Smith's Self Catering Holiday Cottage, Donegal Ireland

An ideal base for a fishing holiday in Ireland

Donegal has lots of opportunity for either sea or river/loch fishing. There is a sea fishing boat, based at Downings which can be hired. There is blue shark, tuna or wreck fishing available depending on the time of year or if it is not booked up mackeral fishing trips can be arranged.

From Downings Pier it is possible to catch Dogfish, Flounder, Dab and the occasional Conger Eel particularly at night. Float fishing can produce mullet, small coalfish and pouting. Spinning can be done for mackeral in the summer. The season is year round but is best between May and September.

On Lough Swilly fishing can be done from Rathmullen Pier. Catches here include spinning for mackeral in the summer, bottom fishing near the pier for Conger, Flounder and Dogfish, some Tope and Ray are caught while distance casting. Night tides are the most productive time to fish from Rathmullen Pier. There is no cost for fishing from the pier. The best time of year to fish is May to September.

Portnablagh Pier can be found near Ards Forest Park and Dunfanaghy, a small coastal village with beach and pier. Round to the north of the pier rock fishing will produce Wrasse, Coalfish, Pollack and some Conger. Distance casting is onto the sand for Ray, Dogfish and Flatfish. There is no charge for fishing from Portnablagh Pier or the rocks nearby and the best time is May to September.

Dunfanaghy Strand is situated near the town of Dunfanaghy to the south of Horn Head and flows into the western side of Sheephaven Bay. Spinning can be done for Sea Trout where the channel flows into the sea, while bottom fishing at low water is good for Flounder. On the main beach surf fishing for Dab, Flounder, Coalfish with some Codling and Bass especially in the summer.

Tra–na–Rossan is a stretch of rocky coast found to the west of Melmore Head and Downings. Rock fishing is available her over rocky ground to the north of the beach for Conger, Pollack, Wrasse and Mackeral. Surf fishing is available for Coalfish, Flounder, Dogfish and some Ray. Bottom fishing is into deep water over the sand and from the rock platform on the south west side for Ray, Dab, Dogfish and Gurnard. Spinning for Pollack, Mackeral and some Sea Trout. The best time of the year is May to September.

Salmon and Sea Trout Fishing in Donegal, Ireland

The River Finn runs near Ballybofey. It springs in the Blue Stack Mountains about 25 kilometers from Ballybofey and joins the River Mourne in Lifford to the the River Foyle. It is not a very big river, but is fast flowing and can be waded almost anywhere. Extremely dependent on rain (not normally a problem in Donegal!) The best stretch to fish is around Cloghan and day tickets can be bought from Thomas McCreery on (353) 74 32075 or David Wilde on (353) 74 33003. Tickets cost between €17 – €30. It is worth a call to see if the river is good. The River Finn is one of the best fly fishing rivers in Ireland. When the water is clean there is more salmon and sea trout caught on a fly than any other method. Yellow and orange shrimps in size 6–14 seem to work best.

Salmon, sea trout and brown trout fishing is available on Glen Lough, Lough More, Lough Fern, Gartan Lough, Columbkille Lough, Lough Agannive and Drumaneany Lough, all in the Letterkenny area. Letterkenny and District Anglers Association have rights on these lakes and they all offer good fishing for catches of Brown Trout, Sea Trout and salmon. The salmon fishing season in Donegal is March 1st to September 30th. The Sea trout and Brown trout season is from March 1st to October 30th. Both spinning and fly fishing are permitted.

The River Lennon flows from Lough Gartan at Churchhill and through Kilmacrennan into Lough Fern and out again and enters Lough Swilly at Ramelton passes through the property and can be fished for Brown Trout. Donegal has a mass of small hill loughs with an abundance of small brown trout. Just take your rod and fly and help yourself. It is all free fishing. As long as size is of no importance they will taste delicious!

My family are experienced Anglers in fly fishing on river and lakeland. We have two boats with outboard engines on Lough Fern and Gartan Lake for hire with Gilles provided.

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Fishing in Donegal:

  • Sea Fishing
  • River Fishing
  • Loch Fishing
  • Fishing from Piers
  • Wreck Fishing
  • Float Fishing
  • Fly Fishing
  • Spinning
  • Bottom Fishing
  • Rock Fishing
  • Salmon Fishing
  • Sea Trout Fishing
  • Brown Trout Fishing
  • Tuna Fishing
  • Blue Shark Fishing
  • Tuna Fishing

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