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Home » Pike fishing in Ireland » Shannon area »

Pike Fishing around Banagher

Banagher is located in Co Offaly ( Mid Shannon Area) - about 75 kms from Limerick, and approximately 150 kms from Dublin.

WHERE TO FISH

This is a well established and well serviced angling centre with specialist operators resident to look after your needs. There are plenty of angling venues around the centre, mainly on the main River Shannon. Access is very good generally and a number of developments including new access roads and other facilities have been undertaken over recent years by Inland Fisheries Ireland.  The Grand Canal is also in very close proximity offering easy bank fishing around Shannon Harbour 5 km away and at Ferbane. As there is much water  on the Shannon, anglers are encouraged to hire boats and explore virtually 'hidden waters' where access is only possible by boat.

For the Pike angler fishing is often very productive on the main river, especially around Meelick where fish up to 20lbs + are reported quite frequently.

 

Pike

Perch

Bream

Roach

Tench

Rudd

Hybrids

Banagher town Stretch

**

P

**

***

P

P

**

Chicken Run

**

P

**

**

P

*

**

 Bullock Island

***

P

***

***

P

*

**

Bullock Backwater

**

P

***

***

***

***

***

 Meelick Weir

**

P

**

**

**

**

**

Meelick Match Stretch

***

P

**

***

**

**

***

Meelick Pumphouse

**

P

**

***

P

**

***

Grand Canal

             

 

Banagher town Stretch

Bream

Roach

Tench

Rudd

Hybrids

Perch

Carp

Pike

**

***

P

P

**

P

N/P

**

The Banagher town stretch is located downstream of Banagher on the east bank of the main Shannon. The upper end of the stretch, pegs 1-14 nearest the town has a couple of stone platforms, the banks are firm and has a stony/gravely bottom. River depths are quite uniform between 5 ft and 8 ft generally, deepest at the lower or downstream end where there are more reeds and softer bank margins, separated by a drain to pegs 15 - 18. There are some rocks off the middle to lower swims, so careful plumbing is advised before attempting to fish. It is an exposed venue also and very strong southerly or westerly winds can hamper fishing in these conditions. In high summer boat traffic can be a nuisance.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: The upper most pegs are on a clean bank with a few stone platforms, the bottom section (downstream pegs) are more reeded with softer margins which are liable to flooding in wet conditions. Access is close to Banagher see directions below.

TO GET THERE: From Banagher turn left at Crank House Hostel and drive about 0.5 km to an old castle ruin located on your left hand side of the road. You can park your car here. There is a foot style at the castle which lead along a rampart down to the river, a walking distance of about 200 meters. Alternatively access can be gained from the bridge at Banagher to fish the upper swims but requires a long walk to gain access to the lower swims.

Chicken Run

The Chicken House Run is a local name given by anglers to this stretch of the River Shannon which is located on the way into Meelick Weir on the western or Galway/Eyrecourt bank. As the name depicts it derives its nickname due to the presence of free range chickens who freely congregate along the bank. The 'Chicken House Run' is a deep stretch of river about 50 meters long and 30 ft deep. The flow regime varies according to the number of sluice gates open at Meelick weir a short distance downstream. As a matter of courtesy anglers should seek permission to access the stretch from the local landowner Mr Tommy Williams at the adjacent farmhouse.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: This is an open clear bank venue adjacent to the country lane which leads into Meelick weir and islands.

TO GET THERE: Take the Eyrecourt road from Banagher (across the Shannon). Continue for about 7 kilometres. You will see a road sign pointing to the left for Meelick along a straight stretch of road. Take this country lane for about 5 kms You will eventually come to a right angled turning on the road with a farmhouse adjacent (on the right of the turn). Call at the farmhouse. The fishing stretch is located on the left hand side of the road.

Bullock Island

This is a very secluded open bank venue interspersed with bank side bushes and vegetation, located a few kilometres upstream of Banagher. It has a deep shelf close in at about 25 ft but gets shallower further out at the mid and upper sections i.e. from pegs 1 - 10 (upstream section). Further down the stretch near the black navigation marker there is more depth (about 15ft to 20 ft) in the centre of the river and is more suitable for feeder fishing. Immediately upstream of the marker there is 20 ft of water and the shelf lies close in to the bank, farther downstream of here you can fish into about 15 ft of water, with the river gradually getting shallower as you near the backwater channel. If there are strong north westerly winds blowing, it can hamper angling and you are advised to avoid the stretch altogether and choose a more sheltered location in the area.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: During dry weather there is access near Shannon Harbour across the callows. There is a track located beside the railway bridge. It requires a drive of about 2.5 kms to a dead end at a gate. The river is located about 70 meters from here. Adjoining lands are private property and anglers are asked to seek permission from the local landowners to fish here.  In addition, this is Corn Crake meadow land, so please stick to existing pathways and avoid walking on new tracks during the breeding season from May to July. Some of the banks are fenced off and therefore can be difficult to access the bank side. Recommended -  you could take a boat upriver from Banagher which can be hired locally from Mr Paddy Kelleher or Ray Duithie. During wet weather the callows are liable to flooding making access by track difficult or impossible, a boat is absolutely essential in these conditions.

TO GET THERE: From Banagher, take the Cloghan Road in the centre of the town. Continue for about 3 kms to a crossroads. At the crossroads take a left turning in the direction of Shannon Harbour village. About 1.5 kms from the cross you will cross a railway bridge. Immediately across the bridge you will locate a gate and track on your left which leads down to the river. 

Bullock Backwater

The backwater is connected by a channel which has plenty of water for boat navigation, even large cruisers. Boats should keep to the left hand bank travelling upriver. The north end is best for fishing. This is a short sandy section. This stretch can accommodate 3 anglers with comfort and is on a firm sandy bottom. It has depths ranging from 7 ft to 14 ft. There are small trees growing at that corner. Many other sections of the backwater are unsuitable for fishing due to high reeds and marshy margins - a boat is necessary to fish the area properly. Angling is also possible where the canal joins the Shannon.

During dry weather there is access near Shannon Harbour across the callows. There is a track located beside the railway bridge. It requires a drive of about 2.5 kms to a dead end at a gate. The river is located about 70 meters from here. Adjoining lands are private property and anglers are asked to seek permission from the local landowners to fish here.  In addition, this is Corn Crake meadow land, so please stick to existing pathways and avoid walking on new tracks during the breeding season from May to July. Some of the banks are fenced off and therefore can be difficult to access the bank side. Recommended -  you could take a boat upriver from Banagher which can be hired locally from Mr Paddy Kelleher or Ray Duithie. During wet weather the callows are liable to flooding making access by track difficult or impossible, a boat is absolutely essential in these conditions.

TO GET THERE: From Banagher, take the Cloghan Road in the centre of the town. Continue for about 3 kms to a crossroads. At the crossroads take a left turning in the direction of Shannon Harbour village. About 1.5 kms from the cross you will cross a railway bridge. Immediately across the bridge you will locate a gate and track on your left which leads down to the river. 

Meelick Weir

The Shannon at Meelick Weir is an attractive venue located about 8 kms downstream of Banagher. There are a number of gaps along the stretch to the weir. Fishing is also possible on a backwater section immediately below the sluice gates.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: From the Chicken Run described on this guide,  continue downstream along the lane which flanks the river on your left until you meet a cruiser jetty. Meelick Weir can be accessed by walking beyond the jetty, over a foot style and walking downstream about 150 meters to the sluices.

Meelick Match Stretch

Pike abound these waters and we frequently get reports of coarse anglers losing gear due to snatch takes,  particularly on the upper stretch near the 'gaps' downstream of Victoria Lock

There are 40 natural swims (20 upstream and 20 downstream) which are frequently maintained by Inland Fisheries Ireland. The upper section or upstream section is low lying but can get marshy during wet weather. Banks are generally solid though except when subject to flooding  and the depths vary from 20 to 25ft in normal conditions. The lower section  fishes very well towards the middle and top end pegs There are a lot of Lilly roots off the first two pegs and anglers should avoid these if loss of gear is to be avoided. Both sections have a double shelf, the first shelf is very close in and the second shelf is about 6 feet out from the bank. A pole to hand works very well here.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: Access is good by road and there is an existing  public car park separating the two angling stretches at a turf canal inlet. A new access road was constructed back in 2000 under the TAM programme and runs alongside the ESB embankment downstream of the main car park for nearly 300 meters. There are 10 stands altogether (5 downstream and 5 upstream) of the canal inlet. There are over 20 swims on both sections and 2 catwalks are available downstream to assist anglers. The gate leading to the downstream section is only open during competitions to enable cars to access their swims where there are a number of  parking bays. At other times anglers are required to walk to access swims.

TO GET THERE: Continue on past the pump house described above. You will come to a car park and dead end beside the river and old turf canal inlet.

Meelick Pumphouse

This is a fairly shallow (rocky in places) section with depths ranging from 3 to 9 ft, deepest further out towards the centre of the river. River flows can be strong on the main channel except at very low water levels. There is a backwater off the main run which has a silty bottom.

This is a very good area for the Pike angler. Bank angling is limited on the lower deeper stretches of the river. For best results and to cover the waters adequately, a boat is highly recommended. Good areas to concentrate on are around the deep water near Victoria Lock and near the 'gaps' further downstream. Another good area is at the bottom of the artificial cut at the mouth of the Little Brosna River. Try float fishing with deadbait using mackerel or roach for the larger fish or spinning with spoons or plugs for the smaller fish in the lighter water.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: Open Bank - Eyrecourt Bank. Boat desirable to explore

TO GET THERE: From Meelick Weir continue for another couple of kilometers until you meet a fork on the road. Take the left on the fork and continue until you come to a number of houses on both sides of the road. There is a sharp turn right here. Do not take the right turn, rather take a short left and you will see a silver gate to your right which leads down a track to the river beside Meelick church. Continue on this track closing all farm gates behind you until you come to a pumphouse at the side of the river. The fishing section is downstream of the pumphouse to your left. You can park your car here.

Grand Canal

The Grand Canal flows westward from Edenderry to Shannon Harbour in Co Offaly where it joins the main River Shannon. It has a width of 12 meters and an average depth of about 1.5 meters. The Canal holds goods stocks of coarse fish, especially Pike, Bream, Perch and eels and are well distributed throughout the Canal. Pike of moderate size are quite plentiful averaging 2lbs to 6lbs with some larger fish present.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: Access is very good with tarred roads on one or other bank for most of it's length. At Shannon Harbour this tarred road is located on the village side.

TO GET THERE: Take the Cloghan Road out of Banagher for about 3 kms. At the cross roads take a left for Shannon Harbour village about 2.5 kms away.

Useful Angling Publications: “Waterways Ireland Angling guide” which is available free of charge from Waterways Ireland, see www.shopwaterwaysireland.org/index.php/waterways-ireland-angling-guide.html#

Individual guides are on their website at: www.waterwaysireland.org/index.cfm/section/article/page/Angling

Map

Corofin Angling Centre

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