Ballybay is a market town located on the shores of Lough Major. It is a haven for the pike angler with the challenging Dromore river system right on its door-step. Nine kilometres south east of Ballybay lies the large water known as Lough Egish, long recognised as a pike rich venue.
MAIN PIKE ANGLING WATERS IN THE BALLYBAY AND LOUGH EGISH AREA
1. Lough Major
Lough Major at the headwaters of the Dromore River, is a 23 hectare lake situated on the eastern edge of the town of Ballybay. With depths up to 5m the lake has excellent access from lakeside roads and the adjoining town park where a boat slipway is located. Fishing is from clear shorelines and stands. There are stands at the town park suitable for wheelchair users. This water, much frequented by coarse and competition anglers, has fair stocks of small to medium sized pike.
Dromore River Lakes
(2) Convent (Corries) Lake, (3) Rectory Lake, (4) Wilsons (Coolderry) Lake, (5) Mc Cabes (Aikens) Lake
These are a series of reed fringed lakes on the Dromore River a short distance downstream from Ballybay beside the R183 Clones road. With a combined area of 15 hectares, they are generally shallow with depths not exceeding 3m and are best accessed by boat via the connecting river channels. Limited bank space is available and there are four modern fishing stands on Rectory. These waters have fair stocks of small to medium sized pike.
It should be noted that Rectory and Wilsons lakes and part of the Dromore River downstream are bordered by lands attached to the Derryvalley Farm Wetlands Centre. During the autumn/winter period, when important flocks of migratory waterfowl may be present, anglers are requested to avoid disturbance to these birds.
(6) White Lake – Baird’s Shore, (7) Lisgillen and (8) Anny
White Lake covers an area of 54 hectares, is 5km south west of Ballybay and is approached off the R183 for Baird’s Shore & Lisgillen and off the R190 for Anny. There are clear banks at Baird’s Shore and Anny with limited bank space at Lisgillen. There are also fishing stands located at Lisgillen and Anny. Car parking is available at all three locations and boats may be launched at Baird’s Shore and Anny. The water is generally shallow with maximum depths to 6m. For pike fishing here the use of a boat is recommended. The water has good stocks of small to medium sized pike but fish in excess of 20lbs are recorded annually.
(9) Balladian, (10) Ballycoghill and (11) Ballynascarva Bridges
These three bridges are on the Dromore River in succession going downstream from Ballybay to Cootehill and have all got adjacent fishing areas. Access is possible at all bridges and bank fishing is available.
12. Mullanary Lake
Mullanary Lake is a 35 hectare lake 3km from Ballybay on the R190. There are 30 roadside swims and a dedicated stand for anglers using wheelchairs. Car parking is available at the roadside along the lake shore and it is possible to launch a small boat. The lake contains fair stocks of small to medium sized pike.
13. Lisnalong Lake
Lisnalong Lake is located 9km south west of Ballybay alongside the R190. This 8 hectare reed fringed lake has car parking, stands and swims. Depths are up to 5m and the lake has fair stocks of small to medium sized pike. A boat may be launched here by arrangement with the owner of the public house located at the eastern end of the lake.
14. Annamakerrig Lake
Annamakerrig is a 35 hectare lake situated 3.5km south east of Newbliss in a scenic forestry area. Access to a lakeside road is off the R189. Anglers fishing this water should note that access is along a private road and that cars should be parked with care to avoid disruption to traffic accessing the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Depths are up to 10m but are generally 4 to 5m and the lake is reasonably uniform in depth with the marginal shallows quickly dropping off to deeper water. The water has good stocks of small to medium sized pike but as there is a good stock of fodder fish larger specimens are a distinct possibility.
15. Coravoo Lake
Situated 7km south west of Ballybay, this 8 hectare lake can be accessed from the R190 Ballybay to Cootehill road by turning onto the R193 towards Rockcorry and over Ballycoghill Bridge to the lake on the left. There is an access road and car parking. The banks are mostly reed and rush fringed and the use of a boat will be advantageous for pike fishing. Boat launching is possible at the first car parking area on approach to the lake. Depths are up to 3m and there are good stocks of small to medium sized pike.
(16) Drumlona and (17) Dromore Lakes
These lakes covering a combined area of 112 hectares are situated 9km south west of Ballybay. They are part of the Dromore River catchment and the river outflow from Dromore Lake comes to within 2km of Cootehill. As these waters are bordered by Bellamont estate property anglers should enquire locally before attempting to fish. The lakes are generally shallow with depths to 5m and there is limited pedestrian access to the shores of these reed fringed waters. Bank fishing is also available from the fishing stands located at the downstream end of the river outflow from Dromore Lake. These waters are best fished from a boat. Boats can be launched at Anny on the White Lake some distance upstream. These popular venues contain good stocks of small to medium sized pike with fish in excess of 20lbs being recorded annually. Specimen weight pike (30lbs) are also a possibility from this system.
18. Killyvaghan Lake
Killyvaghan Lake situated 7km south west of Ballybay covers an area of approximately 20 hectares. Car-parking is possible at Ballynascarva Bridge and there is a long walk to the eastern shore where bank fishing is available. Limited roadside car parking is available at the eastern edge of the lake and it is possible to launch small boats from here. Depths are up to 4m and the water contains good stocks of small to medium sized pike with larger specimens always possible.
19. Lough Egish
Located 9km south east of Ballybay, Lough Egish covers an area of 117 hectares. This island studded lake is dominated by a large headland jutting out from the northern shore giving an observer looking from the western end a misleading impression of its true size. Road access is from the R181 where a boat may be launched near the village. Depths vary from 2m to a maximum of 10m but there are many areas of submerged rock close to the surface and anglers using boats should proceed with care. Small to medium sized pike are plentiful but this water has produced fish in excess of 30lbs.
20. Drumsaul Lake
Drumsaul Lake can be accessed at the County Council pump house. Fishing is from stands to the right
21. Drumate Lake
Drumate Lake lies north of the Ballybay to Newbliss road (R183) approximately 4km east of Newbliss village. Covering 11 hectares, the lake is very accessible with a lakeside road and car parking. This is a shallow productive water with depths not exceeding 4m. There is comfortable shore fishing with circa 20 pegs. The remainder of the lake is reed fringed and is best fished from a boat. Launching a small boat is possible from the parking areas. There is a good supply of fodder fish some to specimen size and a stock of small to medium sized pike with larger specimens occasionally caught.
22. Lough Avaghan
Lough Avaghan lies 8km out of Ballybay off the R162 to Shercock (signposted right). Access for coaches and cars is off the R190 Ballybay-Cootehill road. It is a scenic lake of some 54 hectares with parking at the lakeside. There are many areas of clear bank with deep water.
23. Lough Bawn
Lough Bawn and associated waters within the boundary of the Lough Bawn Estate are private.
24. Derrygoony (White) Lough
Derrygoony (White) Lough is approx 23 hectares. It can be approached from a stile near Cortubber post office, over 3 fields, or from the Billy Fox Memorial Park. There are some good banks at this lake.
(25) Corlatt Lake and (26) Shantonagh Lake
This series of lakes drains into the Knappagh and Annalee rivers. It must be noted that the majority of these waters contain most of the coarse fish species with the exception of bream and tench but are regarded as very good pike fisheries. Ballytrain Upper, Sreenty, and Avattan are also noted local fisheries in this area.