The River Shannon – Athlone to Meelick
Downstream from Athlone the Shannon is subject to flooding. The river plain is flat almost as far as the eye can see. The Shannon meanders through extensive water meadows and River is fringed with extensive reed beds. This is one of the last bastions of the corncrake in Ireland. Large flocks of waterfowl over-winter here. In the main shore access is limited and a boat is necessary to get the best results. Pike can also be caught from a cruiser. The wider stretches of the river are most productive; some of these include Long island, above and below Clonmacnoise at the junctions to the River Suck and River Brosna and around Meelick. In there locations poke of up to specimen weight can be taken. The River Suck also provides pike fishing of high quality and good pike can also be taken in stretches of the Brosna.
Lough Ree “Lake of Kings” is 30 km long and stretches from Lanesboro in the North to just above Athlone in the south. It is the second largest lake on the Shannon with numerous islands, bays and inlets offering the adventurous angler wonderful sport. The lake is noted for its big pike and deserves to be better known as a trout fishery particularly early and late in the season. Pike can be taken in virtually any suitable part of the lake but fishing the extensive weedy margins and island is most productive. Particularly noted poke areas on the eastern shore is the area from Killeenmore right around to Poolagh point and the shore north of Elfeet Bay.
Most of the western shore is also very productive pike fishing water particularly Ballybay, Carnagh, Blackbrink Bay, Gallery Bay and north from Portrunny Bay to Lanesborough. Good pike can be taken from the shore. However for the serious angler a boat with outboard motor is highly recommended.
Lough Ree is a noted coarse fishery and huge bags of big bream can be taken in many of the bays. Roach are plentiful and good quality tench are also widely available. The Inner Lakes are noted tench locations. There is a good mayfly hatch on the lake and superb spent gnat fishing can be had (end of May early June period)
Lough Ree is the equivalent of an inland sea and weather condition can deteriorate quickly. Anglers should be experienced in boat handling and have the necessary safety equipment. A ghillie is advisable for anglers fishing the lake for the first time. Boats are available for hire in several locations throughout the lake. Pike fishing can also be enjoyed from a cruiser with dinghy. Specialised angling accommodation available in many locations around the lake.
Mr Alastair Rawlings is a Pike Fishing Guide and Instructor.
He is twice winner of the prestigiious Rapala/Angling Times predator competitions in 1996/’97 and 1997/’98. Alastair has gained a wealth of experience in the angling service sector over the past number of years.
Take a guided pike trip with Ireland’s most successful specimen pike angler. Learn first hand how to catch double figure pike. Home waters include the upper Shannon system and local lakes.