Northern Ireland

Portstewart Strand

Portstewart Strand © Kenneth-Allen

Portstewart and Portrush – Portstewart Harbour can fish well for pollock with float fished baits such as ragworm, sandeel and sprats getting the best results. Cod, whiting, dogfish, wrasse and flounder are caught on bottom fished baits and mullet are also spotted here in calm weather and mackerel can be caught on feathers and daylights. Portrush Harbour has mixed ground and some snags but produces similar species. Rock marks nearby are also good marks for float fishing and can also produce wrasse. Conger are a possibility here to large mackerel/squid baits presented on big hooks and wire traces. Portstewart Strand is a two-mile stretch of sandy beach which can produce bass to bottom fished peeler crab and ragworm, as well as plaice, dogfish, dab, flounder and winter whiting and cod. Castlerock produces similar species and has been known to produce sea trout to spinners. View this area on Google Maps here.

Ballycastle Rocks

Ballycastle Rocks © David McFarland

Ballycastle – Ballycastle has a number of good sea fishing venues. The beaches around this area can produce flatfish such as flounder, dab and potentially turbot. Bass can also be caught here, and plenty of dogfish can also be caught. Try varying casting distances as fish can feed anywhere from close in to at distance. Nearby rock marks will also produce pollock, wrasse and mackerel to float fished baits and spinners, while mackerel will also be caught on daylights and feathers. Bottom fished baits will catch coalfish, dogfish and bull huss, while conger eels are also present here and can be caught on mackerel and squid baits fished on size 6/0 hooks with wire traces. The rock marks in this area are potentially dangerous and should not be fished in bad weather or rough seas. View this area on Google Maps here.

Garron Point

Garron Point © Anne Burgess

Garron Point – This is a very rough ground mark, with heavy shore tackle needed and tackle losses to be expected – use rotten bottom rigs to try and cut down on lost rigs. Bottom fished baits will catch coalfish, dogfish, bull huss, pollock and cod in the winter. In the summer months, many anglers use float fishing tactics or spinners as a means of avoiding the very snaggy seabed. This will produce mackerel, wrasse, coalfish and some very good pollock. All of these species can be caught on ragworm, mackerel strip, prawns, sandeel or sprat baits. View this area on Google Maps here.

Glenarm Beach

Glenarm Beach © Nygel Gardner

Glenarm – The beach at Glenarm can see plenty of flatfish caught with summer bringing plaice and all other times of the year seeing species such as bass, dogfish and winter cod and whiting caught. It is best to arrive at this mark a few hours before low water and fish the tide down and then a few hours back up. Whiting, flounder and bass come in close, but the better cod are caught from longer casts. Glenarm Harbour can produce dogfish in great numbers, plus pollock, wrasse, coalfish and flatfish such as flounders and dab. View this area on Google Maps here.

Ballygally Head and Beach

Ballygally Head and Beach © Anne Burgess

Ballygally – The beach at Ballygally can produce plenty of species such as flounder, dab, coalfish, cod, whiting and potentially bass when there is some sea running. The beach is quite steep and long casting is not always necessary to reach the feeding fish. This area is popular with tourists and the beach will inevitably become full in the summer, but night fishing here can be the most productive. The rockier area around Ballygally Head can produce decent catches of pollock and mackerel to lures, plugs and spinners. Float fishing will also catch these species, along with wrasse. Conger eels can also be caught. View this area on Google Maps here.

Portmuck Harbour

Portmuck Harbour © Albert Bridge

Islandmagee – Portmuck Harbour and the surrounding rock areas fish well over high tide for mackerel on feathers and daylights in the summer and pollock to spinners. Both of these species will also take float fished baits, as will wrasse. Bottom fished baits around this area are likely to catch pollock, coalfish and dogfish. Ballylunsford Harbour can produce wrasse, pollock and mackerel to float fished baits and dogfish, coalfish and whiting to baits fished on the seabed. The clear sandy beach at Brown’s Bay can produce bass when there is surf, and dogfish and flounder will take baits at all other times. Rock marks around Brown’s Bay can produce pollock, wrasse and strap conger eel. View this area on Google Maps here.

Blackhead Lighthouse

Blackhead Lighthouse © Wilson Adams

Whitehead and Carrickfergus – Fishing from Whitehead promenade at high tide can produce a number of species with dogfish, rockling, flounder and dabs caught and cod and whiting showing in winter. The flat rocks around Blackhead lighthouse offer good fishing for mackerel as well as all of the other rough ground species such as ballan and cuckoo wrasse, pollock and coalfish. Large conger are also present here and are caught with heavy rough ground gear, size 6/0 – 8/0 hooks and large mackerel flapper baits. Carrickfergus Harbour can produce fish over high tide with lots of whiting around in winter as well as cod, pouting, dogfish, pollock, coalfish and wrasse. There are also some conger eels present around the rockier parts of this area. Calm weather in the warmer months can see mullet present. Mackerel anglers can overwhelm this area in the summer. View this area on Google Maps here.

Donaghadee Pier

Donaghadee Pier © Mattrhysmic

Donaghadee and Bangor – The pier at Donaghadee offers a great range of species. There are plenty of mackerel in the summer which will be taken on feathers and daylights. Pollack will also be caught on spinners and float fished baits and wrasse can be caught on float fished baits. Pollock, coalfish, dab, flounder, pouting, rockling and whiting can all be caught on bottom fished baits and conger eels can also be caught on big mackerel or squid baits. The piers, breakwater and harbour area of Bangor offer the same species to similar tactics. Like many piers and areas where mackerel can be easily caught these places can be very busy in the summer months. View this area on Google Maps here.

Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough © Barry Scroggins

Strangford Lough – Strangford Lough is a huge salt-water body of water separated from the sea by the Ards Peninsula which offers a massive range of sea fishing opportunities. Most sea angling takes place close to the mouth of the lock and marks around Portaferry fish well in summer for mackerel, pollock, coalfish and wrasse. Mullet can be present in calm weather and sea trout are also found here but anglers must possess a licence to be able to fish for this species. Anglers should be aware that the tidal flow around the mouth of the lough can be very strong in certain conditions. View this area on Google Maps here.

St. John's Point Lighthouse

St. John’s Point Lighthouse © Ross

St. John’s Point – St. John’s Point offers pollock, coalfish, bass and wrasse with marks around the lighthouse and nearby being favoured by many anglers. Spinners and plugs are effective here while float fishing will also catch pollock and wrasse and mackerel will go for spinners, lures, daylights and feathers. Bottom fishing can also produce decent fish including cod, bull huss, conger eels and even shore-caught ling. However, the ground is very rough indeed and even if rotten bottom rigs are used a lot of tackle will still inevitably be lost. View this area on Google Maps here.

Newcastle Harbour

Newcastle Harbour © Eric Jones

Ardglass, Newcastle and Kilkeel – Ardglass rock marks (next to the golf course) produce great fishing with pollock, wrasse and mackerel to spinners and float fished baits and large conger eels to big hooks and baits fished on the seabed. Dogfish, bull huss and cod can also be caught here. Newcastle Harbour will produce plenty of flatfish (mostly dab and flounder), while dogfish, whiting and cod can also be caught. Nearby rock marks also produce pollock and wrassel. Kilkeel harbour can provide a lot of mackerel in the summer months, as well as dogfish, flounder and dab to baits. Nearby beaches can also produce decent catches, with bass a possibility when there is some sea running. View this area on Google Maps here.

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