The better weather conditions in the past week has certainly brought out more and more anglers to many different waters in freshwater and at sea all around Ireland.  This week’s update has a huge amount of angling news and it was very hard to pick a Catch of the Week due to the many outstanding catches that were recorded.

One of the first of these was the outstanding catch taken by Brian Hennessy of Waterford on the River Slaney.  Brian hooked on fly three big salmon up to 20 lb. which were all released.  Ian Powell reported that the very bright conditions did impact on the salmon fishing but there were reports of some fish taken at Ballyhooly.  It was another good week for salmon fishing but it was mainly regular Dutch visitors who were catching on the lough in the past week.  Elsewhere in the Cork Kerry area there was some big salmon reported from the Killarney area. Dropping water levels have improved salmon fishing at the Weir in Galway with some nice springers up to over 13 lb. reported.  It was very tough for anglers fishing at Delphi where great runs of spring salmon were observed but were hard to tempt with only five salmon recorded for the week. Up in the North West, Seamus Henry reported an improvement in the salmon fishing on Carrowmore Lough where eight fish were taken on fly on Saturday last week.   Salmon fishing is improving on the River Moy every week with 60 salmon reported from all the fisheries in the past week with some fish taken on fly. Salmon fishing on the River Drowes was good on some days last week but the bright conditions did not help good fishing on other days.   Nearby trolling on Lough Melvin produced four salmon for the week and a beautiful trout of 9.5 lb.  There was good spring salmon fishing reported from the River Lackagh where fish to 12 lb. were recorded by anglers fishing tube flies. Nearby on the Gweebarra River, the Brothers Schoales caught two fine salmon both on a Garry Dog tube fly.  I have to thank John McLaughlin of the Lough Swilly Angling centre for most of the Donegal reports including news from the River Finn where there was some nice spring salmon fishing on the Cloghan Lodge Salmon Fishery with salmon to 15 lb. reported.

Mark O'Regan with a magnificent pike of 115 cms from Lough Ree on a lure
Mark O’Regan wins Catch of the Week with a magnificent pike of 115 cms from Loug

Martin McKenna, Pro of the Emy Lough anglers in Co. Monaghan reported some good trout fishing and also the first report of Mayfly appearing on an Irish Lough.  Angling guide Rob Love reported that there were very hatches of large dark olives on the River Liffey and he enjoyed some super dry fly fishing.  Rob was also guiding a few clients up on the waters in Carton House where the sheet of water produced some nice rainbow fishing but the main Rye Lake was quieter with cool easterly winds all week.  David Tantrum from the Waterford anglers reports that the fishing on Carrigavantry and Knockaderry is going well and that there will be free fishing on the 23rd of May for all young anglers as part of Fisheries Awareness Week.   The bright conditions did not help anglers fishing on Lough Corrib last week and some big fish were caught at times but better hatches of olives and the first few Mayfly have been seen hatching in the last few days should bring more angling pressure on the lough.  Hatches of olives and Campto buzzers appeared on Lough Mask last week and there was plenty of action with very good trout fishing reported.   The bright cool conditions did not help anglers out trout fishing on Lough Conn but nonetheless fishing was quiet good at times during the week.

Angling guide Kevin Lyons from Melview Lodge in Longford had a party of French anglers out all week fishing for pike and they recorded 163 fish up to 103 cms along with a few trout on other days last week.  Angling guide Pierre Monjarret had a busy week with clients on Lough Derg out from Killaloe and big lures brought many pike over a metre to his many visitors over the week.  In the northern end of Lough Derg angling guide Paul Bourke had many clients in the last week and they enjoyed some superb pike fishing with many fish over a metre caught and released.  Nearby the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs hosted the final Championship on an East Clare lough and the fishing was good for the 50 qualifiers with David Murphy from Newbridge winning on the day with five pike including a good pike of 22 lb. 2 oz. in his overall bag of 37 lb. 2 oz.  The Lough Ree international Festival and World Cup was held last week and the fishing was superb with many pike over a metre recorded in each of the three days.  An Austrian visitor, Raimund Petscharnig caught the winning longest pike of 113 cm to win the cup.  The winning longest catch over three days went to Joe and Jason McDermott from Longford.  On Tuesday, well known angling guide Mark O’Regan was out practising for the big event on Lough Ree and hooked and released a magnificent pike of 115 cms. which wins our Catch of the Week and Mark would have won the competition that followed if he caught this great fish on any of the competition days. 50 boats fished the Upper Erne European Predator Challenge out from the Watermill Fishing Lodge centre at Lisnaskea last week.  In bright sunshine, competitors caught a great range of pike and overall winner was Tony Brennan with a good pike of 16 lb. 4 oz.  DCAL inland fisheries were on hand with seven weighing stations to ensure every pike weighed went back in good condition.

It was tough going also at Concra Wood on Lough Muckno where Neil Mazurek won the Ballybay knock up with 6.550 Kgs. of mainly roach.  18 anglers fished the first round of seven matches on Lough Egish last Sunday and fishing was very tough in the cool conditions and roach were taken in small bags with Kevin Maguire winning the match.  52 anglers fished the NCFFI Senior Canals competition on the Grand Canal at Daingean and nice small catches were enjoyed by all the competitors.  One of the great catches reported this week was the 13 lb. carp caught in the Lough in Cork City were well known angling guide Sidney Kennedy assisted his three year old daughter Amy in catching this fine fish.  The biggest catches reported this week were in the prolific waters on the upper dam section of Inniscarra Lake where Trevor Platt won a very keenly contested match catching 450 fish for 29.500 Kgs!  At long last the first tench of the year was reported from the hot water section of the River Shannon at Lanesboro.

Peter Cunningham from Drogheda reported a good improvement in shore fishing along the Co. Louth coastline with good flounders and some bass taken on ragworm.  Kayak angler Brian McCall reported a great improvement in cod fishing which fishing off the Co. Down coast.  There was a great improvement in bass fishing this past week and Cobh anglers Pat O’Shea had a couple of days great sport finishing by catching a super specimen of 10.5 lb. Also in Cobh, angling guide Richie Ryan reported good sport for mullet on the fly in the past week describing them as the “Irish Bonefish”.  Dave Edwards, skipper of the “Tigger” in Clonakilty reported that he brought a party out to deep water at the weekend where they caught plenty of codling and pollack to 7 lb. in 150 ft. of water.  Angling guide John Quinlan reported very good bass fishing for his clients in the Waterville, Cahersiveen areas in Co. Kerry including 10 bass in a day on the fly for Daryl Wilkinson.  Kayak angling is getting so popular these days that two anglers fished in Tralee Bay catching good flounders and a lovely undulate Ray among other fish.  Charter skipper Luke Aston reported another good week for parties of anglers fishing out near Loop Head catching lots of pollack again and up to 8 lb. along with some nice Cod to 5 lb. and whiting around the 2 lb. mark.  Another Kayak angler, Gary Robinson reported that he had another good day catching strings of pollack in Galway Bay last week.  Charter skipper Daryl Ewing reports that big pollack and plenty of mackerel along with Codling and other species were taken on the first trip of the year in Sligo Bay.  More kayak fishing was reported on in waters off Donegal where some anglers caught a great range of fish including some fine coalfish taken on frozen mackerel.

It has been an incredible week for fishing all over Ireland and with the first reports of a few Mayfly seen in the west and in the north east of Ireland angling activity will increase further.  Be safe as always when going afloat and wear a life jacket at all times when out boat fishing on inland waters or at sea

Tight lines especially in Ireland,

Paul Bourke

Catch, Photo, Release

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fly fishing in saltwater
Mullet on the fly