A man in a boat fishes for trout with Nephin mountain in the distance

A boat on Lough Beltra with the imposing Nephin mountain in the background. Pic: Bord Fáilte

Fishing in the west of Ireland

 

Westport is one of the few places in Ireland that offer a luxury base for world class deep sea fishing, game and course angling. Game and coarse fishing are widely available to the enthusiast in the lakes and rivers around the town. Boats, ghillies and equipment can be booked locally. Licenses are essential for trout and salmon fishing but are well worth the effort. Tackle dealers not only provide gear, but are steeped in local knowledge and delighted to share it with their customers.

 

Game angling

The Great Western Lakes of Galway and Mayo are recognised as the greatest wild brown trout fisheries in the world. Loughs Corrib, Mask, Carra and Conn are within easy drive of Westport. There are also a number of important river systems nearby that give great sport for the fisherman. The quality of game angling in the region is quite exceptional. Visitors fishing for salmon and trout in a natural, undisturbed habitat will enjoy a unique experience.

Fishing for trout on Lough Furnace

Fishing for trout on Lough Furnace

For the amateur, the Carrowbeg River, which runs through the centre of Westport, is stocked every year thereby assisting the luck of those who just want to try their hand. Westport harbour hosts the Westport International Sea Angling Festival, one of the oldest competitions on the Irish Sea Angling calendar.

 

Coarse angling

There are eleven coarse fishing lakes within a leisurely drive of Westport town, all holding bream, roach, rudd, perch, eel, pike and roach/bream hybrids.

 

Sea angling

The sea angling grounds of Clew Bay are amongst the best in Europe, while the inshore waters of the bay offer excellent shallow water angling. Boats can be chartered for angling, cruising or exploring some of Clew Bay’s reputed 365 islands.

Several fully-equipped and licensed boats for inshore and deep-sea angling are available are available for hire by groups or individuals and leave the harbour daily, bound for the rich fishing waters of Clew Bay. The relatively calm inshore waters among the islands can be fished for ray, bull huss, monkfish, dogfish and occasional tope. Excellent boat fishing over reefs and sand banks is available and the species you can expect to see include cod, coalfish, pollack, ling, whiting and turbot.

Blue shark can also be taken during July and August from the deep water fifty metres to the west of Clare Island. Virtually all blue shark are tagged and returned alive with the largest fish in recent years weighing in at 56.7 kgs!

The Adventure Islands offer a number of different deep sea fishing trips.

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