Friday, July 27, 2012

Cork Harbour Congers

One thing Cork Harbour is known for is its conger fishing and to be honest we've never really highlighted it here as the cod fishing has been so good for the last number of seasons but here's a video worth watching. Its of a recent trip out on Lagosta II, skippered by Alan Kennedy, and, boy, did the crew have some conger action!!!

Its not unheard of to have boats landing upwards of 60 conger per session. It can be hard work reeling these monsters up from the deep, especially when you're onto your 10th, 11th, or even 12th conger! Watch the video and enjoy! This is what conger fishing out of Cork is all about!!!

If you'd fancy a day tackling the conger why not give Alan Kennedy, skipper of Lagosta II, a shout. You can get Alan on 087-6792796

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Double Dutch

Eire Bass guide, Richie Ryan, filed this latest report with us:-

'Ad and Cees Van Breugal booked an outing with me for this season as far back as last year during the closed bass season. They were so impressed by the fishing in Cork Harbour, and in particular the cod fishing, that they booked again this year in the open season.

The challenge was to get each of them their first bass. As the pictures show we succeeded in satisfying their quest. The cod fishing was not as good as 2011 but overall they were very happy with their weeks fishing so, hopefully, we'll see them again next year.'

If you'd fancy a day out targeting the bass in Cork Harbour, or, indeed, cod and pollack on soft plastics, mullet, pollack, seatrout and others on the fly, then give Richie a shout on 086 - 1940744. Check out Richie's website at Eire Bass.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Wreck trip......

With the weather going through a good spell lately, Alan Kennedy, skipper of the Lagosta II, was confident that the offshore wrecks would produce. With this in mind he brought his next batch of clients to one of his favourite wrecks....and it didn't disappoint!!!

It's a pleasure heading off to the wrecks in these conditions. With a gentle rolling swell, almost a glassy flat sea and blue skies, it was one of those pet days....days when the factor needs to be lashed on before getting stuck into the fishing.

As often is the case on beautiful summer's days like this, the fishing can be memorable....and so it was on this day! A couple of dozen ling were landed as were a couple of dozen conger. The best of the ling was a beauty of 18lbs! Four or five of the conger were touching the 40lb mark! Wow!!! ....and to top things off there were a few nice cod in amongst the mix!

If you'd fancy a day out fishing with Alan give him a buzz on 087 - can also contact him by email on Keep an eye out for Alan's new website Lagosta II coming shortly.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer fishing onboard the Osprey....


Skipper Pat Condon had a gang from Greystones Ridge Angling Club onboard the Osprey last Saturday and Sunday. The weather was great last weekend, especially on Saturday. The fishing was equally as good.

Pat set the lads up on the drift on both days rather than anchoring and it paid off. Fishing the grounds in and around the Smith's they had great mixed fishing recording over 14 species on each of the days. They had some really good cod, ling , haddock, pollack, and whiting and this made the trip most memorable.

Pictured are Tom Gray with a fine cod, Angus Stringer with a fine ling, and Sean Purcell with a good haddock.

If you'd fancy a day out on the Osprey give Pat a bell on 086 - 3622044 or check out his website on

Bellavista Soft Plastic session....

The Bellavista crew are gone mad on soft plastics this year. There hasn't been a bait trip yet!!!

Last Sunday is example of the success they're having. Owner Kevin Murphy and Malcolm Newitt took one of the self drive boats out on what turned out to be a glorious summer's day. Taking advantage of the pleasant weather they headed off to the offshore reefs outside Cork Harbour where they had great fun targeting pollack and cod. Some fine fish came over the gunwales.

To top the day off they came back into the Harbour and targeted one of the inner estuary channels that holds a head of bass. They weren't disappointed; a number of fine bass fell to their by now battered soft plastics.

If you'd fancy a day out on one of the self-drive fleet why not contact owner Kevin on 086 - 6029168 or check out their website

World Champion's Bass.....

Richie Ryan of Eire Bass was under a bit of pressure to deliver lately. Although, Richie has a top pedigree as one of the top bass guides the elements were conspiring against him. Weeks of heavy rain had transformed the inner harbour waters into a sea of murky brown. The outer marks were unreachable due to the stiff to strong breeze. Adding to all this were the expectations of his client. On board Richie had the pleasure of guiding World Champion Power Lifter Victor Patterson and his wife Della. As they stepped on board Victor announced that his boat at home was much bigger! As they slipped the moorings Victor announced that he had never before blanked on a fishing trip!! Pressure!!! Pressure!!!! Pressure!!!!

The day was tough. As Richie had expected, they struggled. Not to be outdone Richie reached deep into his tackle box. The wiley old dog was not going to be outdone yet! Richie has great faith in the Megabass x140 and sure enough this lure broke the deadlock. Shortly after clipping on the lure Victor was into a fish and after a spirited fight a nice 58cm, 4lb bass was landed. Success at last!!!

If you'd like a day out with Richie you can contact him on 086 - 1940744 or have a look at his website here for more details. Although, fish are never guaranteed, Richie's success rate speaks for itself.

Summer fishing onboard the Sarah Marie....

Skipper of the Sarah Marie, Colm Sliney, operating out of Ballycotton on the eastern edge of the Cork Harbour Angling Hub grounds, reports that his season is really after picking up. Mackeral have now shown up in numbers providing a plentiful bait supply. The biggest plus, though, is the abundance of good cod.

On many of his favoured marks good numbers of cod are showing and many are of a good size. The best in recent trips has been this whopper of 21lbs.

Colm is hopeful that its a sign of good fishing for the remainder of the summer season. If you'd like a trip out on the Sarah Marie targeting these cod you can contact Colm on 021 - 4646002 or 086 - 3867697. Check out the Sarah Marie's website for more details here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Eire Bass just goes from strength to strength.....

Since Richie Ryan set up his saltwater fly fishing guiding service his business has just gone from strength to strength. One of the many satisfied clients that Richie has taken out over the last three seasons has been renowned sea angler and journalist, Mike Thrussell. Mike recently penned the following article in World Sea Fishing describing one of his successful trips with Richie....

Becoming a successful angler is down to building up a basic knowledge of the marks, tides, times and baits that produce fish in the areas you normally fish. But what if you go on holiday to an area totally new to you and have limited fishing time? The answer to short cut success is to hire a guide.

Obviously I’ve been on charter boats, which could loosely be classified as a guided service, but I’d never been on a true individually guided fishing trip. Then I got introduced to Richie Ryan when in Cobh, County Cork. We spent the evening sinking pints and never stopped talking bass on lures and fly. The upshot was that we hastily arranged an hour or so bassing, literally just before I headed for the ferry home. This then lead eventually to a full day's guided bassing and general fishing on my next trip through Cobh, so I could witness first hand exactly how a professional guide works.

Pick up time was 9am, and sure enough at 08.50 I watched Richie home in to view for the pick up on the waterfront at Cobh, near the old Titanic jetty. Accompanying me would be Fisheries Officer Isaac Ferns, a keen bass angler, and we both excitedly boarded the “Sea Hawk” stowing our gear carefully under the instruction of Richie.

Conditions were not ideal with a strong east wind blowing, but undaunted, Richie set off for a mark out past Spike Island and set up a drift to take us over shallow rough ground. He explained the nature of the ground, indicated the likely area where the fish would be, suggested to both of us plug patterns he expected would catch, and we made our first casts. I dropped a fish after a couple of casts which felt decent and dragged a little line off, but on the next drift Isaac hit a nice fish on a silver sandeel diver that bored off on the light gear. He played the fish close, and Richie netted it. A fat, bolshie looking bass, dorsal fiercely erect, between 4 and 5lbs.

Shallowing water meant a change of scenery and because I wanted to see all aspects of working with a guide, we elected to head seaward and put the anchor in over the edge of some rough ground not a million miles inside Roche’s Point. We changed gear over to small shads with light lead heads on. I was fishing a small ABU Soron 040 reel and 20lb NanoFil with an 8ft ABU Revo Bass, my normal plugging gear.I was bouncing the shad over the seabed when the rod tip suddenly doubled over and a fish thumped away taking a few feet of line off the reel. I knew this was a cod from the head shaking antics, and so it proved with a plump fish over 2lbs breaking surface. On light gear it was fun fishing and the fish giving a good account of themselves.

Isaac, now shortened to Zak, got the first pollack on a Slugo look-a-like, then a cod, I had more cod and a pollack, then we badgered Richie in to fishing and he found the pollack too, again on sandeel imitations. There were plenty of fish down there!

With the tide now flooding, Richie fancied a few drifts in one of the side channels branching inwards from Cork Harbour. This was working Slugo’s or small shads vertically under the boat in about 20-feet of water over rough ground. The bass were there in numbers and we accounted for fish to 3lbs, but the tide was a big spring, and the run fierce, so with a few fish caught and returned, Richie decided it was time to hit a mark inside one of the smaller shallow side creeks, again for bass.

This also needed a change of tactic. We put the lures away and set up with small bubble type floats and would be using prawn drifted down with the tide to work close to reef and then man-made structure. The way Richie presents the prawn is not dissimilar from when baiting up prawn for salmon, but blimey is it effective! If you want to learn this secret, and how to present prawn for bass, you’ll have to book him for a day, as I’m sworn to secrecy!
I hooked a decent bass on the second drift through, and for the second time that day, whilst fighting hard and taking a little line off the reel, the hook pulled free. I learnt early on in my angling life not to dwell on these little setbacks and instantly got the gear in, rebaited and cast again.

You had to get the cast just right. The knack was to drop the float and prawn as tight to the edge of the reef and structure as possible. Richie hammered this point home and it was no surprise to me that the bass were hunting tight to the feature. If the float wasn’t exactly right, you brought it in and re cast until it fell perfect. I’d got the float positioned exactly right within a foot or so of the structure and watched it turn and twist in the tide.  One second it was there…then it wasn’t!

Both retrieving a little line and lifting the rod at the same time found contact with the fish. It hung tight in the current to the structure, but keeping the rod high bullied it away. It hung deep, then turned its head with the tide. This was no monster and looked a couple of pounds or so at best, but again fought well on the light gear. Both Richie and I had appointments that night, so this would be the last fish as we had to head in.

Looking back at the day through customer’s eyes, then what impressed me was the high standard of organisation. Although Zac and I used our own gear, the rods, reels and tackle on board were all good quality and well maintained. They were also set up and ready to go to maximise the fishing time. There was a full and varied selection of plugs and flies available, and Richie was quick to change something if it wasn’t working.

More so, the advantage of having local and expert knowledge saw us fish certain areas only for two or three drifts at exactly the right time. If nothing showed, we moved and tried elsewhere! The number of marks he has in his head is amazing! It was also fascinating to be fishing in waters up small side creeks where few bother to fish. These secret little backwaters often produce the biggest fish and see the least pressure!

The boat is also perfect. Room for two to fish with Richie in the helm seat, but she’s fast and covers ground quickly, but with a minimum draft, so she can sneak in to really shallow areas. She’s also stable to cast from, even when stood up and fly casting.
Richie is also excellent in the handling and return of fish, just as you’d expect a professional to be. Fish are always netted, there’s time for a quick photo, then off they go to be there for next time.

Although bass are Richie’s main quarry, and last year he helped 17 different people catch their very first bass and is something he gets a real kick out of, he also targets cod, pollack and ling on lures, plus bass, pollack, garfish, mackerel, sea trout and mullet on the fly. He tells me he hits some great mullet in the post Christmas period too, inside Cork Harbour, as well as finding some good cod fishing on the artificials, so it’s not just a summer sport.
As I mentioned at the start of this feature, hiring a guide short cuts you to the fish. If you’ve minimal time to play with and don’t want the hassle of carrying tackle when flying to destinations, or if you’ve got a car full of the missus, kids and their gear, then a day or two with a good guide is worth every penny!

To fully illustrate how effective a good guide can be, that single hour or so I initially had with Richie saw six bass caught. The picture below was taken just before I had to head in and drive for the Rosslare ferry. That was serious pressure, yet such was Richie’s knowledge of his ground, he’d told me he was totally confident we’d catch!

Richie Ryan spent his working life in the Irish Navy achieving the rank of Commander. Having fished all his life, and with a major interest in bass and lure fishing, his intention on retiring was to become a bass and general fishing guide. He runs a fast centre console craft ideal for working lures and fly from, and is licensed for up to three anglers, though individual or two man teams are the common approach. At the time of writing, Richie’s boat, “Sea Hawk” is the only one registered in
Ireland for saltwater fly fishing.
You can keep pace with what Richie gets up to on his blogspot at
For further details contact Richie Ryan (Bass Guide) via Web: E-mail: Tel: +353-21-4811103 Mob: 00 353 861940744'

Many thanks to Mike for allowing us to reproduce his article here. For the full article have a look here.