When most people ask me what I’m doing this summer I tell them, “I’m doing an economic analysis of sea angling in Ireland.” They then proceed to raise their eyebrows, look around cautiously, scrunch up their nose and mouth, tilt their head to the side, think it over for a couple more seconds, and then slowly repeat, “sea angling?” I then smile, amused at their perplexity, and feign reeling in a fish while I gleefully respond, “fishing in the sea!” This method of attack weeds out those who are just making conversation from those who are actually intrigued. Since you’re reading my blog, I assume you fall in the latter category.
Part of the reason sea angling in Ireland is so popular can be attributed to the immense diversity of angling methods, fish species, and over 6,400 kilometers of diverse coastline (World Resources Institute). The wide range of sea angling in Ireland allows both domestic and foreign anglers to modify their sea angling experience to best suit their preferences. Sea angling in Ireland entails recreational fishing in the sea using one of three methods: shore angling, inshore angling, and offshore angling otherwise known as deep sea angling.
Shore angling is the most common form of angling in Ireland and includes fishing from storm beaches, rocky shores, harbors, and saltwater fly fishing. Most forms of shore angling are pretty intuitive, but the concept of storm beach angling was a bit harder for me to grasp. Storm beach angling entails fishing along the west coast of Ireland amidst a massive swell. It’s a bit dangerous to hang out in the shore pound, but storm anglers do quite well seeing as a plethora of fish wash ashore during the bigger swells.
Another method of sea angling in Ireland is inshore angling. Inshore angling requires a small boat just offshore, but out of range of the shore anglers. The boat is usually between 14-18 feet carries up to a handful of anglers. Inshore anglers benefit from the widest range of species, serving as the median between shore and deep sea angling.
The third method of sea angling in Ireland is deep sea angling/ offshore angling. Deep sea angling can take place up to 30+ miles offshore and upwards up 120+ meters deep. Some deep sea anglers specify in “wreck fishing,” which entails fishing in sunken ships. Wreck fishing definitely a niche within a niche, requiring a great deal of time, patience, and skill, but (successful) wreck anglers reap reward by catching massive 30+ pound ling, conger, pollack, ray, and shark.
Because there is such a variety of sea angling in Ireland, Ireland naturally lends itself to sea angling tourism via both domestic and foreign tourists. I have yet to engage in sea angling myself, but I suppose I’ll have to try it at least once before I leave.
For more information on sea angling in Ireland you can visit these pages: