Fishing Adventures on Lough Erne

2 June 2024

Lough Erne, located in the scenic County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, is a premier destination for fishing enthusiasts. With its vast waters, tranquil surroundings, and abundant fish species, Lough Erne offers an unforgettable fishing experience for both seasoned anglers and beginners. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your fishing adventure on Lough Erne.

About Lough Erne

Lough Erne is divided into two main parts: Upper Lough Erne and Lower Lough Erne. The upper lough is a maze of channels and islands, while the lower lough is a larger expanse of open water. Both sections are renowned for their rich fishing grounds and scenic beauty.

Popular Fish Species

  1. Pike: Lough Erne is famous for its pike fishing, with some specimens reaching impressive sizes. Anglers often target pike using a variety of methods, including trolling, spinning, and dead bait fishing.
  2. Brown Trout: Both wild and stocked brown trout are found in the lough. Fly fishing is particularly popular, with many anglers enjoying the challenge of catching these beautiful fish.
  3. Bream: Known for their strong fight, bream are a favorite among coarse fishermen. Large shoals can be found in the lough, making for an exciting fishing experience.
  4. Perch: Perch are abundant in Lough Erne and can be caught using a range of techniques, including spinning and jigging.
  5. Roach: Roach are another common species in the lough, often caught alongside bream and other coarse fish.

Best Fishing Spots

  1. Upper Lough Erne
    • Highlights: The maze-like channels and numerous islands provide excellent habitats for pike and coarse fish. The sheltered waters are ideal for both boat and shore fishing.
    • Top Spots: Try fishing around Inishmore Island, Trannish Island, and the shallow bays and inlets.
  2. Lower Lough Erne
    • Highlights: The deeper, open waters of the lower lough are prime locations for pike and trout fishing. The varied underwater terrain offers plenty of hiding spots for big fish.
    • Top Spots: Popular areas include Boa Island, Lusty Beg Island, and the deeper channels near the main lough.

Fishing Techniques

  1. Fly Fishing
    • Best For: Brown trout
    • Tips: Use lightweight rods and floating lines for surface fishing. Popular fly patterns include dry flies, nymphs, and streamers.
  2. Trolling
    • Best For: Pike and brown trout
    • Tips: Use lures that mimic the natural prey of pike and trout. Trolling with dead baits can also be very effective.
  3. Spinning
    • Best For: Pike, perch, and trout
    • Tips: Use spinners and soft plastic lures for perch and smaller pike. For larger pike, opt for bigger lures and swimbaits.
  4. Coarse Fishing
    • Best For: Bream, roach, and perch
    • Tips: Ground baiting is essential to attract fish. Use a mix of maggots, worms, and corn for bait. Float fishing and feeder fishing are popular techniques.

Fishing Regulations and Licensing

Before you set out on your fishing adventure, ensure you have the necessary permits and are aware of the local regulations:

  • Fishing License: A valid fishing license is required to fish on Lough Erne. Licenses can be purchased online or from local tackle shops.
  • Fishing Seasons: Different species have specific open and closed seasons. Check the current regulations to ensure compliance.
  • Catch and Release: Practice catch and release to help preserve fish populations, especially for pike and wild brown trout.

Additional Tips

  1. Hire a Guide: If you’re unfamiliar with Lough Erne, consider hiring a local fishing guide. Guides can provide valuable insights, equipment, and boat hire services.
  2. Weather Conditions: Check the weather forecast before your trip. Wind and rain can affect fishing conditions and safety on the water.
  3. Accommodation: Stay at one of the many lakeside accommodations, such as Lough Erne Resort or Belmore Court & Motel, which cater to anglers and offer easy access to fishing spots.

Final Thoughts

Lough Erne is a fishing paradise, offering diverse species, stunning scenery, and a peaceful environment. Whether you’re chasing trophy pike, casting for trout, or enjoying coarse fishing, Lough Erne provides an exceptional fishing adventure. So pack your gear, obtain your licenses, and get ready for an unforgettable fishing experience in the heart of Fermanagh.

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