Thursday, 22 December 2016


The Irish Riviera arrow Lots to do and see arrow Beautiful countryside
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Blackwater River and wildlifeLittle egret colony Youghal
The Blackwater river and estuary have recently be proposed as a Natural Heritage Area. Once a busy trading thoroughfare, development along the river has been frozen for hundreds of years. The result is fabulous and peaceful habitat for all manner of wildlife.

Large colonies of Egrets nest on overhanging tree branches that dip into the water edge. Otters feast on the fish, and wild salmon are more profuse here than anywhere else in Ireland. In the Estuary the river is almost a mile across at its broadest and large flocks of wading birds live on the rich pickings between the high tides. Bird watching
Ireland's first Bird sanctuary is at Knockadoon Head at the southern end of Youghal Bay with its spectacular views over the uninhabited Capel Island. The island hosts Chough, Peregrine and a colony of Cormorants. The headland has attracted a number of rare migrants in recent years, including Pied Wheatear (1st Irish record) and Sardinian Warbler (2nd Irish record). Scarce migrants have included Hoopoe, Lapland Bunting, Yellow -browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Black Redstart (the latter occasionally in large numbers). The head is a good sea-watching point. A dirt track leads around the headland to the tip. Access to the island is by written permission from BirdWatch Ireland only. Other bird watching sites for wading birds and reed dwellers are at Ballyvergan, just behind the main Strand beach in Youghal. Species to be found here include Dunlin, Golden Plover, Brent Geese, (Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and White-rumped Sandpiper have also been sighted in autumn) along with Otters, and two types of bat.

Fishing in Youghal, sea fishing, boat trips
There has been fishing in Youghal for since it was first settled over two thousand years ago.The great river Blackwater sweeps into the sea here, and is a famous salmon fishing river. The Blackwater is Ireland's second largest river and as a large mature river, it is not subject to the whims of the weather, and consequently can provide excellent fishing even in low water. It has extensive tidal reaches, stretching for approximately 20 miles from the estuary mouth at Youghal to Lismore. This provides a unique haven for salmon and seatrout. It was declared Ireland's most prolific salmon river in 1998. Statistics issued by the Central & Southern Regional Fisheries Board confirm that the Blackwater had the highest rod catch of salmon of all Irish rivers that year. The total was a staggering 8,063 - over 35% higher than the River Moy.

Youghal bay is a sea fishing paradise. Unspoilt, uncrowded and offering great sport, with specially fine bass fishing. At the eastern end of Youghal bay, Knockadoon Head has great spinning or float fishing for Pollack and Mackerel, Wrasse, Conger and Dogfish. Along the miles of Youghal Strand the main problem is usually deciding where to pitch your shelter and start fishing - and the answer is just about anywhere as the fish tend to sweep along its entire length. Surf and bottom fishing for Flounder, Plaice, Dabs and Sole.

The Green Park is Youghal is a popular spot for fishing, as its right next in the town. The main species are Codling and Coalfish in winter, and Flatfish and Pollack in the summer. For 2 weeks in the summer (in August usually) the area is alive with Mackerel and sprat. At the town quay you'll even see boys jump in and throw them out, they are so numerous!

The Old Dyke Wall starting from the quay in Youghal town and runs up towards tip head. This is a match fishing venue, where Flounders are the main quarry. Traveling over the river Blackwater to Whiting Bay and there's excellent sport spinning and float fishing from the rocks for Bass, Wrasse, Pollack and Mackerel in season. Surf fishing will generate lots of Flatfish and the odd Bass, even Sea-Trout, with bottom fishing taking Dabs, Plaice, Cod , Dogfish and Ray, but no Whiting!

Further along the cost at Ballyquinn Strand (a fabulous little used beach) is one of the premier shore fishing venues in Ireland. Surf fishing will produce Bass, Dabs, Flounder, Painted Ray in summer and quite close in, the odd Sea-Trout and Dogfish. More specimen fish have been recorded here than on any other beach or mark in Ireland. Fishing trips, by boat, out in the bay are available throughout the summer months.

Walking by the sea, river and mountains
After fun on the beach, the most favourite recreation in Youghal is walking. The most popular route is the stroll along the promenade from the Green park, past the lighthouse


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