The wild, unspoiled Western Region of Ireland extends from Pigeon Point near Westport, Co. Mayo, to Hags Head in Co. Clare.
An area of exceptional beauty, Ireland western coastline is populated with as many islands as people. The diverse nature of the coastline provides the perfect habitat for a wide range of marine species. The warming influence of the North Atlantic Drift encourages fish of the southern climes to migrate along the coast in summer including a large number of blue shark.
Deep sea angling centres are located along the coast. Skate over 100 lbs are caught in Clew Bay. Reef fishing gives up pollock, ling, cod, coalfish gurnard, white turbot, megrim, dabs, ray, and dogfish are caught in specific areas.
Mackerel are abundant throughout the summer. Tope are caught in a number of areas but Clew Bay and Galway Bay are noted for this species.
Shore and beach fishing along the western coast give up a wide range of marine fish including ray, plaice, dogfish, flounder, turbot, bull huss, mackerel, conger, wrasse, coalfish, mullet, and the occasional bass.
In several places around the coast there are sea angling poster charts listing the different species of fish found in the areas numbered on the charts. The shore angling “hot spots” are also shown on the charts.
SEA ANGLING CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE
ROUNDSTONE/ CLIFDEN/ CLEGGAN
Deep Sea Angling: Deep sea charter boats based at Roundstone, Clifden and Cleggan. All three centres offer blue shark angling as well as a host of general species on the offshore marks.
Shore Fishing: One of the more popular beaches in this area is Gorteen Bay a mile south west of Roundstone where Catches include dogfish, flounder, plaice, small turbot and occasional ray. Pollack, wrasse and dogfish at the mouth of Bertraboy Bay. Download a map of Clifden [.doc, 1MB].
Small Boat: Fishing in sheltered water among the many islands where catches include dogfish, bull huss, flatfish, thornbacks and blonde ray. Some tope also caught here.
When to Fish: This area fishes well all year round but June to November is best. Blue shark July to October. Shore fishing September to December.
Comments: Blue Fin Tuna have been caught to the northern end of this area. In general one of the best pollack areas in the country.
Deep Sea Angling: Charter boats based at Westport and Newport. Some excellent general fishing for blue shark and a wide range of species off Clare Island . The bay itself is a major competition venue hosting many festivals each year. One of the best centres for common skate, tope, huss and ray.
Shore Fishing: Some productive marks on the south side of the bay i.e. at Bertra. Catches here include mackerel, dogfish, bull huss, thornback ray and occasional bass and sea trout. The pier and headland at Old Head will see catches of pollack, mackerel, dogfish and flatfish. Download a map of Clew Bay [.doc, 1MB].
Small Boat: This is an excellent area for small boat anglers who can expect tope, huss, ray and an excellent chance of a common skate up to 200 lbs.
When to Fish: The best time for common skate is September to November but they can be caught early in the year. Wide range of species at Clare Island – May to October.
Comments: The best common skate centre in the country with one charter boat recording 50 in one season. An ideal competition centre.