Sligo Marks

Wed Sep 01, 2004 1:55 pm

Just came back from a wet and windy week in Sligo. Well I fished the beach at Aughris on Tuesday the 24th on a incoming tide at dusk and into darkness. Plenty of bait, mackeral, sandeel and squid and in four hours not a bite. This beach looks wonderfull and is deep enough in comparision to many other beaches in the northwest, but devoid of fish.
I then fished Enniscrone on the morning of the 30th over at the moy estuary. I was targetting flatties at low water in the hollows between the small sand bars and yes nothing again. I had plenty of lug (2 days old and perfect for dabs) rag ,mackeral and sandeel. Yes the weather was not great but I was very disappointed.
Whats happened to the fishing up in the NorthWest, have the commercials cleaned the place?

Fish in the northwest

Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:41 pm

Quality of the fishing has definetly dropped. Just look at the decline in whitefish being landed into Killybegs. Numbers employed there have also dropped.

From the shore the decline is also obvious. There is a mark for example where pre 1997 on average we would get at least a turbot per session between three of us. The fish were all between 2 and 4lb. Last year I got no turbot from this mark for the whole year, this year I haven't got any and the only one, any of us got, weighed less than 3/4lb. Its the same with the whiting and dabs, the numbers are still there but the average size has collapsed. Its worrying really.
As the prime whitefish disappears the fishermen are naturally going to target other species. Pollock are now selling for 80 euro a box so you can expect that, what many of us would consider an abundant species, will now start to be deliberately targetted by commercial fishermen and so called 'sport fishers'. I don't know, the fishing is still good but the signs are there that populations are dropping.