Mike Dennehy is one of Ireland’s most innovative charter skippers. For the last few years he is the only charter skipper to consistantly catch albacore tuna off the coast of Ireland. Mike is fishing areas never fished before by any angler, in places up to now only commercial fishing boats have fished.
At the right times of year it is a haven for whale species, with pilot, fin and even blue whales because of the massive shoals of baitfish. In 2013 there was even a sighting of the extremely rare True’s beaked whales from the RV Celtic Mist research vessel, one of the rarest species on the planet with only two confirmed sightings since 1995.
And in the Autumn when the weather allows Mike is out there, pushing the boundaries of Irish sport fishing, and by the time he is done god only knows what he may discover.
Over to Mike….
The main question I get asked by anglers about albacore tuna in Ireland is how far offshore
You have to travel to be in with a realistic chance of catching fish.
The tuna are caught normally near the “shelf” ie the drop off from the the 200 to 300 metre contour into the 600+ metre deep contour of the porcupine seabight
This area is west of cork and Kerry primarily, ranging FROM 60 nautical miles offshore
Some years like this year the concentrations of baitfish are 80 to 100 nautical miles offshore
This area holds underwater seamounts and underwater canyons.
The commercial fishermen catch albacore tuna Thunnus alalunga , Bluefin tuna thunnus thynnus , and swordfish Xiphias gladius in this area.
Very rarely do albacore venture into shallower water, however historically some have been taken in salmon nets in places such as Brandon and kinsale
This area of the “shelf” can be teeming with life , birds dolphins whales etc. indeed even blue whales have been documented there recently !!! and usually when we find whales we also find tuna.
Albacore are not huge fish so balanced light to medium tackle is all that’s required
12/20 or 20/30 lb class gear , we normally surface troll a variety of lures using a spread of 8 rods
Tuna feathers , plugs , etc all catch these delicious fish that typically weigh from 8 – 12 kg, however
Zuker zf tuna feathers and rapala x rap magnum 20 and 30.s have proven to be deadly with us.
We like to fish light and use braided spectra lines and fluorocarbon leaders with ball bearing swivels to prevent line twist.
We have taken them to 20kg on rod and line and I know of commercially taken fish to near 40kg.
This fishery is very much weather dependent and normally begins in early august
And lasts till late September.