H2O Magazine

SHARK ON THE FLY

Ireland is a wonderful island where hundreds of anglers go every year to fish for big pike, salmon or trout. It thus sounds strange to read titles like this, but it is true. A few weeks ago, I went fishing with my friend Markus of Inland Fisheries Ireland, to test this new possibility of fishing and the result was very good…
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Everything began last year when Markus told me about the many sharks populating the coasts of South Ireland, that can be easily teased on the fly too. So to confirm this, we left for Cork as soon as we found the right guide..

THE SURROUNDINGS

 The town of Cork takes pride in claiming the title of “moral capital of Ireland”, ranking third in the island as to the number of inhabitants (after Dublin and Belfast), it is lively and rich in surprises for those who are patient enough to discover its many hidden sides. In fact, especially after being named “the Capital of Culture” in 2005, Cork progressively freed itself from its “cousin” Dublin to become an extremely lively town as regards work, university education and culture, thanks to the growing immigration of young people from all over Europe. The Italian community is very big and represents a point of reference within the urban pattern.

FISHING

From the small village of Union Hall at about one hour from Cork  you need approximately an hour’s navigation (18 miles) to reach the right spot where you expect sharks of various sizes to come near the boat. You always fish at sight, because these fish are attracted to the colors of the flies, even if they do not often attack them immediately.

You need the suitable fly with the perfect size to instigate the attack. It is very interesting how much these excellent swimmers fight but be careful and avoid casting on the bigger specimens; if you hook one which is 2.5 m long, it means that you will spend your afternoon in a tug-of- war. So I think that the right size is more or less 120 cm.

EQUIPMENT

Nothing particularly complicated: you just need a 9-ft. rod for 12 or14 tails with floating or intermediate tails, a robust leader with about 40 cm of steel as well as red and white flies on very robust hooks.  The beauty of this fishing method is that you almost fish on the surface anywhere at sight, so you do not need any sinking tails.

As a whole, I think it is a very interesting destination, especially if we compare it to other more expensive ones with less possibilities of catches. Actually, here we caught two to four sharks each for three fishermen and we had lots of bites and lost fish in addition.  Moreover, the local guide (at the moment the only one equipped and qualified for this type of fishing) has a boat where you can comfortably fish in threes at a very competitive price.

ALSO FOR FAMILIES

The destination is perfect for families too, as there are a lot of tourist attractions nearby and during the day on the boat, the sightseeing of dolphins and whales is almost guaranteed. Moreover the villages look as if they had come out of a 19th-century oil painting.

 

Giorgio Cavatorti

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