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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum, though I have been reading old threads for a couple of months. I recently got a caravan down the road from Killough (Edgewater Caravan Park) and my son (6 years old) has been really eager to learn to fish.

We went down last week and fished around a few spots (Ardglass harbour, Killough bay & St. Johns Point). We caught a Coalie in the first 5 mins of day one, then nothing for the rest of the week. That said, he wasn't put off at all & was happy to have caught something.

I used to do lots of freshwater fishing but I'm pretty new to sea fishing. I do have a few friends who gave me good advice on gear. As a result I bought a fairly basic shore rod and beach caster plus the accessories to go with them. Happy with spinning / lures, float fishing or bait fishing off the bottom. In terms of target species, anything is fair game.

The largest constraint we have is that my sons balance isn't great so walking across rocks is really hard going, wet rocks are basically impossible for him. I was thinking that good options would be beaches we can drive onto (lots near & at our caravan park), or fishing from piers.

I'd really appreciate if anyone could suggest some spots that we could fish that are easy to access.

Thanks for reading,
Pete.
 

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Hi Pete, ive heard of the beach mark near bishops court, Ballyhornan mentioned on here a few times. Its worth a throw, and its close enough to your caravan.
Billy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Pete, ive heard of the beach mark near bishops court, Ballyhornan mentioned on here a few times. Its worth a throw, and its close enough to your caravan.
Billy
Hi Bill,

Had a wee look on Google Earth, Ballyhornan bay looks pretty shallow but just down a bit there seems to be a nice small beach close to deep water. I'm wondering if this is it? {I've attached an image}

The only thing I'm wondering is whether or not the lane is a public road, the fact it has a name suggests it is but it's not really my area of expertise!
 

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Hi Bill,

Had a wee look on Google Earth, Ballyhornan bay looks pretty shallow but just down a bit there seems to be a nice small beach close to deep water. I'm wondering if this is it? {I've attached an image}

The only thing I'm wondering is whether or not the lane is a public road, the fact it has a name suggests it is but it's not really my area of expertise!
I've never fished there myself Pete, but I would think the lane would be OK. At worst you could ask a local. Can't see anybody around there objecting to a man and his son doing a bit of fishing. I used to do some work in the R A F camp when it was there. The locals were a friendly bunch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've never fished there myself Pete, but I would think the lane would be OK. At worst you could ask a local. Can't see anybody around there objecting to a man and his son doing a bit of fishing. I used to do some work in the R A F camp when it was there. The locals were a friendly bunch.
Excellent, it looks like it would be a good spot for us :)

Thanks for the suggestion, will report back how it goes.

Pete
 

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heya keep at it mate and your basic set up will be fine as long as balanced so don't worry about that, dont know area but if it's known to produce then hook size and quality fresh bait is most important so find out what species your after and bait accordingly .. otherwise flick a few sabikis and small lures about in the same area if bait is slow that day or vice versa
 

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Thanks, we certainly will be sticking at it!

Had a chat with the owner of the local fishing tackle shop this morning, he says that the area above is really good for big pollock but he has had a few customers lately saying they have had tyres deflated by the local residents. While I do have a tyre pump in the car, I'm not sure I want to go down to route of annoying people and risking damage to my car.
 

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That bay you’re looking at isn’t particularly deep either, broken ground weed and rock. Should see wrasse and small pollack if you find patches of sand you may find flatfish. you can park on the lane by the houses there’s a parking place big enough for a few cars saying no parking beyond this point. Just follow the road along after that and you’ll find the coast path past the last house. You walk right across the front of this house but it’s the coastal path It is an ok path with only a few sections that could be tricky for some one with balance issues. It unfortunately sees quite a bit of pressure with a well used mackerel point about 1/4 mile further on. If was targeting flat fish I’d have ago at the second bay above ballyhornan, now I’ve never fished it but it was covered in worm casts it’s an Ssi area so don’t dig them up! I fished Killard point a couple of weeks back. It went on my to do list! So I’d assume there had to be fish there I’d fish it two down two up only about 6-8ft water keep a flapper rig moving I’d be amazed if there weren’t fish there! Park at top end of bay marked in red then follow the coast round get in the field as it’s easier walking a few rocks to manoeuvre but nothing serious. If it’s dry and you like the look of it give the rocks at Killard a go but this is a bit more testing but gives you access to deep water and more species.
 

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That bay you’re looking at isn’t particularly deep either, broken ground weed and rock. Should see wrasse and small pollack if you find patches of sand you may find flatfish. you can park on the lane by the houses there’s a parking place big enough for a few cars saying no parking beyond this point. Just follow the road along after that and you’ll find the coast path past the last house. You walk right across the front of this house but it’s the coastal path It is an ok path with only a few sections that could be tricky for some one with balance issues. It unfortunately sees quite a bit of pressure with a well used mackerel point about 1/4 mile further on. If was targeting flat fish I’d have ago at the second bay above ballyhornan, now I’ve never fished it but it was covered in worm casts it’s an Ssi area so don’t dig them up! I fished Killard point a couple of weeks back. It went on my to do list! So I’d assume there had to be fish there I’d fish it two down two up only about 6-8ft water keep a flapper rig moving I’d be amazed if there weren’t fish there! Park at top end of bay marked in red then follow the coast round get in the field as it’s easier walking a few rocks to manoeuvre but nothing serious. If it’s dry and you like the look of it give the rocks at Killard a go but this is a bit more testing but gives you access to deep water and more species.
Thanks for this really detailed info. Where do you park to get access to that part of the beach?

This really does make me think we should be fishing the beach at the caravan park, I have never seen so many worm piles on a single beach before. I have a couple of flapper rigs in the box and we are heading down this weekend so I think I'll give it a whirl.

Pete
 

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If you look at the photo there’s a red splodge on the road People park here to access the northern end of the bay there’s a path down to the end of the ballyhornan bay. Follow the red line round the headland to the bay marked with red thick line. If you use google earth there may be some paths slightly further along the coast that will put you a short walk into that bay. Just drive down a few of the lanes and see what’s what.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you look at the photo there’s a red splodge on the road People park here to access the northern end of the bay there’s a path down to the end of the ballyhornan bay. Follow the red line round the headland to the bay marked with red thick line. If you use google earth there may be some paths slightly further along the coast that will put you a short walk into that bay. Just drive down a few of the lanes and see what’s what.
Ah got it! Thanks very much, we might give that a try at the weekend.

A somewhat related query, do flatfish go for thin mackerel strips?
 

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That particular beach my go to would be lug worm tip it with mackerel would be good. Saying that strips of silver belly stand out on the sand and can often outfish readily available bait. If you go at low tide you may be able to find some additional bait without disturbing the environment. A simple £2 net may yield some shrimp it’ll give your boy something to do if the fishing is slow. On the whole for flatfish a lot of competition anglers always reach for mackerel or bluey fished in the waves on a rising tide size 2 or 4 hooks can be pretty deadly. It’s a trial and error thing if you can collect some bait in front of the caravan it could be the difference. I’m intrigued to see if that beach produces let me know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just to report back, we went down to the caravan this weekend so spent some time fishing the beach beside us (just around the corner from Tyrella, towards Ardglass), unfortunately no success but still good fun.

We used strips of Mackerel as bait, fishing off the bottom with two hooks above the weight (beads and spoon on the snoods). I think the rigs are 'Ron Thomson Classic Flounder'
  • We firstly fished for about two hours on Sunday morning with one rod, refreshed the bait every 20-30mins. It was about halfway to high tide.
  • We then fished after dinner for a couple of hours, two rods and didn't refresh the bait (was trying to get into deeper water. It was low tide at start but chased us in quickly, just let out line and walked the rods backward rather than recasting).
As this involved quite a bit of walking (carrying gear away from the tide), next time we will try fishing from the Killough pier wall (inside the bay) and see if we have any luck. The main attraction of this is we can drive the car right down to where we fish from & at a push my son can sit in the car and watch stuff on my phone.

Some logic in my head is that there are loads of lugworm in Killough bay so there should be fish coming in to feed on them.
 

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Theres plenty of rag on the beach itself at the caravan park and razor clams, you'll see the worm casts all over the place. Circular divot with a hole in the center should be a razor clam burrow. I've only managed to grab one at low tide and it spit at me so I let it go.

If you go to Kellys hardware in Downpatrick they're good for local info, they stock tackle as well. With a young child be wary of the rocks they're quite sharp if you fancy getting a few distance practice casts out along the rocks from the beach. Or head out towards rossglass that stretch of beach is decent for practicing as well and you'll be left alone.

Killough pier itself you will get annoyed by know it all experts same for the back end of Killough out by the wee car park by the oyster chucking shed, another caution for there the rocks on the left look like a decent perch to cast from but the tide will fool you. Get caught out there the tide will maroon you. Other warnings about Ardglass if you can get a line out from the pier if the trawlers aren't moored. Watch the wind, you can get big waves not break until the last second and smash of the back of the harbour wall sending tonnes of water over same for Killough looks sheltered I'm sure you've seen the holy grotto? a 15 year old kid was swept out to sea from a freak wave but there are fish in Killough harbour and small fish=bigger fish I've seen them wee fishes chase after a jelly lure.

Probably in bad taste to suggest it ATM but Strangford you'll get mackeral just cast out towards the wee Island with a silver spoon type lure keeping it mid water, not too fast or slow a bit of reel n draw. Go off the bottom close to the pier ledgering the current is very strong and you might get wrasse or a brown crab.

I sound like a miserable git but fishing is about P+Q, left alone just be wary of the tide and rocks along there
 

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Thanks. I definitely like the idea of fishing from Killough pier.

We dug for lug and rag but only got small ones. That said, we were digging at a reasonably high tide and not going out near the water. I didnt realise the divets were razor clam, do they make good bait?
 

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Thanks. I definitely like the idea of fishing from Killough pier.

We dug for lug and rag but only got small ones. That said, we were digging at a reasonably high tide and not going out near the water. I didnt realise the divets were razor clam, do they make good bait?

Yep good bait as bait 'sausages' go down at low tide when it's on the turn if you see a razor clam poke itself up you can grab 'em and hold tight but they do spit. It's only water they spit.

Bait around there isn't easy to get but you know st Johns point out by the lighthouse, just walk around a bit you'll see a very kelpy cove. Get some tinfoil and mashed up mussels bait it without a float or weights and let it drift. Tiddler crabs go nuts for it. You'll get plenty of free tackle along the shore down by the beach at Minorstown caravan park, most of it's probably me own I snagged, that and plenty of plastic beads. Plenty of others from the site chance their arms fishing there.

Fishing used to be great all along there but the last 10 years it's went down hill, off the rocks at ardlglass more times its miss than hit now but for mackerel out at Strangford you should still get them till mid October. I've changed tack and decided to target specific species but at Carlingford for the flounders, a long auld trek from Minerstown to there but for a day out anyt hings worth a shot.

You could also try the marina out at Newcastle, Dunrum bay and Kilclief, where haven't I fished? Annalong you could try there.
 

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Killough pier at high tide when the suns overhead (wiley weather.com for the tide tables) you'll see the fish tiddlers like probably coalfish about 6 feet depth. Just drop in a jelly lure and drift it back and forward you'll see them try and take nibbles.

I've added a pic you'll have to zoom in but you can see they're definitely fish off a pier where 'experts' say there are no fish
fishes.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wonder if we could catch them on small lures? Catching small fish on light kit would be perfect for my son
 
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