Come to Banagher, County Offaly

Banagher Chris Mitchell at MeelickThe waters of the Shannon and River Brosna combine to what I can only describe as “man’s fishing”.

Past stories confirm the potential and there is an interesting account in Hugh Gough’s book Coarse Fishing in Ireland, published in 1989. He says of this particular part of the Shannon: “On my first serious approach I prebaited with 20lb of cereal and casters. My first cast the following morning connected with a bream of 6lb. Through the day my tip did not have a moment to settle bream after bream came to my size 14 hook baited with red maggots”.

That was a time when it was “bream or bust” and it is fair to say there were more blanks than nets full of fish, but today it is a very different tale. Roach and hybrids have taken up residence in huge numbers to provide terrific sport often involving specimen size fish. Big tench, perch and pike are plentiful.

Guaranteed fishing is never on the cards but Banagher come’s pretty close and during May and September there is a massing of roach and hybrids. They are great clonking great fish, many 1lb-plus and I suppose they were always going to grow bigger in these rich waters, at least those that have managed to avoid Ireland’s monster pike and the natural rigours of being a fish. 

Banagher Ray Duthie on the ShannonRay Duthie is up to his neck in Irish angling. He has a fishing tackle shop, is a prime mover on the local tourism committee and with his wife Karen, runs the Old Forge guesthouse in Banagher. Not surprisingly, the Dumfries-born fisherman rates his local waters as among the best in the country and he certainly has the nouse and information to put holiday anglers bang on the top of fish. Ray also has several boats for hire that provide access to miles of quiet shorelines.

Shannon Harbour
A few miles upstream of Banagher, the Grand Canal meets the Shannon at Shannon Harbour, adding to the great diversity of angling in this area. Pleasure anglers can explore the appealing lower sections of the Brosna and Little Brosna rivers where they enter the Shannon with a good chance of coming across quality tench, bream and hybrids. This is ideal territory for a handful of lads to take advantage of the varied opportunities that include the Shannon’s backwaters, such as Bullock Island, which can be brilliant early in the season and can be tackled by feeder and pole.

Banagher Salmon Run
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Accommodation offered by Active Irish Angling in and around Banagher
Where to Fish around Banagher
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Get more details from Dave by telephone on 0151 324 4744 or email: dave@activeirishangling.com