star, Ger Keohane of the Naomh Cartha, and Alan Kennedy of the Lagosta II. Also many thanks to the stewards from Cobh SAC who had a busy weekend measuring fish and recording them. They included Pat Wright, Danny Kane, John O'Reilly, Sean Og McShane, and yours truly. Thanks also to Geary Angling Services and especially Mary Geary who organised the boats, bait & the stewards and without whom this event would not run so smoothly.

Watch out for the Fundraiser for the National Team which will also be held in Cork Harbour on the 28th December!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter bass on lures.....

Tomasz Kujawa with a fine winter lure caught bass!!!

After a month of wet and windy weather, which suited more the surfcasting community targeting cod, the dedicated bunch of Cork Harbour lure anglers finally got the weather break they were looking for. Winds finally swung around to the North West quarter, the sea state flattened, and water clarity returned....and this all happened just as the tides just came right. Conditions were perfect!

Pat O'Shea's fine 64cm bass

Many of the seasoned bass anglers reported success over the weekend. Pat O'Shea fitted in two lure sessions before the Light Lines competition and had good success on soft plastics. On both sessions he had 4 fish with the best going 63cm and 64cm on both days. Clinton Rachman also managed 4 on an early morning session with all fish falling to Clinton's own brand of soft plastics, the 'Bass Bombs.' 

Andy Davies with his bass

Young Turk, Darragh McCarthy, also scored!

Robert Frazcek with a 64cm bass
Andy Davies and the young turk, Darragh McCarthy, went a bit further east of the harbour and also had success with fish falling to soft plastics. Robert Fraczek and Tomasz Kujawa squeezed in a session before also competing in the Light Line competition and both managed fish. Robert had the bigger of the two with a fine bass of 64cm weighing 2.8kg.

Clinton Rachman had these bass on Bass Bombs!!!

There will be more opportunities to pick up fish if this settled weather spell continues. Some years bass can be caught right up to Christmas on the Cork Harbour outer marks if conditions are right. Let's hope they stay right this year!