May 29, 2015 Last Updated 9:19 pm

* Early Season Boat Angling Report – Cork Area

        Early Season Report  – Cork Area   Fishing Update   It has been a very mixed start to the season with the weather being the major player largely stopping






Early Season Report  – Cork Area


Pat O'Shea - Always one of the first off the mark!

Pat O’Shea – Always one of the first off the mark!

Fishing Update


It has been a very mixed start to the season with the weather being the major player largely stopping much of the angling that we would like to be getting at at this time of year.


The shore anglers had a great start to their lure adventures chasing bass. TopFisher contributor Pat O’Shea was one of the first anglers in the Cork Area to get off the mark and he proceeded to ramp things up session after session Pat’s tally of big bass was impressive. I don’t think I have ever seen so many pre season big bass caught by any angler. Fellow Bass tagger Andy Davies was off the mark early on too. There is one thing for sure these guys do not do this purely by accident. The time and effort that both put in to planning and putting into effect is enormous. Other lads I was speaking to were catching on both soft and hard lures. The early season good weather helped catches but towards the end of April this took turn for the worst and many shore venues were ruled out of play. Add to the mix some serious plankton blooms and you can see why the fishing went quiet.

New vessel on the scene!

New vessel on the scene!

If the weather was hurting shore angling you can imagine that it was really effecting the boat scene. I was patiently (make that impatiently) waiting for weather windows to get bass fishing. I did get a few sessions in chasing bass. One of these sessions I would have described the weather conditions as nearly perfect.   Nearly perfect for the lack of a bass.

Mackerel! A welcome return (Photo P Rae)

Mackerel! A welcome return (Photo P Rae)

I did manage some reef fishing and had some nice sessions on pollack and cod. There are a good amount of cod showing on the inshore reefs and these make for great sport. Fish of 12lbs are not unheard of nor even rare. It is incredible to say this but the most successful tactics for catching these kelp cod? You surely have guessed that soft plastic lures will outfish bait and it is great to see so many anglers cashing in on the techniques. I’m sure that any of you that are on Facebook will have seen the many reports from various people.

Paul Rae - Aboard Fine Catch2

Paul Rae – Aboard Fine Catch2

I all cases when we are getting unpredictable weather it is best to be as fully prepared for whatever your fishing day is going to throw at you. For example when lure fishing I am taking at least two rods on the boat with me. I am taking my light setup, as this is what I really want to be fishing with  and also my heavier setup that can easily cope with 100g jig heads should the tide and wind dictate. It can be very disappointing to be on the water and finding that you do not have the gear to keep in contact with the bottom. Fine if you want to target pollack  but of little benefit if you want to pick up the other reef dwellers. At this stage I carry a range of heads stepping up to 100g and even then I also include a few metal jigs to 150g if the wind looks to be fresh. So my current crop of jig heads runs like: 18g, 25, 30,45,50,60,80,100g. I find that if the drift is such that I cannot fish with 100g it is more than likely that I should be fishing at anchor.

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The bait anglers have been having decent enough fishing. A few lads over from the UK had a species hunt over a few days and managed twenty three species including a decent 20lb blonde ray.


Kevin Murphy of the Bellavista Self-drive fleet tells me he is beginning to ramp up his season with lots of Dutch and German anglers. He tells us that he has a new boat, another Tuna 660 (AKA Smartliner), on the way. “It is largely booked out already for a large part of the season.


Acoustic tag as fitted to bass

Acoustic tag as fitted to bass

Bass Tagging News


In or around May 13 (At 04:11 to be precise) one of our acoustically tagged bass passed by the smart-buoy located outside Cork Harbour.  It is safe to say that this fish is on its way back to the harbour for its summer season. Over the coming weeks scientists will be monitoring the receivers to see how many of our fish from last summer will return. The fish that passed the smart-buoy was  47.5cm fish that was tagged in the inner harbour. The systems aboard the Smart-Buoy automatically monitored and emailed the details of the tag that was detected.


In the coming months the first scientific paper based on the two-year Cork Harbour Bass Tagging Programme will be published. Given the level of interest in bass at  the moment I am confident that this paper will be more than well received but the scientific community and anglers around Europe. Some of the finding are groundbraking.

Floy tags fitted to the back of bass

Floy tags fitted to the back of bass

Bass Protection


Unless you have been living under a rock you will have heard of the protection measures in place or being put in place to protect bass across EU waters.


  • There is a new 3 Fish limit for recreational fishers – including spear and net. Irelandds 2 fish limit remains in force.
  • Ceasing of commercial fishing by EU vessels in waters adjacent to Ireland.
  • Monthly catch limits on all commercials catch methods
  • Proposal to increase the minimum landing size to 42cm


If you have any news or have an event to be publicised be sure to send it in to:

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