We are blessed here in Ireland for many reasons, one certainly is that for the lover of angling there are so many options that we are spoiled for choice and as far as the North West is concerned and in particular the South Donegal Bay area we have options available that even the discerning angler would have trouble in arguing about. While brief, the following information, hopefully will allow you, the angler, to understand the full options that are available to you. Whether it is Game, Coarse or Sea fishing.
Donegal Bay has somewhere in the region of 30 different species of fish and It is not unusual for a days fishing to produce at least 5 or more species. A big attraction in recent years is the presence of Tuna in the Bay. A record 868lb Tuna was caught in Donegal Bay during September 2001. Most common species available are; Mackeral, Pollock, Pouting, Conger, Shark, Wrasse, Ling, Ray, Coalfish, Fluke, Flounder, Plaice. Everything considered a good days sea angling is almost guaranteed. Those who prefer shore fishing will find miles of excellent locations from Bundoran, right around to Rossnowlagh beach. Most popular shore fishing species are; Pollock, Cod, Wrasse, Conger, Fluke and Flounder.
More information on sea angling can be obtained from the Donegal Bay Shore Angling Club section - click here for details.
From Lough Melvin, which lies between Leitrim, Fermanagh and Donegal, you will find one of the finest lakes in the North West. This lake produces four different trout species, namely; Brown, Feroux, Gillaroo and Sonaghan trout, it also gets a very good run of Salmon and Grilse. From the Melvin the River Drowes rises and finally flows into Donegal Bay at Tullaghan. The Drowes traditionally produces the first caught Salmon in Ireland on New Years day each year. This is an excellent Salmon/Grilse river. The Bunduff River, which borders Sligo and Leitrim, on the N15, opens on May 1st each year and is also an excellent and very popular Salmon/Grilse river. From Salmon to Sea Trout on the Erne Estuary at Ballyshannon, if on a given day the fishing is not good you will certainly enjoy the scenery, which includes the highest banks in Europe. Sea Trout fishing starts on March 1st, and trout up to 5lbs have been caught on the Estuary, boats are available for hire at the Mall Quay. On Assoroe Lake, between the Hydro Electric Dams of Cathleen's Falls and Cliff, you will find excellent Brown Trout and the odd Salmon. The Cashelard lakes are many, but to name just a few, Lough Unshin, Lough Colmkille, Lough Avogh, Rusheen Lough are all good trout lakes and have a large population of wild brownies. In the Pettigo region there are also very good trout lakes, Drumgun, Bannus and Lough Derg all produce good trout. The Murvagh at Ballintra is a very good Sea Trout river and often produces a Salmon or two. Durnish Lake at Rossnowlagh is also a very good Sea Trout fishery.
Yes we have Coarse Fish here in Donegal and Fermanagh! While Assaroe Lake at Ballyshannon produces the greater proportion, namely; Pike, Bream, Perch, Roach, Eel and Roach/Bream hybrids, you will find that a variety of Course Fish exist on, at least,16 of the Cashelard lakes and at Belleek, in Fermanagh, there is good Course Fishing on the River Erne. All of the Pettigo Lakes have Course Fish. The Irish Pike Federation have run a few competitions on Assaroe Lake, all very successful. Compared to most regions throughout Ireland, this probably is the only undiscovered Coarse fishing paradise left in the country and it's all waiting for you to come and catch that big one and be the first to have a recorded fish entered in the Specimen Records.
You may be saying to yourself, is it possible that all this fishing is available within a ten mile radius, well we can say, categorically, that YES, we have, first class, Game, Sea and Coarse angling here in Donegal Bay.