The Unknown Fisherman of County Clare

My name is Donagh, I am ten years old and I am a fisherman. My earliest fishing memory is, I was two years old; I was in a place called Kilkee in County Clare with my older brother and my parents. My Dad set up a line of feather traces; he attached a two pound weight onto a rod, and cast it out into the sea. He then started to wind up the reel, when he lifted the rod up from the water I saw he had caught four/five mackerel. I will never forget how I felt, excited, thrilled and proud, from that moment I was hooked on fishing. My parents then bought me my own fishing rod and they began to bring us to local lakes and rivers. I learned many skills such as how to set up a rod, tie feathers, hook on weights, cast out and reel in. Of course the best part was catching the fish and we spent many hours by the water having great family fun. I fish at many waterways in County Clare, from the local lakes of Lough Clonmacken, Drumcullaun, Caum, Inchiquin Ballycullinan, Ballyalla, and Lough Derg and a local unnamed lake we call ‘Carthys Lake’ and also along different parts of the Inagh River which flows through Ennistymon and onto Lahinch. I also fish off the coast of Clare in Kilkee, Kilrush, Cappa, Liscannor, Doolin and Fanore. I have caught; Pollock, Mullet, and Mackerel in saltwater and Trout, Pike, Perch, Rudd and Roach in freshwaters. My favourite fish to catch is the Pike because; he’s a great ‘fighter’ and can be very difficult to reel in if he’s very big and the largest pike I have caught so far was at Lough Ballycullinan, he was 23 pounds 1 ounce and he put up a 27 minute fight, he got very tired and surrendered to me. I did not keep him as I was only practicing so always ‘catch and release’ during those times. If you over fish the waterways the wild fish population drops and has to be replaced with farmed fish. I eat all types of fish but would prefer the taste of a wild fish over a farmed one any day. I am a member of the local Anglers club and have made fishermen friends of all ages. Sometimes my parents allow me to travel out on a boat with a few fishermen onto Lough Inchiquin, Corofin. I enjoy the opportunity and it’s also a different fishing experience than shore fishing, and we have great fun driving around exploring the lake. To be a good fisherman you need to be calm, patient and practice a lot, you also need the right tackle and abit of good luck. I buy my equipment online and from local fishing supply shops. It is also very important to be safe around water; I always wear a life-jacket and never take any dangerous chances. At the lakes it is important to fish from a proper jetty, as the edges of lakes can are treacherous. I enjoy travelling around the beautiful countryside of County Clare, fishing at the local waterways and discovering new ones on the way. To me fishing is the best pastime in the world; everyone should give it a go. I know I am very lucky to live where I do and have been given such unbelievable opportunities, it has made me the boy I am today. When I grow up I hope to become a professional fishing sportsman. ‘Keep an eye out for me’.