The Arctic weather continued on during this week stretching disappointingly right into the Easter weekend as anglers watched on apprehensively trying to find a gap to take to the water.

Why is it so persistently and unseasonably cold? Well the villain of the piece is a big blob of high pressure air sitting perched above northern Scandinavia which has refused to budge since early March and which is blocking off the normal westerlies and the mild Atlantic air that we usually get at this time of the year and instead is channelling bitterly cold easterlies in our direction.  Because of the extent of the high pressure the source of air is from the very far east in Siberia and until the blockage moves we are stuck in this weather trap and remain shivering.

Kilnahard pier, good Friday March 29th
Kilnahard pier, good Friday March 29th

It was the North East wind that put a nail in it for even the ‘die hards’ on Lough Sheelin and the waiting game continued all through the week.  The lake, however seemed unperturbed and stretched out in front of its anglers covered in white horses and churned up water oblivious to the frustration building up on its shoreline in the form of fishermen donned in their gear accompanied by an array of flies, rods and the essential flask, only to have to turn away once more. The Easter weekend is traditionally busy on the lake but this year only a smattering of anglers went out and without sounding like a broken record the only reason for this was the bitter cold.

Paul Lunny’s  trout March 31st 2013
Paul Lunny’s trout March 31st 2013

Some anglers despite everything and through sheer perseverance did catch fish and one in particular Paul Lunny from Ballyconnell in Cavan had a real battle on his hands on Easter Sunday when he caught a trout in Chambers Bay.  This trout did not come easy as the fish rose to the top dropper and was hooked in the dorsal fin by the middle dropper.  This left it very hard to control and in the ensuing battle, Paul got his net tangled in the engine while trying to reverse towards the fish.  The engine stalled, the net was destroyed, and poor Paul had to beach the boat on Chamber’s shoreline in order to land the fish. The trout measured 19.5 inches and weighed around the 4 ½ lb mark and after all that showing true conservationist spirit, Paul carefully released his hard to catch prize back to fight another day.

Easter Sunday March 31st – an angler battles his way across towards the shelter of Church Island
Easter Sunday March 31st – an angler battles his way across towards the shelter of Church Island

Paul also lost a fish in Ross Bay on the same day but has caught a number of trout since the beginning of the season, this is a young angler who shows true promise for the future.

 

Dry fly fishing as yet doesn’t feature on the lake so for now it’s all ‘dragging the wet flies’.  Flies used this week were a selection of  Dabblers, the March Brown, the Silver Invicta, the Glister Ollie, the Hare’s Ear and the Cock Robin and still as in previous weeks the lures used were predominantly the black or fan coloured Minkies.

Peter Boyle’s beautiful wild 4 lb Sheelin trout caught using a Cock Robin March 2013
Peter Boyle’s beautiful wild 4 lb Sheelin trout caught using a Cock Robin March 2013

Anglers advisably kept to the shorelines and sheltered bays and could be found in various alcoves and behind islands, the choice of location solely dependent on wind direction and of course on some days shelter from the showers of sleet and hail…

Warm up before fishing
A warm up was essential before going out on Sheelin for this month. Tadhg (7) and Oisin Sheridan (9) at Finea bridge March 24th after taking 1st and 2nd place in GAA 5km fun run around the Sheelin Catchement to raise much needed funds for the local clubs – and then it was fishing.

 

Sheelin Classic trout competition

The popular Sheelin Classic trout competition now in its 9th year will be run on Lough Sheelin on Sunday June 9th 2013 – 11am to 6pm.  This is a heaviest fish competition with a 15” size limit and only 2 fish per competitor.

This is a competition well worth marking in your diary and because of the popularity of the Sheelin Classic and to avoid disappointment, it is advisable to secure your entry sooner rather than later by contacting Noel McLoughlin at 087 2179460 for further information

There will be numerous prizes which include:

  • 1st 19ft Sheelin boat & trailer & crystal & the coveted Davey O’Connor perpetual cup
  • 2nd 5 hp 4 stroke outboard engine & crystal

A catch & release policy is actively encouraged on the lake at all times

Please remember anglers that the size limit on this lake is 30 cm (11.8 inches) – we need our small fish alive…….

The heaviest fish for the week was by Paul Lunny, Ballyconnell at 4 1/2lbs

Total catches recorded for the week:  9

One of the many Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association’s signs to encourage trout preservation on the lake
One of the many Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association’s signs to encourage trout preservation on the lake