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Connemara GALWAY - EAST Clare - North Shore Index

Galway, for all the population in the city and its popularity as a tourism centre, is largely unexplored in terms of shore fishing. We have split it into (a) West around Clifden, (b) the Connemara section, and (c) East around Galway City.  Again people like Peter Atkins and the fellow members of the Galway City SAC are well worth an email or a posting on the bulletin boards.  Members range across the whole county from Kinvara north and west to Clifden, and the fishing can be spectacular.  Tope from the shore anyone?  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 / worth exploring.


Only recently have people begun exploring the potential marks in Galway Bay.  Given the great boat fishing available there it has taken a long time for people to seek out new marks (see 5 and 6).  For all that the fishing close to the City itself can be excellent, albeit the more adventurous will undoubtedly try new virgin territory.  For starters we recommend that you try Salthill - the beach and the various jettys and breakwaters - although obviously not when they are packed with holiday makers in search of a sun tan.  There is exceptional Mullet fishing for those of you who are interested in the city itself, ranging around the mouth of the Corrib outflow.  Even the docks can produce some fishing for conger and mullet.  Outside the beaches, you will find a tranquil and remarkably productive range of shore marks.  The local pubs are not poor either!

1 - Spiddal   Spiddal effectively has two marks, one from the shore over fairly rocky and rough ground and another from the pier that leaves you out over sand and mud. Species & Techniques: Pollack, Wrasse and Mackerel in season can all be taken from the rocks with spinning gear and feathers. All the main Flatfish can be accounted for with worm baits from the pier.  Dogfish are the most common menare, whereas smallish Ballen Wrasse are also present around the pier and off the rocks.
2 - Barna   Although it is not big enough to show on the map, there is a decent tidal lagoon east of Barna village. Species & Techniques: Mullet and Bass are both known to frequent the lagoon and the latter including some Flatfish can be taken on worm baits.  Most people trying for Bass use bass bullets or similar lures on spinning gear. SWFF is a definite option at this mark.

3 - Salthill   Don't get taken in by all the fairground attractions, for the beach at Salthill is a serious fishing mark. Obviously it can be black with people during the summer, out for the day from the city or holidaying in one of the many campsites and apartment complexes nearby.  Species & Techniques: Thanks to William Greene, a local for the following information: "The concrete jetty beside Lady's beach is an excellent Dogfish mark. Simply bang out a single 3/0 hook clipped down paternoster loaded with mackeral on a grip lead  - forty metres would do - and usually within two to five minutes you will be getting bites. Dogfish average 2 lbs but reach well over the shore specimen weight (3 lbs). Huss are quite frequent here but require a well presented double sandeel. Ray and Pollack also present. My other "hotspot" is Palmers rock across from Kitty O'Sheas. Congers are caught here to > 20 lbs. This is an amazing spot for Topknot. I have never hooked a Topknot here but I have seen many and managed to catch one with my hands weighing 196 grams (7 ounces). Whilst there is real potential here, Topknots are not recognised by the IFSC for specimen or record purposes... due to their rarity! Wrasse and Mullet show below your feet at low tide. These can be caught on float fished mackerel or bread. Mullet, to 2 kilos (5 lbs) have even had a go at Conger baits from time to time dropped down under my feet."

4 - Galway City Docks   This is a busy working port with ferries out the Aran Islands, fishing boats and smaller coastal freight ships. Species & Techniques: Mackerel are commonly taken inside the harbour during the summer, Congers are plentiful and difficult to extract from the bottom, and huge Mullet mill around behind the fish plant, eating the offal and as a consequence they can be taken on small fish baits!
5 - Ballynacourty   To the east of Galway the suburbs of Oranmore are slowly reaching south towards Clarinbridge (famous for the oyster festival). Behind this urban sprawl the shore is offering us some excellent new marks for those brave enough to try somewhere new. Species & Techniques: Fishing into the deep channels in the east of Galway Bay gives access to deep water species and recently anglers have had excellent catches of Bull Huss, Ray, Tope, Dogfish and in 2001 an unsubstantiated Monkfish.
6 - Newtownlynch   If you dare travel beyond Clarinbridge and then past Kinvara, you are back into pastoral countryside, and several bays that reach far into the mainland. Species & Techniques: The coast between the villages of Parkmore and Newtownlynch, facing Eddy Island had begun to produce excellent catches for shore anglers prepared to fish at night. Huss, Ray, Tope, Dogfish, Flatfish and Gurnard taken.


Again the region between Oranmore and Black Head in Co. Clare is area that is largely unexplored by shore anglers.  Recent pioneering efforts around Ballyancourty have produced exceptional fishing, so it is only a question of time before we find new options akin to the shore marks near Parkmore...  Many of the marks are a long walk from any road hence the lack of information.