Reef Fishing

West of Ireland

The season runs from March to mid October and every year boats like the Bluewater in Cliften (see guiding) will have a number of days with over 1000 lbs of fish. The two main techniques are drifting and anchoring.

Drifting over reefs in 15 to 100m of water will yield Ling, Cod, Coalfish, Wrasse and Mackerel, to name but a few. Using Red Gill's and lead heads for Pollack is a specialty and provides excellent sport with fish average about 2.5 kg (5lbs +) and frequently edge over 5.5 kg (10lbs +). Summer cod are plentiful and fish in the 10 to 15 lbs range are common, shoals of Coalfish vary in size from clouds of 1lb fish to tackle smashing adults over 10 lbs.

A day's drifting over reefs should yield 10 to 15 species and some additional bait could well increase this up to 15 or 20.

Our Take

For a country with an enormous coastline, Galway and Mayo are very unexplored in terms of sea angling. Perhaps this is because it is so famous for the game fishing on the Corrib, Cara and other trout lakes, but for whatever reason a sea-angler can find himself spoilt for choice in the Western Counties.