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World class coarse fishing challenges

The Southeast has a fascinating enthralling historical heritage…but for anglers, the coarse fishing is even more enthralling.

Fish where history was made…and make some historic catches. You don't even have to leave the city to do it! Northern Ireland's surprising Southeast boasts two world-class waters right in the middle of historic towns: the Upper Bann at Portadown and the Ship Canal at Newry. You'll also find the lovely Lagan fishery in the South Belfast suburbs. Or for pastoral bliss, an attractive section of rural waters.

Roach, bream, rudd, perch, eels and pike are there for the taking year round, along the 3.5-mile Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission Ship Canal passing through busy Newry town to sea locks on the Omeath Road. Summer algae improves catches of roach and bream, while in winter, Albert Basin is notable for really heavy pike.

Quoile Basin near Downpatrick, is a very popular mixed coarse/wild brown trout fishery. Big shoals of good rudd are the main target, with maggots and groundbait allowed. Nice perch, eels and sizeable pike also available. Birdlife is abundant in the National Nature Reserve, so bring binoculars! Nearby, the mixed coarse and game fishery of Lough Money also holds pike, perch, eels and rainbow trout, fishable from a firm rocky shoreline all year.

Crystal-clear lakes near Banbridge are replenished from the slopes of drumlins. These little loughs have names as romantic as their settings. Lough Shark - no sharks, but its roach/bream hybrids and rudd are big! Pike and perch are plentiful in Drummiller, Drumaran, Drumnavaddy, Skillycolban (old mill dam with eels) and Ballyroney, Corbet, Hunshigo, Ballyward and Ballymagreehan.
Moving west, serious coarse anglers start to feel a tingle as they approach the Upper Bann River. Quite simply, one of Europe's finest coarse fisheries. The reaches in the Portadown Town area are long established as big match venues where bream, roach, perch and pike abound. From Boulevard Hoy's Meadow and Portadown Park in town, to Irwin's Quay and Milk Quay near the southern shore of Lough Neagh, you always have a good chance of filling your keepnet.

North Lake in Craigavon City Park is a mixed coarse fishery with roach, bream and quality hybrids, plus trout from the South Lake stocked rainbow trout fishery across the road. The County Armagh bank of the Blackwater River, downstream of Blackwatertown Bridge, is the best section for roach and bream.

In picturesque South Armagh, the former reservoir of Camlough Lake is well stocked with small to medium pike as well as bream, roach and perch. For bigger pike and perch, Clay Lake, south of Keady, is hard to beat!

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