Fishing In County Kerry
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Fancy a fishing trip Kerry style? With miles of unspoilt coastline, crystal clear lakes and no shortage of rivers it's easy to see why County Kerry is such an angling hotspot.

Throughout the county there are plenty of well stocked mountain streams, rivers and lakes offering excellent opportunities for trout and salmon fishing as well as numerous sheltered bays and inlets for beach fishing.

Fishing In Kerry for a fisherman is the nearest thing to heaven. From the lakes in Killarney to the shores of Dingle bay, from the river Laune to Fenit harbour, Cloughane and the Flesk, yes the nearest thing to heaven for a fisherman is Fishing in Kerry.

Another benefit of fishing is that it's the perfect "stress buster" – you can retreat to the peace and quiet of the countryside and you'll be learning a new skill as well. It's also a fantastic hobby, especially if you're a fan of the great outdoors.

If you love fishing, Kerry fishing is the place to be.

If you ever desire to catch a salmon or a brown trout, an Atlantic cod, skate fish, bass or even a shark, County Kerry Fishing is the place to be.

Fishing in Kerry is an experience, a memory to savour, something that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

I remember catching a 3-pound salmon on the river Laune in Killorgin, (Maurice caught a 6oz trout) and got it smoked across the road.

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River Laune

The river Laune Killorgin is in mid to southwest Kerry and an excellent salmon fishing river. Once you get your fishing and gear together, settle besides the rivers edge, and cast your rod, the salmon come looking for you, not you for them.

The Southern Fisheries Board have organised joint development programs with local boards to make the rivers and lakes more accessible to anglers.

The fishing boards also stock a number of lakes to ensure a successful days fishing.

The River Laune boasts a run of salmon and the river also drains the largest of the Killarney lakes, witch is known for its brown trout.

Before you head over to fish on The Laune give John Buckley, Killarney Fishing Centre a ring. He is an expert Salmon and trout fishing Guide.

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John provides a guiding service for the Kerry region. Guided salmon fishing, trout fishing and sea trout fishing available. Home waters are the lakes and rivers in Killorgin, Killarney and Waterville. Boats supplied on the Lakes of Killarney and he also has an excellent tackle shop.

John’s address is: 3 Glebe Lane, Killarney, Co. Kerry. Telephone/Fax:+353 64 22884 E-mail:

A small tip, when you catch a brown trout or a salmon in the Lakes of Killarney, row over to the ench and cover the fish in soaking wet newspaper, start a fire and cook it. When the paper is burnt, you will have the finest salmon you will have ever eaten.

Cloghane & Brandon

Cloghane and Brandon are situated on the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula, tucked in at the base of the Mount Brandon and washed by the sparkling surf of Brandon Bay.

The Cloghane-Brandon region is surely one of the greatest beauty spots of the world.

The area is a paradise for anglers. Cod, Pollock, ling, various spices of dogfish, mackerel, turbot, bass and shark, (not the size of Jaws but fairly big at that).

You can charter a boat or beach cast from the strands of cappagh and Fermoyle.

There is an abundant supply of bait, fish lures, and tackle shops in the area.

Bass are at their best during the winter season.

Further on, the magnificent valley set between Mount Brandon and Connor pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland, provides unsurpassed game and fishing for Wild Salmon and sea trout in the Owenmore river and lakes.

For the fly angler sea trout fishing is excellent after dark.

Bob Moss is the man to see in this part of the County Kerry, especially if you love sea, surf and shore angling.

Bob Moss lives in Ballydavid and is an avid surf, sea and shore angler with numerous specimen fish awards to his name. He has been fishing the length and breadth of the Dingle Peninsula for well over 30 years. He has written a couple of excellent books on the angling in that area. He provides guided fishing and advice on bait and where to fish. Bob has 12 specimen fish awards.

Bob’s address is: Ballydavid, Co. Kerry. Telephone: +353 66 55158 or +353 87 438915 E-mail: Web:


Ballingskelligs, 50 miles (65Km) South West of Killarney, on the ring of Kerry is another fantastic fishing spot of county Kerry.

The fishing, both sea and freshwater attracts thousands of anglers every year.

The Ballinskelligs region is particularly blessed with a range of lakes and rivers that together with sea fishing offer a full range of choices.

While in that neck of the woods, there is fantastic fishing in and around Kenmare and from Sneem to Killarney, with trout filled lakes and rivers beckoning you to try your skills at angling.

Waterville is a stunning fishing area in County Kerry for wild salmon and trout especially fishing from Lough Currane.

LOUGH CURRANE is in the premier league, when it comes to trout fly-fishing, the waters of this famous lake is widely regarded as one of the finest sea trout fisheries in Europe.

Currane can be trying at times, but my goodness when the big sea trout or salmon or even the “Junors” grab the fly, the excitement that ensues is nothing short of spectacular. Last year, Sean Smith (UK) caught the heaviest sea trout ever recorded on Currane, a beauty of 6.04kg (13.31lb) to the fly.

Vincent Appleby is the best man for fishing Lough Currane especially if you are interested in salmon and trout fishing.

Vincent has ghillied on Lough Currane for nearly 30 years he is a great choice for those looking for a guided service or flyfishing instruction on the Lake. All ages are catered for and even experienced anglers will benefit from the watercraft and fly-lore unique to Lough Currane. All tackle is provided and accomodation can be organised if required.

Vincents contact details are: Eureka Lodge, Caherdaniel West, Co. Kerry. Telephone: +353 66 9475248 Web:

Val & Roger Baker, who have a lodge in the Waterville area and offer excellent accommodation alongside their guided fishing trips.

They are Experienced guides and expert saltwater fly fishers, the Bakers offer fly fishing for brown trout, sea trout and Salmon in Lough Currane and other local rivers and lakes, as well as superb bass fly fishing.

Take your pick of the fishing during your stay with them. Mix bass sessions with salmon, trout and sea trout. Even have a session after pollock and wrasse. Follow a day fishing a Lough with a ghille, by a day fishing the surf with a guide.

You can contact Val and Roger at: Cloghvoola Fishing Lodge, Cloghvoola, Waterville, Co. Kerry Telephone: +353 66 9478009 Fax: +353 66 9678009 E-mail:


The Killarney Valley fishing consists of 3 lakes and numerous rivers and streams.

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The main river, Gearhmeen, rises in McGillicuddy`s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland, and flows into the upper lake which is 1.5 miles long (2.5m) and 1 mile wide (1.5m).

Salmon run into the lakes in the early spring, the Grilse run begins in May of the year.

Catching methods on the lakes vary from fishing the fly to deep trolling. Local experience suggests that worming and spinning does the best on the rivers.

There is good brown trout fishing, wet fly, on both lakes and rivers in the Killarney area. Fish run up on average a pound.

Boats on the lakes are licensed for both salmon and trout angling. They comfortably seat two anglers and ghille.

Other great spots for fishing in County Kerry is along the river feale from Listowel to the Limerick border and along the Cashan from outside Abydorney to Lixnaw, to Ballybunion, where the Cashan meets the Atlantic.

River Feale

The Feale rises in the mountain district of north cork and flows westerly through the rural towns of Abbyfeale and Listowel to enter the sea south of Ballybunion. For the final 10Km (6miles) stretch it is known as the Cashen River.

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Throughout its journey to the sea it flows through picturesque landscape of heather land, bog land, fertile valleys, rolling hills, racecourses and small villages, not to mention past great pubs.

The main river and its tributaries combine to form in excess of 160Km (100 miles) of fishing water, which is among the outstanding salmon and sea trout fisheries in Ireland.

The Feale is a fast flowing spate river subject to flooding in persistent rainfall (which you can get in Kerry). Large deep fish-holding pools dominate the lower sections. An important feature in the upper river and its tributaries is the frequency with which deep holding pools occur.

It is presumably this latter feature that makes it such a good fishery so far upstream. At the bottom, it is tidal almost to Finuge Bridge and rod and line fishing ends about 3km (2 miles) below the bridge.

In times of low flow, the water runs clear but takes on a dark peat stained appearance. This is a big river, with gravel bed and overgrown, steep banks on many stretches.

The river gets equally good runs of salmon and sea trout and in a good season it is estimated to produce at least 1,500 salmon and grilse, and well over 2,000 sea trout to rod and line. There are fish in the river from the opening day on 1st March, with the best of the spring salmon fishing up to mid-April, depending on water levels.

Grilse begin showing about mid-June and there is always a dramatic improvement by mid-July, with good fishing with bigger fish from mid-August to end of September.

The best of the Salmon fishing is from the tide to Abbyfeale. Sea trout enter the system from early May and tend to run quickly through the middle stretches. The best fishing is considered to be either below Listowel or above Abbeyfeale in the Brosna/Mountcollins Club water.

About 50% of the main River Feale and its biggest tributary the Smearlagh is controlled by local angling clubs. These club stretches are some of the best angling waters, and each club offers day tickets for visiting anglers.

The Feale is the home of the 'Lane Minnow' which is made locally, and is a highly successful bait, although traditional Devon minnows and spoons are also popular. In recent times the Flying 'C' in various colours has proved a remarkably effective bait in all conditions.

The popular salmon flies are Garry Dog, Blue Charm, Lemon & Grey, Thunder & Lightning, Hairy Mary, Ally Shrimp, Wilkinson ( for a bright day) and of course a local dressing widely known in the locality as the 'Halpin' which is said to be an excellent fly on the river late in the season. It is available in all the local tackle shops.

A salmon licence is required for the Feale, which can be purchased from Halpins Fishing Store in Listowel town.

River Blackwater

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The River Blackwater is a top spot for salmon, brown trout and white sea tout. It's roughly 10 miles long from the source to the sea and flows into Kenmare Bay. All types of angling can be done here, fly-fishing, spinning, and worming etc. Our top tip is to use a fly rod with bright colour flies, preferably in the evening. Also make sure you have a fishing licence as there is a fine.

River Flesk

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If you've ever travelled along the N22 between Killarney and Cork you'll have passed the River Flesk. It's 3km in length and has easy access from the main road. Salmon enter the river in early spring and stay until late May, while brown trout and white sea trout enter the river in July. Spinning would be the best type of angling method used here, although fly rod and worming are commonly used on this river as well. A permit is required.

Caragh River

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Surrounded by breathtaking scenery and located just outside the town of Killorglin, Caragh River is a good salmon and white trout river. The river is divided in two and known locally as Upper Caragh River and Lower Caragh River. It drains a large catchment area before flowing into Carragh Lake.

Barfinnihy Lake

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Barfinnihy Lake is stocked monthly by the regional fisheries board. It's located about 6 miles from Kenmare town with stunning views of Molls Gap. You'll find rainbow trout in abundance here and spinning and fly-fishing are the most popular methods used.

Killarney Lakes

Killarney is a popular tourist destination and offers some of the best fishing in the country. There are three main fresh water lakes: Lough Leane, Muck Ross Lake and the Upper Lake as well as numerous smaller lakes and rivers, making it an ideal base to fish. No permits are required for the Killarney Lakes.

Have you got any fishing tails in County Kerry, or should I say tales!!

If you have e-mail the fishing tales man.

The Fishing Tales Man

Sea Fishing Off The Kerry Coast

Sea fishing off the Kerry coast The waters off the Kerry coast, from Ballybunion`s Cashen to Kenmare are among the most productive sea angling grounds in Europe.

The many piers along the Kerry coastline and rocky ledges, the Cliffs of Duneen, the point at Brandon, Dingle and Cahersiveen, interspersed with lengthy stretches of rolling sandy beaches provide great shore fishing.

Bait can be collected locally on beaches, mud flats and rocky shoreline.

Deep-sea angling off County Kerry is the jewel in the crown for the fisherman who wishes to explore rich fishing waters. These pollution free waters are under-fished and continually provide great catches of a wide variety of species.

Specimen hunters are regular visitors. Further off the coast blue shark offer fantastic sport and challenges from June to October. There are fine fishing catches around Kerry Head and in Tralee Bay, famous for Monkfish.

Mackerel is the most popular bait for all kinds of sea fishing and a fresh supply is normally caught at the outset of each fishing trip. Calamari squid is another popular bait which is available locally and from tackle shops and supermarkets.

The major sea angling ports are Fenit harbour, great fishing from the pier,Dingle Penninsula, Dingle harbour, Cahersiveen and Kenmare.

Fully equipped and licensed charter boats with the most advanced electronics operate around the Kerry coast. All skippers have a thorough knowledge of their waters, as they have lived and fished here all their lives.


Fenit is a village with a mixed function sea port, close to Tralee Town in County Kerry. Fishing is one of the main areas of business. Spinning and float fishing from rocks for pollack and wrasse from Fenit Island.

FENIT ISLAND STRAND. Bottom fishing for flatfish, occasional bass and tope. Night tides best.

FENIT PIER INNER. Bottom fishing from viaduct for dogfish, flatfish, ray and occasional bass. Conger and small pollack from rocks on seaward side of viaduct.

FENIT PIER OUTER. Bottom fishing for flatfish, ray, dogfish, whiting and conger at extreme end and seaward side. Occasional tope, monkfish, and common skate have been taken here. Good mullet fishing on inside of pier using small pieces of fish offal.

Species: Shark, Cod, Ling, Pollock, Conger, Ray, Dogfish, Bullhuss, Skate, Wrasse, Haddock and Whiting, Coalfish, Pouting, Gurnard and Mackerel.

The Dingle Peninsula

The Dingle peninsula has to be on any angler's must-visit-list. The quality of the fishing is undiminished year to year despite its popularity with local and visiting angler alike. Indeed its has been the pioneering work of Bob Moss and others that has drawn attention to previously unknown species in particular the possibility of tackling several species of rays off the many beaches along the peninsula's northern shore. A red spot indicates a known mark with recent reports available, whereas a yellow spot indicates a known or suspected mark with no recent data but where you can get lucky!

The Dingle Peninsula is longer than it looks in the diagram and is surrounded by the sea - the shallow waters of Tralee Bay to the North have become synonymous with specimen ray and monkfish, whilst Inch Strand to the South is possibly Ireland's most famous surf beach, especially for big autumn bass. Dotted between them are eight other marks, all of a similar quality. The only problem is that you are so spoilt for choice! This year a 45 lb shore caught conger eel won a major competition.


Derrymore Barely onto the peninsula and you have a whole beach to yourself. This is Derrymore. There are two roads down; take the second better and signposted road, otherwise you end up on a farmer's lane, albeit with the curiosity of a new memorial to an ancient burial ground for unbaptised children and lost sailors washed ashore! The better road leads down to a decent car park.

Species & Techniques: This kind of beach demands you try surf fishing, and your will not be disappointed: - Flatfish, Ray and Bass are taken here, or try bottom fishing off the point.

Castlegregory Strand

Castlegregory Strand. The beach below the car park is rapidly acquiring a reputation as the best shore mark in Ireland for rays from shore, thanks to the work of renowned Bob Moss. Thornback, Painted and Sting Ray have all been taken (far out) at Castlegregory.

Species & Techniques: Beach fishing is best near the stream and this will find Flatfish, the odd Bass and Dogfish. Rays are best taken on distance casts from below the car park. A group of us had Bull Huss, Conger and a small Spurdog (!) on a night shift in May 2002. This is a very long and exposed beach so it is best to stick relatively close to the village itself!

Stradbally Beach

Stradbally Beach. Behind the village of Castlegregory itself, past a thatched cottage pub with a mannequin tipped head first into a beer barrel (how's that for a signpost!), you will find a road down to Stradbally Strand. It lies behind Lough Gill.

Species & Techniques: This is standard surf fishing but it faces due north and it quite exposed (and damn cold in a northerly breeze!). I got out, looked at it and got back into the car! There are several more beaches on the route west heading for the Conor Pass.

Barrick, Kilcummin and Fermoyle Beaches

Barrick, Kilcummin and Fermoyle Beaches Beneath the brooding presence of Mount Brandon lies the Bay, and starting with Stradbally above, you have a collection of beaches; in fact it is one continuous beach from Stradbally through to Fermoyle at the far end. Fermoyle produced a large skate in late 2003 to a bass angler! Use peeler crab at the Fermoyle end - these can be readily collected from the estuary at low water from Cloghane out to Ballyquinn.

Species & Techniques: Opinions vary greatly as to where to set out your stall... Some recommend near the estuary, opposite Ballyquinn on Fermoyle beach and in the estuary itself. Others will tell you the farther out to the point, past Kilcummin and Barrick heading for Stradbally the better... whichever spot you pick, surf or bottom fishing will produce Flatfish (mostly Flounder), Bass, and Ray in calm conditions, ideally at night.

One advantage at the Fermoyle end, where a large spit cum hillock (known locally as Fermoyle Island) extends out into the sea is that you do not have to cast far into a big surf. It gets quite steep and Bass have been taken on miss-casts just 20 metres out! Alternatively cross the hillock and you can fly fish the estuary on a flooding tide.

Brandon Pier & Rocks

Brandon Pier & Rocks: A new mark reported by a self confessed beginner it combines the pier itself and some rocks on the left hand side giving access to deep water. Down on the rocks - a dangerous enough walk just over the edge of the pier, there is a point where it drops fast into the sea. There is another shore mark listed as Cloghane, with lugworm and crabs listed as available bait. It is possible to drive out to the "nose" past white strand but we have no reports from there, yet!

Species & Techniques: Using a silver lure, it was easy to catch Pollack, 3 hours before high tide. A small amount of Mackerel was taken. It is a rotten bottom so fast retrieving is required. At the pier at high tide there was lots of Mackerel and a few Garfish. Daylight rigs were the most effective.

Brandon Creek

Brandon Creek. Thankfully the coast road brings you right to this mark; mind you the road is up the Conor Pass, into Dingle around by Ballydavid and then east towards the creek itself! The diagram above is a bit deceptive, to say the least! The best spot is the east side, which is also the one most exposed to the wind and rain - such is life! Indeed there is a deep cleft of a mark accessible from the start of the pier through the fields. Both of these marks demand your respect, especially if you are not fishing off the pier itself. Both marks are washed by very large waves, funnelled into and so enlarged by the clefts, even on the calmest days.

Species & Techniques: This is rock platform fishing. Bottom fishing onto foul ground and patches of sand will catch Conger, Wrasse, Bull Huss with Pollack and Mackerel falling to this and spinning techniques.

Smerwick Harbour: Wine Strand & Ballinrannig

Smerwick Harbour: Wine Strand & Ballinrannig. If you fancy a shot at Codling, this is one of the few marks in Kerry that regularly produce them, off the beach at a spot called Ballinrannig - ask a local for directions. There is also another spot called Wine Strand which is very nice, if it wasn't for the dumped burnt out caravan!

Species & Techniques: Surf fishing will produce Flounder and Bass, with the option of Coalfish if you try to cast further out. Bob Moss lives in the area so an email in advance would help you.

Clogher Head & Dunquin Strand

Clogher Head & Dunquin Strand. This is the Kerry Clogher Head, there is another in Co. Louth, and this is the part of Kerry made famous by the film "Ryan's Daughter". There are lots of wonderful stories about the filming if you drop into one of the pubs... There is also a lovely sheltered bay and strand tucked into the shoreline here, with clear road access.

Species & Techniques: Bottom fishing from directly under the schoolhouse used in the film will produce Pollack and Coalfish, Bull Huss, Dogfish and Conger, but it is very foul ground. Spinning will take Mackerel, Pollack and Coalfish and Wrasse are available on the float.

Ventry Strand

Ventry Strand. Ventry is another beach but with rocky margins and weed that as a consequence offers a larger variety of fish. There is an excellent lugworm bed on the road out from Dingle, just turn left over a small bridge. The beach is massive, covering the width of the entire bay and crossed by several steams, with a pier at the far end accessible from three roads off the N559 heading west.

Species & Techniques: Flounder and Bass are the main priorities for surfing anglers, whilst Wrasse are available in the weedy margins, with Conger, Bull Huss and Dogfish reported.


Trabeg. Trabeg, from the Irish meaning "small beach" is yet another beach that offers standard surf fishing species. It is something of a misnomer in that the beach is accessed from (the N86) either side of a massive estuary that is little more than a mudflat outside of the top of the tide. Locally the eastern side is known as Tra Chathail (Cathal's beach), and a word of warning, do not try to wade across the estuary.

Species & Techniques: Flounder, Dabs and Bass are the main priorities, but some small Ray have also been recorded here along with Dogfish.

Inch Strand 

Inch Strand. There hardly seems to be any point describing this beach and its surf fishing species, such is its acclaim. It continues to produce fish, even specimens, despite very high angling pressure. You will almost never be alone on this beach, as it has become something of an angling Mecca for people seeking the ultimate of storm surf fishing.

There is also a mark listed on some books behind Inch Strand, presumably at the back... which might be useful when you get sick of the howling gale coming in off the Atlantic and the sea trying to suck you out of your boots! Reputedly it fishes much the same as the Strand itself, but I suppose if you have travelled a long way to fish Inch Strand, you will want to fish the Strand come what may and not the backside of it!!!

Species & Techniques: Flounder, Plaice and Bass with some small Thornback Ray recorded back in the mists of time. Lovely spot.

Have you got any fishing tails in County Kerry, or should I say tales!!

If you have e-mail the fishing tales man.

The FishingTales Man

The Meditation Of The Old Fisherman

You waves, though you dance by my feet like children at play, Though you glow and you glance, though you purr and you dart; In the Junes that were warmer than these are, the waves were more gay, When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart.

The herring are not in the tides as they were of old; My sorrow! for many a creak gave the creel in the-cart That carried the take to Sligo town to be sold, When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart.

And ah, you proud maiden, you are not so fair when his oar Is heard on the water, as they were, the proud and apart, Who paced in the eve by the nets on the pebbly shore, When Iwas a boy with never a crack in my heart.

William Butler Yeats

Kerry Fishing Tips

I have recently returned to sunny Lincolnshire after a trip to County Kerry, Ireland. I took my fly-fishing gear along to have a crack at both the bass/pollack. A fantastic trip, well worth the long trek.

The area is littered with marks like this that just scream bass, couldn't wait to get started but arrived late so after an evening meal plans were made for an early start next morning.

Alarm went off at 3.45 a.m. and after a quick coffee all the gear was loaded into the 4x4 and we set off for a nearby surf beach & estuary. Still dark when we arrived so decided to fish the surf with a black zonker before moving into the flow of the ebbing tide of the estuary when it was light.

Managed a couple of bass in the surf up to 2.5 lb. Promising start and we moved to tackle the main flow of the estuary as dawn started to break. As soon as we arrived bass could be seen breaking surface, chasing the baitfish that was being pushed out by the tide.

More importantly they were well within casting range...hooked and lost two in quick succession and thought maybe the moment had been lost. However, some more bass were spotted and I cast my sand eel imitation towards them. A savage take and I was playing a nice fish in the dawn.

To cut a long story short managed several bass & pollack to the fly and lost a really large bass that may have been into double figures. A first for me was fishing at night on the fly and catching several bass. Found that the black patterns far out fished conventional types. Will be back there next year for sure!

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