I was not fishing today but instead was in the town of Athlone. We had a night away booked here and while herself was off partaking of some retail therapy I went for a walk along the Shannon. I had noticed one of those brown signs as I drove into town and decided to investigate.
The river here is wide and strong flowing. Downstream of the town are the famous pegs such as the meadows where huge catches of bream have been taken by dedicated anglers who pre-bait heavily and use 4 ounce feeders to cast 70 yards or more into the deep water where the big bream shoals are to be found. I walked upstream instead, along a stretch called the golden mile.
Anyone contemplating some angling here in the height of summer will find it next to impossible with all the boat traffic. Athlone is a centre for pleasure craft and is very busy from the spring through to early autumn. With the boating season now all but over the volume of river traffic dwindles and there is room now for anglers to ply their trade.
Once off the main road I walked along a path through mature trees, the river to my right. A few hundred yards brought me to a pontoon style double fishing stand. Further on there were more identical stands, making four in total and each one suitable for wheelchair access.
I was very impressed with these stands, they are well constructed and easy to get to. Maybe next year I will get back here with rod and line and try them out. Lough Ree is but a mile upstream and I fully expect bream and roach to be likely targets off these stands.
Apart from the stands there are a couple of bank pegs which look very promising.
You can park in the industrial estate off the R446. The path behind the football pitches takes you on to the riverside very close to the lowest of the fishing stands.
If you do visit Athlone then drop in to ‘Fishing tackle and shoe repairs’ shop. Lots of baits for pike in there! I popped in but just got a few small items this time, a change from my usual excessive spending on sweet looking Rapalas! If you should develop a thirst when in town then Gertie Browne’s is a great pub with an excellent pint of Guinness.