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The lake: “Lough Derg”

Lough Derg is the second biggest lake in the republic of Ireland. With 12000 hectares of water and a length of 40 km there is plenty of water to fish! The water is clear with a visibility between 1 and 4 meters, depending on conditions.

Lough Derg
Lough Derg
Shoreline of Lough Derg

The lake is full of preyfish for the pike to feed on like roach, rudd, perch, bream, hybrids, eels and trout. There are many shallow areas with reeds, which provide ideal spawning for pike. But there is a lot of deep water too, the deepest point on the lake is 40 meters! The bottom structure is a mix of sand, rocky areas, weed beds, and interesting shelves and drop offs. Thanks to these perfect conditions the pike on Lough Derg are growing fast and the chances of catching big pike are good.

A 121cm pike from Lough Derg
Double strike!

Most of the pike fishing will be in depths between 3 and 12 meters, depending on the time of the year and the conditions. Both the river Shannon and the lake can be fished.

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The wild Irish pike are well known for their fighting spirit. They fight really hard, make lots of runs, jump clear in the air and never seem to give up. This means the fishing is spectacular! On many occasions my guests thought they were playing a monster pike only to discover that it turned out to be 80 cm!

Hard Fighting Irish Pike
Fighting pike in Ireland
Irish Pike nearly jumps into the boat

Perch fishing is also good fun on Lough Derg. The lake is full of perch and it is great fun to fish for them on light tackle. Trolling small lures and jigging shads are the most productive methods. Always use a steel trace because you will often catch pike as well.  

 

Trout is another interesting predatory fish on the lake. In May, fly fishing is a nice way to target trout, but during a large part of the year trolling small plugs is more effective. We occasionally catch big ferox trout while pike fishing. These big trout can grow over 90 cm and fish over 60 cm will take bigger lures than most anglers would expect.  Even plugs/ crankbaits of 20 cm or more have been taken by trout!

Lough Derg is full of perch
 big Ferox Trout from Lough Derg
Big 84 cm Ferox Trout caught on Lough Derg