Located beside the River Finn and its myriad of lakes, Clones in north west Monaghan is the ideal starting point for the pike angler willing to venture into as yet unexplored territory. Many of the waters here are lightly fished or some hardly at all and may provide pleasant surprises.
The fishery comprises of the River Finn and many small lakes none in excess of 20 hectares and is ideal territory for the angler with a small portable boat or a float tube.
The River Finn
The River Finn enters the Erne 9km south west of Clones and the maze of interconnected lakes that make up the Erne system are only a short drive away. The River Finn is recognised as an excellent coarse fishery with good quality bream and roach. Pike in excess of 20 lbs are recorded annually. Access is possible at a number of locations as detailed below.
One of the most popular stretches this location is 4.5km south of Clones with access from the Clones/Scotshouse road (R212) and also from the A3 if travelling from NI. There are deep sluggish reaches with clean banks and this section of the river is a popular match section with capacity for 50 anglers. Car parking is available near the bridge and along the road that runs parallel to the river.
This is the next bridge downstream from Annie’s Bridge and has some good pools. However, it is accessible to only the most determined anglers and so is rarely fished.
Further downstream and not far from the confluence with the Erne this location is reachable via the N54 Cavan road, approximately 6.5km from Clones.
It has clean banks and deep holes with a good head of fish including big pike. In this area the river widens into two fishable loughs, Garrow and Sarah.
NOTE: The River Finn and connected lakes in the area interweave with the Northern Ireland border. Visiting anglers should acquaint themselves with the legislative requirements for fishing in Northern Ireland. Most of the river downstream of Clones forms the border with Northern Ireland.
Horseshoe (Kilroosky) Lake
This 4 hectare lake is located 1.5km to the north of Clones at Lisnaroe. The lake is bisected by the border with fishing stands on the southern side. There is limited car parking along the narrow road but care must be taken not to block gateways. Contains stocks of small to medium pike.
Smaller than its neighbour at 2 hectares Summerhill is 1km north of Horseshoe Lake. It is bisected by the border with fishing from stands on the south shore. Contains stocks of small to medium pike.
Tirnahinch a 2 hectare water is 2.5km north of Clones on the Carraghveetra road. There are 20 match pegs on the lake. Access is over fields and there are areas of fishable bank. Small to medium sized pike can be expected.
At 5 hectares one of the bigger waters in the area, Gortnawinney is 3km to the north east of Clones to the left of the road leading to Roslea in Co. Fermanagh. The lake is suitable for anglers with restricted mobility, with waterside parking, and a recently installed floating platform adapted for use by wheelchair users. A rich water where pike to double figures are present.
Located 12km east of Clones just off the N54 Clones/Monaghan road 2km past the village of Smithborough this 2 hectare water is on the course of the old Ulster Canal and has angling platforms and roadside car parking. In addition to the platforms, parts of the shoreline are fishable. Contains sizeable bream and tench and pike to double figures are present.
This 11 hectare water located near Scotstown village approximately 14km north east of Clones. Access is via the well developed amenity area where there is good car parking. Fishing is from stands and from some clear shoreline at the amenity area. This water is almost unique in the Erne system as roach are not present. Species are pike, rudd and perch and this rich water with luxuriant weed growth is unexplored and may have pike well into double figures. Boats may be launched at the southern end of the lake.
One of the larger but least fished lakes in the area, Annagose is a 17 hectare water located 8km east of Clones and 3km north east of the village of Newbliss. The banks are open and the lake is fishable around most of its perimeter.
Other lakes in the Clones area are Munilly (Cloncallig) Lake, Dummy’s Lake and Corconnolly Lake