COARSE FISHING - The Royal Canal provides excellent and varied coarse fishing for practically its entire length. The newly restored sections have been re-stocked. Some areas are a bit over-grown, particularly in summer. Canal harbours often have the best fishing. There are a number of stretches marked out for match fishing.
Species include roach, which are plentiful and sometimes up to specimen size, rudd, which are now less plentiful but still occur to large sizes and bream which are widespread. There are also hybrids between these three species. Perch are everywhere but normally, though not invariably, quite small. There is also a good stock of pike, with occasional fish over five kilos in weight. Eels are declining in numbers. Tench are patchily distributed and carp even more so. You need good information to find them.
Maggots are the best bait for float fishing, legering and pole fishing but they can be hard to buy in towns and villages along the waterway. Bread baits also work well, though not for perch as a rule.
Floating a piece of bread across the water surface can be a good way of locating fish Worms are good for larger fish and sweetcorn and other seed baits do work but some pre-baiting may be necessary. Unless you're specifically after rudd, baits should be presented on or near the bed of the canal. Pike fishing requires stronger tackle with a wire trace. Spinning a floating plug can be good but in weedy areas dead baits may be easier to fish with --- live baits are prohibited. The canal is also excellent for pike fly fishing, particularly for beginners, as long casting is not normally required.
For further information the excellent booklet 'Coarse Angling Guide to the Grand and Royal Canals' is available from Waterways Ireland.
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