After a mild winter, trout anglers returned to Lough Corrib last week, optimistic of a good angling season ahead. The lack of snow and ice this year led to expectations of good early fishing, and there were certainly fish feeding, rewarding anglers who ventured out during the opening week.
In the Greenfields area, a number of anglers reported trout on the fly, including Frank Reilly, who had 2 good trout averaging 2lbs on wetfly patterns. Peter Byrne from Castlebar also had 2 trout for about 2.5lbs, both returned, while Gerry Feeney from Athlone landed a trout of 1.25lbs on fly. Paul Dignam from Ennis also reported a good trout of 2lbs on fly.
In the Dooras-Cornamona area, about 12 boats were out on opening day, mostly trolling, and fly anglers here had less success. Peter Curran from Cornamona had 2 trout trolling for 3.25lbs. Jimmy Molloy from Cong and his son landed 5 trout on the troll, and Padraic Kerrigan caught and released 2 fish for 3.5lbs, also on the troll. Stephen Burns from Cornamona caught and released a 2.5lbs fish while trolling, and Tom Ormond from Meath landed 2 trout on the fly, both returned alive. Over the weekend Peter Curran landed another 2 trout for 3lbs while trolling, and Mike Shanks took his first trout of the season, a nice fish of 1.5lbs caught on a fly of his own tying aka the Shaggy B****d!
On the Oughterard side, Donal Connolly from Nonaim Lodge was on the lakefor opening day with Roger Thompson, who landed one trout on the fly. Harold and Kenny O’Toole from Galway trolled for 2 days and landed 10 trout for approx. 15lbs, best fish was 3lbs. Mark McGauley landed 4 fish over 2 days trolling, best fish 8lbs, and Seamus Kelly landed 3 fish for his day out, including a fine trout of 10lbs. Gareth Molloy landed 3 trout for 5lbs for a day trolling also. Aidan and James Kelly fished the fly on Friday and landed 7 good trout, releasing 3, and Ger Feeney from Headford landed 3 trout on the fly for 5lbs.
The Corrib Predator Team guides were back in ferox action over the weekend and landed a number of big ferox trout, including 8 fish between 50 and 90cm. The 90cm fish was caught by angling guide Jacek Gorny weighed 17lbs 6oz having probably spawned this winter, and like the rest of their catch was released again to put on more weight. Tomi Kurman also had a fish of 83cm which weighed 17lbs, and their guest on Sunday landed a trout of 84.5cm which weighed 16lbs 3oz – a personal best for him. Such is the quality of the ferox fishing on Corrib that neither of the big fish were personal bests for Tomi or Jacek! To book a day fishing with the guys, contact Tomi on 085 731 85 41 or Jacek on 085 774 15 78, check out www.fishingireland.pl or search for the Corrib Predator Team on Facebook.
Fish Stock Survey
Anglers are advised that Inland Fisheries Ireland will be commencing a fish stock survey on Lough Corrib on Monday 27th February. This is the first major survey of trout stocks in the lake since 1996, and involves the use of gillnets to capture fish. Trout that are still alive will be measured, recorded and released alive again, while some fish will be killed and full details recorded, including stomach analysis. The survey will give a good overview of the health of fish stocks in the lake, and will further increase our knowledge of the genetic pool of trout in the lake. This helps identify which are the most important spawning tributaries, and improves our understanding of the ecology of the lake.
All nets will be clearly marked with brightly coloured buoys with IFI SURVEY printed on them. While all nets are set on the bottom and only fish the lowest 2 metres of the water column, those set in shallow areas may be close to the surface. Anglers and other lake users are asked to keep an eye out for marked nets and to avoid them if possible.