Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bass Ban - last dash before the curtain call....

The Bass ban kicked in on midnight Saturday 14th May and with that the harbour bass anglers now have an enforced lay off on their hands....a chance, maybe, to target other species. In the lead up, however, activity was hectic. Conditions were challenging as the wind remained strong for the earlier part of the week. However, towards the end some marks did clear allowing some return on those hell bent on lure fishing.

Best catch of the week must surely go to Jim Clohessey, organiser of the Cork Small Boats Festival ( Jim landed this fine bass, pictured above, which measured 71cm and weighed in at 8lbs. The fish was caught on a soft plastic fished on an articulated jig-head and was one of a number of fish caught that day. Jim, and a number of other local anglers, have been pioneering the use of soft plastics over the last number of years and have had tremendous success. This months Irish Angler features an excellent article, penned by Jim, on the use of soft plastics and is well worth the read !

Midleton angler, Frank Murphy, stuck to bait for most of the week and was rewarded with some fish to lug. Cobh SAC angler, Pat O'Shea had better luck towards the end of the week on lures, although he reports the size of fish was generally smaller than of late.

The season re-opens again on the 16th June and gives everyone the chance to replace those trebles, sharpen the hooks, and other housekeeping tasks that the frenetic pace of angling recently hasn't allowed. Roll on the 16th!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fly fishing for bass....

Fly fishing expert, Richie Ryan, reports great fishing upto last weekend. Richie operates the first licensed salt water fly fishing boat in the country and can take upto three anglers at a time. Although, he first preference is fly fishing, all forms of angling are catered for. Above is a picture of a fine 5lb bass caught last week on a clouser fly.

This time last year bass were very scarce in the harbour, but there has been a big improvement in numbers caught by various methods this year. Richie has had exceptional lure fishing so far, especially on a lure supplied by his good Welsh friend and mentor, Andrew Davies - a Megabass x140 , traded for a carton of fags no less!

Prospects for bass fishing in the harbour look very promising. If you'd fancy a day out with Richie aboard the Seahawk contact him through his website at Richie's rates are very reasonable and supplies tackle aswell.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wild weather bassing....

Weather conditions were testing all week. Winds had been quite strong, mainly from a south east and southerly directions. By the weekend, a full blown gale had developed. Conditions for bass fishing just got tougher and tougher. A consistent and building surf led to extremely coloured water and widespread floating weed. Nevertheless, some hardy and experienced anglers managed to winkle out some numbers of bass.

Crab fished baits proved most effective earlier in the week, but towards the back end, with continuing stormy conditions, razor baits came into their own. Above is a fine razor caught fish of 61cm, landed by Cobh SAC angler, Pat O' Shea (

With the bass ban kicking in at the end of the coming week, most bass anglers will be anxious to increase their tally before the enforced lay off. Sticking to bait will bring the most success! Mind you a few of the soft plastics specialists should score aswell.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May Weekend bass...

The fine weather persisted until Saturday and with it the lure fishing for bass in the area remained excellent. Frank Murphy, of Midleton, landed this fine bass above, measuring 79cm and weighing 8.5lb. If this fish was caught later in the season it would no doubt have been a double.

Cobh SAC angler, Pat O' Shea also had a fine fish in this 7.5lber, caught on a shallow diver.

Unfortunately, the weather broke on Sunday and with it the lure fishing deteriorated. Back to bait fishing as water clarity disimproved dramatically. However, catches remained high with many fine bass being caught on crab baits. The pic over shows one such bass caught on a large fresh peeler bait. Anglers using soft plastics were also still picking up their fair share of catches. However, as the short term forecast is for strong winds, bait fishing will be the preferred option.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

...and more cod for the Cuckoo's Nest

Donal Geary, skipper of the John-Boy, sent in this report '....Saturday gone, the last day of April, proved to be a fantastic day's fishing aboard the John-Boy. With a group of 9 anglers from the Cuckoo's Nest bar in Dublin, some who travelled down on the Friday and stayed at the Commodore Hotel; more travelled down on the morning. We set out from Cobh at 10am. We weren't too optimistic about our chances as there was a force 3 to 4 easterly and the forecast was for it to increase to force 6. We were greeted at the entrance to the harbour by a large pod of dolphins who put on a great show as we passed Roches Point. We had our first stop about 2 miles south east of the point, where we had been getting some fine cod of late. To our surprise we immediately started catching mackeral, three at a time. The mackeral were so plentiful we couldn't, even with bait, get to the bottom for the cod. When we had a box of bait we went about a mile further south. Unfortunately, some of our crew were now turning a bit pale. We hit the cod straight away with many upto 5lb. However, the wind was freshening all the time, resulting in a very fast drift and a lot of snags and tangles. At about 1:30pm I noticed there were only 3 or 4 anglers still fishing, the rest were in sick bay. I decided to get back to the shelter of the harbour and dropped anchor in the shelter of White Bay where we could have a mug of coffee. While having lunch we boated a thornback ray of 10lb. We also had a few small cod and a few doggies. We then went to the harbour rock and landed 8 conger to 16lb. While this was going on, a box and a half of fine cod were filleted, which would be frozen down by the Commodore Hotel ready for transport back to Dublin in cooler boxes. On our way back to Cobh we saw a small basking shark close to Spike Island...a very unusual sight for April indeed.'

If you'd fancy a day out on the John-Boy, you can contact Donie at

Kelpy Cod...

Saltwater fly-fishing guide, Richie Ryan, has been putting his clients onto quality harbour cod lately. Using soft plastics and a vertical jigging technique his clients have been getting some great catches. The picture above is of Dubliner, Paul Carroll, with a cod typical of the stamp that's being caught.

If you'd like a day out with Richie onboard the the Seahawk you can contact Richie through his website here The Seahawk was one of the first licensed salt water fly fishing boats in the country. Richie also specialises in other lure techniques such as plugging and the use of soft plastics.

Updates from Ballycotton....

Colm Sliney, skipper of Sarah-Marie, reports that they have had similar quality cod fishing off Ballycotton as has been experienced closer to Cork Harbour. Colm has had several parties out lately and all have had great cod fishing with good numbers and a good stamp of fish.

Colm also reports that the mackeral have appeared in good numbers. Last Saturday they ran into several large shoals.

If you'd fancy a day out on the Sarah-Marie you can contact Colm through his website at