Friday, October 26, 2012

An Autumn Specimen Pollack.....

Specimen Pollack are not as plentiful now as they were years ago. However, Cork Harbour turns up a few every year. All of these are normally caught on the Ling Rocks, a historically renowned pollack mark a dozen or so miles off Roches Point.  That's what makes this one so unique!

This specimen was caught on a reef mark east of Power Head. The vast expanse of the Pollack Rock reef was certainly a prolific specimen pollack mark of yesteryear, but its be many years since a pollack of this size has been reported from this area. This particular beauty, weighing in at 12lbs 3oz, was caught by well known Cork Harbour angler and angling journalist, Jim Clohessy. Jim has specialised in soft plastic lure fishing over the last few years and it is certainly paying dividends. Whether it is pollack, cod, or bass the soft plastics do seem to winkle out the bigger fish. However, there is a certain skill in fishing the sp's just right....a skill that visiting French anglers display their expertise at. Jim will admit to being on a huge learning curve with regard to this style of fishing, but he'd certainly now give the best of the French lads a run for their money. Well done Jim, keep it up!!!

If you'd fancy a crack at the big pollack, now's the time to give it a go. Fish now are in great condition after fattening up over the summer months. This year we've found them solid and thick across the body from a very early stage; probably, a reflection of the quantities of sprat and small herring that have been apparent off the harbour this summer and autumn. From here to end of February, when the fish spawn, they are at their optimum weight. If its a specimen you're after, now's the time!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The National Boat Fish Offs - the results

What a weekend of fishing! Over 11,300 fish caught between 31 anglers over the two days!! Just phenomenal!!!
Fair play to the stewards for keeping up, most who would be forgiven for suffering post traumatic stress disorder after exposure to such multitude of numbers of whiting and dabs!!! Its hard to keep tabs when eight anglers are calling in 3 fish each all at the same time...everytime. Phew!!!

....but most of all, well done to the anglers, whose exceptional angling skills accounted for such dizzying numbers of fish. Especially.....well done to the top five anglers, Padraig Clear, Heiko Dreier, Myles Howell, Michael Barry, and Joseph Gough who now join this year's Master Angler, Pat Condon, on the National Boat Angling Team to represent Ireland at next year's World Boat Angling Championships in Portugal.

As the anglers gathered on the main pier in Cobh early on Saturday morning expectations were high that good numbers of fish would be recorded. This is the fourth year in succession that Cobh SAC has hosted such a prestigious competition and previous results gave good grounds for this optimism. During the 2010 event over 6,000 fish were recorded. However, this year was to be even more bountiful for on the first day alone some 5,983 fish were caught. Already, the make-up of the 2013 Irish team was taking shape; Heiko Dreier, Myles Howell, & Padraig Clear had one hand on a team place. For the remaining two places it was all still to play for, with 10 anglers in contention.

Weatherwise Sunday was a different day with a fresh & brisky south east breeze. That didn't affect the fishing, though, as it was just as hectic as the day before. Again, dabs and whiting were the mainstay of the catches. Some of the dabs landed were of a fine size, almost touching on specimen size. By day's end the make up of the 2013 team was clear. The top rods had all caught more than 400 fish each. Wow!!!

Well done lads and the best of luck in Portugal 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 Mark O'Reilly of the John Boy, 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 recorded them. They included Dave Drohan, Martin O'Leary, yours truly, and Sean Og McShane. Thanks also to Geary Angling Services who organised the boats, bait & stewards and without whom this event would not run so smoothly.

The next series of events to look forward to are the Light Line competitions. This is the 4th year that these competitions have been held by Cobh SAC in Cork Harbour. They almost replicate the type and style of fishing in the Fish-Offs and almost the same quantity and type of fishing can be expected. If you fancy a crack off these contact Mary Geary on 021-4812167 or Danny Kane on 086-8161946. The first competition is on in the middle of November.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fish-Offs Frenzy.....

The National Fish-Offs, to pick the Irish Boat Angling team to represent Ireland at the World Championships in Portugal next year, will be held in Cork Harbour this weekend. This is the fourth year in a row that the Fish-Offs have been held in Cork Harbour. At this time of year the fishing within the confines of Cork Harbour replicates as far as possible the fishing to be expected on the continent, in that most fish are small but there are plenty of them. To win a session an angler would need to have caught over 200 fish and by October the whiting in the harbour can be that obliging!

32 anglers will be pitting their skills against each other. 12 of these have come forward from the top positions in the National Master Angler competition. The remaining 20 anglers have come from the pool of anglers who automatically qualify on the basis that they finished in the top 20 places of last year's Fish-Offs. 4 places in the National Team are up for grabs. The winner of the National Master Angler automatically qualifies as the captain of the Irish Team. The honour this year was won by Pat Condon of Carrigaline SAC & Cobh SAC. Well done Pat!!!

For the remaining places in the team the competition is intense and many would say its already started. Many of the leading contenders have been out in the harbour over the last few weeks, fishing hard to hone their skills for the ultimate decider. Here are a few pics of some of these lads who've been hard at of luck lads!!!

(Please refer to John Griffin, of Caherciveen, for the most upto date odds)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Specimen congers abound.....

Small boat anglers had some fishing in the last week! Specimen congers are few and far between but to hear of two caught out of Cork Harbour within days of each other is almost unheard of. Well that was just the case for well known local anglers, Maurice Cott and Tony Tait. 

Maurice was the first into a leviathan eel with a fish of 49lbs. What a fish; well done Maurice!

A few days later Tony Tait landed another fine eel of 21.26kg or 46.9lbs. Just to give you an idea of the size of these fish, the latter one measured 176cm in length and was 54cm in girth. Wow, that's some monster!!!

Eventhough, only a few specimen fish are recorded each year, as per the Irish Specimen Fish Report, you'll find over the years that Cork Harbour does account for a fair share of them!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Protect our Bass.....

Unfortunately, just as we are reporting improved bass angling there are reports coming our way of possible illegal netting activity. These have yet to be verified, but it is most disappointing to hear.

Irish bass stocks are still in a fragile and vulnerable state. The actions of this minority are putting the recovery of this resource in jeopardy. They are also undermining the efforts and investment of our members who specialise in the bass recreational angling product.

We are working well with Inland Fisheries Ireland to stamp out this illegal activity but we do need the help of all anglers. I would urge readers of this blog to be vigilant, especially over the next few weeks and months as this is the time of year when most damage is done. If you come across illegal nets or suspected illegal netting activity in Cork Harbour or in the area from Ballycotton Island to the Old Head of Kinsale (or anywhere for that matter) make sure you report it. Contact us on or report it directly to Inland Fisheries Ireland on 1890 34 74 24.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shore marks come good.....

Its not just the boat anglers that are having all the luck lately, shore anglers are also getting in on the act. Both the harbour marks and the outer harbour areas are starting to produce good numbers of decent fish. Regular visitors from the UK, James, Ted, & Mike Molyneaux, were traversing through many of these marks last week and had some great results. The lads tried a whole range of lures but had the best action on surface lures. Despite the breezy conditions and large surf, the bass aggressively attacked what they had to offer, particularly Xorus Patchinko's. Pictured above is Mike Molyneaux with a nice fish just touching the 6lb mark. This was typical of the stamp of fish that they found during the week.

Cobh SAC angler, Timmy Leahy, has also reported some good success on shore marks. Here's a pic of one of Timmy's fish and again Timmy reports that the best action came to surface lures.

One of East Cork's best known anglers, Clinton Rachman, has also been targeting the bass. Clinton has one or two secret marks that are very infrequently visited and it is here that he is having some great success of late. Not for Clinton is the surface lures....instead, Clinton has been experimenting with soft plastic lures he's had shipped over from South Africa. They've really been doing the business. Here's a pic of one of these bass caught on an sp that most anglers will found hard to come by. It looks like Clinton will have the upper hand from here on in!!!

It just shows you that now is the time for some superb bass fishing and with the improved weather conditions of late the water clarity is now just spot on. Make the most of it for although autumn bassing can be superb the weather can also be fickle and what are ideal conditions today may not last indefinitely!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Autumn Bass - Bellavista style.....

With the improved weather of the last few weeks the bass fishing in the harbour has really kicked off. At last!!! There has been very little rainfall in September and this has resulted in a massive improvement in water quality. In some of the backwaters and creeks the water is back to the more usual emerald greeny-blue. That's a complete contrast to the middle of August when the water was a peaty brown. No wonder the bass fishing was tough back then!

Owner of the Bellavista fleet, Kevin Murphy, reports that his clients are having some great autumn bassing. Many of his guests in the last month have been from Holland and France and have been targeting the bass with a vast array of lures. The French lads, in particular, have concentrated on soft plastics, as you would expect. Their results have been excellent with many of the fish in the 60 - 70cm range, a very encouraging sign. Autumn fishing for bass is just great! The fish have piled on the weight over the summer months and, in a last splurge before the onset of winter, are always in a greedy mood, some would say even an angry mood! Lures, particularly surface lures, are attacked with venom! Oh, how you just can only but love the autumn!

Here are a few pics of some of Kevin's clients with recent fish. If you'd like to target the harbour bass why not hire one of Kevin's small hire-drive boats. Kevin has a range of Warrior 175's and Raider 19's to choose from. Contact Kevin on 00-353-86-6029168 or check out his website on

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Autumn Bassing with Richie Ryan....

Richie Ryan, one of Cork Harbour's top bass anglers and certainly one of the top guides around, has reported that the bass fishing has stepped up a notch in recent weeks. One would expect the fishing to become a bit more hectic in the Autumn as the bass feed voraciously prior to the onset of winter. However, after such a peculiar season none of the usual habits and routines of this much sought after predator could be relied upon. With this in mind its great to see that Richie has been putting his clients on the fish, and its not just one or two.

Richie reports that recently they have had some cracking sessions with fish falling to soft plastics, surface lures, and the fly. In fairness to Richie, he's steadily building a reputation for consistency. All through the spring and summer months, when everyone else was struggling with their bass angling, Richie was managing to winkle out the fish for his clients, despite the conditions. 

Richie has a vast knowledge of marks and knows the harbour inside out with its many estuarine features, creeks, and backwaters. This has certainly come into play this season and Richie has reported that some banker marks haven't produced this year whereas other normally less prolific marks are producing better results. 

Bass angling is unusual. Just when you think you have it sussed everything is turned on its head. However, Richie's clients are getting the benefit of his experience in this regard as Richie has been able to cover all bases this season and keep his clients on the fish. Well done Richie!!!

Here are a selection of pics of some recent fishing with Richie. If you'd fancy a day's fishing with Richie you can contact him on 00-353-86-1940744 or check out his website on

Monday, October 1, 2012

Soft Plastics Fishing Cork Ireland - Bass on Black Minnow!

Cork Harbour angler Jim Clohessy at it again with soft can't keep a good man down!!!