The Irish Midlands March 2006; Angling updates with Bernie Murphy

Welcome along to these new angling updates on fishing here in the Irish Midlands. My name is Bernie Murphy. I live just outside Longford Town, which is situated in the heart of the Midlands of Ireland. In future (drink permitting) I hope to give you regular updates on the angling scene. These will be in the form of chats with visiting angler’s, latest news, and reports on how local lakes, rivers, and the Royal Canal are fishing. I will also be including some articles, as well as photos and any other bit of gossip that might be of interest to you the reader.

Short Review of 2005
Despite all the doom and gloom that has been spoken about angling here in Ireland, I have to say 2005 was a very good year. In general anglers had some good catches of bream, rudd, roach, hybrids and tench. The secret of success is regular ground baiting of your chosen swim, at least three or four days prior to you fishing visit. For the visiting angler I would recommend either getting to know someone locally to do the ground baiting for you, or else pick out a swim and feed it yourself for a few days. You can then fish some of the more popular venues, which are regularly fished and the local fish population are used to the angler’s offerings. On these lakes you can expect to catch mainly roach, hybrids and perch.

Hopefully when you return to fish your pre-baited swim the local fish population will have found your offerings and you can round of your holiday with some good sport. Remember if you want to catch those elusive wild Irish bream and tench; last thing at night or first thing in the morning are the times to be at the waterside. However if you are a big Irish breakfast fan or enjoy the large evening meal washed down with a few (?) pints of Guinness, then do not “complain” about the fishing!

Lough Cloonfinnan
In May 2005, Brian Bohan had a great session on Lough Cloonfinnan to mainly bream and tench. This lake is number 6 from Area 3 in my second book. Brian is a local angler who ground baited the swim for a week prior to fishing it. The successful hook bait was two small worms topped of with two red maggots. A little secret here, (hope Brian is not reading this) the worms were small red brandlings which can be found in old rotted cow dung. These little worms prove irresistible to bream and tench. Brian was ledgering with the feeder about 40 yards out. Cloonfinnan is a small shallow weedy lake, which only goes down to a depth of around 5 feet.

Brian Bohan with two nice tench from Lough Cloonfinnan.

Along the Longford, Leitrim and Cavan border lies a very good coarse fishery by the name of Gullado. This lake is divided into two by a short stretch of river. On the lower part of the lake there is plenty of easy shore fishing. Lower Gullado is ideal for the casual angler who wants an easy days fishing to shoals of roach and hybrids.

This visiting angler, with a roach on Lower Gulladoo

The upper part of Gullado is noted for nice bream and pike fishing, it also holds good stocks of big roach and hybrids. Like the lower lake it has loads of easy shore fishing. During 2005 visiting anglers had some great fishing on these lakes, especially those anglers who took time out to pre bait.

English angler on the shore of Upper Gulladoo.

Hot Water Stretch at Lanesboro
The new electricity power station, at Lanesboro, was completed in early 2005. When the hot water started to flow the fish moved up from Lough Ree in their droves, anglers had a feast with over 200lb bags of quality roach, hybrids, bream and tench caught on a regular basis.

Nice net full of fish for this angler on the Hotwater Stretch.

The flow of hot water attracts the fish particularly around late April and early May when they are ready to spawn. During this time of year the angler can expect great sport. The best method is float fishing with two maggots.

A hybrid landed on the Hotwater Stretch.

At this time of year, the river Inny is also the place to be for the big roach lovers. This river is invaded by roach, which regularly go over the 2lb mark. These fish make the short journey from Lough Ree on the Shannon to spawn in its crystal clear water. If like me you enjoy a bit of wild brown trout fishing, the Inny offers up superb wet fly fishing. The Tang River a small limestone tributary of the Inny and can give great sport to the wet fly, spinning a Lane Minnow or the red spotted Mepps.

Paul Newman holding a large ferrox trout caught in Lough Ree

Both these rivers are tributaries of the lake of the Kings (Lough Ree). On March 11th 2006 I received a phone call from a friend who invited me over to take a photo of a large wild ferox brownie which he caught on a trolled Tasmanian Devil. This fish (photo below) was taken near the Black Islands a noted trout hot spot o
n Lough Ree. When you catch a trout on this lake you can be assured it will be a real hard fighting wild brownie and have that deep pink flesh, which is associated with a rich feeding fishery.

Lough Gowna
On the Cavan, Longford border lies Lough Gowna. A noted coarse fishery. This lake is a real gem for the exploring angler. During 2005 I met up with visiting British anglers who were enjoying top class fishing to mainly skimmer bream, roach and hybrids. Gowna offers up plenty of easy shore fishing in nice scenic surroundings.

This visiting English angler on the shore of Gowna.

Royal Canal
The Royal Canal is getting more and more popular with visiting anglers, who are enjoying the fabulous tench and golden rudd fishing on offer. (Photo below) If you take time out to rake a swim and then pre bait it for a few days prior to your fishing visit. You can expect large bags of tench, rudd and roach.

English angler by the name of Stewart with these lovely Royal Canal Tench.

The pike fishing can also be excellent, (Photo below) the best method here is usually a ledgered dead roach or perch. For bite indications use a bite alarm or float, so the pike is hooked near the front of the mouth. Live bait fishing is banned in Ireland.

Stewart’s friend Dave Towel, with this large pike taken from the Royal Canal on a ledgered dead perch.

New Angling DVD
I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you and besides its time for a few? Pints. (I had a couple of nice winners at Cheltenham!) If you want to read updates on fishing in the Irish Midlands, keep an eye on this space. Finally, I have received numerous requests for my new DVD on coarse fishing here in the Irish midlands. I hope to have the DVD on release inside the next few weeks. The DVD will give all those readers of my second guide book, the opportunity to view in the comfort of their own homes all those lovely fisheries, as well as some entertaining scenes of visiting anglers catching bream, roach, hybrids, rudd, tench, carp and pike.

Due to the stress it was causing me (machines and I just don’t get along) I decided to delete my web site, if you want to contact me to obtain copies of book one and book two in the Guide To Irish Midlands Fisheries, or to order the new DVD, you can contact me via email at:

Cheers, Bernie.