An Irish Anglers World

Lough Muckno

Lough Muckno, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan, Ireland, is a Coarse and Pike angling destination steeped in tradition. One thousand acres in extent shorelines such as Concra Wood, Toome, White Island, Black Island, and the Belfast Steps, have witnessed the capture of many specimen fish and been the location of match winning hauls for anglers of National and International renown. Bream, roach, hybrids, perch, and very large pike are the species which have built the reputation of Lough Muckno as an angling destination, and there is arguably no better natural coarse match angling venue in Europe. Historically Lough Muckno has hosted the European Coarse Angling Championships, and presently is home to the All Ireland, the National Police Championships, and in 2009 hosted the annual Home International coarse angling series.

View of Lough Muckno looking north east from the Concra Wood shoreline.

Large shoals of bream, roach, and hybrids inhabit the fishery along with perch and pike up to thirty pounds in weight. The shoals move around so on or before arrival local knowledge should be sought. For pike fishing a boat is a good option and the hire of an angling guide, certainly for the first trip or two is advisable. Boats can be launched from slipways at Hope Castle, accessed off Castleblaney main street, and South Lodge, drive out the Dundalk road past Concra Wood Golf Club and take the first left.

A catch of roach from Concra Wood, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan.

Feeder, Pole, Whip, and Waggler can all be employed on Muckno. The shorelines of Black Island, White Island, and Concra Wood have a consistent depth along their length and allied to large evenly distributed stocks of fish it is possible to bag up no matter which peg is chosen. Again, seek advice for up to date movements of fish. Local anglers tend to use dark (almost black) ground bait mix, fishing red maggot, sweetcorn, and worm (for the bream). Recent matches have been won with weights in the 15-20 kilogram bracket of predominantly roach, supplemented with hybrids and a few bream.

A nice bream from the Church Hill shore, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

Lough Muckno fishes best from May until the following February. There are plenty of angler friendly B/B’s, hotels, and self catering establishments locally. Heavy rain and subsequent high water levels can make some shorelines inaccessible, but do not worry there is always somewhere to wet a line on this magnificent fishery.

Netting a hybrid, Concra Wood, Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

Lough Muckno is situated in the north east of Ireland adjacent to the town of Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan. Take the M.1 motorway north from Dublin, cross the Boyne bridge at Drogheda and drive on to the Ardee/Derry exit. Take the slip road and follow the signs to Carrickmacross/Castleblaney. From the M.1 exit journey time is twenty minutes to Carrickmacross, and a further ten minutes to Castleblaney.

For more information: Coarse fishing in Ireland, Lough Muckno.

For further information: Dutch Gold on Lough Muckno.