FOYLE AND CARLINGFORD LOUGHS
The Lough’s Agency is responsible for fisheries in the Foyle catchment and in the fisheries surrounding the Carlingford Lough area. This body is a cross border body funded by both governments and manages fisheries on both sides of the border. Further information available from www.loughs-agency.org
A Lough’s agency licence is required at the four pike centres of excellence in their area. Annual licence costs £17 sterling and £2 for anglers under 18.
Coarse fish. It is prohibited to kill coarse fish (however, see regulation on pike, below) in the Foyle and Carlingford areas waters.
Eels. It is prohibited to kill eels in the Foyle and Carlingford areas.
All such coarse fish and eels caught, must be carefully handled and returned alive and unharmed to the water.
Pike. There is a bag limit of 2 pike weighing 4 kg or less, on any one day. Pike of 4kg or more must be returned unharmed to the water. There is an exception for specimen pike with a bag limit of 1 specimen pike in any one day (a specimen pike in a river is 9 kg or more; a specimen pike in a lake is 13.6 kg or more).
Live bait. Live fish cannot be used as bait in fresh waters in the Foyle and Carlingford areas.
Lough Derg on the Donegal / Fermanagh border is famous for its pilgrimage island and basilica, St Patrick’s Purgatory. Less well known is that this lake with over 1000 hectares offers excellent pike fishing. Shore fishing is possible at a number of locations, but boat fishing is recommended. Lough Derg has recorded pike up to 30 lbs. (13.60 kg.) in the past but most of the pike landed today weigh in around 8 lbs – 12 lbs. (3.5 – 4.5 Kg). Ghillie service and boat hire available. Pettigo and District Anglers Association manage the lake. A day Permit is required to fish. Further information available from:
City of Derry Co. Derry/Londonderry Oaks Fishery
The Oaks Fishery located only a few minutes drive from the city of Derry/Londonderry offers some of the finest pike fishing available in the north-west. The lake, surrounded by beautiful countryside, provides an ideal and tranquil venue for fishing. The largest pike recorded this year is 24 lbs. (10.89 Kg). In March 2005 we saw Big Mary weigh in at massive 46 lbs. (20.87 Kg) and was captured by local angler Allen Stewart but this fish was not weighed on a certified scales. In May 2005 another monster of nearly 41 lbs. (18.6 Kg) was captured, weighed and returned by Gerard Moreland and a specimen claim was accepted by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee. Guiding and boat hire available, Day ticket required. Further information available from:
Newtownstewart Co. Tyrone Baronscourt Lakes
Baronscourt lakes offer some of best pike fishing in Ireland. This is available for fishermen staying in either the Governor’s Lodge or the Clock Tower. There are 3 lakes within the Baronscourt Estate: Lough Catherine 91.51 acres, Lough Fanny 29.05 acres, Lough Mary 15.47 acres and all these are interconnected, with Lough Catherine discharging towards the River Derg. Pike fishing on the lakes is of a high standard and for a time the venue hosted the Northern Ireland Pike Fishing Championships. The best time of year is between April and October. Boats are available. Please note that the Estate operates a strict catch and release programme in order to conserve fish stocks. Anglers must stay in the accommodation to fish at The Governor’s Lodge and The Clock Tower which are self catering accommodations. Prices include the fishing and further information is available from www.barons-court.com
Co. Armagh Camlough
This large disused reservoir offers exceptional pike fishing all year round. The lake is long and narrow and has an undulating bottom much like the surrounding countryside. Pike fishing is best from a boat from which the sharp drop off can be easily fished with a variety of baits. Camlough produces excellent pike in early spring when pike are feeding on small roach fry. This is an ideal opportunity to catch a pike on a fly. Guides and boat hire are available. Further information from: