Sport has changed in the past decade and the improved water quality means that we have to try and wary fish in gin-clear water, rather than the days when there was always a hint of mud.
The big fish – whether it is a bream or a pike – are still very much a force in the main river, its tributaries and massive lakes, but now anglers have to be a little cuter. This means getting involved in pre-baiting, fishing at dawn or dusk and taking advantage of any windswept water that provides cover for the fish. Around Athlone are the vast waters of Lough Ree (16 miles long) and the River Shannon itself. Then there is the fabulous River Inny with its bream, roach, hybrids, pike, perch – and even a few chub!
Mullingar provides also has exceptional fishing on the River Inny, along with the loaded Lough Derravaragh where the roach and bream grow very big. The Royal Canal that skirts town is well known for its tench and bream, while there is fair carp fishing available at Ballinafid Lake and Galmoylestown Lake.