Upper Shannon region offers wonderfully consistent lake fishing, with
200-300lb catches of bream, roach and hybrids, nothing uncommon. But
don’t expect it to happen every day.
the area, with the magnificent Loughs Allen and Upper Lough MacNean –
two of THE great waters as centrepieces – still is relatively unknown
and unexplored. Lough Allen has a great reputation for producing
enormous catches while other perhaps better known waters are off form or
have been hit by rushes of cold heavy rain water. Try 200-300lbs from
Allen when 25lb was a good bag elsewhere. Another big plus
is…there are detailed water-by-water information sheets with
accompanying maps and directions showing the best places to fish, WITH
EIGHT as-they-happened videos showing a few hauls between 100lb-plus and
300lb, and a lot of laughs as well. The info sheets have valuable tackle
and bait tips, which can cut a lot of corners.
this for consistency…Cliff Arnold (Triana Burscough Angling Supplies)
opened up with a “200” off Lough Allen and took at least 100lb every
day afterwards, except for one day, in an eight-day trip two years
ago. The bottom end of the seven-mile-long water – the first of
the Shannon’s great lakes – is the best known area, with Wynne’s
Bay, Herons’ shore, Barneys’ Point and Burns’ Rock all capable of
producing those 100lb-plus hauls, mainly on the waggler. Early
season, massive shoals migrate into a vast bay where these shores are,
and early to mid-May is the best. September, too, can be excellent.
and Herons have vehicle access tracks and little walking. Even though
the accessible side of Herons may only be 4ft deep, it can produce
catches to 100lb, usually in May on the waggler. It can be snaggy for
the tip angler.
as water taxis are the usual way of getting to those areas inaccessible
by land. Even the boat quay at the start of the new canal can have
its moments..best 100lb –plus..especially in wild winds.
Bay, near Ballinagleragh, is a great area with the deep water on a point
a favourite, but like most other areas prebaiting the night before with
about 28lb per person brings the best results.
Allen is famous for its huge pike to over 40lb with a good selection of
Lake, two and a half miles north of Drumkeerin on the western side of
Lough Allen, has also been a real find. But in high water it may be
had 70lb of bream – a lot of big skimmers and fish to 4lb – near the
car park where the depth may only be 4-6ft, but the colour would seem to
keep the shoals there. It’s hard to find…look for wires crossing the
road on the way to Manorhamilton, then take a right turn signed
Tawnylead and Creeve or Creevaleagh Church, then go first left 200 yards
down this country road, past two farms and you’ll come to a lakeside
has no roach and when it was seriously tried in Sept 1998, experienced
feeder anglers caught up to 150lbs of bream to 5lb, which can be
extremely shy biters. Keep the bait moving, if you don’t get a bite
Lough MacNean, some 20 miles away through Dowra and up to the N16
Sligo-Enniskillen road, has been a magnificent find. Bream run big…one
of 4lb 8oz is small and they reach 7lb.
mate Ian Connor (Triana Burscough Angling Supplies) had 47 slabs in
Glenfarne Forest in September 1999 for over 200lb in five hours. Hybrids
run over 3lb and the roach fishing, too, can be stunning, with a high
average size if you load in enough bait. The scenery is spectacular and
as a results of bankside developments, it’s only a yard or two to walk
from the car.
Bay just beyond the forest may be quite shallow, but can fish well for
roach and hybrids – and I have had rudd to over 2lb here as well on a
Shannon in the area isn’t the river the tourists know. It’s narrow
and has pace. A recently developed stretch with riverside car
parking at Drumboylan, near Leitrim village, looks a winner.
had 70lbs of roach from herein years gone by, when the fish were moving
upriver to spawn, and more recently there have been roach and hybrid
bags to 60lb. There’s some big pike, too, and holes on bends have
Battle Bridge, famed for its roach, is only a couple of miles away by
Shannon just downstream of Bellintra sluice gates, about 100 yards
beyond the start of the car access track to Barneys, can also fish well
for roach and bream. Acres Lake, on the southern edge of
Drumshanbo, can be a real cracker. Bream and roach bags to over 100lb
have come up on pole off the end of the boat moorings, and it’s good
cold weather water.
go well off the bottom, too.
of the smaller lakes on the edge of town are worth exploring, although
Flynns or Prices is rated slow.
Scur can really produce the goods in the right hands, and the
Shannon-Erne Link is still developing and gets more promising all the
time, particularly when boats are not passing through.
Lake, near the village of the same name, is an underfished water with
great potential. I saw bream bags of
to 100lb in poor May weather four years ago…we bagged off a
prebait, even though the lake rose 1ft overnight after a day of rain.
season, the Boyle River just below Boyle town can produce stunning
catches of roach, bream and hybrids, when the shoals are moving up to
spawn. Catch them at peak, and like a friend of mine, you could bag over
200lb. But Drum Bridge with good access and car parking can be too
popular at times.
nearby, the magnificent beauty of Lough Key can be matched by the
quality of its bream fishing.Boat access to the islands is essential
(see Peter Walsh at Rockingham in the country park – he knows his
and hybrids can be caught off the shore here, right by the car park.
good bait tip…take some 10lbs of pearl barley
per man, soak it overnight with a red colouring agent, to
supplement your casters. We take on average 3-4pts of barley per man for
a day on the waggler on the lakes because there’s an immense amount of
fish to feed.
is only a brief guide to
what’s on offer in a brilliant area. If you want further info, send me
an A3 size self-addressed envelope with stamps and I’ll send on the
full information guide with maps.
get spot on information from Brian McGourty, Carrick Road, Drumshanbo
(tel: 41648 code from England 00-353-78, then the number). Brian’s a
good angler who knows his lake and what’s going on – and he also
at some future date, I’ll add to this website tips on how to tackle