The Bank Holiday weekend saw a veritable explosion in sea angling activity especially for small boat owners. Salmon and trout anglers worked hard with the bright conditions and many fisheries performed well considering the hard sunshine of the last few days. Coarse  anglers had some good fishing too with good catches of bream and tench at venues in the north midlands. While pike anglers have mostly turned their attention elsewhere with the arrival of summer, a few fish continue to be reported.

24lb 6oz spurdog
Tom Walsh caught this 24lb 6oz spurdog, a potential record breaker to win Catch of the Week

There was super tope fishing reported from boats angling off the coasts of Donegal, Louth and Wicklow. Some boats had up to 14 tope landed! The biggest fish reported was a lovely 50.5lb female tope from Carlingford Lough. Off the coast of Antrim a huge spurdog of 24lb 6oz was reported which if ratified by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee will be the new Irish record. In the southwest of the country good shore angling was had by the Totally Awesome Fishing Show crew on the Beara Peninsula where conger, pollack, mullet, bullhuss and thornback rays provided exciting footage. A remote and difficult to access mark on the Waterville coast gave some super results for visiting anglers with some great fish landed, though the lads admit they are unlikely to ever try it again! Charter boat anglers out of Kinsale enjoyed good fishing over the weekend with good ling and red gurnards landed as well as plenty of the usual species.

Bass closed season

Anglers are reminded that there is a closed season for bass from the 15th of May to the 15th of June each year. If you accidentally catch a bass during this period, just return him alive to the sea.

Anglers fishing in the Longford area with Kevin Lyons have enjoyed considerable success with good bags of bream and tench recorded. On the River Shannon at Carrick on Shannon good fish has been reported from the platform. At Lanesborough a pike angler managed to catch a 7lb bream on a copper spoon, unusual but not unheard of. Good fishing has also been reported from the Suck, Mullingar and East Clare lakes.

Some good pike fishing has been reported by tourist anglers on the upper Shannon and some of the smaller lakes in the north of the catchment have also been fishing well. Lough Ree and the River Suck are fishing well according to angler reports and in another fishy tale a trout angler fishing Lough Lene hooked and landed a pike on a Montana nymph.

A big flood on the Owenea in Donegal saw a couple of fish caught last week and the river should be in good order for the next few days. The Drowes reports plenty of grilse in the system now with good numbers being caught despite low water levels but Lough Melvin is quiet for the time of year. Beltra has continued to produce good sport for anglers as more fresh fish entered the system of late. The Ballisodare Fishery had another good week with 109 salmon caught. Meanwhile the water levels on the Moy dropped off quickly throughout the week and as a result conditions are now much more favourable on the lower Moy fisheries than they have been in previous months. The River Erriff has had its best spring run for years and there are high hopes of good summer fishing to follow. The Delphi Fishery had its 3rd best May since 1986 and one lucky angler finished a good week with a great salmon of 17lb 12oz. At the Galway Weir water levels are down again and 22 salmon, mostly grilse, were landed. One salmon was reported on the Feale last week which is running very low, sea trout angling is still a good option though. Not many salmon were reported from the Laune either, though one fine fish of 14.5lb was landed on Monday. Lough Currane had a few good days recently and one angler had a lovely 6lb 2oz sea trout on only his second day sea trout fishing.  Club waters on the River Lee yielded 6 fish last week and the Bandon was also reluctant to give up her salmon with only one reported. The Munster Blackwater is running low now and only one fish was reported from the Fort William Fishery last week. The River Slaney has sprung back into action and a few good salmon have been landed there in recent days.

Huge hatches of Mayfly on Lough Sheelin saw some great catches over the last week and a number of really good fish were reported. The fishing on the lake has been exceptional with over 1,000 trout reported in the last week. Unsurprisingly catches are described as the best in over 40 years! On Lough Mask the good fishing experienced over the past number of weeks has begun to slow a little, mainly due to more challenging weather conditions. Lough Corrib anglers fear the Mayfly may be a bit of a damp squib this year as chopping and changing tactics seems to be the only way to consistently catch trout. Lough Derg is winding down from Mayfly season as trout turn their attention to other species in the food chain. Angling has improved somewhat on Loughs Conn and Cullen with Mayfly hatching in reasonable numbers, as well as hatches of Olives continuing. Lough Ree is starting to warm up now and already an 8lb trout has been caught on a dry Mayfly. As hatches continue more big fish are expected to come on the feed as spents drift out across the lake. River trout anglers report good fishing on the Annalee in Cavan.

ESB Fisheries Notice

No Angling from bridge at O’Brien’s Bridge – ESB has given notice that angling of any kind for any species is prohibited from the bridge between Montpelier, Co. Limerick and O’Brien’s Bridge, Co. Clare. This prohibition comes into effect from 10th June, 2013. Angling upstream and downstream of the bridge is permitted subject to existing regulations.

New Inland Fisheries Act – submissions invited

Readers are reminded that the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd, T.D. invites members of the public and interested parties to send written submissions for consideration by the Department in preparing a new Inland Fisheries Act. The new Act will consolidate, update and amend existing legislation which governs the conservation, protection, management and development of the inland fisheries and sea angling resources. The closing date for receipt of submissions is 5.30pm on 28th June 2013. More information at


The dry settled weather will continue tomorrow and over the weekend with further long hours of sunshine through both Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures will again reach into the low 20’s in many inland places, but light onshore breezes will keep it slightly cooler near the east and south coasts. The weather gradually becomes more unsettled through early next week. On Monday cloud generally increases everywhere, temperatures drop back to more normal values and outbreaks of rain affect Connaught and west Munster later in the day. This will be followed by more widespread and heavier rain through next Tuesday. Another busy weekend ahead for anglers then…

Tight lines,

Myles Kelly
Catch, Photo, Release

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Coarse angling reports

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One in a million - a Lough Sheelin mayfly
One in a million - a Lough Sheelin mayfly