Luke Aston, skipper of the Clare Dragoon in Co. Clare, reports on the recent fishing on the Shannon Estuary and off Loop Head…
Well we have had a lovely few weeks of weather with calm seas and hot sun. This has made fishing very pleasant and the main ‘problem’ is sun burn. The sea temp has now hit 19.5’C out at sea which is as warm as I have seen it in a while.

A great brace of pollack considering the slack tides and bright skies
A great brace of pollack considering the slack tides and bright skies

For the first part of this report period we were getting plenty of Mackerel for bait but they have become harder to get around Loop head and along the coast. The only place we are picking up a few at the moment is up the estuary closer to Carrigaholt.
A lovely tope frmo the Clare coast - the tope fishing has been particularly good
A lovely tope from the Clare coast - the tope fishing has been particularly good

The bright hot weather and slack tides did seem to have the effect of slowing down the general fishing and the Pollack had gone off the take. For the last week the best Pollack fishing has been close in and we have got some good sized Pollack there. However today was more overcast than the last while and as the flood tide built this afternoon we got into some very good deep water Pollack fishing and had up to double figure fish.
The rest of the general deep fishing has been slow but steady with quite a few Ling about. We have also been getting some fine Whiting, Haddock and Red Gurnard. Cod are like hens teeth here though!
A triple header of tope!
A triple header of tope!

The highlight of the fishing over the last while has undoubtedly been the tope fishing. We have had a couple of sessions of 2 to 3 hours when we have had up to 15 fish on the boat and almost the same number of missed runs. Indeed we have had Tope following the bait up to the boat when we lift them for a check! It is noticeable how there has been a more than normal number of females in the estuary this year. We have also had two tagged fish over the last week. By the ‘aging’ on the tags I would guess they are over a season in the water so it will be interesting to get the info back. And although I have been tagging quite a few Tope over the last years and have had returns from as far away as the Azores, these are the first tagged Tope I have caught. I wonder if I tagged them?!
The best fish was a 49lb female of 171cm in length and we had up to 3 coming to the boat together…great fun!
Luke Aston
Clare Dragoon

Go fishing…

Clare Dragoon is a LOCHIN 366 powered by 650HP engine that operates out of Carrigaholt Co. Clare.
I have some offers up on my web site and if anybody is interested in putting a trip together please do get in touch. Also I Twitter from the boat on @fishandstay and try to update my face book page fairly often!
To experience some of the best deep sea fishing available in Ireland contact Luke.
Telephone: +353 65 9058209 or +353 87 6367544
Email: [email protected] Web: