Irish coarse fish live in wild and natural environments and seldom see maggots, groundbait or hooks. There is a huge network of fish bearing rivers and lakes such as the mighty Shannon & Erne systems along with big river tributaries and numerous loughs of varying size. The River Erne drains a network of lakes extending through much of Cavan and Fermanagh. There are also other smaller fisheries such as the Clare Lakelands, the River Bann which dissects Lough Neagh (the largest lake in Ireland) and the easily accessed canal systems, the Grand, Royal and the Shannon Erne waterway. Then there are the famous lakes in Monaghan such as Muckno and Ballyhoe Lake and in the south east of the country there is the mighty River Barrow.
There is a wealth of rivers, loughs and canals to suit even the most discerning of coarse anglers. There is no closed season for coarse angling in Ireland and most of our waters offer free fishing. In many places large shoals of bream, hybrids and roach offer the possibility of bags of over 100 lbs. Many coarse angling visitors come for the unique angling festivals which take place for much of the year in rural Ireland. A hearty Irish welcome and the great match fishing experienced by coarse anglers is complemented by the numerous cultural events that take place during the festival week. While festivals provide companionship to those who like to fish in company, Irish coarse fishing also offers solitude and tranquillity on miles of unspoilt waters.
Anglers visiting fisheries in Ireland are advised to purchase the relevant Ordnance Survey map. The Discovery Series produce by both the Ordnance Survey of Ireland and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland are recommended. These maps show the many small roads and access points around fisheries. They are available in all good bookshops, newsagents and many petrol stations. These maps can also be bought online at www.irishmaps.ie and www.osni.gov.uk. The Regional Fisheries Boards along with Waterways Ireland, DCAL and the Lough’s Agency also produce maps showing access points to the fishing on many of our finest coarse waters. The Central Fisheries Board has produced a series of coarse and pike angling maps for most of the angling centres contained in this guide. Copies of these maps can be be ordered through the Central Fisheries Board office.