New to Fishing - Few Questions - West Cork/Baltimore

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New to Fishing - Few Questions - West Cork/Baltimore

Postby Dulux » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:14 pm

I've been doing the rounds online, reading forums and websites after finding out I've access to a place in Baltimore. I've never fished before but it seems like I could fill some of my time down there if I take it up. I'm trying to work it all out in my head, so I was hoping I'd be able to get a local response to some of my questions. (I've been on the UK sites which seem fine for general info but aren't sure on local Irish issues.)

I think I'd want to do shore/rock fishing with lures. After a few people have responded to me online I think what I'd need to get is a 8 or 9 foot, medium-heavy rod that can cast from about 15 to 50g, a 4000/40 spinning reel, 20 to 30lb braid, 8 to 10lb fluorocarbon leader, the other bits and bobs for tackle, and some lures. I went into a shop in Cork the other day and they gave me the lowest price they could sort me out for, but I figure I should probably spend a little more to get something decent so I was looking at about €150 all in. I know there's a tackle shop in Skibbereen, I don't know what they're like, but if they could sort me out with both the gear and a bit of West Cork knowledge I'd imagine I'd be set.

The big thing for me is the fishing near Baltimore. I don't drive so somewhere walkable would be best (and next year I can look to travelling further somehow.) I know the shore there can be fairly cliffy, so I'm not entirely sure where I can fish from. The pier in Baltimore is always busy, so I wouldn't be rocking up to do anything from there. According to the link from here Trafraska is fishable from the shore (whether the beach or the rocks heading out, I don't know,) and I've seen some people say there's access to an area around the Beacon. I'll hopefully be walking around there this weekend to take a look, but if anyone knows of rock fishing places within walking distance of Baltimore I'd appreciate the insight. I know people won't share super top spots, but even just a couple of safe-for-a-beginner places would be great. I've also read there's a few spots on Cape Clear and Sherkin. I could get the ferry to either of them and walk, although it'd probably end up being a long day. I'm fairly wary of just hopping out onto a few rocks and seeing what's what. I've no eye for the safety aspect of it and wouldn't want to land myself in trouble straight away. I've been using Google Earth to take a look at the maps and satellite imagery, as well as the photos posted by people there, but it's not something I have the ability to judge from just looking online.

The other aspect I haven't been able to find out about is sea fishing off a charter boat down there. There's a couple of charters going out of Baltimore, and they seem to be well regarded, but I don't know what they''d be like for someone who's never fished before.

Any help would be appreciated. Someone was saying there's about another six weeks to two months left in the season (before the Winter starts throwing up safety issues,) so if I could get started up this year it'd be great.
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Re: New to Fishing - Few Questions - West Cork/Baltimore

Postby kieran » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:37 pm

Hi Dulux

I'd say that for enjoyment you should go a bit lighter on the specification you listed.

There's no need to go to 50 grams on the lure, that's pretty damn heavy. A few hours of throwing that and you'll know it in your arms and shoulders! It's fishing, not weight lifting ;0)

Bear in mind that on rocks, most of the fish are under your feet or certainly within fifty metres or less of your position. If you were lure fishing on a beach, or a shallow rocky area, there might be call for longer casting. I use a 2500 size reel and 20 lb braid for this kind of fishing now. I put a long fluorocarbon leader (15 lb) on the braid to take the abuse you get with fishing rock marks. 8 to 10 lb could be a bit light if you get a stonking wrasse and its kelp laden mark. I'd also look at a longer rod, which I find handy when you are trying to land a fish in a heavy swell by guiding it up a ravine or into a pool or similar.

The key thing is to find a combination of rod and reel that is balanced. It should sit comfortably in your hand. Allow for the extra weight of a full spool on the reel when you are looking at combinations.

€ 150 should be more than enough to get you started. try some of the light metal lures and buy a selection of the soft plastic lures. I have had great fun with crab and prawn shaped ones this summer for wrasse.

I'll leave others to comment on the local marks around Baltimore. Just one piece of advice - don't fish alone and spend money on a gas canister life jacket and a dry bag for your mobile phone. Life savers.

A final point - if you are fishing a new mark, try to do it on the ebbing tide. It's a bit safer as the water will be dropping. Make sure you know when it will turn. And don't forget to post a few reports, even if you blank. We all do, despite what others might pretend!!! ;0)

Tight lines
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Re: New to Fishing - Few Questions - West Cork/Baltimore

Postby Dulux » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:53 pm

Thanks for that kieran.

The rod recommendation came from an American so maybe it was more tailored to what they're doing on rocks over there. Revising my plan maybe I'm looking at a 9 to 10 foot rod rated for about 7gm to 40ish gm, a 3000 spinning reel, 20lb braid, 15lb fluorcarbon leader, some metal and soft plastic lures, hooks, etc.

The safety issue is a concern for me. There'd be no-one else fishing with me but I could probably rope someone in to hang around for an hour or so while I'm there. A dry bag for my phone is in the plans. I can get my hands on a gas canister life jacket, but they're all manual inflating, so you have to pull the line to set them off. Would most people go for self-inflating? (the one's with the dissolving material by the pin?) Fishing on my own is making me reconsider whether I'd be better off fishing rivers, especially as someone's told me that's what the shop in Skib is set up for. I'd have to find a way to get to my spot, but it doesn't seem to have the same risk as rock fishing. I'd prefer fishing the sea because I just plain prefer the idea of the sea but also because I'm near Cork City most of the time with access to Cobh, Monkstown, Ringaskiddy, etc. So I could probably fish there as well (presuming I didn't have to buy new gear.)

I'm hoping to get down to Baltimore tomorrow, so I'll be checking the places out. I've read and been told by the Beacon in Baltimore is alright for fishing, and I'm hoping to check it out at low tide in the afternoon.

Thanks again for the help.
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Re: New to Fishing - Few Questions - West Cork/Baltimore

Postby kieran » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:47 am

Hi Dulux

If you get swept or fall off rocks, you risk a bang on the head.
Don't assume you will be able to pull the cord on the life jacket. Self-inflating in immersion is ESSENTIAL. It guarantees you won't drown...

If you do want to go fishing on your own on rocks, it can be done safely.
Stay well back off the water and fish an ebbing tide.
Tell someone when you are going, when you are expected back, and ideally fish marks with good mobile phone coverage.
After that its mostly common sense...

If you want to get some mates for fishing, and learn a bit, why not joining a local sea angling club?
Check http://www.ifsa.ie/find-a-club/ kinda surprised there isn't one close to you, or you could join the online club here.
You would have the likes of Donal and Jim living nearby and what they don't know about sea fishing...
Not expensive, you don't have to fish competitions, you will be brought to or give good marks and given free advice...

HTH

K

Hope this helps

Kieran
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Re: New to Fishing - Few Questions - West Cork/Baltimore

Postby kieran » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:48 am

Hi Dulux

If you get swept or fall off rocks, you risk a bang on the head.
Don't assume you will be able to pull the cord on the life jacket. Self-inflating in immersion is ESSENTIAL. It guarantees you won't drown...

If you do want to go fishing on your own on rocks, it can be done safely.
Stay well back off the water and fish an ebbing tide.
Tell someone when you are going, when you are expected back, and ideally fish marks with good mobile phone coverage.
After that its mostly common sense...

If you want to get some mates for fishing, and learn a bit, why not joining a local sea angling club?
Check http://www.ifsa.ie/find-a-club/ kinda surprised there isn't one close to you, or you could join the online club here.
You would have the likes of Donal and Jim living nearby and what they don't know about sea fishing...
Not expensive, you don't have to fish competitions, you will be brought to or give good marks and given free advice...

HTH

K

Hope this helps

Kieran
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Re: New to Fishing - Few Questions - West Cork/Baltimore

Postby Dulux » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:14 pm

I was in Baltimore last weekend and asked one of the locals about the spots I was thinking about. He strongly recommended against them for me as I'd be on my own, people have been lost there.

I asked about a few other places, a little further away and he said they were all worth a try. Without having been to them, I'm not entirely sure on what they're like, but with some basic research and googling it seems they're a mix of rocks close to a beach in an inlet and fishing from the beach. With that being a different approach, I think it's a case of having slightly different gear. The problem is I don't want to spend double to get something suitable for both the close in rocks and the beach. And then, where I'm based nearer Cork City you have the likes of Monkstown, Ringaskiddy and Cobh which I'd like to try as well, and that seems almost like more gear is needed.

I think it's time to head directly into a tackle shop again, this time knowing a bit more with the right questions to ask and see what else I can find out. I have an idea of the theory of it all but it's local knowledge I need. I'd ask them about clubs as well, as it seems most clubs' web presence is nigh on non-existent.
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