Coarse angling in the South

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Home » Coarse Fishing in Ireland » South

River Barrow

The River Barrow is one of Ireland’s finest coarse angling river fisheries and is the country’s second longest river system. Located in the south east of Ireland, it is a mixed stock fishery containing salmon, trout, pike and many coarse fish species. It is regarded by many Irish and overseas coarse anglers as one of Ireland’s finest coarse angling river fisheries and contains excellent stocks of roach, rudd, bream, skimmers, roach-bream hybrids, rudd-bream hybrids, perch and dace. Tench are also present and although seldom reported, an occasional carp may also be encountered on some stretches. Coarse fishing on the Barrow is easily accessible all along the 68km of towpath or by crossing agricultural lands with the permission of the landowners. Access to fishing on the river can also be obtained through a number of angling clubs that control fishing on some sections of this fantastic coarse fishery. The Barrow is a wide river, up to 40m wide in places and is generally quite shallow, with a slow to moderate flow. Average depths ranging from 4ft to 10ft with the deeper water generally located next to the towpath on the navigable side of the river. The Barrow is an all year round fishery and even when water levels are extremely high during the winter and early spring, good fishing can still be found at many of the 23 canal locks located along the length of the river. 

dace
Dace provide good sport on the Barrow all year round

The River Barrow flows in an easterly direction passing through Portarlington in Co. Laois. On reaching Monasterevin in Co. Kildare, it turns south, passing through the angling centres of Athy (Co Kildare), Carlow and Bagnalstown (Co Carlow), all of which are located along the R417 and R705. It then continues on its journey south to Graiguenamanagh (Co Kilkenny) and New Ross in Co. Waterford where it shares a common estuary with its sister rivers the Nore and the Suir before entering the sea through Waterford Harbour.

The Barrow is navigable up to Athy and the non-navigable river sections from the tide to Athy are interlinked by 23 canal sections. The Barrow at Athy is linked to Monasterevin by a 23km long section of the Grand Canal Barrow Branch line. These canal sections are an important feature of this river which can produce exceptional angling in their own right. When water levels are high and strong floods are present in the main river, these canal cuts and sections provide refuge and shelter from the strong currents for many coarse fish species. Canal sections are generally 4ft to 6ft in depth but some deeper water can be found in certain locations such as the harbour in Monasterevin.

towpath
Well maintained towpaths make access very easy on the Barrow

There are a number of well-established coarse angling centres at Monasterevin, Athy, Carlow, Leighlinbridge, Bagnalstown and Graiguenamanagh. These angling centres offer visiting anglers a full range of angling and ancillary services to ensure that they fully enjoy their angling experience on the River Barrow. The area is serviced by a wide range of very affordable accommodations that can cater for the needs of coarse anglers, with many providing drying rooms and tackle and bait storage facilities. Tackle shops are available in many of the main angling centres and advice is readily available through guest houses, tackle dealers, angling clubs, tourist offices and local Inland Fisheries Ireland offices.

When coarse fishing from the towpath or other publicly accessible banks, neither permit nor licence is required. However, if crossing private lands, to access the river, permission should be obtained from the landowner. When permission is given please respect it and follow the country code.  Game angling waters are generally located immediately below the weirs and these fisheries are controlled privately and by angling associations. It is recommended that coarse anglers should avoid these areas.

Fish Species and Fish Specimens on River Barrow and Grand Canal-Barrow Branch Line

The River Barrow and canal sections hold excellent stocks of roach, rudd, bream, skimmers, roach-bream hybrids, rudd-bream hybrids, perch, dace and tench. Each year, many coarse fish to specimen size are recorded from this fantastic venue. The following tables give an indication of the quality of coarse fish which have been caught on the River Barrow and adjoining canal sections in recent years.

hybrid
The Barrow has excellent stocks of quality hybrids and many specimens are taken each year

Specimen Roach Bream Hybrids taken on the River Barrow in 2009

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

St Mullins

Michael Norton

May 2009

Maggot

1.68kgs

Specimen Dace taken on the River Barrow in 2009

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

Carlow

Terry Jackson

June 2009

Sweetcorn

.41kgs

Specimen Roach Bream Hybrids taken on the River Barrow in 2008

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

Bagnalstown

Oliver Doyle

June 2008

Maggot

1.81kgs

Bagnalstown

Oliver Doyle

June 2008

Maggot

1.73kgs

Bagnalstown

Oliver Doyle

June 2008

Maggot

1.73kgs

Bagnalstown

Gary Doyle

June 2008

Maggot

1.73kgs

Bagnalstown

Gary Doyle

June 2008

Maggot

1.64kgs

St Mullins

Michael Norton

Aug 2008

Sweetcorn

1.63kgs

Bagnalstown

Gary Doyle

June 2008

Maggot

1.62kgs

Specimen Perch taken on the River Barrow in 2008

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

Athy

Ray Bannerman

March 2008

Shad

1.56kgs

Athy

Michael Norton

October 2008

Shad

1.30kgs

Specimen Rudd Bream Hybrids taken on the River Barrow in 2008

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

Athy

Jim Sloan

April 2008

Maggot/ Worm

1.63kgs

Specimen Roach taken on the River Barrow in 2007

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

St. Mullins

Jim Sloan

May 2007

Maggot

.896kgs

Borris

Brian Cooke

March 2007

Maggot

.907kgs

Borris

Jim Murray

Feb 2007

Maggot

.907kgs

Specimen Roach Bream Hybrids taken on the River Barrow in 2007

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

Graiguenamanagh

Ross Macklin

May 2007

Maggot/ Worm

1.786kgs

St Mullins

Der Casey

Feb 2007

Caster

1.66kgs

St Mullins

De Casey

March 2007

Corn /Maggot

1.62kgs

Specimen Rudd Bream Hybrids taken on the River Barrow in 2007

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

Athy

Liam Kane

October 2007

Worm/ Maggot

1.65kgs

Carlow

Oliver Doyle

July 2007

Sweetcorn

1.644kgs

Carlow

Oliver Doyle

July 2007

Sweetcorn

1.474kgs

Specimen Perch taken on the River Barrow in 2007

Location

Name of Captor

Date of Capture

Method

Weight

Athy

Pierce Moran

April 2007

Worm

1.247kgs

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