Castleblaney, Co Monaghan is la well established angling centre which is located on the shores of the magnificent Lough Muckno. There are also a number of smaller lakes surrounding this centre including the Gas Lake, Smith’s Lake, Malone’s Lake and Killygola and these together with Lough Muckno provide the angler with a wide variety and choice of quality angling venues.
On Lough Muckno, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan, ‘Conservation of Coarse Fish and Pike Dundalk District (Lough Muckno) Bye-law no. 950, 2017’ has been introduced. The Bye-law provides for catch and release for all coarse fish and pike. Anglers must use keepnets to hold any coarse fish or pike and all fish are to be subsequently released. This applies to Lough Muckno and includes Gas Lake including the waters up to Derrygreevy Bridge, tributary up to Frankfort Bridge, County Water up to Wallace’s bridge and the Clarebane River up to Clarebane Bridge.
Lough Muckno is located off the N2 on the eastern side of Castleblaney and is the largest lake in the area. It covers an area of circa 325 hectares with depths to 20m. There are a number of excellent shore fishing locations on this lake which can be readily accessed by pike anglers. The main pike fishing locations including White Island, Black and Yellow Island, South Lodge and Toome Point. This lake holds excellent stocks of small to medium sized pike with many fish in excess 20lbs being taken every year. This fantastic water has also produced a number of fish over 30lbs.
White Island is accessed through the gates to Hope Castle to the east of the town. This is a popular pike fishing location and many good fish are taken annually. Fishing in this area is to about 6m on the eastern shore and there is a shelf along which the pike patrol as you fish towards black island. Coarse anglers are often plagued by pike during pleasure and match sessions. This is a good location for legered dead baits, sink and draw or float fishing techniques. Pike are also taken regularly at the point of the island. There is excellent parking available in the field but anglers must be aware that the access road is liable to flooding during certain periods of the year. The field and the margins of the lake can also be soft and slippery especially after rain.
Black and Yellow Island is accessed as for White Island. Stay left on the roadway and you will find parking for your vehicle next to the wooden bridge across the river. There is no vehicular access across the bridge. There is a walkway through the wooded area that leads to a number of fishing pegs on the right and left. It is a pleasant walk but the advice is to travel light. Anglers can expect to fish into depths of 5m to 7m in this area. A slipway close to the bridge allows anglers to launch boats at this point but take care of the step which can drop off suddenly.
Concra Wood is located by turning right off the N2 onto the N53 as you enter Castleblaney. After approximately 1.5km there is a signposted lane-way to the left which indicates the way to this location. There are many swims in this area and it is a popular competition venue. Fishing is generally into depths of 3m to 4m. but depths to 9m are possible off the Belfast steps. This area produces great catches of quality roach but all the other species listed are regularly taken. There is a golf course adjacent to this area so please take care when accessing this area and respect other users. Legered dead-baits can produce results off the Belfast Steps and spinning and floated dead-baits can prove effective at Concra.
South Lodge is accessed, as for Concra Wood except the left turn is located 2.5km along the N53. This turn is signposted and takes you directly to the lakeside. This is an excellent fishing venue located close to the road and is a suitable for disabled anglers or those with reduced mobility. Fishing on the inside of the islands is to around 5m to 6m. This venue regularly produces good pike but it can be busy. There is excellent roadside car parking in this location. There is a slipway here where boats can be launched giving access to all other parts of the lake.
Toome Point is directly across from south point and is best accessed from the same direction. Access is through a gateway at the end of the promontory. This shoreline is clear and anglers can expect to locate depths from 3m to 8m. Please check access locally.
Fishing by boat is a magnificent way to explore Lough Muckno which has a fantastic design and and contains many bays, islands and drop offs. The are some shallow areas on which boats can run aground so please follow safe boating practices and always wear a life jacket. Trolling lures and float trolling dead-baits regularly produce fish and casting on the drift will also produce results. Anglers a liable to hit fish in most parts of the lake.
The Gas Lake is located on the northern end of Castleblaney on the R181 Keady road and is really an extension of Lough Muckno to which a short river connects it. Access is best from the western side from the Keady road. Fishing stands are provided to facilitate anglers but these may be partially covered during high water conditions. This lake covers an area of x hectares with depths to xm. It contains good stocks of bream, roach, hybrids, tench and pike. This is a popular fishery due to its proximity to the town.
Boats can be hired locally and guide services are available at www.fishinginireland.info/guides/monaghan.htm
Malone’s Lake or Corrinshigo Lough covers an area of 4 hectares with depths up to 4m. Stands are provided and parking is on the roadside. Anglers should take care on this busy road. The lake contains stocks small to medium sized pike. Deadbaiting and spinning produce best results.
Killygola Lake, is located approximately 2km north of Castleblaney on the R181 Keady Road. Parking is limited on this road and anglers should exercise great caution. The margins of the lake are very soft and treacherous in places and access is limited. The best chance of access is on the eastern shore from the Keady road. This lake holds stocks of small to medium sized pike.