One of Ireland's
One of Ireland’s

Shrouded in myth and mystery, Ireland is a land of ancient legend. The rugged South West part of the country, County Cork, is as wild and untamed as it is charming and welcoming. Venturing out through the surf in this mystical wonderland, it can be hard to dismiss the folklore, wildlife and scenery to concentrate on your angling expedition.

County Cork consists of a series of peninsulas and headlands that jut out into the Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean and are inlaid with a plethora of bays and inlets. Depending on what direction the wind blows from, these bays and inlets can offer sheltered launch points for a kayak angler in all but some of the worst weather. Cliffs cut by the relentless action of the Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean give shape to the coastline and provide for some deepwater fishing very close to shore. The cool temperate climate coupled with the relatively warm waters heated by the Gulf Stream make for an area rich in fish, wildlife and the food supplies needed to sustain them.

a large pollack from Cork

A County Cork Pollock.

The Beara Peninsula is the perfect base camp. Target the hard fighting Pollack that reside here with soft plastic eels and jelly worms and 12-15lb tackle. Let the lure sink to the seabed, crank it back slowly and hang on! Pollack will follow the bait up off the seabed, engulf it and dive back towards the sanctuary of the bottom with incredible power. Being a shoaling species, once you locate them you are guaranteed some rod busting action. Look for underwater features like shelves and reefs to find them.

Wrasse are another popular species in Ireland. Where they lack in size they make up for with attitude. Found over rougher ground close to the shore, their bite resembles an electric shock transmitted up the line to your rod. Another fish that dives hard when hooked, set drags tight to stop them from making it back to their rocky, weedy home. Swap artificial lures for sinkers on your 12-15lb tackle and use hardback crabs for bait. These can be found easily on the shoreline under overturned rocks.

on the way to the mark off the Beara

Paddling to the Beara Penninsula.

Cork Harbor is another area for sheltered fishing and European Bass, Ireland’s most popular game fish. These solid flanks of silver muscle test your light tackle and wits to their limits. These handsome fish can be taken on fish baits, worm baits and artificials. Anglers after meaner fish can set out for toothy conger eels and some of the smaller sharks. Just beef up the gear and include wire bite-guards.

Come to Ireland and experience an area littered with Neolithic tombs and monuments, welcoming establishments for eating and drinking and most importantly, fantastic opportunities for the kayak angler. Kayak fishing in County Cork, the land of a thousand welcomes, means you’ll rarely see another kayak angler.

When to Go:

May through November offer the highest concentrations of fish. It is also the best time to spot dolphins, the Fin and Minkie whales and the Basking Sharks that the area is famous for.

Where to Stay:

Dromagowlane House is located on the Beara Peninsula near Castletownbere and has covered storage space for kayaks and water access for washing salt off kayaking and fishing gear. Owner Paul Harris is a helpful host and will readily dispense fishing information to his clients.

Where to Eat:

Castletownbere is a busy fishing town and has a host of pubs, restaurants, shops to suit all tastes and budgets.

Who to Call:

Kayak rental is an ever-changing prospect in Ireland. Contact the author through his website for the most up to date information.

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