As the farming community congregate on Tullamore for their annual Ploughing Championship and the All Irelands pit one county against another, we feel the urgency to catch that ‘big’ one before the end of the season.  The River Suir breathed a sigh of relief this week with a super salmon and sea anglers in Clare rubbed their eyes as a monster Six Gill rocked the boat for Luke Aston…..

It was great to see some big fish being caught before the season’s finale comes. Many of the rivers didn’t perform as good as previous years. The Moy has a tally of 5,619 so far this year, which is down on last year’s figure.  This week did see 130 salmon reported though, with visiting German tourists taking the cream of the crop.  Despite the difficult conditions the East Mayo water provided some reasonable fly fishing during the week.  Erriff fished well too with fresh fish still entering the system. The upper garden pool was the spot where UK angler Peter Unsworth caught a 4.6lb fresh grilse on a stoat’s tail. –   It was sea trout that provided the action at Eske Fishery and down at  Currane, where they ranged from Junior Class up to a fine 4lber.  The Laune remained silent during the week and so did the Owenea Fishery.  The Lee saw 13 salmon landed for the week; the best was 9lbs caught on a fly.  The Bandon welcomed a few fresh fish with the high tide and hope to see big fresh multi sea winter fish before the season ends – often referred to as ‘Blackberry fish’ by the locals.

Fort William on the Munster Blackwater was delighted to see a few heavy weights during the week. Tim Keane from Dublin caught and released a fine salmon which measured 39.5″ long and was estimated at 23lbs.  They also had some ranging from 12lbs to 16lbs.  Blackwater Salmon Fishery reports a busy September so far with some fine fish in their spawning colours.   Steady water levels on the Drowes saw an improvement on last week and the river fished well with some 20 salmon caught up to 12lbs. The star of the week came in at the River Suir, Co Tipperary. This 30lb+ cock salmon was about a week in off the tide and one of about 20 multi sea winter autumn fish caught since the last flood on the Suir cleared.  Angler Owen Jackman caught the salmon on a home tied fly, Golden Flamethrower.  This cracking fish is our ‘Catch of the Week’ and hopefully we will meet up with him another day.

Owen Jackman with his PB River Suir salmon - a 30lb plus cock fish is our 'Catch of the Week'
Owen Jackman with his PB River Suir salmon – a 30lb plus cock fish is our ‘Catch of the Week’

Martin McGorian of Dodder Anglers won the Interprovincial that was fished on Lough Melvin recently and will now represent Ireland in the Four Nations Home International in Scotland in 2017. We wish him well. Lough Sheelin proved that where anglers put in effort, success wasn’t too far away.  As the trout become restless in their need to migrate to spawn anglers have to keep their wits about them. 47 trout were caught this week, the heaviest  being 6lbs + by Gary McKiernan.  A stunning coloured brownie was the catch for HF McCloy on Lough Mask who had a double hook up with both fish over 14 inches.  Wets, drys and dabs drew in some Corrib trout averaging 2 to 3lbs.  While at the Woodquay Last Cast Competition, first and second place saw two trout at 4.35lbs and 4.20Lbs respectively.  Lough Melvin fished well for trout, mainly Sonaghan, over the deep water drifts but salmon anglers didn’t fare as well.  A newly stocked Carrigavantry in Co. Waterford reminds us of the Dick Doyle competition on Sunday 25th of Sept.  The PRO tells us that the Autumn weather usually brings on a feeding frenzy of brown trout looking to take advantage of any terrestrials that get blown on the water.

The junior anglers were in action at Inniscarra, where the U15, U20 and U25 qualifiers for the 2017 FIPS-ed World Youth Angling Championships took place. Way up the country the Belturbet Autumn Festival was won by Wayne Fuller with 54.420kg.  A total weight of 850kg was recorded on the day.  Eighty one anglers took part on a miserable day in the Annual Arva King of Clubs Festival where Kevin Rowles was the king with 63.280kg.

Friendships were formed as the Killinarden anglers had a 24 hour friendly at Lough Ree, Lanesborough. Saturday saw perfect weather and catches of bream, hybrids, tench, perch, roach and rudd.  A great day and well worth the journey.

The Midlands was the venue for some great pike fishing this week. Jimmy Murray of Queens, New York hit some crackers on the fly while out with guide Mick Flanagan.  On Lough Corrib, Aidan Traynor had a right battle on his hands when a cracking 23lbs 7ozs pike tested his skills against him in a great battle.  He finally gave up, had his picture taken quickly and swam away to fight another day.  But not before breaking Aidan’s landing net!

Screaming Reels made headlines again when it won the Rosslare Small Boats Festival for the eighth year. Fantastic prizes were on offer worth in the region of €20,000, including fishing equipment, cash prizes and engraved trophies.  A tight competition with gale force winds delaying the start of the competition.  36 different fish species were recorded in total throughout the festival.

Kayaker Gary Robinson braved the seas down in Kerry but his only bounty was a few wrasse and some small Pollack. Kinsale charters had bigger prey in their sights and the south coast provided them with good size porbeagles.  A much bigger chunky monster emerged for Carrigaholt Skipper Luke Aston.  This Six Gill shark estimated to be about 1,100lbs is one of many he has caught over the years. Fellow skipper Seán Maguire reports good shoals of big mackerel in the area too.

1,100lb monster ...
1,100lb monster …for Luke Aston

On Friday southerly winds will be fresh or strong generally, and will reach gale force at times in exposed parts of the southwest and west. Highest temperatures 15 to 17 degrees Celsius.  Saturday should be mild and windy with outbreaks of rain, locally heavy, clearing to showers in the west later. The outlook for next week is for a continuation of a mobile Atlantic airflow bringing mixed conditions across Ireland. There will be sunny spells and good drying intervals but spells of rain and passing showers at times also. Temperatures around average and overall quite a windy period with gales at times at sea and rough seas.

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.

Nancy Hearne

Catch, Photo, Release

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Nature at it's best from Sheelin
Nature at it’s best from Sheelin