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North Donegal West Donegal Donegal Bay Shore Index

The western coast is the least fished, probably due to problems with access, for example the rock fishing around Crohy Head is probably excellent but try finding a road!  Portnoo offers superb beach fishing and a cluster of marks at Burtonport and Kincaslough offer a wide variety of species and equivalent techniques.  A red spot indicates a known shore mark with recent information available, whereas a yellow spot indicates a known or suspected mark with no recent data available... where a taste for adventure will offer big returns!


Most shore anglers fishing this area tend to make Burtonport or Kincaslough their base, and it does afford them excellent and varied fishing, however notwithstanding the wild roads and suicidal sheep (!) the rest of Donegal is ripe for exploration, and offers all manner of fishing from beachcasting to rock platform fishing on the bottom or float.  The entire coast from Dawros Head south to Rossan Point and east to Teelin Pier (not on this map or on this website, yet!) has probably never ever seen a rod, much less a party of intrepid shore anglers.  Given the extraordinary variety and quality of fishing available in the rest of the county, what this virgin territory holds can only begin to whet the imagination and appetite of a party of sea anglers.

1 - Dawros Head   West of Rosbeg, and facing the expanse of Loughros More Bay, we find some excellent rock fishing marks - avoid the northern coast as it is extremely exposed (bitterly cold in almost any wind!) and not very good.  Species & Techniques: Most people prefer to float fish or spin for Pollack, Coalfish, Wrasse and Mackerel, given the very foul bottom.  Legering will offer up small Conger, Dogfish and even Bull Huss.

2 - Portnoo   A beautiful strand, well known to holiday makers and beloved of surfers in winter, Portnoo can be almost empty on weekdays. The best mark is to the west nearest the rocks, under a famous restaurant/pub cum guesthouse.  There are even steps down, or up, depending on how you are doing!  Species & Techniques: Normal beachcasting (ideally from the rock platform west of the small pier) onto sand will produce Flounder, Dabs, the occassional Plaice and Dogfish, but it will produce smaller Turbot on a mackerel strip bait.  Spinning in the summer will take Mackerel, Pollack, and even Greater Sandeel and Garfish if they are shoaling in the bay.

3 - Burtonport Quay   Not a great location but handy in bad weather where there is nothing else available and the warm buzz of a local pub will give you welcome relief.  Species & Techniques: Mullet come into the harbour and can be taken on small fish baits on the float.  Pollack and especially Coalfish will fall to small red gills and spinners, with Mackerel also taken.  As with all harbours, legering offers access to the resident Congers.

4 - Cruit Point   Between the headland and the Island there is an excellent mark, with extremely strong currents and very heavy tides.  This is a very exposed and dangerous mark, and should only be approached in light winds and fair weather. It is reknowned for 'out-of-the-blue' massive individual swells but offers extremely deep water access.  A road stops in front of the platforms.  Species & Techniques: Legering over foul ground will produce Bull Huss, Dogfish and Conger, but most people prefer to float fish for Wrasse, Pollack, Coalfish, with Mackerel and the odd Garfish in season.  We are certain that both Codling and Haddock are real winter targets.

5 - Cruit Sound   To the east of the headland, there is an excellent mark opposite a small island. Fish this on heavy weather days. You fish off the rock over sand, which make a nice change from the foul bottoms elsewhere! Species & Techniques: Fishing off the rocks onto the sandy bottom will produce Flounder, Dogfish, Ray in warmer calm conditions especially at night and it also offers the chance of catching a speeding Tope.

6 - Kincaslough Pier   This littel pier is a great mark, and offers a wide variety of fishing. Species & Techniques: Fishing on the bottom over the sand will produce Flatfish, with Ray and Conger a possibility, especially at night.  Float fishing will produce Pollack, Wrasse and Mackerel in season, with large shoals of Mullet common during the summer.  Spinning will also account for Pollack, Coalfish and Mackerel.  Night tides are ideal.

7 - Bunbeg Harbour   A little village nestled in a deep and sheltered bay, Bunbeg offers simple easy fishing, especially in windy days thanks to its location and on an incoming tide.  Species & Techniques: Spinning from the outer wall takes Mackerel and Garfish in season, with Coalfish and Pollack also taken.  Float fishing for Mullet may require ground-baiting to encourage them to feed.  Conger and Dogfish are caught in the harbour at night.


The western coast of Donegal is unexplored - access is a problem and the prevailing weather does not help but we have no doubt that it harbours excellent shore fishing.  There are expanses of storm beach in Gweebara Bay that no-one ever fishes... alongside vast worm filled mudflats into which a spate of Salmon rivers flood!  Further north at Burtonport you have a maze of islands and channels with strong currents and deep waters and to date only Cruit headland has been explored, thanks largely to the road.  You could take the ferry to Aranmore Island from Burtonport Quay and try that for size and an adventure into virgin territory!