Thursday, July 22, 2010

EFSA storm Cork Harbour

After minding yachts for the duration of 'Cork' week Donie Geary, the skipper of 'John Boy' got back to the serious side of fishing. Donie filed the following report with us '....after spending the last week chasing yachts around Cork Harbour it was nice to return to the more relaxed sport of sea angling. Last weekend we had 35 anglers from all over Ireland and the UK. All were members of EFSA and were fishing their two day competition out of Cobh. Boat hire and local organising was done by Mary Geary of Geary Angling services who also supplied the bait for the two days. Four boats were hired; these were the Lagosta II, Naomh Cartha, Cuan Ban, and the John Boy.
On Saturday the weather was favourable and all boats went to the Smiths. The first 3 hours were fished on the drift and the second 3 hours were at anchor. We started our drift north of the Cork buoy and as the wind was from the South West we were covering a mixture of rough and sandy ground. The anglers were concentrating on species as this gave them most points. We landed ling, pollack, coalies, grey gurnard, red gurnard, cuckoo wrasse, pouting and some fine haddock. At 2pm we went to anchor and after a short time we realised that the conger were not co-operating so everyone changed to the lighter tackle landing a lot of pouting, pollack and dogs. One angler on the boat managed 12 species.
On Sunday the anglers arrived at the pier to strengthening southerly winds and torrential rain. A decision was made to fish inside the harbour.
After catching some fresh mackeral we went to anchor on a mark known as 'Deep Hole.' Right from the start we had a steady flow of good whiting, codling, dabs and of course the old reliable doggies. About half way through the 6 hour session I suggested to the anglers that if they were prepared to take a bit of a battering we could get some good conger under Roches Point lighthouse.
This proved to be a very good move as we landed 16 conger (to 20lbs), several pollack, cod and doggies to end the weekend with some very happy but saturated anglers.
One interesting feature of the day's fishing with 6 anglers all fishing for conger, was that each one of the 16 were caught by the 3 anglers on the port side of the boat. One angler had 7, with another 5, and one 4. Fishing never ceases to amaze.
This group enjoyed the weekend so much that they have booked for a return trip in September and some have booked for the 44th Cobh International Sea Angling Festival, which starts on Sept 6th.'
If you would like to fish with Donie onboard the John Boy you can contact Donie through his website at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ray action on Osprey II

Last weekend Pat Condon had a group of English lads over for the weekend. Fishing aboard Osprey II they had four good days working the marks both inside and outside Cork Harbour. On the Smiths they had plenty of the usual suspects with haddock, ling, conger, pollack, cod, coalfish, etc.,.... However, it was while fishing an old mark of Pat's at the mouth of the Harbour that they really did well. Fishing on the ebb they had plenty of thornback rays which is a welcome sight to see. Thornbacks have been scarce in the Harbour in recent years due to the pressures of commercial fishing but its great to see numbers bouncing back, but that wasn't all; mixed in with the thornies were a few homlyn ray and an undulate ray! Now that is great to see!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Defence Forces Master Angler

The Defence Forces Sea Angling Club recently held their Master Angler competition out of Cobh. This was a three day event and the lads were blessed with fine weather. In all 32 anglers were competing and fished onboard four of the hub's charter angling boats; the John Boy, the Osprey II, the Lagosta II, and Wreckhunter.

The fishing was excellent with over 18 species recorded including cod, pollack, ling, coalfish, pouting, poorcod, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, dogfish, whiting, haddock, red gurnard, grey gurnard, tub gurnard, garfish, megrim, scad, and conger. Indeed the winner, Mick Barry, had 148 fish over the three days. That's some fishing!!! Second was Phil Barry with 102 fish, and third was Micky Moore with 80 fish. The team event was won by the Dubs, but the Cork lads gave them a good run for their money.

Best fish was a 94cm ling. Mick Barry reports that the best rigs he found were the shop bought variety from Shamrock Tackle and plain simple homemade traces. For some of these lads it was their second Defence Force competition out of Cobh in less than a month. The last time round the fishing was excellent again ( Hopefully, it won't be too long before all the lads are back down once more!

If you would like to book a trip out with Donie Geary in the John Boy have a look here If you'd fancy going out on the Osprey II you can contact Pat Condon through his website here Joe Lynch, skipper of Wreckhunter, can be contacted here and Alan Kennedy of Lagosta II can be contacted through his email address at

World Shore Team Fundraiser

For those of you who like your shorefishing, there's an interesting competition coming up next month. The team members of the Nation Shore Team are organising a fund raising competition on Youghal beach on Saturday 7th August. Fishing is from 9pm to 1am in the morning. The fishing should be very interesting as plenty of small eyed ray would be expected at this time of year. Bass should also make an appearance, and recent reports suggest that they are still catching codling off the beach. There will be 2 to 3 zones, depending on the number of entries, with optional pairs and optional pools. The match will be pre-entry and will carry penn points (Sea Angler). If you are interested in fishing this, you can contact the captain of the Irish shore team, J. P. Molloy, on 087 - 7946518.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

google site verification

"google-site-verification: googled9179e65deb248dd.html"

Giant Bass from a sheltered Harbour mark

One of the biggest bass from Cork Harbour in years was recently caught by well known Cork angler, Tony Tait. Tony is well known in the small boats circle, but tries his hand at shore fishing aswell and it was from a harbour shore spot that he caught this beauty. Tony had planned a offshore session on his Warrior 175 but was put off by the strong SW winds that kicked up at the start of last weekend. Instead, Tony opted to fish one of his back-up shore marks in the harbour. Using crab for bait and a simple one hook rig Tony didn't have to wait long before he was into this monster. Tony did expect to hook up a bass but not one of this size!!! Wow, its huge. Well done, Tony. The fish registered 6.36kg on Tony's certified scales, thats over 14lbs in old money. The fish had a length of 83.5cm and a girth of 49.5cm; what a fish!

When Tony did eventually get offshore his run of luck continued. Tony managed a fine specimen megrim, pictured over. Some buggers have all the luck!!!

Tony is a regular competitor in the Cork Small Boats Festival and should be in the final shakeup again this year. For more information on the Small Boats Festival have a look here

This fantastic story was forwarded by another well known Cork angler, Kevin Murphy of Bellavista Boats. Thanks Kevin. Kevin has a fine fleet of Warrior 175's for hire. If you would like more information on these self-drive boats have a look here

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Less than 2 months to go....€2000 in cash prizes!!!

There are €2000 in cash prizes to be won in this year's Cobh International Deep Sea Angling Festival. That's on top of the usual array of crystal prizes. In fact the total prize fund now stands at over €7,500. If you haven't booked in for this event, you should seriously think about giving it a shot, especially as the fishing out of Cork Harbour this year has been so good. The Festival starts on Monday 6th September and runs over 4 days concluding on Friday 10th September.

The fishing over the years at this event has been excellent. It is a unique competition in that points are scored mainly by weight. This is a throw back to the format of old competitions prior to the introduction of conservation in the '70's. In fact Cobh SAC were one of the first clubs to pioneer competitions run under a conservation format. Nevertheless, this competition is the nearest you'll get to the old competitions of yesteryear. The fish are still returned, mind!!! However, they are weighed onboard and recorded to the nearest 0.5kg. Points are awarded by kg and per fish. As a result many of the competitors concentrate on fishing for conger and quite hefty scores can be notched up as the average conger in these parts weigh between 10 and 20 kgs. The heaviest fish last year was a 15kg conger, but there were many of similar size. In prior years they have been even heavier. Here's a picture of Cobh SAC member, Richie Fortune, with one that weighed over 20kgs.

It's not all conger, though, and quality cod, ling, and pollack abound. Indeed, tactics come into play and many a previous winner has concentrated on gilling for pollack for the week.

What marks this competition out, though, is the banter and fun to be had during the week. Needless to say it doesn't just end in the boats, but carries on in the various watering holes that all competitors retire to from the pier. Its that mix of quality fishing and craic that has made this such a successful event over the years. Indeed, the competition is in its 44th year now and many of the international anglers from England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Belgium, and Holland have been returning year in, year out.

The beauty about Cork Harbour, aswell, is that in the event of inclement weather there are still productive venues that can be fished. Its definitely one to mark in your calendar. If you are interested in fishing this Festival you can contact Cobh SAC Club secretary, Mary Geary, on 021 - 4812167 for more information, or download the entry forms at Don't delay, book today!!!

(There's a small bit more info here

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mumbles Motor Boat & Fishing Club visit Cobh

Over the weekend a number of the 300 strong Mumbles Motor Boat and Fishing Club visited Cobh. The group stayed at the Bellavista and fished with Pat Condon onboard the Osprey II. Unfortunately, the weather had deteriorated and the fishing was quite mixed. The group were happy with their fishing, though, and managed to bag a few species that they wouldn't encounter while fishing South Wales. During the week Pat had better fishing on the reefs south west of the Smiths. Pat reports that they had plenty of quality conger, ling, pollack, and coalies.
If you fancy a day's fishing aboard Osprey II, contact Pat through his website on

Liner passengers sample Cork Harbour fishing...

Passengers from the Crown Princess tried out the angling in Cork Harbour during the liner's recent visit. The Crown Princess is one of the bigger liners that visit Cobh every Summer, with a gross tonnage of 113,000 tons and carrying 3,600 passengers. The Gilliland and Brown families from High Point, North Carolina, USA made the most of their stopover and booked the Deora De and the Leestar for a bit of fishing. Jim Linehan, skippering aboard Deora De, took them to a mark just a few miles off the Point. Jim was anxious that they get the best out of their limited time, as they were subject to boarding time limits on the liner. After a few drifts they had managed a good selection of pollack, poor cod, grey gurnard, cod, mackeral, launce, and a bullhuss! Due to weather and time constraints, Jim decided to move into the Harbour Rock to try for some conger. The family were anxious to catch a few conger as these were an unknown species to them, but while planning the Cobh leg of their trip they had become aware of their availability. They weren't to be disappointed, as Jim put them on the right spot. Over the course of an hour they had plenty of conger. Thirteen year old Emily Gilliland rightly got the knack for it, landing 6 fine congers herself!

Jim was out again over the weekend and had a gang from "City Bounds" bar in Togher on Saturday and the Cork Bon Secours Angling Club on the Sunday. On Saturday the fishing was excellent. While drifting over the Smiths the group managed to bag themselves cod, pollack, mackeral, and ling. In the afternoon they went to anchor to fish the flood tide for conger. Sport was hectic with over 40 conger landed to over 30lbs. Other species added were poor cod, pouting, cuckoo wrasse, coalies, and grey gurnard.

If you fancy a day out with Jim onboard Deora De, contact him through his website at

Bass fishing aboard Seahawk...

Richie Ryan reports that bass fishing within Cork Harbour over the last few weeks has been fairly good. Richie now operates Ireland's first licensed salt water fly fishing charter boat. Last weekend initially proved tough enough with the strong winds. The winds were too strong to fly fish effectively. Instead Richie brought his clients to a more sheltered spot were he advised them to use surface plugs as an alternative. They were rewarded! Several bass were landed. The picture above is of South African, Daryn McArthur, with a fine surface lure caught bass. Would you believe that this was Daryn's first saltwater caught bass. Richie's clients were gobsmacked at the ferocity of the surface attacks on the lures. Many fish missed at the first attempt! One of his clients remarked that he naively thought that this kind of action could only be got in the Tropics: well there you go! If you fancy booking Richie for a bass hunt, you can contact him through his website on