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Irish Angling Update – 04/05/17

May 5th, 2017 | by

‘Resting up’ Lough Sheelin, April 2017

‘Resting up’ Lough Sheelin

It’s May. The summer is here, people are saying. Or a summer of sorts. Temperatures to 20C were recorded a few days ago. It’s nothing like that now. In reality summer does not get underway for another month and more like 6 weeks if you base your passage of the seasons on the astronomical calendar. All the same May always seems to promise so much, no matter if you’re a trout angler watching for hatches of mayfly, a coarse angler hoping for a big tench or sea angler waiting for shark…

Well it might not be summer officially but Ben Carter fishing on Luke Aston’s Clare Dragoon had the first shark of the season. And what a fish to get off the mark with. Luke is a sixgill shark specialist and had figured on the timing being right for an early sixgill. Ben was the man with the rod and he managed to land a huge shark estimated at 900lb. Yes – it wins Catch of the Week.

900lb shark

Ben’s sixgill shark was estimated at 900lb and wins him Catch of the Week

In other sea angling news West Cork was hub of activity as specimen gilthead were beached at Clonakilty and specimen skate were boated at Baltimore. Skate were also landed by anglers in Union Hall. Shore anglers and small boat fishermen are seeing the bass season come to life in Cork Harbour. Boat anglers out of Valentia Island and fishing on Dingle Bay in Co. Kerry also enjoyed good fishing in the last week, while the shore angling in Donegal continues to make for great reports. In our sea angling reports we have a round up of the Kayak Angling Clubs adventures around our shores for the month of April.

There are a few springers running up the Suir and a couple of smashing salmon to 17lb were caught and released during the week. The Munster Blackwater is running low now, but a few fresh fish were reported. It was much the same on the Lee, but despite the low water one angler hit it right and caught and released 3 fine springers in a half day’s fishing. There weren’t many salmon from the Bandon last week or from any of the other rivers across West Cork. Kerry’s salmon fisheries didn’t have much to report either but a specimen sea trout was taken on Lough Currane. While everywhere mentioned so far needs water, the Galway Fishery is just right for fly angling and there were a few good days recently. Delphi has had it tough but they finished the month with a bit of a flourish and some good springers were landed. Low water and bright sunshine wasn’t much good to anglers on the Moy and fishing there is described as difficult.

The mix of weather had a big impact on trout fishing on Sheelin and once again the lake was slowed to a halt on the cold days and windy days, not to mention the golf ball hail storm… Anyway, Sheelin’s anglers are a hardy lot and they nipped out when they could, getting some fine trout to 6.75lb on buzzers. On Corrib the rise in temperatures saw greater numbers of fish caught due to better hatches with fish being taken on buzzer, olives and mayfly. Mayfly hatches are getting going in most areas, as the whitethorn trees begin to blossom. Lough Mask anglers experienced superb fishing despite strong easterly winds over the weekend. At the moment on Mask, there are plenty of olives and a sprinkle of mayfly to keep trout interested and looking upwards.


Ian Kelsey potential Irish record roach at 1.550kg. Genetic testing is required to ensure no hybridisation

There were great nets of fish caught at the River Suck Angling Festival. Cathal Hughes was the winner of the 3 day event on 32.520kg having put in a consistent performance. Ian Kelsey had the best single day’s fishing in the festival, and on the same day netted a roach weighed in at 1.550kg. This fish will break the current roach record by a few ounces if it turns out not to be a hybrid – genetic tests will determine the result. Lanesborough fished well enough last month and given the conditions is still doing OK – some decent tench are about and there have been a few good bags of fish landed. The Senior Canals Championships took place on the Grand Canal at Prosperous on 29th & 30th April 2017. The fishing was patchy in places but winner Fint Brennan had roach close to 2lbs and an overall catch of 19lb 8oz. Inniscarra is a firm favourite of festival anglers and the big bags there last week show why.  Back to back 3 day festivals were won with bags of 56.340kg and 50.160kg by Trev Platt and Mick Fordham respectively.

Lough ree pike

A beautiful Lough Ree pike caught at last week’s World Cup

When it comes to festival venues proving their worth, few have done it with the style demonstrated by Lough Ree last week. At each of the 3 days of the Lough Ree International Pike Festival and Wold Cup a 100cm fish was needed to secure a place in the Top 10. In fact, the fish only got bigger with each passing day.  The pairings of  Stephen Gibbons and Al Rawlings and Dave Sanders and Peter Vulovic. each  caught a pike that came in at 113cm winning them a share of the Longest Pike. The World Cup title went to Joe McDermott & Pat Healy for their superb 3 fish total of 330cm, made of pike measuring in at 108.25cm, 112.25cm and 109.50cm. Pleasure anglers in the Midlands had plenty of jacks but bigger fish were not so easy to tempt although pike to over 20lb were landed. German anglers in the Longford area had similar fishing last week, but weren’t as lucky with the big fish. Mostly smaller fish were caught at the National Pike Championships but a few heavier ones were landed. Tommy Coffey took the title with 15 pike for 62lb 14oz, his 2 best fish were 14lb 8oz and 10lb 6oz. Further down the Shannon at Lough Derg anglers there are getting pike to over the metre mark, some very heavy, indicating spawning might not yet be finished on the lake.

Today is to be dry but windy, small boat and gale warnings are in operation. The weekend is to be dry in general and Sunday will be a bit warmer. The weather will remain fine, dry and settled well into next week as high pressure predominates. Mayfly men, tench anglers and all the rest – take note!

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to contact@fisheriesireland.ie.


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