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Coarse Fishing Ireland's East Coast

The Best Coarse Fishing in the Eastern Region

The Eastern Region contains some of the countries premium coarse fisheries and as a result, angling centres have developed around many of these fisheries. Whether fishing the magnificent Lough Muckno in Castleblaney or on one of the smaller lakes, anglers will be afforded a wide choice and variety of angling. There is something to suit every coarse angler in the area and the main species available include bream, roach, rudd, hybrids, tench and carp. There are no licences or permits required on many of these waters and generally the fishing is free so there is nothing stopping you!

The Best Coarse Angling Centres

The angling centres marked with a star, Best Angling Centre, are the coarse angling centres recommended by the ERFB for 2007. These Centres of Excellence give you not only high quality fishing but good access to waters, suitable ‘angler friendly’ accommodation, local fishing information, guiding services and many other criteria to ensure your holiday is everything you wish it to be.

Coarse Fish Species

BREAM, (Abramis brama): This species is easily recognised with its deep bronze colour, black fins and protruding mouth. They can be found in rivers, lakes and canals. Bream are usually a shoal fish and forage for food in large groups, however solitary fish are not uncommon. Small immature bream are called skimmers and are silver in colour. bream usually spawn in May and June but this can vary occasionally due to weather and water conditions. These fish are more active in the warmer summer periods when they feed actively. During the colder winter months the fish are to be found in the deeper areas of water often partially burrowed into the soft mud on the bottom of the river lake or canal. Bream feed on invertebrates and other aquatic bugs but are opportunist feeders. This is evidenced by the array of angling baits which are regularly taken by bream. The specimen weight for bream is 7.5lbs and many such specimens are recorded annually in Moynalty Lake in Carrickmacross Co. Monaghan.

ROACH, (Rutilius rutilius): Roach are very handsome fish being silver in colour with red fins and red eyes. They are avid feeders and can be caught at any time of the year. Like many other coarse species roach live in rivers, lakes, ponds and canals. They normally spawn in May and will breed with other species such as rudd and bream. The resulting offspring is referred to as a hybrid. Roach feed on aquatic insects but will readily accept an assortment of baits properly presented by anglers.

RUDD, (Scardinius erothropthalmus): This species is quite similar to the roach but closer inspection provides some major and obvious differences that assist in its identification. The rudd has a golden appearance as opposed to the silver coloration of the roach. Its superior mouth position is also characteristic of this species. Rudd can be found in rivers lakes, ponds and canals and are willing surface feeders. They often reside high in the water table during the warmer summer months where they can be seen feeding avidly on the surface flies and insects.

TENCH, (Tinca tinca): Tench are a beautiful fish and appear almost smooth because of their small scales. Their fins are rounded and the tail is almost straight. It is possible to tell whether a fish is male or female by examining the fins. The male has rounded spoon shaped pelvic fins whilst the females fins are more triangular in shape. Tench are bottom dwellers can be found in rivers, lakes and canals. Spawning is confined to the summer due to the requirement high water temperatures. Tench often give away their presence by disturbing the bottom and vegitation which results in trails of small bubbles coming to the surface. Fizzing bubbles on the surface are a good indication that tench are present and feeding.

PERCH, (Perca fluvialtilis): Perch are piscivourous but the also feed on aquatic insects. They can be very agressive. Perch are easily recognised with their striped bodies and reddish coloured fins. The spiny dorsal fin is also a feature that facilitates recognition. Perch usually spawn in April and May in the weedy margins of lakes. This species can be found in rivers lakes ponds and canals. Care should be taken when handling this species to avoid injury on the spiny dorsal spine.

Carp, (Cyprinus carpio): These are by far the largest coarse fish species in the area with the exception of the pike. There are three main types of carp the common carp, the mirror carp and the leather carp. They are mainly found in lakes and canals. carp require very high water temperatures and consequently this only occurs occasionally in Ireland. This species are extremely long lived and are much sought after by specimen hunters. Carp generally bottom feeders but can be encouraged to feed from the surface by careful placement of assorted floating baits such as bread and dog biscuits.

Pike and Coarse Angling Bye laws

Pike Bye-Law, 809, 2006: It is prohibited:1) to kill more than 1 pike in any one day 2) to kill any pike greater than 50cm in length 3) for any person to have in their possession more than 1 whole pike less than 50cm or more than 0.75kgs of pike flesh 4) to have more than 12 coarse fish for use as bait, if a person has more than 4 coarse fish in his/her possession, a receipt from a licenced tackle shop dealer must be available for inspection

Coarse Fish Bye-Law, 806, 2006: It is prohibited: 1) to take or kill by any means more than 4 coarse fish on any one day 2) to take or kill by any means any coarse fish greater than 25cm in length 3) for any person, other than in the Louth or Moville areas, to sell or offer for sale any coarse fish caught by any means 4) to use or attempt to use live fish as bait 5) to transfer live roach from any waters to any other waters 6) to fish by any other means than rod and line 6) to fish with more than two rods at any one time

A copy of the full bye laws governing the above regulations are available from the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, 15a Main Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin,

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Coarse fishing in Ireland's Eastern Region.

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