For over a century now West Cork has been used as a shark angling destination for travelling international anglers with many books written and angling records achieved.
So what’s new?
The no.1 advancement in Irish shark fishing in recent years is the practise of “catch and release”. On our boat we have a strict policy of “catch and release” of all sharks regardless of their size. On our boat we treat our sharks with the best possible care, insuring they return to the sea in a safe and survivable condition. We are also involved in the Irish sports fish tagging programme (www.fisheriesireland.ie/Tagging/…tagging-programme.html) and in 2013 our skipper was the first person to tag a Mako shark in Irish waters.
Traditionally, angling boats would travel a few miles offshore, deploy some mashed up mackerel, and drift waiting for a run from a shark. We have spent many, many hours at sea identifying holding areas for shark and we travel much further offshore where the shark are bigger and more plentiful. We believe that preparation is the key to success and our skipper works very hard at keeping fresh rubby dubby (mixture of fish, fish oil and bran) in the water in between handling, unhooking and tagging your sharks.
2013 has been the best shark season on record for our skipper with an individual catch of 31 Blue shark in one day. He also tagged his 1st Mako shark. This was only the 3rd Mako to be caught in Irish waters on rod and line and the first in 44 years. He also witnessed a rare event last summer. While returning from a dusk whale watching trip he saw a juvenile seal being launched out of the water on 3 occassions and then taken by a shark. It happened too fast to identify the shark but he is sure it was either a massive Porbeagle or a Great White which leads us to the question do Great Whites come into Irish waters? So far nobody can definitely say yes for sure however there are examples that suggest they definitely do. Last year we had an adult seal drifting around the islands with a decapitated head and a report came from a commercial fisherman of 2 large 6 gilled sharks caught in a net that had been bitten clean off from the shoulders.
When shark fishing we set goals for the season and while our main target species is the Blue shark we aim to catch and release another Mako in 2014 and also to catch the 1st Thresher shark in Irish waters.
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