Coarse Fishing in Ireland. Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan.

I had the pleasure in assisting eighteen Dutch anglers who travelled to Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan, specifically to fish Lough Muckno. Based in the Glencarn Hotel for eight bed nights, the group brought together through the initiative of Mr. Christiaan Kooloos, a freelance coarse angling journalist, planned to fish a series of matches along the Concra Wood and White Island shorelines.

Pegged for the match, Lough Ross, Co. Monaghan.

Fully equipped down to the last maggot the groups collective heart sank when they heard that Muckno was unfishable due to recent heavy rains and high water levels. However, thanks to the combined efforts of local tackle dealer Les Harris, Geoff Quinn, Dick Caplice, and the Castleblaney Coarse Angling Club, a variety of  alternative options were pursued to retrieve a difficult situation and get the dutch men fishing.

In the face of adversity, success on the Church Hill shoreline, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan.

A small area of the church hill shoreline split in two sections was capable of accommodating the visitors. Pegging sections on Saturday morning the match kicked off at midday and ended at five pm. Feeder fishing it was apparent that the anglers present could cut the mustard. Within twenty minutes fish started appearing, mainly roach with a smattering of hybrids and one or two bream. Double red maggot coupled with a dark (almost black) feeder mix containing amongst other ingredients, sweetcorn, hemp, and castors, was the successful combination, with those using worm attracting the few bream landed.

A happy angler with what looks like a bream and hybrid double, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

At the end of Saturdays match Willem Van Der Helm was the clear winner with 11.40 kgs of mainly roach. A regular visitor to Ireland Willem’s bag given the conditions was a credit to his skill. The church hill shore was shallow necessitating casts of up to fifty metres, that and an onshore north westerly pushing intermittent heavy showers made conditions difficult for the anglers.

Trip organiser Christiaan Kooloos shows off his catch, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

Sunday provided similar weather and lake conditions with the result that a friendly match between local anglers and the dutch group was held on the same shoreline and a section of Lough Ross. Twenty seven anglers fished, again the feeder prevailed with trip organiser Christiaan Kooloos coming out on top with a nice bag of roach, bream, and hybrids, for 9.10 kgs. Interestingly he was pegged where Willem had been the previous day.

Landing the catch, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

Lough Muckno is arguably the best natural coarse match angling venue in Europe. It holds tonnes of roach, bream, and hybrids, and properly developed with vehicular access and permanent pegs would attract anglers from far and wide, Shorelines such as White Island, Concra Wood, Black Island, and Toome provide excellent fishing on the feeder, whip, waggler, or pole. Combined with the large pike, up to thirty pounds, that inhabit the lake it is a dream venue in a beautiful setting.

For more information on Lough Muckno click here: Lough Muckno, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan.

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