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A brief history of Coarse fishing on Inniscarra Lake, Roovesbridge Coachford Co Cork.
Inniscarra Lake originated from the River Lee which has its source in Gougane Barra some 40 Miles west of Cork City and flows due east through beautiful contrasting scenery, varying from wild mountainsto morelands and later through lowland lakes and returns to the sea as the Lee River through Cork city and Cork Harbour and out into the Atlantic Ocean at Roaches Point in Aghada.

Inniscarra Lake was created in 1956 by the construction of two hydro electric generating stations, one in Carrigadrohid of 4.5kw capacity and the other of 9kw at Inniscarra Lake closer to Cork City. The Lake constitutes an area of 530 hectares and bank fishing sideof 40kms though not all fishable. The purpose was to hold enough water to generate electricity for Cork City and it’s surrounding towns and villages.
The founder and brainchild of the fisheries was a Mr Noel Hackett (RIP) who was employed by the fisheries board in Macroom and whose home is adjacent to the Lake. He introduced the Bream to Inniscarra Lake in 1973 and they have bread very successfully there to today’s levels where there are millions of fish in the lake between the two reservoirs.
There main fishing points along Inniscarra Lake namely:
  • Carrigadrohid
  • Castle Bridge
  • Sallys Hole
  • Cemetary Fields
  • Concrete Jetty
  • Salmon Cages
  • Rooves Bridge
  • Rooves Bay
  • Farran Forrest Park
  • Dripsey Arm
  • Garden Center
  • Recreation Center
  • Innisleena
  • Pumping Station
  • Walshstown

To mention but a few suitable points for fishing the lake.

The dominant Coarse fish in Inniscarra Lake are:
Bream, bream/rudd hybrids, Rudd, Perch, Pike, Tench, Carp and Eels.

Catches of Bream in excess of 100 lbs per day are common. The lake is best suited for the pleasure angler who can enjoy long days of uninterrupted pleasure.

Michael Collins of Tara Guest Accommodation  will show the visiting angler the best locations on the reservoir to fish and will advise and arrange bait as required.

There are also good stocks of trout in the Lake again around the Roovesbridge and Bay area.

There are good Pike stock’s on the reservoir also and they have achieved big weight’s and on the balmy evenings they are rolling in the shallows around Roovesbay. The Dutch, German and French tourists enjoy tralling for the pike.

The National Pike Angling Championships were fished on the Lee System and catches of 250kg’s daily were recorded.
Eel fishing has become very popular especially with the Belgian and Dutch people. The Oak Smoke or Jelly the eel and they are pleasant to eat.

Game fishing is popular below the dam walls in Inniscarra and this stretch of the Lee is stocked and pegs are booked for the day fisherman.

A small number of perch are present in Lough Allua, Tench are found in Mc Culls Pond and Buckleys Pond east of Macroom

The Lough in Cork City is Ten Acres, surrounded by a small green belt in a built up urban area, it nevertheless boasts good stocks of carp, tench, bream, rudd, eel, perch and Pike. The waters edge is Fringed by a small concrete pathand the shoreline is therefore 100% fishable.

The is a nice 4 acre reservoir in Ballincollig also with bream, carp , rudd, tench and eels.

Inniscarra Lake is part of the magnificent Beautiful Lee Valley with its rolling hills and beautiful valleys. The views around Rooves Bridge ,Coachford are breathtaking and once visited a person will always return due to that everlasting memory of the beauty.

A book “ The flooding of the river Lee” produced by local man, historian and school teacher Seamus O Donoghue captures the wealth of history of the area and will leave you intrigued. There is also a video available on the Flooding of the dam produced by the Electricity Supply Board which with its motion pictures of 1956 captures the intrigue of the project.

If you would like me to research more on the Lake area please feel free to contact me at
Michael Collins


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Last modified: Thursday February 07, 2013
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