Kevin Mc Ardle, Derek Witherspoon and Tony Newman all from Merseyside fished in the East Clare area from 16 to 23rd June and enjoyed their best ever session in over 20 years of fishing in Ireland. The week started very poorly. On account of the extremely high water levels present on arrival, access to most of their previous hotspots was impossible. By Tuesday 21st none of the party had had a bite between them!. Undeterred they decided to borrow a boat from their host Dorothy Minogue-Landers and pre bait a recommended lake on the Tuesday evening. They fished Wednesday from 7 am until 10.30 am and had 30 good bream between them until the swim died completely. This was the signal for heavy pre-baiting in the same swims on Wednesday evening in preparation for an early start Thursday.

What followed can only be described as incredible. Fishing from 6am until 12 noon they recorded catches as follows. Derek 38 bream, Kevin 35 Bream and Tony 23 bream. All caught from their anchored up 19 ft boat i.e.  96 fish from the same swim! Kevin and Derek fished pole at 8mtrs into 17 ft of water, whilst Tony bowled a small bomb out to the same line as the other two. “There was that many fish in the swim we lost about 14 fish between the 2 of us on the pole, simply down to foul hooking, as the olivette struggled to get through the shoal! Tony didn’t lose as many on the bomb, but caught at half the rate as the pole.”

“We used keep nets, as they could hang vertically straight down into deep water…problem was, as we had no dry land for 100 yards due to water levels, we couldn’t attempt to lift them out for photographs after our best session! There was nowhere near sufficient room in the cramped boat to photograph each of our catches. We also thought it a recipe for disaster to try and lift the two heaviest nets, which had to be getting on for 200lb each, into the boat! Instead we weighed 2 sample bream from each of our nets (6 in total) and the stamp was consistent between the smallest at 5 lb. and the largest at 6 lb. 2 oz. Given this sample we took an average weight of 5.5 lb. per fish and reckon we had 165 lb. between us on the Wednesday in a 4 hour session and 528 lb. in our 6 hour session on the Thursday. Its very possible we had more fish than stated above, as we’re sure we missed a couple off when mentally tallying up and, save for weighing the sample few, we just had to empty the nets at the end of the session .i.e. these are conservative figures!

We packed in on the Thursday at noon, whilst the fish were still feeding as we’d had enough! Furthermore we didn’t fish on our last day, Friday, as we all agreed “how could you top that?” Instead we retired to Minogue’s pub in Tulla for a session on the black stuff. ”

The secrecy as to the precise venue is to deter netting and fish removal, as we were reliably informed that this has been rife in the area. We reckon that there’s loads of lakes in the area that would respond similarly to heavy pre-baiting, so we’ll test that theory out next year!”

Report compliments of:

Derek Witherspoon