In the Foyle and Carlingford catchments, preparations are underway for the start of the salmon, sea trout and wild brown trout angling season with the Rivers Finn and Foyle opening on 1st March. However, game, coarse and sea angling is already available in both catchments.
For still water game anglers, Binevenagh Lake opened on 1st February. The lake lies on a basalt plateau that towers over Lough Foyle and its flanking lowlands below with the famed hills of Donegal beyond. The 3.2 hectare lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout by DAERA Inland Fisheries and successful flies include Bibio and Buzzer patterns. Fly fishing, spinning and worm fishing are permitted and the fishery has a daily bag limit of 4 trout per rod. A Loughs Agency game rod licence and a DAERA game angling permit are required to fish this water.
Binevenagh Lake open for rainbow trout fishing
Some private fisheries are also operating and offer fishing for rainbow trout including Ballyheather, Altmore, Birchwood, Cashel, Termon, Oaks, Glenowen, and Duncrun Fishery in the Foyle area. In the Carlingford area, Donaghaguy Reservoir is open for trout fishing. A Loughs Agency game licence and a permit from the relevant fishery are required to fish these waters.
Coarse angling is permitted all year round, however the climate impacts on which species can be targeted. Whilst tench, bream and rudd are active in warmer weather, roach and perch feed in all seasons and make good year round fishing for the coarse angler. In the Foyle area coarse fishing is currently available at Aghlisk Lough, Baronscourt Lakes, Enagh Lough, Longvale and Lough Muck near Omagh. In Carlingford, anglers can also fish for roach and perch at Bessbrook, Camlough, Derryleckagh, Drumlough, Greenan Lough, Mill Dam, Milltown Lough and in Newry Canal. A Loughs Agency coarse licence and permission from the relevant fishery owner is required to fish these lakes. In some cases a day ticket must be purchased.
Pic: Newry Canal open for coarse angling
The marine waters in Foyle and Carlingford offer fantastic sea angling with stunning landscapes and seascape backdrops. Flounder, bass, dogfish, dab, rockling, conger, pollock and ray are likely catches for the shore angler. The Foyle area has over 90 miles of coastline of inlets, beaches, estuaries and rocky shores from which to cast from, whilst Carlingford offers almost 30 miles of coastline opportunities to fish. No licence is required for sea angling, however if fishing for salmon or sea trout a Loughs Agency game licence is required for the season which opens on 1st March.
Shore fishing in Carlingford Lough
Anglers are reminded to comply with the latest government advice and restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19. For further information on game, coarse and sea angling in Foyle and Carlingford or to purchase a Loughs Agency licence online, visit the angling section of the website.