Northern Ireland

From Carlingford Lough in the south-east to angling craft are becoming available Lough Foyle in the north-west, the coast of throughout the year and these are bringing Northern Ireland gives access to some of the new marks within normal range.

Richest sea angling areas in the British Isles. Shore angling has its followers but remains These areas are all the more attractive in that comparatively underdeveloped in spite of a they are comparatively unexplored. Wealth of fish holding shoreline. There is an The sport is quite popular in Northern Ireland almost embarrassing profusion of rocky head- but until recently the lack of suitable boats lands, shallow estuaries, small piers and storm made deep-sea trips difficult to organise, a beaches so easily accessible that they are not situation now rapidly changing. Modern sea properly appreciated by the local population.

Warrenpoint:

The main centreforfishing in Carlingford Lough. Boat angling can be excellent for tope, spurdog, thornback ray and conger. The Lough holds a fair head of mackerel during the summer months and they are byfarthe best bait. From the pier thornback ray and dogfish can be caught. Mullet area possibility although not many anglers try for them.

Shore fishing can be good at Cranfield Point at the mouth of the Lough for bass, dogfish and flounder. Duskisthe most productive time and lugworm the best bait, these can be dug in the vicinity of Warrenpoint Harbour.

Kilkeel

Codling, plaice, daband mullet can be taken from the pier. Shoals of small coalfish (locally called ‘blockin’) enter the inner harbour at hightideandcan becaughton feathers.

Boat angling is in its infancy at Kilkeel but local boatmen can be persuaded to take out parties of anglers to fish for cod, whiting, tope, spurdog, plaice and dab. Blue shark have been sighted nearby and may be worth fishing for during the summer months. Six miles up the coast from Kilkeel is the little port of Annalong where pierfishingcan be had for wrasse, pollack and coalfish.

Newcastle:

The harbour is tidal but a few boats are available for hire at suitable times.

Fishing is for codling, plaice, dab, wrasse and pollack. Mullet and large flounder can be caught in the channel of theestuarine Dundrum Bay, a few miles north of the town.

Ardglass:

This is a fine centre for both the boat and shore enthusiast. The pier affords good angling for mackerel, coalfish and dogfish. The rocks below the golf course are a well-known shore markforconger, wrasse, coalfish and pollack.

Around Gunn’s Island, the boat angler can expect turbot, ray, cod, whiting, plaice and dab. Pollack, coalfish and wrasse to 4 lb. Are a regular catch over the rocky ground close to Killard Point. Lugworm can be dug in the harbour.

Portaferry,

The vast, almost land-locked Strangford Lough is a celebrated big fish area. Skate of 150lb. And over are not uncommon. The Irish records for spurdog (16 lb. 4oz.)and tope (60 lb. 12oz.) are held here. Boats can be chartered throughout the year at Portaferry and Killyieagh. Best areasfor boat angling are at Ringhaddy and Skate Rock. Otherspecies which inhabit the Lough are bull huss, thornback rayand conger eel.

Shore fishing is excellent in the many inlets and estuaries around the Lough,flounder, mulletand seatrout being the main source of sport.

Portavogie:

Lying on the seaward side of the

Ards Peninsula, Portavogie is just beginning to make a name as an angling station. Afew boats are available to fish for cod, ray, gurnard, conger, ling and whiting. Fair sized conger can be caught from the pier after dark on mackerel bait.

Donaghadee:

Boats operate daily, fishing over theRigg Bank, three miles from the harbour. Species sought are cod, whiting, plaice, dab, dogfish and mackerel. Lugworm can be dug adjacent to the harbour.

Orlock Point, two miles from the town provides good rock angling for codling, coalfish, wrasse, pollack and dogfish. Ragworm and lugworm can be dug in Sandeel Bay below the coastguard station.

Bangor:

The best centre for exploring Belfast Lough from a boat. Species sought are cod, whiting, plaice, ray (Groomsport Bay), dab and spurdog (Grey Point). Hake can be taken in the deep water marks. The British record for the species of 25lb. 5Joz. Is held here. Mackerel, coalfish, codling and whiting can be taken from the piers. Evening tides are most productive.

Carrickfergus:

Pier angling for codling, whiting, dogfish, coalfish and mackerel. Boat angling is good between May and September. Local skippers are experts at drift fishing over the sandbanks off Blackhead. Species regularly taken include cod, whiting, ray, haddock, pouting and dogfish.

Larne,

The Maiden Rocks are an hour by boat from Larne and good angling can be obtained for coalfish, pollack, wrasse, dogfish and tope. Muck Island is a noted mark for flatfish of many kinds including plaice, sole, flounder and turbot.

There is shore angling at Brown’s Bayfor plaice, flounder, wrasse and pollack.

Portrush:

The twin towns of Portrush and Portstewart offer fine facilities for both boat and shore angler on the Causeway Coast. Boats are available all year round forfishing for haddock, cod, tope, ray, plaice, gurnard, ling and whiting. Important marks are The Causeway Bank, Benbane Head and the Skerries Rocks.

Shore angling from the east strand Portrush and Portstewart Strand isforflounder, coalfish, bass and small turbot. Rock fishing at Ramore Head for conger, wrasse, dogfish and pollack. The River Bann estuary produces seatrout, bass, flounder and eel.

Castlerock

From Castlerock village there is access to 6j miles of unbroken strand at Downhill. Bass and flounderarethe predominant species. Best venues are Castlerock Beach, Downhill , Benone Strand, and Magilligan Point .

Clams (locally called ‘geegawns’) are the best bait especially after a northerly blow when hundreds are washed ashore. Lough Foyle offers good boat angling fortope, ray and flatfish. Shore anglers can expect bass, flounder, mulletand seatrout. Bait can be dug locally.

Carnlough:

Boat anglers can expect conger, wrasse, pouting and pollack while fishing nearStraidkilly Point. Conger and wrasse are the predominant species for the shore anglerfishinginthevicinityof Garron Point. Good mixed fishing isavailablefrom boats operating in Red Bay. Main species are cod, skate, ray, plaice, gurnard, pouting and dogfish.

At Milltown and Waterfoot, shore anglers have a choice of rock or beach fishing forcodling, plaice, wrasse, pollack, thornback ray and the odd bass.

Five miles north of Waterfoot there is excellent shore fishing from the strand at Cushendun. Cod, coalfish and plaice are some of the species on offer. Fishing after dark is regarded locally as the most favourable time.

Ballycastle:

The harbourfaces northtowards Rathlin Island, where good boat angling is available in the sound, especially near Bull Pointfor conger, cod, ling, coalfish, plaice and pollack, and the odd porbeagle shark. It is possible that halibut may be encountered in the deep water marks in this area.

The sheltered bay off Ballingtoy offers boat fishing for plaice, ray, codling and pollack, especially in the region of Carrickarade Island. Plaice, dab and flounder can be taken by the shoreangler operating at White Park Bay. / .— .

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