Lough Ree widely regarded as one of Ireland’s premier angling venues
A local man joins the search of Lough Ree for missing following fisherman Daryl Burke. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Lough Ree is widely regarded as one of the premier angling venues in the country. Tourist and home-based anglers flock to its shores throughout the year to enjoy their particular facet of the sport.
It is noted for its big pike, many exceeding 9kg (20lb), which can be caught while boat fishing from virtually all locations. Indeed in three weeks’ time, the lough, for the fifth successive year, will host the three-day pike angling world cup and international pike boat festival.
Coarse anglers, too, regard the lough as top notch, offering large catches of big bream in the many bays. Twelve specimens were recorded last year, three reaching 4.5kg (10lb). However, roach are always plentiful and big tench do hold out in the inner bays.
Perhaps Lough Ree is best known as a wild brown trout fishery. Since its transformation in 2000 following an algae-infested spell, the lough is now in superb condition.
Trout stocks have increased dramatically and today it is not uncommon to catch fish up to 3.6kg (8lb) on the fly.
Inland Fisheries Ireland were greatly saddened to hear of the developing situation on Lough Ree last night with the capsizing of a dory boat with three anglers on board.
At first light yesterday, two boats from Inland Fisheries Ireland joined the Lough Ree Lifeboat, local gardaí, the Athlone Sub Aqua Club and local anglers to assist in the search for the last missing angler.
The thoughts and prayers of the staff of Inland Fisheries Ireland are with the families of the three anglers and their friends at this difficult time.