The cooler weather saw even more snow, sleet and hail last week. Luckily the weekend was bright enough and even warm at times, though anywhere exposed to the wind did not benefit from the sun’s efforts. The cold snap slowed the fishing in many places, though those rivers where water levels were suitable soldiered on. Chief amongst these was the Shannon at Lanesborough where the roach made a welcome return, along with some good bream leading to high hopes for the rest of the year…

Day 1 and overall winner 114.5cm
This 114.5cm pike from Lough Ree won the International Pike Festival and also wins Barry Darby and John Crichton Catch of the Week

The Drowes was dropping for much of last week and with little rain in the area only 5 salmon were reported from the river and another 4 from Lough Melvin. Water levels on the Moy also dropped but conditions remained favourable for angling and some fresh double figure spring fish were landed. Despite the cold and gusty northerly winds which prevailed for most of the week, anglers on Carrowmore Lake still enjoyed good spring salmon fishing. A total of 21 fish were reported by anglers of which over 50% were released. The mountains that frame the Delphi Fishery were topped with snow but water levels were still low and very cold. Nonetheless the fish were in fair form and 11 salmon were landed. Water levels on the Laune are described as perfect but only a few sea trout have been reported in the last number of days. There were a few good days on Lough Currane over the last week and 11 salmon and 2 sea trout around 6lb each were reported. The Bandon continues to produce a few fish each week and there were 4 more salmon on the books to last Sunday. The Lee is also giving up the odd fish and of the few caught there were two good ones of 13lb and 14lb. Salmon news from the Munster Blackwater remains scarce though there were fish landed at Ballyduff Bridge, Fortwilliam and Glenda Powell’s Blackwater Salmon Fishery beats.

Trout fishing was hard work on Melvin due to cool conditions and there was little fly life evident. Lough Arrow was much the same and though a few fish were caught, only sheltered bays saw sporadic hatches of duckfly and some olives. The week’s unseasonably cold weather and difficult conditions were also evident on Lough Corrib. Olives were hatching in a number of areas, but fish are slow to switch on to them, and wetfly and buzzer fishing was most effective. It was just as tough on Lough Sheelin with temperatures below zero recorded on some days. There were some good fish in the 4-5lb class reported with that casual dismissiveness that only Sheelin can produce, as even when times are tough Sheelin anglers set the bar high. Stocked fisheries like Emy Lough and Lough Rowan are producing some rewarding sport at this time and it is always worth remembering these gems when conditions make angling impossible on the larger lakes.

The Prosperous Open on the Grand Canal was fished on Sunday in cold conditions. The winning weight was over 7lb, which is good for a canal venue but more exciting was the quality of some of the fish landed. In particular rudd to 1.5lb caused quite a stir. A mini match on the River Suck at Donamon saw similar weights on Sunday and the winning bag came in at 3.5kg. Naas and District Anglers fished their Intermediate Pairs competition on Lough Muckno and found the conditions were more favourable than forecast. Unfortunately the fish did not get the memo and most anglers made up modest enough weights though there were a couple of 4kg bags recorded. In the last couple of days conditions for coarse anglers seemed to have improved. At least that is the situation at Lanesborough where some really stunning fishing was had with weights to over 100lb reported. Amongst the fish are roach to over 1lb and bream to nearly 8lb. Not a bad turn up for the books with the long weekend looming…

Tourist anglers fishing with Kevin Lyons of Melview Lodge have been getting some great pike fishing in the Longford area. A few 20’s have helped to make their holidays memorable. Big fish also featured on Lough Derg where a number of 1oocm plus pike have been landed in the last week. Lough Gowna and Upper Erne Angling Association held a junior competition on Lough Gowna last Sunday and16 boats took part with 32 children participating. Overall heaviest bag was 53lb 10ozs. The really big news for pike anglers last week was the incredible result from the Lough Ree International Pike Festival and World Cup. According to the organisers this was without doubt, the best festival yet with twenty pike landed over the 100cm mark, many of which would have made 20lbs and each of the daily winners were over the 110cm mark – equivalent to approximately 30lbs! Coming in the wake of the  Lough Ree Survey Report, available at:, these results cement Lough Ree’s reputation as one of Ireland’s premier mixed fisheries.

The Dublin based Blackrock SAC fished a competition at South Beach, Arklow on Sunday. Mostly small fish were landed and whiting were the main target for the anglers. The Cobh SAC Light Lines League final was also fished on Sunday. Nearly 3,000 fish were caught and released by the competing anglers and Pat Condon emerged as the overall winner with 2204 points and over 150 fish. In West Cork the charter boat Tigger out of Clonakilty took advantage of calm seas over the weekend and despite the cool temperature plenty of fish were caught. Best of these was a 12lb pollack. Meanwhile in Waterville bass are coming to soft plastics fished deep and slow. John Quinlan tells us that as water temperatures are still cool this is the tactic of choice at the moment.

Finally, IFI announced the establishment of the 2nd National Inland Fisheries Forum (NIFF) earlier this month. Angling federations, groups and individuals are reminded to nominate candidates for membership on the Forum before the deadline, which has been extended to Thursday 5th May. For more information on the National Inland Fisheries Forum please follow this link.

We’d also like to remind anglers about the establishment of a panel of anglers by the ESRI to take part in ongoing surveys. To become a member of the panel please sign-up on the ESRI’s website (It should take less than 1 minute)

The long weekend shouldn’t be too bad for fishing and tomorrow will start mainly dry and sunny. There will be a few showers in the west and elsewhere but also sunny spells. Highest temperatures of 9 to 12 C in light to moderate westerly winds. Sunday will start off mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain. It will brighten up with a mix of sunny periods and some showers for the afternoon. It will be milder with highest temperatures of 12 to 15 C in moderate westerly breezes. The weather will continue changeable through the middle part of next week with rain or showers at times and temperatures in the low to mid teens in the afternoon. At least the snow is gone again for a while!

Safety on the water
As more anglers will take to our waters over the long weekend don’t forget to watch out for your own safety. Wear a lifejacket when you are afloat at sea or fishing from the shore. Anglers fishing from rocks are reminded of the importance of knowing the local tide times and keeping an eye out for rogue waves. Trout anglers, you are in particular being reminded to put on a lifejacket when you step into a boat. And, of course, any anglers who are wading, or fishing the banks of our larger rivers should also be wearing life jackets. Every season there are anglers whose tragic deaths could easily be avoided by this simple step.

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

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to [email protected].


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The FRY Man
The FRY Man. Time for a tea break on Lough Currane