Megga Fishing in Clare

THERE’S no secret angling method or bait behind making a big catch in Ireland.

“What a load of rollocks”, said 74 year old Peter Crewe-Gee from Northampton, who moved to County Clare, Ireland in 1989. “I had never held a fishing rod until then and an Irish friend introduced me to the favoured local method – trolling for pike. Ten years later I met another ex-pat, Mike Daley, a coarse fishing nut, and we team up twice a week on our local lakes and catch plenty of fish doing anything out of the ordinary.

“Since then I’ve enjoyed catching perch to 3lb, tench 7lb, roach, 2lb, bream 7lb and a fabulous 27lb pike. Some sessions are devoted to tench or bream, sometimes I’ll pre-bait a likely looking swim and other days just head off for a few hours in the afternoon.

“I enjoy the fishing for what it is. It might be, suddenly realising that I’m the only soul on the lough or awakening to the fact that there’s just Mike and me sharing a couple of miles of a fish-filled small river – and no licences needed!”

My personal approach to fishing is to tag along and attempt to catch whatever is swimming by and in Ireland the that’s probably going to be (in this order) a roach, hybrid, perch, bream, tench, maybe a rudd. I’m heading out with Peter and he has promised bream by opting to launch his boat on the slipway facing Holy Island on Lough Derg. Confident that a spot that been fished and baited for a couple of days would produce fish, we sailed off for a day’s sport but were frustrated by a strong wind that hit us face-on 30 minutes into the session.

By that time I had a 5lb bream in the net but it became impossible to fish so we jumped back into the boat and headed around to the other side of Holy Island where it was flat calm. I’d say, too calm and certainly an overcoat warmer.

The point is this; there were five of us altogether, fishing relatively shallow water in bright sunshine and with no evidence that anybody had ever fished this spot. A groundbait feeder was the only usable method and we cast about 50 metres with a combination of worm, red maggot, caster and pellet. Surprisingly, we all caught fish – there was hilarious banter – and above all we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and it is a day I shall remember for a long time. And in an ideal world we would have caught 100lb each, but so what.

To be fair and with due credit, the following day Peter and Mike Daley took five of us to a lake venue that produced a combined haul of around 250lb of bream, hybrids and roach. The full story appeared here in AT titled the “Secret Lake”.

Ask for help if you want to catch a lot of fish or a specific species. Every pub with accommodation, guesthouse or self-catering cottage owner, knows a local angler or a fishing tackle dealer willing to provide advice on where and when. Arrange to meet the guy over a pint, or buy a few odds and ends in the tackle shop, and you will be halfway there.

Appeared in Angling Times 2012
Dave Houghton

Want somewhere to stay in Ireland. Call Dave on 0151 324 4744