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Cork - Harbour Cork - East Waterford Shore Index

Cork is such a vast county that we have had to split it into four sections, West Cork, South Cork, Cork Harbour and this section, East Cork.  This section mainly deals with the historic centre of sea angling on the entire south coast - Ballycotton - home still to the 1912 record for common skate, and several more besides, including the 6.21 lb black sole some from the pier!  Outside the town itself there are several excellent marks on either side of the bay.  A red spot indicates a known mark with recent reports available, whereas a yellow spot indicates a known or suspected mark with no recent data but where you can get lucky!


Ballycotton is synonymous with deep sea fishing in Ireland but whilst the charter fleet still do excellent business on the high seas, we are more concerns with the variety of marks available from the shore.  It is also a lovely part of the world, peaceful, less hectic in summer than west Cork, and altogether an excellent centre for shore fishing.  Some of the marks are quite tricky to locate from the road - ask a local or better still bring one fishing with you!  This is the first of two section of southern coast that get very little angling pressure and some of these marks are truly excellent in terms of the quality of fish that the produce year after year.

8 - Ballybranigan Beach Access is on a very narrow road - the East Cork trail (trial more like!) this is a lovely little beach with a small car park directly in front. Species & Techniques: To the west (right) you can try spinning or float fishing for pollack and mackerel with some ballen wrasse fishing along the rocks.  Conger eels and dogfish all year round and the odd bass taken bottom fishing and possibly to a lure.  Further up you can engage in pure surf fishing for flatfish and the odd bass.  In some guides there is reference made to turbot but local anglers have not reported any for some considerable time...  July 2004

1 - Ballycroneen   Just past the village and keeping to the east of the road down, this are some excellent rock marks. Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for pollack and mackerel is augmented by some excellent Wrasse fishing, with conger eels and dogfish all year round and the odd bass taken bottom fishing.  

2 - Ballyandreen   Almost the twin of the first mark, and east the village, this is another mark offers excellent angling, either from the small beach or the rocks at high water.  Species & Techniques: Surf and bottom fishing will produce flatfish, bass, coalfish, dogfish, with codling in winter, and the possibility of several species of rays in the summer.  The odd ballen wrasse can be picked up near the rocks on the left hand side, but most people would be hoping for a bass from the same location.

3 - Ballycotton Pier and Breakwater   The pier once held the Irish black sole record and still produces them. It is an excellent mark and if you get bored a wonderful town awaits you, packed with excellent restaurants and better pubs - in fact that is why I have rarely fished in Ballycotton!  Species & Techniques: Off the breakwater you will find conger eels especially at night, plaice, dabs, black sole (keep the hooks very small, no more than 4s) and dogfish.  Codling are taken in winter.  Mullet are seen in packs during the summer inside the breakwater.  Groundbaiting will help get them feeding.  Small pollack, the odd coalfish, and mackerel will fall to spinning tactics. Alternatively you can fish the main off harbour arm but this is shallower water and mainly at high tide only.  There are paths up behind the village to several tricky rock marks for pollack and ballen wrasse in season.  You can search through all the thousands of bulletin boards articles for references to these marks. July 2004.

4 - The Silver Strand at Ballymona Halfway between the island and the saltwater lagoon is the best part of the Silver Strand, although it tends to fish best two hours either side of high water, and far better at night.  Species & Techniques: Bottom or surf fishing off this beach will produce thornback ray in summer, codling in winter but at distance, with bass and flatfish all year round... dogfish are also commonplace. Not fished to any significant degree owing to the marks either side of it...

5 - Garryvoe The rocks (near the caravan park) split this mark in two, and you can go either west or east of the rocks.  In front of the hotel is another preferred mark. Again our thanks to DrSeaFish for the following update... The pipe in front of the caravan park is the classic spot but don't ignore the beaches to the east side of Garryvoe. This markes fished very poorly last year and are only night venues anyway. Low water or the last two hours of the incoming tide have worked for me. Species & Techniques:   Bottom fishing will find the odd bass, dogfish, blonde rays amongst the dominant thornbacks in the summer and smallish conger eels all year round. Garryvoe has produced specimen dogfish, bass and flounder. Codling, whiting and coalfish are also possible, mostly in cold weather months.  April 2004.

6 - Ballycrenane   Almost the opposite of the last mark, and just east the village of Ballycrenane, with thankfully a fine strand to walk along, another mark offers excellent angling, either from the beach or the rocks at high water.  Bait can be dug from closed to the village with sandeels available for the quick witted and those with good hand to eye coordination (and a big net!). Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for pollack and mackerel is possible, however most people bottom fish for dabs, plaice, flounder, bass, predominantly thornbacks in terms of rays in summer, with codling and whiting in winter. 

7 - Ballynakeagh   This is a small promontary sticking out on the way to Knockadoon Head - you may need to ask locals for directions.  Fishing is usually done from the rocks onto mixed ground with some sand and mud. Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for pollack and mackerel is augmented by some excellent ballen wrasse fishing, with codling and coalfish taken in winter months, conger eels, dogfish and the odd large bass. 


Past Knockadoon Head, you find yourself in a little fished area that swings up past the main river estuary as far as Youghal.  Up until recently I have included this in Waterford for the sake of convenience however a number of new marks have come to light and it deserves to be returned to its native county.


Well, that's my excuse and I am sticking to it... !

9 - Knockadoon Head A rock platform fishing mark, with the ideal spot being opposite the island or slightly to the south of the headland, there is a well worn track down to the mark from the road. Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for pollack and mackerel is augmented by some excellent ballen wrasse fishing, with mullet also recorded on the float.  Conger eels and dogfish are available all year to bottom fished rigs
10 - Ballymacoda An interesting mark, well signposted off the main Cork road, it produced one large bass in June 2004 to Lee from the forum so our thanks for this addition.  I've since been contacted by several anglers warning of the strong currents and the speed at which the tide floods the lugworm banks and the various fishing here, especially in under the cliff.  Species & Techniques: Surf and bottom fishing, especially at night, will produce flounder, the odd plaice, dabs, black sole (if you keep the hooks very small) and dogfish.  It has also produced bass however the standard of fish is generally quite small, often under the minimum bye-law size. Codling and coalfish are also taken in winter. 
11 - Pilmore The ideal mark is directly opposite the spit of land on the far side of the estuary, near the main river channel, although it fishes from directly in front of the road access all the way down to the first island.  Species & Techniques: Surf and bottom fishing will produce flounder, the odd bass, and dogfish all year round, the odd sea-Trout to a spinner in the main channel, and codling in winter from in front of the road.

12 - Youghal Strand   A massively long strand with a dangerous corner access for vehicles, the main problem is usually deciding where to pitch your shelter and start fishing - and the answer is just about anywhere as the fish tend to sweep along its entire length.  This means long periods of tranquility broken by hectic activity so have the spare traces already baited up!  Species & Techniques: Surf and bottom fishing, especially at night, will produce flounder, the odd plaice, dabs, black sole (again with very small hooks and casting close inshore at night) and dogfish.  Codling and coalfish are taken in winter. 

13 - The Old Dyke Wall aka The Slob Wall   A key mark, though subject to the tides, it tends to fish best in the first half of the flood and latter half of the ebb, i.e. at lower water levels!  It starts from the quay in Youghal town and runs up towards tip head. Species & Techniques: This is another match venue, where flounders are the main if not the only quarry. Long casting is essential as the tide retreats a long way, and in many matches it\92s the big hitters who have the advantage. Crab is the only bait worth using.  The Tip Head behind the LIDL supermarket also produces flounder.

13 a - The Abbey, Youghal  The Abbey and across from the Abbey, are two marks up stream from the bridge, on either side of the river. The fast tide brings lots of debris up and down and hampers fishing during big tides. When bad weather makes other marks in Youghal unfishable, these two spots provide good sheltered fishing. Species & Techniques: Both are considered winter marks for codling though the Abbey can produce bass in late summer and both can produce flounder, the latter being the predominant species in Youghal harbour. Until recently only one bait was required in Youghal, and that was peeler crab. With the advent of export oriented potting of shore crab, other baits have been making an impression. Lug and sandeel are preferred but razorfish and mackerel will work. High and low water are best for codling - a short lob will find fish. 
13 b - The Quay in Youghal Town The quay offers a little variety, with deeper water and many species can be caught. Species & Techniques: Conger eels, rockling, codling, whiting, coalfish, dabs and the ever present flounders all put in an appearance at their respective time of year. This mark has fished well for the last two years and has proved a lifesaver in many matches that were fished lately. While Youghal seemed to be suffering a fishing drought the quay has always come to the rescue. Medium casting for the Flatfish and Codling while the rest are just a lob away. Fish bait and lug worked well here last year, but always bring crab.
13 c - Green Park, Youghal  Green park is at the beginning of Youghal on the Cork side. it is an easy fishing mark with some shelter. Species & Techniques: The main species are codling and coalfish in winter, and flatfish and pollack in summer. Fish an incoming tide as the bites falls off as it gets very shallow at low water. Fish baits can work well here but yet again don\92t get caught without crab. Although not fished regularly, good catches can be had... maybe have a chat with the locals first!


Marks 3, 4 and 5 above have the added advantages of excellent local bait and superb tourism infrastrucuture.  If you somehow manage to show a blank, take to one of the boats and you can be sea fishing in 10 minutes!