Fishing on Lough Derg with Gary Banks
I have been Pike fishing on Lough Derg since 2000; I have always stayed at the Lough Derg holiday houses at Whitegate. These houses are ideally situated for fishermen. I always go with the same group of anglers, there are 6 in our group including myself and we have plenty of room in the houses. There is an outside shed for all your tackle, plenty of space for your cars and a bait fridge freezer inside for all your deadbaits. All the rooms are of a luxury standard and a nice size. The TV room is huge so on the rainy days you can stop in the house and just relax watching TV.
The houses are very close to the shoreline and there is a private boat harbour specially designed for fishermen. We always take our own boats across which are a specialist piece of kit although you are able to hire a boat from Lorraine that will cope with any wave that Lough Derg will throw at you.
The harbour itself is perfect for anglers, it is spacious and very secluded so even on the windy days it is still calm in the harbour so your boats are perfectly safe. The houses themselves are situated near the small village of Whitegate which has a convenient store for all the supplies you will need and let’s not forget the pubs, where you can get a delicious evening meal, a nice pint after those long days on the Lough and the Irish hospitality which is second to none.
Like any other Lough, location is the key to success. I always go in the spring after the pike have spawned, the chance of a real big fish is less but we catch twenty pounders every year with the best so far going 27.12 and lots of mid to upper doubles. We target areas of shallow water such as Youghal bay and portumna.
We will start off in about 12ft of water and then move into deeper water of 15 – 18ft if no pike are found. Our methods of choice are lure fishing and dead baiting. The lure fishing can be explosive at times, when those Irish pike are in a feeding frenzy, it’s almost easy, however those days can be rare, that is when a dead bait comes into its own. I catch lots of pike back home in the UK on dead baits and Ireland is no different. My personal best Irish pike of 27.08 came to dead bait so I have lots of confidence in this method.
Covering water is the name of the game, it’s a lot more hard work but it can be worth it, when you come across a group of fish, sport can be hectic. So if you fancy a try at this Irish Lough fishing, I promise you, you will not be disappointed. There are also other species of fish to go for such as Roach, Bream and perch. Lough Derg is famous for its huge Roach and Bream shoals, in the spring head for the boat marina’s and put lots of bait in, huge catches are common.
Remember, if you are coming over for the first time and you fancy a try at the boat fishing, my advice would be to hire a boat and engine from Lorraine and don’t forget your life jacket, its law in Ireland that you must wear a life jacket. Safety first. So come on over and give it try, once you have been once, you will be hooked for life just like me.