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Norman Dunlop

Sea Angling Advisor
Central Fisheries Board

Of all the areas in Ireland still to be ‘discovered’ by the saltwater angler, the Northern Fisheries Region must surely have the greatest potential. Stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in the North to Mullaghmore in the South, the immense diversity of coastline offers every conceivable type of venue for both the boat and shore angler. There are golden sandy bays, rocky rugged headlands, roaring surf beaches and secluded sheltered estuaries and bays. Each has its own special attraction but all are set in some of the most breathtaking scenery to be found anywhere in Ireland.

Recent improvements in the road network have opened up the region, affording easier access to the coast. Great possibilities now exist for all sea angling followers, be they the experienced specialist or the casual holiday fisherman. Facilities for visiting anglers too are improving apace. For example, purpose built angling charter boats now operate regularly from most ports around the coast and the days of battering with ‘the local lobster fisherman’ for a few hours afloat is a thing of the past.

The coast line of County Donegal takes up the vast percentage of the Northern Regional area, but the small portions of Sligo and Leitrim which touch the south western corner of Donegal Bay are also included in the guide. Almost any fish known to exist in the temperate seas of the Northern Hemisphere can be expected and although cold water species, such as cod, coalfish and haddock tend to be dominant, the warm water species, such as tope and blue shark are also encountered regularly throughout the summer.

New information is coming to light annually as more and more anglers visit the area, so this guide can only act as a signpost in pointing people in the right general directions. It is therefore, up to you, the angler, to discover much of the fishing for yourself.

The Northern Fisheries area can be divided into four distinct saltwater regions. They are North East Donegal (Lough Foyle to Lough Swilly), North West Donegal (Fanad Head to Bloody Foreland), West Donegal (Bloody Foreland to Malin Bay) and Donegal Bay (Rathlin O’Birne to Mullaghmore).

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