Lough Major, Ballybay, County Monaghan

A prolific lake that is brimming with all of the usual Irish species, including plenty of good bream that have attracted anglers for decades and at one time was popular a match angling venue. Fishing from the bank is comfortable with a number of platforms along the town-side of the Major and a firm shoreline along the facing bank, which can be reached comfortably by car.

Bream do congregate in the reed shoreline in the left hand corner (facing town) but getting to clear water is now difficult. If anything, Major is now under-fished so it is worth pre-baiting and being bold when it comes to catching the bream and tench. The lake – covering about 200 acres – is a headwater on the Dromore River system and you will be casting into an average of two to five metres (6 to 15ft) off the bank.

Species: Bream, tench, roach, hybrids, pike and perch.
Best baits: Worm, red maggot, caster and corn.
Popular methods: Pole fishing at 13 metres and loose feeding caster (plus an occasional ball of groundbait) will bring plenty of smaller fish. An open-ended feeder with worm, corn and caster, will do well for the bigger fish.
Local tackle shop: Tackle Box in Castleblayney. Tel: 00353 86 4075695
Rod Licence: No licences needed or permits required.

Access: Good access with a road around two-thirds of the bank. Directions: A road into Lough Major is located at the south end of the Ballybay’s Main Street (on the Carrickmacross road) and is clearly visible.