ea Angling in Ireland - THE SHORE MARKS IN and AROUND CORK HARBOUR, including COBH


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Cork is such a vast county that we have had to split it into four sections, West Cork, South Cork, Cork Harbour and East Cork.  This section is the most comprehensively fished and yet still capable of producing new records and speciment fish like a 20 lb spurdog, quite apart from the standard fare of shore anglers such as Flatfish and Codling.  A red spot indicates a known mark with recent reports available, whereas a yellow spot offers a known or suspected mark with no recent data but where you can get lucky!


Cork Harbour is a massive piece of sheltered water extending from Cork in the west to Midleton in the east and south past the islands and Cobh to wonderful maritime villages like Crosshaven.  Most of the mark are on the Roches Point side of the Harbour however a few along the deep shipping channel can be very productive.  This is an immense expanse of water so time to explore is required. Recently it would appear to have produced the new record Blonde Ray, a monster exceeding 16.5 kilos, or 37 lbs in old money.  Some of the locals are fishing in for the last forty years and it is still throwing up surprises like a Gilthead Bream in 2003!

1 - The Sea Wall at Monkstown   Monkstown is now a properous suburb of Cork city but you can still fish from the sea wall provided you take care with passersby and pedestrians.  The pier is also a good spot at night especially if you like really big congers - it is well lit and has easy car parking. There are several miniature hotspots along the Monkstown seafront that will invariably be taken unless you get there early! Species & Techniques: Monkstown is well known for its winter Codling on an incoming tide, mostly to bottom rigs baited with copious supplies of lugworm.  Several species of Ray are taken here during the summer and early autumn in amongst Dabs, Flounder, Dogfish and large Conger Eel straight down.  A reef to the left that leads out to the main channel is the ideal spot to fish, especially on an incoming tide.  The fish will search up through this system.. The pier mark on the seafront has been known to produce loads of small Coalfish and Pouting as well.  Beware the pub after closing time too!  March 2004.

2 - Deepwater Quay, Ringaskiddy   This is probably the premier shore mark in Cork Harbour. You can fish from the deepwater quay in Ringaskiddy in the heart of Cork's industrial sector.  Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing will produce all the Flatfish, Whiting and Codling in the winter months, Ray in the summer, Coalfish and Conger all year round, and specimen Three Bearded Rockling.  Most of the local use Mussel for bait on this mark. Dino Macropoulus reports that the quay may be closed to anglers, however on a recent visit, he account for Dogfish and Whiting in the autumn and winter month (predominantly) over all tides, with Thornback Ray and some Bull Huss taken only at high water. October 2004.

10 - Cobh, Deepwater Quay With thanks to Wally and Matthew for the details.  This is a full commercial working port so you have to be aware of the incoming traffic and movement of the local fishing fleet, quite apart from the tide.  The main benefit is that it will fish at any stage of the tide, although the flood is typicallty more productive, especially in darkness.  Equally it is a sand and mud bottom bar the odd snag, probably old metalwork and rocks from the pier's construction. Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing will produce Flounder, Dabs, Whiting and Codling in the winter months. Dogfish will colonise the sand on occassion and you will pick up strap Conger Eels and the occassional bigger fish under the pilings.  Excellent three bearded rockling have been reported here also.  In the summer it gets busy with people spinning for mackerel.  Pollack and Garfish can be tempted to float fished mackerel strips.  Rays have been taken at distance in warmer weather off this mark - almost all thornbacks with sandeels the best bait.  Legering will pick up Coalfish in the late winter months but to no significant size.  There are rumours of large Bass taken on live baited sandeels and launce, but a more likely capture would be one of the large Mullet that will shoal in around the harbour, especially if you have taken to groundbaiting a particular section.
11 - Cobh, Lynch's Quay With thanks to Wally and Matthew for the details.  Another small quay, not nearly as popular as the deep water quay, it offers decent fishing with less angling pressure.  Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing will produce Flounder and Dogfish with Whiting and Codling showing up in the winter month.  Coalfish and Bass have been reported here.

3 - Brown's Island   Tucked in behind Fota Island, there is a tiny promontary that gives access out into deep water, especially on a flooding tide.  Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing here will produce Ray (mostly Thornbacks), Dabs and Flounder, and Dogfish.  Fishing tends to fall off after the first 3 hours of the flood.  The odd Bass has also been reported here.

4 - Aghada Pier   Moving east down towards Roches Point, the first mark is the pier at Aghada.  Be warned: Upper Aghada is a village a mile inland!  Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing will find Dogfish, Dabs and Flounder. Conger are taken on night tides, Codling in the winter, and Mullet on the float in the summer. The odd Thornback Ray is also taken here from April onwards, but it is quite a busy location with a small flotilla of boats moored within casting range and a high tide venue only.

5 - Carlisle Pier You are now moving out into less sheltered waters and as a consequence the fishing is more impressive if less civilised in strong winds and bad weather!  Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing off this pier will produce Bass, Homelyn (Spotted) and Thornback Ray, Dogfish, and Flatfish.  Mackerel Pollack and Coalfish will all fall to spinning gear.  Codling are reported caught here each but you need to use peeler crab - the preferred bait for Codling all over the Cork Harbour area. 

6 - White Bay This is probably one of the best known marks around Cork, and it fishes best on a night tide - it also helps if you can cast the necessary 130 metres plus to be able to fish into the deep water channel. Species & Techniques: Most people bottom fish hoping for Flatfish, Bass, Codling in winter, Conger and Dogfish, but the mark comes into its own when you mention Rays... provided you can cast the necessary distance. Several varieties have been encountered including Painted and Blondes.

7 - Roches Point   You have heard about it often enough on the weather forecasts so why not fish from it!?!  It is a tricky spot to fish from - only a fair weather mark.  Follow the road down as there is a small car park down from the lighthouse.  Please respect the privacy and signs.  You can walk around the lighthouse to the rock marks on the far side.  There is a very deep cleft almost directly underneath the lighthouse and some more marks further east.  Species & Techniques: Mackerel Pollack and Bass will all fall to spinning gear, the latter being quite rare.  With the rough ground there is you would expect that float fishing will produce Wrasse as well. Bottom fishing off this point will produce Pollack, Rockling right on the bottom on an unadorned (no sequins beads etc.) baited hook, Wrasse and the odd Conger Eel. Jul 2004.

8 - Inch Strictly speaking this is not in Cork Harbour at all but it is still a good mark, offering excellent rock platform fishing and anice small strand to boot!  Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing off this mark will produce Bass, with Codling taken in colder weather.  Pouting are also recorded.  In the mixed ground you can find Flounder (especially near the small stream), Dogfish and the ever present Conger Eels. Lugworm and crab seem to be the preferred baits.  There are very strong tides here, especially across the beach so wading is not recommended.  Most anglers try to pick up the Bass on an incoming tide, ideally at dusk.  There is some reports of large Bass being taken on plugs off the rocks, heading towards Guileen, a good idea if the beach is being carved up by surfers during fine weather.  March, July 2004.

9 - Fort Camden, Crosshaven Keep Cronin's Bar in the village on your left, drive up the hill and park near the gates.  Sadly, the gates to the fort are usually closed so you have to skirt around it at low water in order to access the mark, which means you will be there, rain or shine for four to six hours minimum so pack your bag accordingly! This is a deep water venue so you can catch fish here regardless and bear in mind that some of the target species are low water specialist (dogfish, congers, bull huss and rays). The bottom is predominantly sand however there are spines or rock and the odd underwater hillock to snag rigs.  Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing with standard rigs will bring flatfish, msotly Dabs but some Plaice, and occassionally Rays near dusk or dawn.  Pollack, Mackerel and Garfish are reported in the summer, with the odd Wrasse in amongst the rocks.  Whiting and Codling are taken in the winter, with Dogfish, Conger Eels and some smaller Bull Huss taken all year round.  Some Bass reported too.


I have read of another mark out past Power Head, near Ballybranagan.  Again it involves fishing off the rocks but what caught my eye was the mention of 'small Turbot' - rarely encountered in Cork.  The mark has given up big Bass including specimens > 10 lbs.