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List of Fisheries and Species of Fish

in and around Ballyshannon


Locations of fisheries are shown on the map below


Erne Estuary:
This tidal estuary is mainly a seatrout and slobtrout fishery. This is the seatrout fishery which made Ballyshannon's unique "Rogan" seatrout flies famous. Flounder and eels are also fished for and mackerel and mullet are summer visitors to the estuary. Occasionally salmon are also caught on rod and line in the estuary. Inis Saimer Island is located at the top of the estuary actually in Ballyshannon town and the windows of the house on the island overlook the seatrout jumping in the surrounding waters. The seatrout can be caught from the jetty and shores of the island.

Donegal Bay:
Many saltwater species can be caught in this bay including pollack, cod, coalfish, conger, ling, mackerel, gurnard species, flounder, plaice, dab, wrasse species, bass, dogfish, spurdog, bullhuss, tope and ray species. Both types of shore fishing are available, ie: beach casting and rocky shore fishing. Boat fishing over rocky as well as sandy bottom is located close inshore and blue shark fishing is available in outer Donegal Bay.





Bluefin Tuna Fishing:

A new and exciting tuna angling fishery is developing in Donegal and Sligo Bay and off the North-West coast of Ireland. Tuna from 40 to over 1000 lb occur in this area from August to October/November. In September 2000 two bluefin tuna were caught of between 350 and 550 lb; and during August and September 2001 approximately 15 were hooked and a dozen caught, all between 300 and 500 lb. The biggest Irish bluefin tuna was caught the first week in October 2001, a huge fish of 968 lb! (see photo) This is also the biggest fish ever caught on rod and line to date in Ireland. During the first two weeks of October, bluefin tuna were seen leaping at the surface everyday the boats were out. One skipper has caught 8 tuna during these two weeks and others have hooked and lost up to a dozen fish. Altogether hundreds of bluefin tuna were seen during the months from August to November. Feeding bluefin tuna drive shoals of prey fish to the surface and then leap more than 2 meters into the air to crash down on their hapless prey, thereby stunning them and making them easier to catch, The experience of seeing this spectacular behaviour will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it..


Assaroe Lake:
Assaroe lake was created by the construction of the hydroelectric dam which is located in Ballyshannon. This lake provides both good coarse fishing as well as large brown trout. Pike of between 20 and 30 lbs are regularly caught here and good stocks of bream, roach-bream hybrids, perch, roach and eels also inhabit this lake. The coarse fish populations of Assaroe lake include fish of "Irish Specimen" size. Salmon migrating into the Erne River system through this lake via the fish pass build into the hydroelectric dam and are occasionally caught on rod and line in this lake.

The Upland Lakes:
There are approximately thirty medium to small upland lakes located just north-east of Ballyshannon, just two of which are shown on the accompanying map. These lakes are located in ruggedly beautiful upland terrain, much of which is unfenced. The medium to small sized brown trout which live in these lakes are aggressive fighters and provide exciting fishing on a flyrod or light spinning rod. Some of these lakes also have perch, pike and rudd in them.

Drowes River:
This salmon fishery is one of only two salmon fisheries in Ireland which open each year on the 1st January. Salmon angling day tickets for this river are relatively moderate in price.

Lough Melvin:
This wild brown trout fishery is famous for the special sonahan and gillaroo types of brown trout which are to be caught here. The salmon which migrate into Lough Melvin via the Drowes River are regularly caught on lures as well as by fly fishing for them. The 2000 season was particularly good for salmon fishing on Lough Melvin.

The Erne River and Lower Lough Erne:
The Erne System is the third largest river system in Ireland. It is famous for its coarse fishing as well as wild brown trout fishing and every year caters for literally thousands of both local and visiting anglers.



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