Bridges of Ross, West Clare.

Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:15 am

People: Me

Duration:1.30 to 9.00pm

Tide:Low tide at 1.45

Weather:No wind, sun was splitting the stones!

Bait:Lug, Sandeel, Mussels, Poor cod

Rigs:2 hook rigs to rotten bottom, wire traces

Results:Pollack, poor cod, rockling, conger, A massive edible crab, a huge starfish!


Arrived at the Bridges at about 1.40 tackled up with 1 rod fishing mussel bait and lug for wrasse. This succeeded in hooking a steady stream of small poor cod, a couple of which I took to use for conger bait. Tackled second rod with wire trace and 8/0 forged hook fished off a small 4" plastic boom with a full poor cod slashed across the sides. Dropped this in at the side of the rock and set up the spinning gear. Fishing was very quiet for the first couple of hours, a chap fishing near me was having a great time pulling in dog after dog.

Once the tide began to rise things picked up somewhat with pollack to 4lbs falling to sandeel and jelly eels. The 2 hook rig was still picking up poor cod, there wasnt a wrasse to be seen all day. The ratchet on the rod baited for conger began to go with a very slow click, left it for a minute and after I could hold off no longer struck and started to haul in an absolute dead weight, couldnt believe it when I got it to the surface and there was a monstrous big red crab around 8/9 inches across the top steadfastly refusing to let go of lunch!

Rebaited and dropped out again, pulled in a fantastic looking fish like a reddish brown ling with spots all down its flanks which after consulting book turned out to be a three bearded rockling. Fish in question weighed about a pound and a half, it had somehow managed to swallow the whole poor cod and 8/0 hook.

Meanwhile on the other rod, a break from the tiddlers arrived when once again I lifted into a deadweight on the end of the line, turned out to be a large starfish with large hard knobbly bits on top.

Managed to finally get into a conger on the other rod which went to about 7 pounds or so. Was blessed as it managed to only get hooked through the top lip so no problems releasing it.

Was a somewhat odd day with the tropical temperatures and the usual staples here being non existent, no mackerel, no wrasse (sausage sandwiches on the barbie. Again!!!) Is it just me or are mackerel extremely scarce so far this year?? I had until today never hooked a conger, a rockling or for that matter an edible crab or a starfish!

Day was made even more surreal by the presence of an extremely fit blonde sunbathing in a bikini 15 yards away. Try concentrating in those circumstances!

A good albeit strange day at times, can understand pollack being scarce in the bright sunshine although did pull in a few but where the hell are all the mackerel? This place is usually moving with them at this time of year.


Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:53 pm


It is time to invest in a digital camera. Firstly so we can have a look at these nice fish you were catching and especially so we can have a look at the blonde in the bikini. :P


Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:05 pm

Left the camera in the car, D'oh! Took a pic of the rockling on the phone though so will post that, not that anyone will be interested when there was a possibility of a shot of a bikini clad blonde!! :wink:

Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:10 pm

Sorry I could not meet up with you!
Spent most of week-end unloading Part 1 of my permanent move West!
Grabbed 2 hrs at Last Arch Mark on Sat morning and had 2 Ballan Wrasse
around 4 lbs. on crab. Fishing was very slow.
Let me know when you are around again!

Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:38 pm

Good luck with the move, left Dub myself 3 years ago and never looked back. Is it just me or is the fishing in West Clare somewhat on the slow side this year? Granted Im not getting up anywhere near as often as I did last year when I was based in Limerick but even so. We were pulling in pollack, mackerel and wrasse to beat the band this time last year. Any time Ive been up this year its been a bit of a struggle. (and im getting fed up of sausage sambos on the barbie!)

Was most surprised with the lack of wrasse and mackerel on sunday, not one all day. Must give the crab a try, seems to work for you, are you using hard backs or softies? Will be heading back up again in a couple of weeks so will give you a shout.

Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:11 pm

All the mackies are probably on their holliers off Horn Head!

I was out with Phenwick Mist for a couple of hours this morning, loads of the wee blighters about.

Some nice Gurnards, stray ling and a tasty Haddock too. :D

edited for spelling! D'oh!

Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:38 pm

I use hardbacks mostly with shell removed and elasticated thread to secure and it seems to get the bigger ones.Lug draws the smaller ones like flies! Yes the fishing is a bit slow. I think the season is a few weeks behind. Maybe the warm weather will move the Triggers in soon?
Will update you on the West Clare fishing scene next week.

Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:58 am

Certainly seems to be that way alright, going to leave it for another couple of weeks before heading back up so hopefully things will have improved by then, mind you I said that last month!! Triggers sound interesting, have never caught any so it would be a nice bonus to add to the species list. (along with the crab and the starfish from sun!!!)

Let me know how things are progressing over the next few weeks so, thanks


Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:04 am

Yes there seems to be no shortage of mackerel up north alright, pulling them in for fun when Ive been out with Pat. All seem to be on the small side though. Any mackerel we took in the Swilly would be double the size for some reason. Weird. Boat fishing in donegal seems to be the way to go this year alright, although there is a distinct shortage of bikinis!!

Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:06 am

Made a nice mess of that didnt I!

Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:53 am

hey pete, i definitely agree with you, the fishing is reeeeeal slow down here at the moment. i met a fella lastnight who had been out for a few hours in his boat yesterday afternoon from kilkee, he had two pollack and a whiting, that's depressing from a boat.......i haven't caught a fish in three weeks(i caught a stickle back on friday afternoon alright, but the nymph was bigger than him, but hooked squarely through the head!)

Tue Jul 12, 2005 10:27 am

Yeah, not too sure whats going on at the moment, something to do with water temperatures perhaps as weather in general this year has not been great with summer getting off to a very slow start in particular. 2 pollack and a whiting? Sell the boat! Hopefully things will improve over next few weeks with the warmer weather, at least Id like to think so as its a nasty 3 hour min drive from Cork!

Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:40 am

well the mackeral are back! not in any huge numbers, but i had enough lastnight to give out amoungst the relations after an hour and a half up there. had two small pollack aswell, but it was encouraging to be seeing mackeral moving

Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:51 pm

Latest news from the marine institute site suggests that the red tide which was affecting the west coast over the last few weeks is showing signs of clearing.
There seemed to be very few mackeral coming inshore along the west while this was at it's height. Apparantly it effected smaller areas of the south and south west coast as well (Also a lack of mackeral mentioned in some threads). Unfortunately it is now showing signs of increasing in Mulroy and Lough Swilly though: ... e/test.htm

Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:22 am

plenty of mackeral to be had outside on the bridges lastnight. it was slow going til top of the tide, when it picked up. one thing i did notice was all the fish were taken pretty deep down........word down here has it that poulnasherry bay also switched on in the past 48 hours. thornies, and huss on mackeral, while there were plenty of bass seen down there too. i'll hopefully get to give the place a go this evening, so we'll see if there rumours are true