Beginner Fishing in Donegal

Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:04 am

Hi guys,

Quite the beginner here starting to fish in the Rosguill peninsula, Co. Donegal. I'll be fishing over rough, weedy ground for Pollack and Wrasse, off Downings pier for Mackerel (I hear there's some Sea Trout and Salmon in there too at this time of year) at high tide and flats at low tide, and maybe some surf fishing over Tra na Rossan for flats.

I'm looking for some info or resources about rigs, bait and techniques so I can land my first decent specimen. I'm clueless about how different lines and hook sizes affect the fishing and species hooked, so any info on that too would be great.
Also, dug about 10 worms there about 60 yards from the low water mark and stored them in a lunchbox lined with wet newspaper for 15 mins until I got to my mark. The worms were full of sand and in that 15 mins had hardened up to the point where they were brittle(apart from their red tail, which I ended up using for bait) and released a yellow die/stain when they broke. What did I dig up, and what did I do wrong?

Thanks in advance guys!

Re: Beginner Fishing in Donegal

Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:16 am

Hi mate, welcome to the site. A good option would be to target the flats on a nice clean beach on a rising tide to get you catching. Small strips of mackerel on a simple 2 or 3 hook flapper (paternoster) with size 1 hooks. If targeting wrasse/pollock over rough ground, float fishing with rag worm or lug worm is great craic. The search function on this site will always throw up some useful information, I've found it very helpful. A 11-12 ft beachcaster should cover you in terms of the rod. 15-18 lb line should be fine.

Sounds like rag worm you dug up. Don't think you did anything wrong, they tend to be brittle at certain times of the year. They're still fine to use as bait even if broken up though and if fishing for wrasse using small sections of worm is probably better as there is less chance of them robbing it off the hook!

Re: Beginner Fishing in Donegal

Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:48 pm

Cheers buddy!

Just got myself a 13 ft Shakespear, taking it out after for the flats. Mackerel is like hen's teeth up here at the minute so I'm chancing some small sprats on a 2 hook flapper in the mean-time.

Re: Beginner Fishing in Donegal

Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:34 am

I'm not long back in the game myself but 1 thing I've found very handy is the pre made rigs you can buy in the tackle shops which are of excellent quality and have saved me a lot of time.
I have 2 rigs for each rod on the go, one out fishing and in the meantime I'm baiting up the second. When I reel in it's just a case of swapping them over and it goes straight back out.
If you're having trouble with the worms, try using plenty of bait elastic, great stuff.

Re: Beginner Fishing in Donegal

Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:24 pm

Hi and welcome

Circle hooks - look a bit weird but I am a complete convert to them - makes unhooking, especially greedy flatfish that swallow hooks right down, a simple an easy job. You can get them in any size and swop them onto shop bought rigs with a simple uni knot.

Check out Melmore Head for spinning for Pollack, especially on the eastern side, which is usually more sheltered and has better *coughs* access.
If I recall I drove into a caravan park and asked to leave the car there and just walked up from there. There's a really nice beach (very shallow) to the west?

I remember being smashed on several occasions by big fish I could not stop... granted some years ago... not very far out , on the eastern side, and I think it was in a space between the rocks and an island. Sandeel worked really well, a few metres behind a casting lead.

Hope this helps, its wonderful country up there...

Re: Beginner Fishing in Donegal

Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:02 pm

Flounder will take worm baits too. I've always found mackerel better for flats up around Donegal for some reason but worm baits better in other places. They're not too picky so don't be afraid to change the baits up. Even the skankiest, oldest mack fillets from the supermarket will catch flounder with herring a decent substitute.

Re: Beginner Fishing in Donegal

Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:18 pm

Sheephaven is stuffed with mackerel at the moment, but maybe they haven't come into casting range of shore yet. The sea trout fishing is better on up deeper into the tidal area of the estuary, but have your licence with you cos I've heard whispers that they'll be checked sooner rather than later.

There are some truly monstrous sized ballan wrasse up at Melmore.

Re: Beginner Fishing in Donegal

Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:08 pm

I spun the beach at bunbeg for an hour Saturday last , got nothing but a good soaking ,but I'm pretty sure I was followed in by a decent sized bass :? Would that be possible lads ?