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Kerry - The Ring Cork - West Cork - South 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 East Cork.  Bantry Bay has some very peculiar currents not least one that keeps the bottom stirred up on an almost continuous basis - a fact well known to divers there.  It means the bay is well stocked with fish, although the dreaded cages and lines of mussel ropes are spreading also... this said, the dirty water means that some of the more steeply shelving marks produce fish during daylight and regardless of the conditions above the waves.  The Beara penninsula is unspoilt and little fished.  


Bantry and Dunmanus Bays are the least fished section of the Cork coastline, and doubless the access both to the area and the sites themselves helps to keep them quietly productive.  The Beara Penninsula is a wild place, although the road system has been improved recently and it is certainly scenic.  I reckon the mountain-top view on the road from Bantry to Glengarriff ranks as one of the most spectacular sea-scapes in all Ireland.  Whiddy Island is home to Ireland's oil terminal, offering ample evidence of the Bay's deep waters.  Bantry bay displays very unusual currents which keep the sediments in almost continuous circulation - as such it is not favoured by scuba divers as you could not see your face behind your nose! I am indebted to Eric Hore from Dublin for forcing my hand and making me check out a series of marks along the north west facing coast of the Beara Penninsula.  Reports soon!

8 - Bunan, The Puffing Hole and Cusheen My thanks to Eric Hore for putting me on the road for the next three marks all on the north western side of the Beara penninsula. The three marks range from the headland back towards Kenmare and are all access from the casot road, the R571 west of Lauragh.  There is parking at the point itself.  Species & Techniques: No reports at yet, but you can asssume that this produces standard rock platform fishing returns.  Wrasse, Conger, Bull Huss, Mackerel and Pollack are the listed species, to which might be added Coalfish, Launce and other smaller species.
9 - Bird Point to Dog's Rock Take the country road due north from Ardgroom, over the lagoon where you can dig lugworm and collect crabs (mostly hardbacks but good for wrasse fishing especially in the autumn).  Species & Techniques:  No reports as yet but you can asssume that this produces standard rock platform fishing returns.  Wrasse, Conger, Bull Huss, Mackerel and Pollack are the listed species, to which might be added Coalfish, Launce and other smaller species.
10 - Carrig Fada to Oileanin There are four marks here, the middle two being called Cuas A Teorann and Cumar Dron Leac. Oileanin is the Gaelic for "Little Island" and Carrig Fada means "Long Rock" so no bonus points for finding them!  The best road access is on the R575 west from Eyeries towards Ahilies, but if you find yourself turning due south, you have gone too far.  There is a smaller side road leading north west that will bring you all the way to Carrig Fada.  Species & Techniques: No reports as yet, but I understand that this is rock fishing interspersed with small patches of sand for a bit of variety!  Wrasse, Conger, Bull Huss, Mackerel and Pollack are the listed species, to which might be added Coalfish, Launce and other smaller species.

1 - Ballydonegan   Just past the village of Ahillies, this effectively holds two marks, from the beach and from the little pier.  Species & Techniques: The beach offers standard Flatfish and some Bass with the best position being at the mouth of the small stream. The pier offers access to deeper water on the flooding tide and adds Dogfish to the list.  Nothing special but nice...

2 - Dursey Sound   You can not visit Dursey Sound without taking the spectacular and rusting (!) cablecar ride out to Dursey Island - an amzing place with an awesome history.  The sound fishes extremely well at all stages of the tide, thanks to the depth of water. Our thanks to Conor Brazel for the recent update. Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for Pollack and Mackerel over a very foul bottom.  Most of the Pollack are typical shore fish, up to 4 lbs and will fall to lures or floated fish baits outside of slack water.  This is augmented by some excellent Wrasse fishing just north east of the cable car station - bring worm baits with you for the Wrasse as they accept nothing less!  The far site of the sound, fishing off the island reputedly offers even better Wrasse fishing and excellent quality Congers, especially at night, but it is a difficult spot. Revised June 2004.

3 - Fair Head   Past Castletown Berehaven, a big commercial fishing point, the road stops rather abruptly... It is a bit of a hike from the end of the road, so keep the tackle bag as light as possible!  You should make your way down to any point opposite the lighthouse on Bere Island.  Species & Techniques: Spinning or float fishing for Pollack and Mackerel over a very foul bottom is augmented by some excellent Wrasse fishing.  The deeper water is directly out in front and Codling were reported last winter. 

4 - DOD Pier   Right in the middle of Castletown Berehaven, a busy working port, there is the Department of Defense pier. If there are no ships tied up, then off you go... Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing will find Dogfish but the mark also produces regular catches of Thornback Rays. Mullet are common in the harbour but difficult to tempt to a bait, although fish pieces or offal might succeed in producing some sport.

11 - Carrigin ("Little Rock") on Bear Island People rarely bother fishing off islands here and yet the returns can be far better than the mainland, perhaps thanks to the complete lack of angling pressure. Species & Techniques: No report yet but it appears to be standard rock fishing.  Wrasse, Conger, Bull Huss, Mackerel and Pollack are the listed species, to which might be added Coalfish, Launce and other smaller species.
12 - Rinn Beag & Serragh Rock New marks introduced to me some years ago, they sit either side of a small but often cascading whitewater river estuary.  If there has been heavy rain forget it and head for a sterile beach or rock mark.  Species & Techniques: I was brough to Rinn Beag to spin and plug for Bass and we had a few schoolies on the day but no more than that.. Mullet were everywhere around us but difficult to tempt to a bait.  There is definitely plenty of Bass on both marks.

5 - The Airport Strand aka Bantry Beach South   Ask for directions in Bantry town - note this is not beach strand, as previously listed but rather the strand 'under' the airstrip opposite Whiddy Island. My thanks to Geoff Woods for the update.  "The airstrip is owned by a pharmaceutical company who are constantly telling people not to walk on it. It's been fenced off to stop dog walkers marching up and down" Below this there is a very steep beach  - these beaches are rare in Ireland and it gives access to deep water and fishes onto clean ground.   Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing off this beach will produce Thornback Ray, Dogfish, and Bull Huss.  Founder and Dabs are available on shorter casts, but the longer you can cast, the better.  Codling are reported in the winter, with whiting present year round... July 2004.  Henry Gillbey has reported lots of good Bull Huss from this beach in 2004.

6 - Collack   The Sheepshead penninsula really ought to have more than two known marks on it but there you go... Driving west along the road it is difficult to see any difference much less a specific mark in the surf bashing off the rocks down below (and it is a fair walk down a steep gradient through the fields). Ask in Bantry or Durrus for directions to this 'townland'. Species & Techniques: Most people float fish for Wrasse hoping for the big one, although you could also find Pollack, Coalfish, and Mackerel in season here.  One also suspects that it would offer Conger, Bull Huss and Dogfish to bottom fishing baits, but you are facing extremely foul ground.

7 - Dooneen Pier, Kilcrohane   My thanks to Geoff Woods for the set of marks.  "It's a very user friendly place as you can drive your car right up to where you fish from (taking care not to drive off the end of course)."  The pier is just west of the village of Kilcrohane on the southern side of the Sheep's Head peninsula. Species & Techniques: "There's plenty of Pollack and Mackerel to be caught on the spinners, Ballan Wrasse will fall to small crab baits and night sessions will produce a good variety including; Dogfish, Bull Huss, Conger Eels, and Whiting. For the more adventurous, try parking at the top of the access road and walking around the headland. There is a little secluded beach here that holds good shoals of Mullet in the summer and I reckon that there is a good chance of taking Bass to Plugs for those who like rock hopping!"


Whatever about the Beara Penninsula, the Sheepshead is bound to have lots of additional marks on it... but the question is where!  It is a remarkably peaceful place, often very sheltered and doubtless offering good spinning for Bass off the rocks.  I look for piles of rotting seaweed on the foreshore, especially if maggots are washing to the water with an incoming tide.   This always attracts the Mullet and Bass will often swim with them... and I have seen a huge Ballan Wrasse actively chase a spinner designed for Bass in a small cove just outside Durrus. The damn fish stopped when it reached the lure, mind! In the last few years we have had several reports of Gilthead Bream being taken from the shore in the area around Kilcrohane - check the news section for any updates.