asked me about fishing in a big Irish lough
that I did not know and I had never fished.
And you wanted to fish for say a particular
species of fish
in this large lough.
You might not believe it but I could still
give you accurate advice on locating them, even though I know
so little about the place.
No, I'm not talking about the fishery board
reports, though I would look at those. And
I'm not referring to the ISFC specimen
reports, though I would look at those too.
For coarse fish species and larger size
trout, I would also like to
see the lake on limestone or chalk rock, or
filled with water coming from rivers from
such a place.
For game fish species only I would be happy
even if the lake was on les fertile granite
but I do like to see some source of calcium
for the weeds and tiny food creatures,
shrimps, crayfish and snails, to help them
build their shells. With a high ph water
they multiply and grow big and provide
excellent food for big fish. (crayfish and
shrimp abundance helps create a big fish
water). Although I also look at ph, just now
ph is not what I'm talking about either. So
a granite lake with an inflowing stream over
mixed ground can be fine too. If it has not
got some calcium, or lays over mixed glacial
deposits or farmland, then I look to the
mountain fields and see if the farmers have
fertilised those places which drain into the
lake. Usually they have and the lake has
been enriched as a result.
So you see that this is a very "down to fundamentals
approach, and is about the lake structure.
In Ireland we have a prevailing wind that
blows from the south west, and our biggest
storms come in from the Atlantic ocean.
We are exposed to big westerly weather
Now although we get winds and storms and
gales blowing from every point on the
compass, over the thousands of years since
the last ice age formed Ireland,
strongest average force of erosion,
wind blown waves of lake water smashing
against the shore, has been from a SW or W
average, the upwind W or SW shore is
less eroded, more sheltered, and has more
mud on the lake bottom. And
the exposed NE, or E shore takes a bigger
pounding, and is more rocky, with more
gravel, and stony shorelines.
Lets plan our fishing on this mysterious
Roach, bream, sure, start by looking at the
S, W and SW shore of the lough for good
places to fish. They spawn and feed in
weedbeds which like shelter to grow, and the
N or E rocky shore will have less weeds for
Trout is what you want? OK, could be
anywhere, but the rocky places on the N, NE,
and E shore might be interesting if there is
the right fly life in those places. Salmon?
They just love rocky places and waves so
they would be definitely interested in
finding lies in these type of places.
To sum up:
On a really big Irish lough the SW and W shores
are more sheltered, and in appearance they
look more like they might be part of a
smaller size, less stormy lough, or in a
sheltered bay on the big lough .. without
the bay being necessary.
This is no magic bullet,
but it's a
tendency we should be aware of. A small
tilting of the odds, no more. But we need
all the help we can get in locating big fish
in big loughs, and before we know what the
bottom of a huge lough is made of we have to
search a huge area. Well if we make a few
assumptions we might just find the more
favourable area sooner.
Think about it and about the places you know
well, get a grasp of how much or little
difference it makes, and see if you can look
at a large water you have always wanted to
fish, but didn't know where to start. Maybe
you can narrow your possible search area
down a bit.
This is the first of
The Reading Large Lake Series, articles on How to Study and
Read Large Irish Loughs & Large Waters
written and published in the FishingTalkIreland.com Forum