The Loughs Agency waters around Foyle and Carlingford Loughs offer the angler some superb fishing and are becoming very popular destinations for the tourist angler. There are a number of activities available throughout the region and season
The Foyle system covers an area of approximately 1,300 square miles stretching across much of three counties. The tributaries of the Foyle rise in the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal, the Sperrin Mountains of Tyrone and Londonderry/Derry and the wildness of Inishowen - hills that hold many of the spawning waters of Foyle salmon.
The Carlingford system covers an area of approximately 340 square miles (540 square kilometres) stretching across much of three counties. The rivers that run into Carlingford Lough rise in the Mourne Mountains of County Down, the Cooley Mountains of County Louth and Slieve Gullion in County Armagh - hills that hold many of the spawning waters of Carlingford salmon and trout.
Angling in the Carlingford catchment offers wide variety: sea trout anglers can get cracking sport out of good runs from mid July onwards on the Whitewater River; there is salmon to be had; some great trout fishing in the rivers and lakes; coarse and pike angling in the canal and some of the lakes; and, there is superb sea angling from shore or charter boat!
The Carlingford area is readily accessible, with air routes into Dublin and Belfast from most parts of England, Scotland and Wales, as well as flights from several European countries and north America. This part of Ireland is well served by car ferries, too, and the main Belfast to Dublin road (A1 / N1) runs through the area, leaving most parts less than an hours drive from these cities. There is also a railway station at Newry.
Please remember that access to rivers and lakes is often across private property. Such access is by kind permission of the owner and the continued co-operation of landowners relies on trust - both on the part of the angler and the landowner. Anglers should always respect the environment but also have due regard for the property of others - land, livestock, crops, fences, gates, farmyards, lanes... !
Coarse angling involves fishing for all other species of freshwater fish. Typically coarse fish are returned unharmed to the water.
Because coarse anglers normally release their fish alive, coarse angling does not require the same amount of re-stocking as other forms of angling. You can enjoy coarse fishing all year round in Northern Ireland which has long been recognized as one of Europe's best regions for the coarse angler. Irish coarse species are amongst the best and healthiest that you can fish for. They are always in excellent condition and by using the correct methods you can ensure big bags are just a few casts away. Ireland has fishing to suit the recreational angler, the specimen hunter, the specialist angler and the match man.
The rivers and streams entering Carlingford Lough have runs of large sea trout in the summer. Brown trout are our native Irish species whilst Rainbow trout are a North American species .
Sea angling in Foyle and Carlingford involves different techniques, depending on whether the angler is in a boat or on the shore. There are many accessible shore points and charter boats available in both the Foyle and Carlingford regions
The Derg is a large (10-20m) spate river with a fine head of wild brown trout, but it is best known for salmon and sea trout which are generally at their best from late May to August.
The species found in the canal include Roach, Bream, Rudd, Eel, Perch, Pike and Trout, a few years back Tench were introduced and make an appearance now and again. The canal fishes all year round and the distinctive areas provide excellent sport throughout.
The Bunagee Pier is the mooring for two boats that take anglers out to fish, the Barracuda and the Gemini. The fish caught offshore include White Pollock, Black Pollock, Plaice, Rock Salmon, Sea Trout, Salmon. Shell Fish include Brown Crab, Lobster, Green Crab, and Velvet Crab.
The Faughan rises in the northern Sperrins, near the village of Park, and flows roughly north east to Drumahoe where it turns north to enter Lough Foyle some six miles north of Derry. It is well known in this area as a salmon and sea trout river.
Magilligan (named after "MacGilligans country") peninsula lies in the northwest of County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, at the entrance to Lough Foyle. It is a huge 32 km2 coastal site, part British army firing range, part nature reserve.