Belmullet is renowned as one of the very best sea angling centres in Ireland.
The stretch of land which leads to Belmullet separates two great bays, Broadhaven to the north and Blacksod to the south, both of which are excellent spots for sea or shore angling. As well as these two bays, there is the Atlantic ocean coastline, offering endless variety and enjoyment for the visiting fisherman.
Charter boats are available at Belmullet and Blacksod and the knowledge and expertise of the local skippers is well beyond the realms of expectation. The open waters of the Atlantic are a haven for anglers in fine weather, while the bays at Blacksod and Broadhaven are sheltered and equally productive.
At least 36 species of game fish are caught regularly in the region. The list includes two species of wrasse, three gurnard, four species of ray, as well as ling, mackerel, coalfish, cod and conger, plaice, pollack, brill and bull huss, blue shark, bluefin tuna, halibut, John Dory, dab and dogfish, garfish, megrim and monkfish, porbeagle and pouting, red sea bream, scad, spurdog, tope, torsk and turbot, white skate and whiting – and quite a few others. In 1972 the Irish Record Halibut was caught near the Stags of Broadhaven.
Species in the Blacksod region include monkfish, spurdog, bull huss and scad, while Broadhaven Bay has yielded turbot, gurnard and monkfish. The Irish Record megrim was taken on Broadhaven in 1986. Rock-fishing off Glenlara has deservedly earned the title of the Haddock Rocks.
Offshore the waters between Achill Head and Black Rock offer some giants: blue shark and porbeagle, halibut and bluefin tuna and huge catches of cod, pollack, coalfish and ling have been recorded. Belmullet Deep Sea Angling Club hosts three international open boat and two open shore competitions, with regular outings and a major festival throughout the season.
There are four approved charter boats available for whole or half day hire with excellent helpful skippers.
Ground baiting at the quay in Belmullet brings mullet within reach for float fishing.
Countless small fishing harbours dot the rugged Atlantic coastline of north Mayo and all are within reach of Belmullet. Porturlin, Portacloy, Rossport and Rinroe are all located within close reach of each other and provide hours of pleasure fishing for flounder, dab and eel with float fishing for mullet and spinning for coalfish, mackerel, pollack, plaice and turbot.
Lugworm and crab are obtainable at Rinroe pier and sandeel can be dug from the banks of the channel.
Bottom fishing at Ballyglass Lighthouse is for conger, dogfish and pouting, and Ballyglass Pier for dogfish, flounder, plaice, ray and turbot.
To the west of the lighthouse is Pollacoppal with beach fishing for flounder, ray and small turbot and spinning from the nearby rock for mackerel and pollack.
At the mouth of the long narrow inlet called 'Blind Harbour' there is spinning for pollack and sea trout, best during the last two hours of flood and first hour of ebb tide.
The rocky cliffs at Glenlara, Annagh Head and Erris Head can be slippery and dangerous so caution is advised, but there the fisherman can enjoy float fishing for wrasse, bottom for conger and dogfish and spinning for coalfish, mackerel and pollack.
Below the golf course at Cross, surf fishing yields dogfish, flounder, sea trout and small turbot. On the southern end of Blacksod Bay, there is pier fishing at high water for conger, dogfish, flatfish and ray and, at times in the summer when whitebait are abundant, excellent spinning for coalfish, mackerel and pollack.
Spinning is also good from the rocks to the south of the pier. At Elly Bay bottom fishing yields flatfish and dogfish and lugworm abound below the nearby car park.