Map: Assaroe Lake
1. Assaroe Lake is a 234 hectare artificial lake created by the Cathleen Falls and Cliff Hydro schemes and is located just east of Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. The depth varies throughout the lake and there are extensive shallow areas. The deepest areas (over 12 metres) are to be found in the old river course. The shores are rocky in the main and all fishable with little weed growth. The lake is controlled by the ESB and shore angling is only allowed from the northern shore and around the Lakeside Centre on the southern shore. The E.S.B. have carried out bank development at Cliff and installed fishing stands on the back lough to facilitate angling. The northern shore is accessed via the Knader Road out of Ballyshannon. The Lakeside Centre is located just outside Ballyshannon to the left on the Belleek Road (R230). Boat angling is allowed although anglers should exercise caution since the lake can be dangerous to navigate in areas due to rocks and the remnants of tree stumps. Boat anglers are not allowed to fish close to the dams for safety reasons and may not pass the floating barriers.
Pike angling is usually carried out with spinners, plugs and dead bait. The lake is only lightly fished when compared to the more southerly loughs. Fly fishing for the pike is becoming more popular each season. Assaroe is home to large shoals of big bream, perch and roach and contains some very big pike. The pike range in size from small jacks to fish well in excess of 40lb!
One of the following ESB permits is required to fish Assaroe.
Weekly Permits: Adult €20, OAP €10.
Season Permits: Adult €50, OAP €25.
These are available from:
ESB Generating Station, Cathleen’s Fall’s, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.
Tel: +353 (0) 71 9851200.
O’Neill’s Newsagents, Bridgend, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.
Tel: +353 (0) 71 9851159.
Michael McGraw, The Thatch Tackle Shop, Main Street, Belleek, Co. Fermanagh.
Tel: +44 (0) 28 686 58181.
Boats can be hired from Patsy Quinn, Knader Road, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.
Tel: +353 (0) 71 9851963.
To launch a boat on Asserroe you will require a Season Boat Permit. These cost €60 and are only available from the ESB Station in Ballyshannon
Pettigo Pike Loughs, Co. Donegal.
A permit may be required to fish some of these loughs and anglers should enquire locally
2. Lough Ultan is some 6.5 kilometres west-northwest of Pettigo north of the main Pettigo to Donegal Town road (R232). It is 14 hectares in size and has numerous shallow areas with deep holes in places. The lough contains numerous tree stumps and has reed beds which offer good cover for pike. The lough contains good pike with fish attaining over 20lb weight. Access is difficult and is via a rough track running to the south of the lough. For this reason the lough is little fished and the pike may well be bigger than stated.
3. Lough Laghtowen is located 8 kilometres west of Pettigo, south of the main Pettigo to Donegal Town road (R232). It is 16 hectares in size and has some shallow shores with reedy bays that are ideal for fishing and deeper shores which shelve off to very deep water toward the centre of the lough. This lough contains some very big pike with fish over 30lb recorded. Access is fairly good via a rough track from the road to the north.
4. Lough Kip is a small lough of 4 hectares 0.5 kilometres to the northwest of Lough Laghtowen. Access is good and the banks fairly easy to walk. The lough is mainly shallow with reedy areas. The pike are known to grow to 10lb plus. In this little fished water however, larger pike are a distinct possibility.
5. Lough Namnamurrive is the 15 hectare lough 0.5 kilometres to the east of Lough Laghtowen. It is reasonably shallow and access is fair with a short walk from the R232 road to the north of the lough. This lake contains pike well into double figures.
6. Lough Avehy is located 10 kilometres west of Pettigo. It is 35 hectares in size and has deep areas and shallow shores with reed beds. Access is good with the lough being close to the road and a car park. For this reason, there is more angling pressure than on other lakes and the fishing can be more difficult. The lough contains good pike to 20lb, with bigger fish being recorded on occasion.
7. Lough Rushen is 22 hectares in size and lies some 11 kilometres west of Pettigo to the south of the Pettigo to Ballintra road. It straddles the border between Northern and Southern Ireland with the greater expanse of water in Northern Ireland. You will require a Northern Ireland Licence to fish the Northern Irish areas, which paradoxically are on the southern shores. Access is fair with a short walk required from the minor road which runs to the north of the lough. It is mostly shallow with reedy areas and contains stocks of pike into double figures.
8. Lough Shivnagh. The lower lough of these two is located some 13 kilometres west of Pettigo adjoining the Pettigo to Ballintra road and is 15 hectares in size. Despite access being very good it is little fished. The lough is fairly shallow and the pike can grow up to double figures.
9. Lough Alowney is located 0.5km to the northeast of Lough Shivnagh and is 15 hectares in size. Access is reasonable with a bit of walking required. The lough is mainly shallow and it is little fished. The pike are known to grow to double figures.
10. Dunragh Lough is located 9 kilometres northwest of Pettigo (3 kilometres west of Lough Derg) and is 26 hectares in size. This is a lovely lough set among wilderness and access is fair via a forestry road on the eastern side. The lough contains shallow areas with weedy bays and numerous islands. The pike grow to in excess of 20lb.
11. Dunragh Middle Lough is located 0.25 kilometres northeast of Dunragh Lough and is 17 hectares in size. It is a fairly shallow lough with reedy margins. Access is poor and hence it is little fished though the pike are known to run well into double figures.
12. Lough Golagh (East of Lough Derg) is located 11 kilometres northwest of Pettigo (3 kilometres west of Lough Derg) and is 33 hectares in size. The lough is shallow with deeper holes in places and numerous bays, some reedy. Access is difficult and involves a good walk from any direction, hence it is little fished and peace is assured. The lough is known to contain pike well into double figures.
13. Lough Haderg is located 10 kilometres northwest of Pettigo (2 kilometres west of Lough Derg) and is 16 hectares in size. Access to this lough is difficult and involves a good walk and as such it is little fished though it is known to contain pike into double figures.
14. Lough Fad is located 7 kilometres northwest of Pettigo (2 kilometres southwest of Lough Derg) and is 7 hectares in size. It is mainly shallow with reedy areas and access is difficult involving a fair walk from a forestry road from the north or west. The pike are known to grow into double figures.