All kinds of angling action!
THE LURE OF THE NORTHEAST
Some of Northern Ireland's most amazing landscapes, best tourist attractions and outstanding fishing…all in the beautiful Northeast.
This splendidly varied region incorporates the Causeway Coast, the Nine Glens, the dramatic Antrim Coast Road, the River Bann and the lovely eastern shores of Lough Neagh, so there's plenty in store for anglers (and non-anglers in your group).
These waters are not only beautiful, but productive. Home to so many species, even dedicated bream anglers are tempted to go astray. Many a coarse angler who comes for the big Bann hybrids makes the short drive to the coast to experience the thrill of sea angling off the Giant's Causeway or beach casting into Atlantic rollers from a golden strand.
However, there are enough top-class coarse fisheries to keep the most discriminating anglers contented for a lifetime. That's why top British, Irish and Continental specialists keep returning to their favourite stretches. The Lower Bann is the biggest attraction, with its diversity of quarries, from gigantic pike to tiny gudgeon. The main sport is provided by bream and skimmers, good roach, fat perch and eels. Hard-fighting roach/bream hybrids attract specimen hunters as record breaking weights are recorded year after year. Maggots are the most reliable hybrid bait, plus worms, casters and sweetcorn (often in cocktail combinations).
One of the loveliest stretches is the forestry area near Kilrea. Head for one of 80 pegs provided by the local enterprise group and you could be bagging up to 1001b (40kg), except during the bream spawning season.
Nearby, the canal stretch beside Movanagher Fish Farm offers good access for disabled anglers. In addition to convenient carparking, three of the fishing stands are ideal for wheelchair users. Roach, bream and hybrids are plentiful most of the year.
Wheelchair users are also well catered for on the jetty at Hutchinson's Quay, one of the most beautifully wooded Bann stretches. Because deep water runs alongside, pole-fishing is recommended. Roach are always prolific, particularly when the river is in flood.
Portglenone Forest provides a magnificent sylvan setting for 80 pegs of top bream action! When the river is in flood, skimmers are there aplenty, but the beat is most famous for bigger bream and hybrids. Prime pike, upwards of 151b (7kg), are regularly captured and returned to this picturesque water.
Portna Canal is the place for pike; the fish migrate here when the Lower Bann reaches winter flood level. Ireland's Premier Fishery (Bann Systems, publisher) reports that fly-fishing for winter pike is becoming popular on this beat among serious pikers. A fly pattern with a touch of tinsel does the trick.
And there's more unusual lures in these parts. A popular ledgered deadbait is the pollan, a herring-like freshwater fish unique to nearby Lough Neagh and its little sister, Lough Beg. However most specimen pike taken from the Lower Bann Canal at hot-spots around Newferry and Toome, have been captured with assorted other baits: rapala, roach, trout and spoons. Most jack-pike are taken on spinners.
The short Toome Canal holds bream, roach, perch, gudgeon and trout…plenty of eels, too! The Sixmilewater downstream from Antrim Forum is open for coarse fishing March to October but April - July is best for roach.
For angling adventures downstream on the Bann, Agivey Bridge near Ballymoney offers superb bankside fishing for bream and hybrids renowned for their fierce fighting quality. And if the bream are not biting, the Causeway Coast and marine fishing are just a short drive away!