August opened dull and wet and very unsummery. Not great weather for long weekend holiday makers but anglers looking to fish for pike, trout, salmon or coarse species will not be complaining. Last week’s rain had not made much of an impression on our rivers and lakes, but this week should be different. Sea anglers had some great fishing and once again charter boat fishing had some really exciting results. At the weekend one boat had 19 blue sharks before noon…

The Darby Boys Jack and Tyler with a big pike
Catch of the Week goes to the Darby Boys, Jack and Tyler, for helping their father land this fly caught pike

Some good pike fly fishing was reported from Midlands lakes last week by Brian Darby. His sons win Catch of the Week for helping Dad catch the fine pike shown in the photo. Enjoyable perch and pike fishing was also reported from Lough Ennell. Good summer piking was also reported from venues on the Lower Shannon and in Co. Meath.

Finally an end to the drought for some salmon fisheries, and some great sport has been had already. More rain today and over the weekend should see water levels returning to near-normal and plenty of salmon caught. The weekend saw a small dirty flood on the Owenea and only a few sea trout were reported. The Drowes remained low all last week and only a handful of fish were landed. Despite the poor conditions and low water at Ballisodare, 99 salmon were caught for the week, even though angling effort was low. Water conditions have continued to hamper the mid-river and upstream fisheries of the Moy, with just a few of these fisheries reporting good fishing for the week although downstream the Moy Fishery fished reasonably well with 95 salmon caught. Following a flood at Kylemore on Thursday last week the river produced 16 fish for just 3.5 rod days giving Neil Spellacy 6 fish to 8lb, and Geoffrey Fitzjohn another 6 fish for his day’s effort. The rain at Delphi reportedly drove the salmon crazy but not mad enough to take what was on offer. Some nice fish were landed but better is expected after this week’s rain. The Erriff River saw the big build-up of salmon and sea trout which were lying in the estuary run upstream on last week’s spate with over 600 salmon and 200 sea trout recorded on the fish counter at Aasleagh Falls. Some good fishing was had but, again, there is better fishing expected. The grilse run has continued at Galway, with plenty of fish still showing in the river on a daily basis. With more fish being hooked and lost this week than landed there were 19 fish recorded for the week. The rain needed to improve the fishing on the Laune has come and though a few fish were met last week all eyes are on the coming days. There were some fine salmon and grilse reported from Lough Currane earlier this week as well as sea trout to 5lb though yesterday’s flood made for dirty conditions. Fishing in the smaller rivers in Kerry and West Cork was pretty slow due to extremely low water and it was the same story for the Bandon and the River Lee. The Munster Blackwater saw a run of fish following last week’s rain and one beat on the upper river had 20 salmon on Thursday afternoon though catches elsewhere were more modest. As with just about everywhere else this rain is expected to lead to some great salmon fishing over the next few days.

Fly anglers on Lough Sheelin are having a tough time of it as the trout remain on the fry and have not really switched to Green Peters and Murroughs yet, despite some big hatches. Lough Ennell fished much the same and a recent night time competition saw only one fish caught. Lough Lene’s trout are also in deeper cooler water and sinking line tactics need to be employed to get amongst the feeding fish. One trout lake reporting good fishing was Pallas where terrestrials have taken a lot of fish recently. Fishing on the Rivers Camcor and Brosna was also reported to have improved as the Croneen trout began their run.

Congratulations go to John Potters, winner of the NCFFI All Ireland competition fished at Killykeen. Congratulations also go to Emma MacMahon who won the ladies competition and to Darryl Mason, Ryan Brady and Jamie Edward who won their categories at Junior All Ireland. In general coarse fishing on the River Shannon has dramatically improved during the past week with some nice bags being recorded. With an increase in water levels and a drop in water temperature fish seem to be adjusting back to their usual feeding patterns. Good catches were again reported by anglers fishing in the Longford area. Good roach and bream catches were reported from venues in Co. Cavan.

Some very exciting sea angling was reported over the weekend. Dutch anglers out of Downings had a satisfactory week’s fishing landing 21 species including 8 skate to 180lbs, over 40 tope to 38lbs and 25 conger to 21lbs. Good fishing was also reported in Donegal Bay. Anglers fishing out of Enniscrone had 18 species over 2 days. Further south at Courtmacsherry fishing has really picked up after a slow start to the season. Earlier this week great fishing was had despite the weather and cod 18lb, conger to 30lb, blue sharks and more featured in the catches. On Sunday a charter boat from Kinsale took to the sea at 6am. The early start proved the right move and blue sharks were caught before the chum trail had been started! The boat finished the day with 19 shark landed and many more runs and lost fish. East coast angling also had some high points and the tope and ray fishing continues to provide lots of sport and excitement at Wicklow and Courtown.

ESB Bass Tagging Project in Cork Harbour

The ESB Sea Bass Tagging Project is an exciting collaborative research project taking place in Cork Harbour over the next two years. The project’s main objective is to tag 60 sea bass with acoustic transmitters so that researchers can acoustically track their movements through the harbour.  Tagged fish will carry a floy tag imprinted with contact details. If you catch a tagged fish, please release it back into the harbour and report the capture to the CMRC.

Prospects

There is some very unsettled weather ahead with plenty of rain forecast. Met Eireann tells us that Friday will start mainly dry with sunny spells but showers will break out in most areas by afternoon. Isolated thunderstorms may develop and some heavy downpours are possible up to late evening. Winds light to moderate, southwest to west generally, but fresh at times in the northwest. Saturday will be dry in many places but isolated showers will develop for a time; winds will be moderate, southwesterly and temperatures will be near normal for early August. There is some uncertainty about the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend but it seems likely that rain will spread north on Sunday to affect many places and may turn heavy for a time in southern and southeastern counties. However, parts of the west and northwest may escape with little or no rain. The eastern half of the country may see further rain overnight into Monday while the west stays mainly dry. Rain in the east should then clear by Monday afternoon and sunny spells will spread from the west. Winds will be light or moderate, westerly and temperatures will maintain normal values. Uncertainty increases further into next week. While there are indications that Tuesday and Wednesday next may be dry apart from only a few showers, threats of rain and quite strong winds are suggested for later in the week. It might be a hit and miss in some places depending how the winds develop but the rain will be welcomed by coarse and game anglers alike.

Tight lines,

Myles Kelly
Catch, Photo, Release

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