FISHING THE BEARA

  Tackle and Bait

TACKLE & EQUIPMENT

When visiting a new area we are all guilty of taking with us every item of tackle we can. The 'just in case' becomes the common thread running through our mind as each piece of equipment is picked up and rarely discarded.
Equally guilty of this myself but just as a small help, especially if space is at a premium, here are a few suggestions for what you will need when holidaying on the Beara Peninsula.
A beachcaster capable of casting a 4-6 ounce (100-150 gram) lead and a good sized bait such as mackerel, squid or sandeel. This goes out at range looking primarily for huss and ray. I find 15 - 20lb (7-10 kilo) mainline along with a 60 pound (30 kilo) shockleader to be more than adequate for this set up. My favourite terminal rig for this would always be a pulley rig with Pennel rigged hooks of 2/0 to 4/0. Minimum 30 pound (14 Kilo) strength for the hooklength but you can need to go stronger, our huss have big teeth!.
A similar rod, or even a boat rod, but with a reel loaded with stronger line would be fished close in with conger the main target. We have had conger in excess of 40 pounds (18 Kilos) off the shore so the emphasis here is on strength more than anything else. Just a simple running lead rig, on a rotten bottom if necassary as you are fishing rough ground, with wire to a 4/0 to 6/0 strong hook.
A spinning rod for the bass and pollack which can also double up as a float rod for wrasse, mullet etc. Favourite lures can be personal choice and there is a bewildering choice. For the pollack all the jelly lures can be effective and cheap enough not to worry about losing them in the kelp. Most popular over the past few years has been the Storm sandeel but I also had good results on the Sidewinder lures during 2010 including a new personal best fish of 8lbs 11ozs (4.08 Kilos). Important to remember that some of the best pollack are caught in thirty foot of water so a bit of weight is needed to get down there or you will spend most of your fishing day waiting for the lure to sink. About 2 ounces (50 gram) will do it okay.
The bass as is their nature can be more fussy and some days will only look at one particular model or colour of lure depending what they are feeding on so bring a variety and always include a surface popper, no more exciting take in fishing than a bass hitting on of these.
On the miscellaneous items I would always include a tripod, a Gemini disgorger which I find best for removing hooks from pesky Dogfish or angry huss and as most of the fishing here is from rocks a pair of sturdy walking boots.

BAIT
By far the most popular bait used here is mackerel from thin strips to half sides and even the head is not wasted as an excellent conger bait. Generally fairly easy to catch yourself but failing that go to Dinish Island just outside Castletownbere where there are several establishmnents you can buy fresh mackerel from.
Frozen squid and sandeel are available from Beara Angling Supplies based at Dromagowlane House in Adrigole and they can also order in ragworm and crab should you require it.
A few places as marked on the map can be dug for lug and crab can be collected there but ragworm cannot be found on the Peninsula so order in advance or bring it with you.

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