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See & Do

Angling and Fishing

Contact: Steve Grogan, Portumna Coarse Fishing Club

+353 (0) 86 0824195 Facebook - Portumna Coarse Angling Club

Contact: Maureen Curran, Palmerston Stores

+353 (0) 87 620 5069

Contact: PJ Lynch

+353 (0) 86 346 5786

Portumna - a prime coarse angling centre renowned for its quality angling with specialist operators who are geared to cater for angling tourists.

Portumna holds two major fishing competitions each year, and other competitions in between. April is the Waterways Ireland Portumna Festival and in September is the Curley’s Festival Portumna.

Portumna offers good fishing waters which have a good track record. There are several prime angling hotspots, a number which are official match stretches located on the river Shannon itself and the Northern Shores of Lough Derg. On the river there are two stretches up and downstream of Portumna, known locally as the lower 'town stretches' or Rogers Island and upper ESB stretch called Fairyhill. On the Galway bank farther upriver there is the Salmon Run and the Old Sheebeen Stretch which are back to back with a shared access road. On the County Tipperary bank there are a couple of stretches, Milne's of Ballymacegan Friars Lough a few kms away near Lorrha village offers further angling possibilities for the angler. (Friar's Lough - permission is required to fish here).

Spring fishing can be brilliant as shoals of Roach and Hybrids leave the vast waters of Lough Derg, move upstream into the river around Portumna. From June through to late October the river returns to normal with a more even spread of species, including some Bream. Access is excellent with many natural bank swims.

Lough Derg Northern Shores

The Northern Shores of Lough Derg have over recent years become renowned for its quality Bream fishing. Huge bags of Bream are reported from remote shores and anglers are now coming every year to experience and enjoy this type of fishing. Daily bags of 100lbs + are averaged by most anglers fishing the Lough when conditions are suitable. Bags of 200lbs+ and occasionally 300lbs + are reported. If you opt for this type of fishing we recommend you come suitably prepared with a levelling platform for your comfort as the shores can be rocky and uneven in places, also watch the weather forecast as fishing can be uncomfortable in strong winds. Local Angling Services are there to assist, see listing on the right. The lake produces large pike up to 30lbs+.

Roger’s Island

This is a prime angling stretch where coarse angling can be excellent at certain times of the year, particularly late spring/early summer and again in September/October weather permitting. 30lb to 50lb to bags are frequently achieved and bags to 100lbs not uncommon. Regular competitions are held by Portumna DCAC (Portumna District Coarse Angling Club).

The main species you will encounter are hybrids, roach with occasional good shoals of bream. During peak periods good pegs can be competed for, so it is advisable to get your position early in the day during these times. Shoals of Bream can patrol up and down the river from Lough Derg and so regular pre-baiting is highly recommended for best results to keep these fish in a swim and will test an anglers skill. If you encounter a shoal of bream you can expect lively sport. However over recent years, bream tend to stay in the lake and hence large bags of bream have not been reported from the river. Roach and quality hybrids are in abundance and anglers frequently bag 30lb to 60lb in a session. The shelf is deep at the top end, with depths graduating from 20 to 50+ft in places. Pole and feeder at 10 to 20 meters out is recommended for best results. The river near the mouth of Lough Derg farther downstream is quite uniform in depth at about 12 to 15ft and offers a better chance of good bream catches for anglers in pursuit of bream.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: There is public access from the bridge at Portumna with adequate car parking facilities. Anglers have to cross a footbridge and walk a few hundred meters down stream to locate the top 15 swims. More recently a new access road from the swimming pool area in Portumna Bay on Lough Derg now provides access to the lower section of the river into Rogers Island where there is an angling information board and gate access to peg numbers 15 to 40, where there are parking bays.

NB: The gate into the venue is only open at the following times April 1st – October 31st from 8am sharp and closed at 8pm sharp daily. Outside of these times, special arrangements may be made by contacting ShRFB Assistant Fisheries Inspector Pat Mc Donnell 00353 (0)87 2152127.

Fairyhill - ESB Stretch

This can be a very good angling stretch which fishes best during late spring/early summer and again in September/October weather permitting. 30lb to 50lb + bags are frequently achieved. The river is fairly uniform in depth at about 15ft to 20ft. There are 36 pegs to choose from. The best tactics to employ are pole to hand at about 9 meters. At some pegs fishing at 20 to 25 meters is best. It responds well to regular feeding.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: This stretch referred to locally as the ESB or upper town stretch. Here you will find over 40 natural swims extending nearly as far as the ESB pump house.

TO GET THERE: This stretch can be reached by taking a right turn past The Emerald Star Line Cruiser Marina on the way into Portumna from the Tipperary side of the river. After taking the right turn follow the road around by the OPW Offices and Marina until you come to a gate. This gate is permanently locked and requires a walk to the pegs. To facilitate anglers there is a catwalk recently sited in the flood plain under the ESB gravel path along the section. The catwalk is designed to assist you with gaining access through the soft swampy area to the swims. There are some other access points located along the section off the flood plain where anglers can gain access.

Salmon Run

Good fishing is possible here, especially for hybrids and roach and some bream. There are about 50 natural swims available to anglers. The section is used as a match stretch. River depth is fairly uniform at about 15 to 20 ft with the odd hole. An 8 meter pole to hand is normally fished here, however some pegs can be fished a little further out with feeder. Pre-baiting is recommended for best results.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: The Salmon Run and the Old Sheebeen match stretches are back to back and offers shared access road with parking bays along its length for anglers convenience. The Salmon Run is a lovely clean stretch of bank and has in excess of 40 spaces available for fishing.

TO GET THERE: From Portumna take a right turn immediately past the church, onto the Killimor/Galway road. About one kilometre out this road, take a right turn in the direction of Ballinasloe, continue for about 8-9 kms, there is a right turn for the village of Ballycrissane. At the top of the village there is another right turn which will bring you past the Old Sheebeen Public House on your left a couple of kilometres along this country road. Continue on for another kilometre or so, where you will locate a brown timber road sign for the river marked 'Bank Fishing', turn right here (near gravel pit), down the lane for about 400 meters to the Old Sheebeen Restaurant at Esker Riada. Here you will meet a newly constructed bridge over the ESB canal inlet. Drive over the bridge. After you cross the bridge the Sheebeen stretch is along the access road on your left and the Salmon Run on your right.

NB: The gate into the venue is only open at the following times April 1st – October 31st from 8am sharp and closed at 8pm sharp daily. Outside of these times, special arrangements maybe made by contacting IFI Assistant Fisheries Inspector Pat Mc Donnell 00353 (0)87 2152127.


Species are similar as the Salmon Run described above. This is a deep backwater off the main Shannon inside Ballymacegan Island. The bank side is wooded in part and offers some shelter from strong winds. The venue can fish very well but requires a regime of regular feeding as fish are very transient. Hit it on the right day and you can expect good sport roach, hybrids and bream.

FACILITIES AND ACCESS: With the new development there are about 20+ swims available to anglers.