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Kerry - Dingle KERRY - THE RING Cork - West Shore Index

This penninsula is home to the famous "Ring of Kerry" and has a wealth of shore marks as well. Valentia Island holds five Irish records for Blackspot Sea Bream, Conger, Atlantic Pomfret, Bull Huss and LSD! Does that give you an idea of what's available? 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!


This Penninsula is a big piece of land in every sense and the shallow storm beaches of the Dingle Penninsula are fewer and much farther apart on this mountainous and majestic landmass. It holds the famous Valentia Island, and the main charter port of Caherciveen, but it also includes sheltered marks on the Kenmare River - which is not a river, just the Kerry name for a big fine oceanic Bay!  Try the Ring of Kerry on a pony and trap - it really is a treat to be jaunting in such amazing scenery.  The sheer variety of shore fishing in Kerry is the main problem - what to do next, and the good news is a sheltered marks is always available regardless of the wind direction.  No point in freezing there!

1 - Rossbehy Creek   Past Glenbeigh village, heading west there is a spit of land (held there by a stone causeway) that holds two marks, the first of which is on the eastern side of the land. There are excellent popportunities for digging lugworm in the vast mudflatsin teh area. Species & Techniques: There were sea-trout available to spinners near the creek but the population has declined. The best option is to bottom fish for Flounder and Bass on the seaward side of the causeway.  There is another similar mark in the village of Cromane just short of Glenbeigh itself.  February 2004.

2 - Rossbehy Strand   The surf fishing beach is another of the quiet little jewels in Kerry. Access is from Glenbeigh village, down the road to the car park. Species & Techniques: Surf fishing will find Flatfish and Bass, with the possibility of Ray in calm weather and the occasional marauding Tope also recorded almost every season.  A big Mackerel cone on a wire trace is essential for Tope, usually from the point.  The Bass are located just about anywhere but under the rocks on the extreme left hand side is good after dark.  February 2004.

15 - Kells Bay "There is a very good, easy to access rock mark into deep water at Kells, which is near Darby's Bridge on the northern side". As you rise up a hill on a decent stretch of road, you will see a small bay and pier tucked into the side of the hills down to your right.  A tranquil spot, this is Kells Bay.  My thanks to Tim Hoy and Roger Baker for their insight and information about this mark.  Species & Techniques: Surf fishing off the small beach will find Flatfish and Bass, with the possibility of Ray in calm weather.  The Bass are located just about anywhere but under the rocks on the western side is good after dark.  Tom adds that he caught "Loads of Dogfish but I know Bass have been caught there as well as Mackerel, Wrasse etc. If you go to the eastern side of the bay, there is a good deal of room there". April 2004.

3 - Lough Kay   Another quiet beach fishing mark on the Kerry coast...  Species & Techniques: Beach fishing here is mainly for Flatfish with the possibility of picking up a Ray in calm warm conditions, but no Bass.

4 - Valentia Harbour   Now we are getting into some interesting marks, but the Harbour is not great. Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing will find Conger and Dogfish. especially at low water.  The odd Ray has been caught here too, and Mullet are commonly seen during the summer with the usual difficulty - getting a bite can be quite frustratingly slow!  The island has no fishing on the northern side due to the massive sea cliffs, but how spectacular might the boat fishing be?

5 - Culoo   Off to the western end, near the lighthouse there is a series of reasonably safe rock marks offering decent fishing.  To get to the rocks, you drive down a terrible pot-holed road to a gate which you can go through and drive a bit more.  It's a few hundred yards to the sea front on foot then. Wear a lifejacket and fish as a group - see below.  Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing on foul ground takes Dogfish, Bull Huss and Conger.  Pollack and Wrasse will fall to worm baits, and Mackerel are always available for spinners or feathers once the water warms up.  "There is a high platform, that was popular with several guys for fishing each day.  Not sure why people fish there - there is a huge drop where you could easily lose a fish whilst bringing it in.  We fished to the left of that where there are some good flat platforms at low tide.  It can only be fished on a calm day - a guy was swept off and killed a few weeks before so care is advised.  Very deep water - cast out and count to 20 and you still wont reach the bottom.  So, heavy spinners are required."  Update thanks to Cormac Dalton. June 2004.

6 - St Finans Bay   Here is the most westerly and deserted surf fishing beach in Europe!  A lovely spot, if an awful road down, it is acquiring new holiday homes so expect it to be busy in the summer.  Species & Techniques: Flatfish are the main catch on the beach, with the possibility of a specimen Bass in the surf. You can also fish off the rocks on either side for Pollack, Triggerfish and Mackerel in the summer, with Conger and the odd Huss also taken from legered baits.  Some Mullet taken here also with groundbaiting advised.

7 - Inny Strand   Coming in towards Waterville, you traverse an estuary and Inny Strand.  Near the estuary is the main mark, and you are best to park near the golf club and walk the rest of the way.. Species & Techniques: Flounder and Bass are the main priorities for surf fishing anglers and bear in mind that the main beach is likely to be as good a bet for surf fishing as the estuary.  The odd Ray is also reported off the beach away form the estuary, at night and in the height of summer. 

8 - Waterville   Another pristine beach, popular with families during the daytime and in summer... the chances are you will have it to yourself any time outside of July and August!  A river drains Lough Currane to the south of Waterville town, so it is quite possible that Sea Trout and Salmon would be available to the enterprising angler.  Species & Techniques: Flounder, Plaice, Dogfish and Bass are the main species mostly caught surf fishing just below the car park.  It has the obvious benefit of food, drink and lodgings being available within a stone's throw of the mark.  It is noticeably steeper than the usual beaches in Kerry and the rocky outcrops will interest Bass at low water.  It looked a very attractive proposition - ask Tadhg O'Sullivan in town. My thanks to Malcolm Gilbert for the corrections.

9 - Hogs Head   Most people fish the inside of the Hogs Head, pointing into the deep water across to Ballinskellig.  Like all rock platforms washed by the Atlantic care is required.  I would love to hear from anyone who has tried to fish the outside of the headland.  The road is poorly signposted, you need to drive down towards the shore after leaving Waterville.  Ask in Tadhg O'Sullivan's tackle shop in Waterville for directions and you can hire a local guide of you want... Species & Techniques: This is very mixed ground and often extremely deep - Codling feature on the list here as do Flounder and Dabs, Pollack, Conger, Wrasse and Mackerel. Bring plenty of junk leads and lots of bait.  February 2004.

14 - Lamb's Head Another rock platform mark, this is on a spectacular piece of coastline.  Species & Techniques:  You will encounter all the ususal suspects including Pollack, Conger, Wrasse and Mackerel.  We have reliable reports of substantial numbers of Bass arriving inshore around here in the early Autumn. Fly fishing has been shown to produce Pollack, Wrasse and even Triggerfish in the summer. February 2004.
13 - Derrynane Another beach, tucked into a bay protected by Lamb's Head and Hog's Head - do you reckon there are many vegetarians in Kerry!?! - this beach is accessed from the village and most of the way by road.  Quietly popular in the summer, it fishes best on the flood and near dusk. Species & Techniques: Bass and Flounder are the main quarry taken here, with Mullet in the estuary.  Warning:  Tim Hoy has reported a lot of poisonous Lesser Weaverfish caught off the beach using legering techniques; check the species guide to see how to avoid their spines!  February 2004.  

10 - Gleesk Harbour   The handy thing about this mark, and the remaining two marks is that they face onto the Kenmare River - we know it is not a river, but read the postscript and prepare to be amazed. Facing due south, even south east, these marks offer good fishing out of any cold northern winds.  A word of warning - there is a dangerously blind bend on this remarkably busy but terribly narrow road that requires careful navigation.  You can avail of limited parking at the pier itself, but that said, it is a lovely spot. Species & Techniques: The fishing is surprisingly mixed with Wrasse, Triggerfish and Pollack falling to float fished worms, Pollack and Mackerel taken on spinners, and finally Dogfish, Conger and an odd Ray apparently falling to bottom fishing onto the sandy patches... No reports of winter fishing here.

11 - Oysterbed Pier   A small pier, almost lost in time, but sheltered, quiet and tranquil... Mind you don't nod off! Access is on the shore road - take directions from the locals in Sneem. Species & Techniques: Pier fishing for Conger on the bottom, Wrasse on a float, Mullet on both, and the chance of an odd Ray and Flatfish.

12 - Blackwater Harbour   You can fish from both the harbour itself and the rocks to the west of the harbour, provided you check the swells.  Species & Techniques: Spinning will take Mackerel in season, small Pollack, and there is even the possibilility of a Sea-Trout.  Ray and smaller Conger have both been caught here with bottom fished rigs.


A word about Slob Trout: - there is this weird thing called a Slob Trout and the Kenmare River is the place to catch one.  It is a brown trout, usually a ferox trout that has taken to eating fish, that has migrated into the estuary and even the more brackish waters in the Bay itself.  Because of their eating habits, they tend to be big when they arrive and they get bigger, fast!  I have never seen a Slob Trout and I would appreciate a photo and details from any intrepid angler lucky enough to land one!

Valentia Sound, west of the bridge on the Island side offers some spectacular scenery but we also noticed a very deep channel and reasonably good access from the road to a spur of rocks - worth a try on a calm day.