The thriving county town of Cavan, its industrious neighbour Killashandra to the west and Butlersbridge on the Annalee are located in the middle Erne, an area long recognised as a prime pike angling destination. The area has recently been designated an ‘Anglers Welcome’ hub by Fáilte Ireland.
Fáilte Ireland, The National Tourism Development Authority, are introducing an initiative called ‘Anglers Welcome’. The aim of the initiative is to raise the standard of service anglers can expect from their angling holiday in Ireland. Responding to the needs of anglers a series of ‘Anglers Welcome’ charters have been developed. These charters cover; Angling Guides, Accommodation, Pubs & Dining, Visitor Attractions, Retail Premises and Charter Skippers. Each charter contains a series of ‘service promises’ and a commitment to offering you, the angler, a pleasant and enjoyable ‘Anglers Welcome’ experience.
So look out for the ‘Anglers Welcome’ logo as you travel around Ireland and be assured of a warm welcome with information aplenty and of course, good fishing!
Map: Lough Oughter Batymetry Map
Lough Oughter is the principal pike angling resource for the above angling centres and covers an area of circa 844 hectares. This lake offers very good pike fishing with many pike over 30lbs recorded annually. There is a huge network of lakes offering excellent bank and boat fishing and there are a number of well established pike angling locations on this water including Trinity and Killykeen, Inishconnell (Rann), Killygoan and Flynn’s Pass, Inismuck, The Derries, Eonish and Tullyguide. See bathymetry map, page 65.
1. Trinity and Killykeen shores are located approximately 7km west of Cavan town. Trinity is the least known and least fished of these two venues and is generally overlooked by anglers heading to the famous Killykeen stretch. It is located at the inflow of the River Erne and offers good pike angling opportunities at certain times of the year.
2. Killykeen has approximately 1km of open shoreline which is easily fished by the bank fisherman. Depths at this location are generally in the region of 4-5m with a maximum of 9m but rarely exceed 2m south of the boathouse. Good parking is available within easy walking distance of the lake shore. One of the best pike areas is off the “green bank” which is located immediately above the footbridge upstream of the short river stretch which connects the Killykeen and Eonish basins. This area holds a good stock of small to medium sized pike but good numbers of fish in excess of 20lbs are recorded annually from this location. The area has also produced pike in excess of 30lbs. There is pedestrian access to the Killashandra stretch by way of a footbridge. It is not possible to launch a boat from this location.
3. Inishconnell and Rann shorelines are located 7km east of Cavan town and 2km north of Killykeen Forest Park. These shores are popular pike fishing locations. Inishconnell to the south has good roadside access to extensive areas of open shoreline. This location holds good stocks of small to medium sized pike but good numbers of fish in excess of 20lbs are recorded annually. The water is not as deep as at Killykeen with depths generally in the 2 to 3m range interspersed by some deeper areas. Boats can be launched from either of the two slipways located on this stretch. This gives access to the opposite bank at Rann and the entirety of the Lough Oughter system. The Rann shoreline to the north can be accessed by road from Killashandra but provides limited bank fishing space.
4. Killygoan Lake and Flynn’s Pass are located approximately 3km north east of Inisconnell and are accessed by a roadway on the western shore of Killygoan Lake. Flynn’s Pass is the channel connecting the basins of Killygoan and Inishmore and has good access for the bank fisherman. These locations offer good pike fishing and the opportunity to explore some of the more secluded parts of Lough Oughter. Good numbers of pike from 10 to 20lbs are recorded annually. A boat may be launched near the southern end of Killygoan but permission should be sought from the local landowner in advance.
5. Inshmuck is the large basin located 4.5km north of Killykeen Forest Park. It is connected to the main body of Lough Oughter by a narrow river channel which enters the basin in the south east. This location holds good stocks of small to medium sized pike but good numbers of larger fish are recorded annually. Access to extensive stretches of open shoreline at the southern end of the lake is available from Carratraw Bridge. Car parking is also available close to this bridge. Access to the northern part of the basin is via Inishmuck Island which is reached from the mainland by a causeway leading to a lakeshore road with good car parking provided. This gives access to a long stretch of clean open shoreline. Depths in this area range from 3 to 5m.
6. The Derries are located 5km south east of Killashandra off the R199 Killashandra to Cavan road. This location holds good stocks of small to medium sized pike with numbers of 10 to 15lbs fish recorded annually. Access is from a lakeside road with car parking available at several locations along the roadway. It is possible to launch a boat at this location with permission from the householder opposite the slipway. This stretch is generally shallow with depths of 1 to 3m being the norm. Deeper water up to 4m is located at the point opposite the car park.
7. Eonish basin and Tullyguide Lake (8) are located 4km north east of Killashandra and share a common access point off the Killashandra to Milltown road. Collectively these waters hold good stocks of small to medium sized pike with numbers of larger fish recorded annually. The northern shore of the Eonish basin is generally 3 to 5m in depth but is much shallower at the western and eastern extremities. The southern shoreline (Gartnanoul) is also shallow but has deeper water west of the sandy point along the wooded shoreline. Boats can be launched from a number of locations in this area including, the roadside slipway on the northern shore, the sandy point on the southern shore and at the mouth of the river on the Killashandra side.
Tullyguide is a small water connected to the main Oughter complex by the Castle River and can provide good sport for small to medium sized pike. Fishing is from a clean bank within easy reach of roadside access. The lake can be reached by boat via the Castle River.