If you’re a keen carp angler thinking about visiting Ireland, you might have to lower your expectations a little with regards to fish sizes. Although there’s plenty of good carping to be had on the Emerald Isle, lower water temperatures prevent the fish from growing to quite the same weights as in mainland Britain or Continental Europe. In Ireland, a double is a good fish and the official record of 29 pound 13 ounces has stood since 1998. Bigger Irish carp have been caught, but there are very strict rules attached to ratifying new records.
Carp fishing is improving all the time in Ireland, thanks to a steady increase in the number of dedicated fisheries. As in other parts of the world, the main two species of carp you’ll catch are the common carp and mirror carp. Smaller populations of leather carp and linear mirror carp are also present, the latter being recognisable by its continuous lateral line of scales. So, where should you go for a decent session in Ireland? Here are some of the best sites:
* The Lyreen Fishery in Maynooth is about half an hour away from Dublin by car and offers a thriving carp lake including a couple of fish weighing over 40 pounds. These larger fish have been caught a few times, without having been officially documented as new records.
*The Lough is a big lake situated within a housing estate in Cork. It holds many 10-20 pound carp and is the venue where the official Irish 1998 record fish was caught. You’ll find some serious carp anglers here, despite the urban setting.
* Galmoylestown Lake in Westmeath is a relatively small, privately owned lake with a good stock of carp around the 10-12 pounds mark.
* Corkagh Park Fishery in Clondalkin, near Dublin, contains carp to specimen 10-12 pound weights as well as rainbow trout to 20 pounds in a lake reserved for fly fishing.
*Oaklands Lake near New Ross in County Wexford is a 60-peg wheelchair accessible lake holding numerous carp of up to around 14 pounds.