Fishing on Sherkin Island

If a picnic on the beach or a hike around Horseshoe Harbour isn’t your cup of tea, what about a spot of fishing!?  Sherkin is situated at the mouth of the river Ilen with esturine habitat in the bay and to the north while the westerly and southerly shores are more open and rocky.  This is why so many species are available to fishermen throughout the seasons!

Large Pollock caught in the Gascanane Sound on a Dexters Wedge

Also, available in the Gascanane Sound is the very beautiful Wrasse.  These feisty fish are very strong and will fight all the way to the shore.  They wait in heavy kelp areas to ambush prey. They have a small mouth so unless you have little hooks on you’ll be frustrated by constant rattling knocks without hooking up.

If you don’t mind the walk then you’ll have a great chance of catching a large Pollock in the Gascanane Sound.  Pollock are very plentiful here but just beware the strong currents as they move between Sherkin and Cape Clear. The long point is the spot.

If the Gascanane Sound seems a little too far away, why not try Cow Strand (Tra Eoghan Mor) for a Bass?  These fish are prized locally for their strength as a game fish. They mainly appear around Sherkin in the Autumn with an onshore breeze. Catch and release is advised as the local Bass population is small and prone to being overfished. Watch the sharp spines on the dorsal fin!

Mackerel are easily caught if they are around and have a great flavour.  Try from the pier or in Horseshoe Harbour on a calm summer evening to improve your chances! Herrings are an Autumn delight and will take a very small hook twitched along slowly.

With Sherkin being situated at the mouth of the River Ilen estuary, we have a good population of Sea Trout on all shores.  Feeding on Sandeels, these silver beauties frequent the sandy strands regularly but can be hard to hook. They are mostly caught as a welcome surprise while targeting other species.  Catch and release advised.

There are plenty of other species available around Sherkin’s shores.  Cod, Ling, Flatfish, Rays, Mullet, Scad and many others are available through the year.  Calm conditions are best as the fish move to the shoreline to feed.

Ling make for a tasty dinner!

Turbot are possible on the sands.

Cow Strand:

Follow the signs for the strands.  They face west towards Cape Clear Island. Go to the right of Cow Strand out along the rocks to find some depth.  Don’t fish this mark with a large rolling swell as large breakers represent a risk.


The Sherkin island guide

Welcome to Sherkin Island! The ancestral home of the O’Driscoll clan is the most accessible island in Ireland – only ten minutes by ferry from the fishing port of Baltimore.

The area boasts a wonderful array of landscapes, Atlantic views from the hilltops, fuchsia-scented byways and the finest sandy beaches.

Download our free guide which includes a map and walk routes.

Funded By

“Funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development”