With mild temperatures, conditions for fishing off the Irish Sea coastline are ideal any time of the year. Arklow also boasts a current Irish record fish - a 3 Bearded Rockling taken by Maurice Laurent on the pier on 1st May 1990, the fish weighting 3lb 1oz! Here's our list of the best places for shore angling near Arklow.
The beaches of Arklow and the surrounding coastline are some of the best sea angling locations in Leinster, with lots of opportunity for a decent catch.
What will I catch?
Depending on conditions, and the time of year, species that might bite are bass, smooth hound, tope, bull huss, spurdog, ray, dogfish, gurnard, mullet, mackerel, pollack, wrasse, flounder, dab, and sea trout.
What are the tides like?
Grounds offshore are shallow at about 30 feet and subject to strong lateral tides. High and low tide Wicklow are 40 minutes ahead of Dublin port.
Where ate the Best Fishing Spots:
The river mouth below the 19 Arches Bridge to the sea produces mullet over specimen size (5lb) to float fished bread baits during the summer months and flounder to bottom fished worm or lures from April to December.
All the piers around Arklow Town offer access to a good mix of mostly small species throughout the year. Fishing down the wall is the best option with small hooks and baits.
Arklow South Beach:
This stretch of sandy beach is easily accessed with a carpark conveniently located adjacent. South Beach is a popular spot for local anglers and club competitions.
Use worm and fish baits to attract smooth hound, dogfish, dabs, flounder, coalfish and small whiting. Baits fished close in will catch bass in the region of 3lb, or bigger if you’re lucky!
Big fish anglers can target specimen smooth hounds with crab, rag or squid baits during the summer months or fish large fish baits for ray and bull huss, particularly at night. After a storm, the fish can produce some nice codling in coloured water.
South of Arklow, Clogga is accessed down a pathway from the car park, about a 5-minute walk. Clogga is a shallow sandy cove, however you will find deeper waters to the left end of the beach, and a low rocky outcrop to the right end, good for bass. You may also catch flounder, smooth hound and dogfish here. Lure fishing is also productive for bass especially early and late in the day.
Ennereilly North & South Beaches:
Between Arklow and Brittas Bay Ennereilly is a popular shore angling location. There is limited car parking off the road at Ennereilly South, adjacent to the beach, which is easily filled to capacity on Summer days.
Ennereilly South is a sandy shallow beach with bass making an appearance from Spring to Autumn. A popular time to fish here is evening, especially the hour either side of low and high tide. Lugworm is recommended as being the best all round bait. Crab baits will produce smoothhound on evening tides from May to September.
Ennereilly North is a slightly longer walk north from the carpark, with no parking directly available. This long shingle beach has relatively deep water off-shore. Angling from either beach may produce smooth hound, dogfish, and occasionally a ray in summer, and flounder, small whiting, dab, and an occasional codling in winter. Specimen bass (over 10lb) have been recorded on this beach.
North and South beaches are separated by the Ennereilly River, which is noted for sea trout. Lure fishing at the entrance to the beach and around the headland to the north is worth trying for bass.
Brittas Bay South Beach:
Continuing further North along the Coast Road, you will arrive at Brittas Bay, a 5km stretch of sandy beach popular with holiday makers. Before the main South Beach Carpark, there is off road parking and access to the South end of the beach, which is a good fishing spot. During the Summer this shallow sandy surf beach may be thronged with visitors, however in the Autumn it’s a super bass venue, particularly with a south or south eastly breeze. Bass of 3lbs can be expected, with catches of 10lbs on occasion! Lure or fly-fishing for bass is also an exciting option all along this stretch of coastline. Winter fishing is mostly for small whiting, rockling and flounders.
When fishing in Ireland, please respect marine ecosystems by fishing is sustainably. Anglers in Ireland follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace to minimise their impact.
Additional useful information is available here – ‘Guide to angling on Irelands East Coast’