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Float Tube Fishing in Ireland

Having a really great time fishing from the world's best floating fishing platform

How to Study and Read Large Irish Loughs & Large Still Waters  This is the first of The Reading Large Lake Series

Large Lake Series 1:
The Initial Survey - Shore Topography

by Norman Greene on Wed Sep 09, 2009

Large Lake Series 1 : Shore Topography
Large Lake Series 2 : Effects of Wind
Large Lake Series 3: Lough Zones, Fish Migrations & Location
Large Lake Series 4: Drawdown and The Tidal Zone
Large Lake Series 5: The Food Shelf
Large Lake Series 6: Feeding Area Hotspots
Large Lake Series 7: Underwater Springs

Say you 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 bedrock, 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.

Consider this:
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 systems.
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, the strongest average force of erosion, wind blown waves of lake water smashing against the shore, has been from a SW or W direction.

So on average, the upwind W or SW shore is less eroded, more sheltered, and has more mud on the lake bottom. And on average, 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 water then.
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 sure.
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.

More later.


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

Copyright for this article is Norman Greene's - reproduction only with permission of the author.