There was a great improvement in the weather over the weekend and some fine Spring days earlier this week. Today and yesterday have seen temperatures fall once more and a return to the wind rain we have become more accustomed to. But earlier this week and over the weekend Ireland saw angling activity increase in all areas as fishermen rushed to make the most of the improved conditions.

A fine fat mullet of 7lb 5oz wins Catch of the Week for Myles Kelly
A fine fat mullet of 7lb 5oz wins Catch of the Week for Myles Kelly

Big salmon made the headlines in the last few days with reports of fish to 21lb on the Bandon in Cork , 18.75lb on the Moy in Mayo and 14lb 5oz at the Delphi Fishery in Galway. Other fisheries that are performing well are the Slaney, Lough Currane, Ballisodare and Lough Beltra. The good run of salmon is continuing on the Slaney and one angler had a 14lb fish and a 15lb fish on the same day. At Lough Currane good spring fishing was had on a daily basis and another specimen sea trout was recorded.  Both the Erriff River and the Kylemore Abbey Fishery have reported their first salmon of the season in recent days. Conor O’Leary caught the Erriff’s first fish of the season on Saturday the 20th and Geoffrey Fitzjohn landed Kylemore’s first fish yesterday afternoon at 6.25lb. A few fish were taken on the Munster Blackwater also, and as the levels become more fishable good angling expected as many anglers report sightings of good salmon running the river.

Duckfly are still hatching on Corrib, with no sign of olives in any numbers yet, which means that spring is at least a month behind schedule this year. Normally the olives would be in full swing, with the first hatches of mayfly appearing this week! Lough Mask rose quickly following last week’s rain, and is at least a foot higher at the moment than it has been recently. The duckfly hatch has petered out, but there are plenty of sedges hatching off though again, there is no sign of the Olives yet. Lough Sheelin was dogged last week by days of wild blustery south to south westerly winds which tore across the lake and on some days reached gale force but some great fishing was had by some and one angler had a trout over 8lb. River fly anglers report that water temperatures are still low and fly life scarce. On the Liffey some good trout were had by dint of hard work while on the Monaghan Blackwater a hatch of Olives brought on a rise of smaller trout. The Suir has been in flood for most of the last few weeks but the past few days have seen an improvement in hatches and fish have become far more active with some good reports coming from the Tar, Anner and Nire. Good news from trout anglers on the east coast confirmed that the use of single barbless hooks due to Bye-law 897 of 2012 can be just as effective at holding your quarry even when spinning.

The mild and settled weather of the weekend saw anglers back at sea from Redbay and a good range of species were landed, pollack, coalfish, spurdogs, ling and a few strap congers,  but the best was a skate estimated at 150lb. At the other end of the country mullet were seen back at their usual haunts in Cork Harbour and one lucky angler started his mulleting season with a fish of 7lb 5oz, one of the biggest mullet reported to these offices in a number of years. Reports are also filtering through that bass fishing is picking up again in the Kerry area.

There were 165 anglers on a total of 83 boats in the Lough Ree International Pike Angling Festival where they caught 18 pike measured between 100 and a staggering 113.5 specimen that probably weighed 28lb or so. Dermot Sammon was the overall winner with a 113cm pike and won the €3,000 prize. Two Belgian anglers fished for a week in Longford and landed 79 pike to 92cm. One of the anglers, Eddy Maes was a Catch of the Week winner last year and was hoping to repeat the achievement.  Another pair of Belgian anglers  spent 5 days bellyboating around Ballinamore last week. Initially the angling was difficult but on Saturday one of them had 32 pike with the biggest fish landed measuring 82cm. One of the pair continued his holiday and reports that the pike fishing continued to improve over the last couple of days. Another good pike was reported at Lanesborough where anglers are convinced there are a number of 20lb fish on the prowl. Some great pike reports were also received from Inniscarra where a number of doubles were taken on fly and lure in recent days but concerns have been raised that the levels there have dropped impacting heavily on pike spawning in the lake.

Anglers from Belturbet AC, Cavan CAC, Gowna Match Group and some UK visitors held a knock match at Gulladoo Lake on Sunday. Conditions were tough and an 8lb 4oz bag was enough to secure the win for Paul Leese. Conditions at Oaklands were also difficult but the fish responded better to the tactics on offer and Adrian Browne needed 64lb to take first place. Paul Waghorn reports that conditions have improved somewhat at Lanesborough and that the first tench of the season have been landed there.

Here’s a quick reminder 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 attend a public information meeting to canvass views on the major elements of new inland fisheries legislation, in advance of the statutory consultation period.

The brief respite in the weather has been all too short and there will be a return to cold, wet , windy weather with widespread showers from Friday and northerly winds. The outlook for next week is for the cool and unsettled weather to continue with spells of rain. The nights will be very cold too with sub-zero temperatures and mainly northerly winds.

Tight lines,
Myles Kelly
Catch, Photo, Release

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Michael Patton and Johnny Reddin with Erne Estuary Sea Trout
Michael Patton and Johnny Reddin with Erne Estuary Sea Trout