Ballycotton first became known for big fish by members of the Gresham Angling Society of London in the very early 1900’s. This opened the door to members of the Dreadnought Sea Angling Society who then fished Ballycotton on a regular basis in the late summer months circa 1914 for a number of years.
Dreadnought was founded in 1893, initially as The British Sea Anglers Society and changed their name to Dreadnought about 1911. There is some suggestion the name was taken from the British warship HMS Dreadnought which entered service in 1906.
It was during this time that they became aware of the large number of blue and porbeagle sharks in the Ballycotton area. The anglers were actually targeting big pollack, but found that the sharks would take the pollack when winding in, thus the fishery was born. Specialist tackle was developed and designed to land these large fish and in addition to blue and porbeagle shark, some threshers and mako were also caught.
You can find a number of old photographs from the 1960’s of fishermen with their catch of Mako, Porbeagle and Blue Shark in Pier 26 Bar & Restaurant, at the top of Ballycotton Pier.