Baltimore sea fishing
Baltimore enjoys some of the most varied sea angling in Ireland,
both in terms of the number of species and the different types of fishing
available. The latter include shark, wreck and common skate fishing, as well
as excellent general deep sea angling. Much of it is centred on marks like
the Stags or the Fastnet Rock whose reefs and pinnacles have produced more
than fifty different species of fish for sea anglers. There is deep water
close inshore so you do not have to go far to find fish. Typical depths within
a mile or two of land are in the region of 100 to 200 ft (30-60 m). Tidal
streams are relatively weak so depth is not usually a problem, whether you
are fishing at anchor or on the drift.
Baltimore enjoys spectacular shark fishing with blue shark
often present in large numbers, even quite close to land. Daily catches well
into double figures are quite possible. Typical blues run up to about 100
lbs (45 kg) with occasional specimens nearer 200 lbs (90 kg). Porbeagle numbers
have also increased in recent years. Six gilled shark are another possibility
and mako have been taken in the area. The shark fishing season opens in May
or June and, depending on weather, can continue well into October.
Shipping routes in two world wars have ensured that there
are dozens of wrecks off this corner of Ireland (though the largest of them
all, the 160,000 ton Kowloon Bridge which sank of the Stags, dates from 1986).
From 2 to 30 miles out, these wrecks hold all the usual wreck species like
pollack, ling, cod, conger, coalfish and more besides. For wrecking, conditions
have to be right, especially for the offshore wrecks where depths can exceed
400 ft (120 m). A lot of the fishing is on the drift but we can and do anchor
when possible, even on the deepest wrecks. And it is these deep-water wrecks
which hold out the best chance of specimens like a 20 lb (9 kg) coalfish or
a 40 lb (18 kg) ling.
Common skate fishing
Baltimore is one of the main centres for common skate in Ireland.
Marks like 'Skate Alley' are within easy reach of the harbour and regularly
produce specimens up to 200 bs (90 kg) and sometimes more. It is quite common
to take several skate in a session, with catches sometimes running into double
figures. Our best day to date yielded 17 skate, including eight over 100 lbs
(45 kg). Skate are present throughout the year, though spring and summer are
usually the most productive times.
Tag and release
We have been active in the skate and shark tagging programme
for more than 30 years and our shark tags have been returned from places as
far afield as Alicante, New Jersey and Barbados. It goes without saying that
unwanted fish of every species are returned as carefully as possible to the