Weather-wise April was a pretty miserable month and May open on  dull note also. However, there was some welcome warmth in the last couple of days and the North Easterly winds which have characterised the conditions for the last couple of weeks finally eased. While the winds affected just about all coasts and corners of the country, the rains were either too heavy where there were already floods or absent from places crying out for rain.

Martin Byrne with a 22lb 8oz Pike
Martin Byrne wins Catch of the Week with a 22lb 8oz Pike

Fiachra Fairtlogh fished until midnight on Lough Egish with a deadbait and was rewarded with a nice pike of 14 lb. 8 oz.  Well known angler Stephen Gibbons and two friends fished a new venue in the midlands with deadbaits and caught 17 pike in a day with 12 of them in the high teens and three over twenty pounds.    A nice three day fishing festival will be held at Lough Gowna from 5th to 7th of May

Bass fishing is going well on the south coast both from the shore and from the boat where in Cork harbour, soft plastic lures are working well from small boats and are producing good sport for bass.   There was some good bass reports from the Wexford area and resident angling guide Jim Hendrick has given us some excellent tips on fishing for the species in this week’s update.   Jim also brings our attention to the Wexford Biodiversity draft plan and Bass conservation plan.  “Rockhunter” reports that shore fishing from the beach produced some nice bass on crab, rag and razorfish on the south coast.  Recently, anglers deep sea fishing with Siegy &  Billi Grabher from Valentia Fishing had superb pollack fishing along with ling, cod and a range of smaller species.

Philip Maher reports that there was salmon fishing picked up briefly on the River Suir on Sunday last where twelve fish were reported with a best fish of 18 lb.  Water levels continue to be low on the River Drowes and some salmon were reported for the week but more rain is needed to improve the fishing.  The salmon fishing on nearby Lough Melvin was poor as result with only one fish recorded for the week.  Connemara rivers also are very low but both the Delphi and Kylemore fisheries reported fish despite the conditions. Water levels at the Galway Weir were low but the prevailing winds pushed extra water through the gates and salmon to 16lb were taken on spinner. Despite variable levels and floods on the Munster Blackwater a few salmon have been taken. Mike Walsh fished the river on Monday and caught two (one of which weighed 15lb) and lost  2.  There was good water levels and an occasional big salmon taken on the River Feale last week including a fine 20 lb. fish for Con McCarthy.

Andrew Ryan reported that the conditions suit Iron Blue duns for trout fishing at Clonanav on the River Suir and tributaries.  There were good hatches of flies but trout fishing was still very poor on Lough Melvin.  There were good report of Trout fishing getting better on the River Bandon.  Spiders, hoppers and bloodworm were the successful patterns of flies for rainbows at the Cashel Fishery.  Angling ghillie Liam Stenson reported on very good trout fishing on the River Suir at Hollycross.  He also reported good hatches of Large Dark Olives and Iron Blue Duns drawing the attention of the River Sullane Trout producing good fishing in Co. Cork.

There was some good catches reported at the weekend coarse angling matches from Lough Muckno and the Ballybay area.   Brian Bohan reports that most lakes in the Upper Shannon are fishing well and that some venues are fishing better in the evenings.

Fisheries Awareness week

This year Fisheries Awareness week runs from the 12th to the 20th of May and looks set to be a huge success with 70 events in 22 counties. There are events dedicated to sea angling, pike angling, trout angling and coarse angling and salmon angling as well as family fun days, school days and more. With so much going on there’s sure to be something happening near you, so why not find out more at

Finally all anglers could take a leaf out of Gerry McStraw and the Carlow coarse anglers book who crossed county boundaries and angling codes to  help  clean up a section of  the River Dodder in Dublin.

Tight lines to all,

Paul Bourke

Angling Information Officer.
Catch, Photo, Release

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