Tuesday 27th March I arrived at 07.43, a full eight minutes ahead of schedule and made my first river inspection. I really didn’t like what I saw. The level is very low. As a reference point, I use the concrete by the bridge as a marker and it is a full one foot down. When I was over at the beginning of February, there was at least two and a half foot of extra water and I could never imagine it would drop so much, so quickly.
I usually do a session within the first couple hours after my arrival, but fatigue and lack of enthusiasm caused me to postpone wetting a line until just after 5pm. The nice weather had brought a few casual anglers out and some smallish Roach were their reward. I had 20 minutes on the gusher with 4 spratt sized Roach before a move to the bridge as the sun created some shade into the swim. I caught 7 fish with the best about 6 oz. For some mad reason I walked across the bridge to try the navigation channel. Normally, this would unfishable in March, but with levels close to what I’d expect in May, float presentation was easy. 1 Perch of 2 oz was caught before having the final 20 minutes of daylight above the bridge on the Longford side. It was here that I netted my first bigger fish of my spring campaign with a Roach of around 14 oz. Three more 2-3 oz fish followed and then it was time to quit. I’ve had far worse first days, but the amount of weed showing is going to make fishing very difficult at Lanesborough this year.

Male Tench for Derek Keenan 3lb 8oz
Male Tench for Derek Keenan 3lb 8oz

Saturday March 31st I’ve just returned from doing a session normally reserved for May evenings. With the number of Tincas showing, Steven Keough and myself had to have a piece of the action and fortunately we both netted the rare commodity that is a March Tench. Mine was a male of 2 lb 13 oz whilst Stevens was a female of 3 lb. he also lost two at the net, and I had the consolation of two Perch.
Earlier in the day, Steve and Josh Blacklidge from Chorely shared a good mixed bag above Ryans gate and there were a lot of casual anglers coming and going all day. I’m sure the water temperature has hit the magic 51f because the navigation channel was alive at dusk. I really must get the thermometer out tomorrow.

Sunday April 1st Today will go down as one of those “special” days. Some early birds arrived long before dawn which paid dividends. Larry Kelly from Athboy had a Bream estimated at around 5 lbs along with some Hybrids on the gusher. Above the bush was Chris Ganley from Ballyhaunis who recorded the best bag of the season so far with 80 lbs. of Bream, Hybrids and Roach. All fell to a feeder in a little over 5 hours. His best Bream was a specimen of 7 lb 8 oz with an added bonus of two Roach both going 1 lb 13 oz.
Somewhat under the radar was Steven Keogh who caught 16 Tench to 5 lb 7 oz despite packing up a little after 10 am.   At 5 pm I closed the shop and was lured into joining him for another session. Between four of us we netted 14 bringing the seasons Tinca Tally to 45!  My contribution was three fish of 4 lb 4 oz, 4 lb 6 oz and a baby of 3 lbs. There was a lot of surface activity again at dusk, so I am expecting a bumper week ahead of us
Was my report an April Fools Joke? Would I lie to you?
Paul Waghorne at www.lanesboroughangling.ie