Bright day on the Laune
Bright day on the Laune. Salmon still scare but some lovely sea trout reported.

Not a bad week of fishing considering the cold snap and dry conditions which see many rivers running low. As we approach May Day the salmon fishing is improving in the west, hatches are increasing on a number of lakes, the size of the catches in coarse angling festivals is growing, pike are starting to regain condition after spawning and the sea anglers are probably doing best of all with good shore and boat fishing reported…

While the salmon fishing across the south and south west has not really started to fire on all cylinders yet, there were a few fish reported from the Munster Blackwater, Bandon, and Lough Currane. It was in the west where the majority of the better reports came from as good numbers of fish were met on the Galway Fishery, Carrowmore and the the River Moy. Further north the Drowes did well enough considering the low water conditions there.

Trout to 7lb were caught on fly but this 19lb 1oz behemoth was caught and released by David Ryan trolling

Lough Corrib’s fishing was a bit like the famous parson’s egg – good in places. While plenty of anglers watched good numbers of fly coming off, mostly Olives and Buzzers, not as many figured out the right approach. Those that did had some great fishing and a number of trout between 4lb and 7lb were reported. The biggest trout reported was a 19lb 1oz lump, caught and released by David Ryan on the troll.  On Mask the best of the fishing on calmer days to buzzer and olive patterns in sheltered bays. Lough Sheelin echoes this report and it fished well on the days when the temperatures pushed into double figures and huge buzzer hatches resulted. It was much the same on most of rivers and lakes and hopefully the forecast of settled, mild conditions will see trout angling really take off.



Pleasure anglers looking for tench, bream, roach, rudd and hybrids are getting good enough fishing in many parts lately. Popular venues across Cavan, Monaghan and Longford are all producing good catches. Some really big bags were seen at Lanesborough last week and one angler managed 100lb of hybrids while others had tench to over 5lb. Staying on the Shannon, down river at Portumna the Festival there saw daily catches to over 40lb during the week. Last week’s Easter 2 Festival on Muckno had bags into double figures each day for the top anglers. Carp fisheries did pretty well in the last week with really big bags reported from Oaklands and Gaulmoylestown.

Jacks are dominating catches for many pike anglers but as the female fish start to recover following spawning bigger fish are starting to show, but you might have to work your way through a lot of smaller fish to get there. One group of Dutch anglers used every lure in the box to see what might make a difference at a few Longford venues and caught plenty of fish but the bigger pike only showed towards the end of their trip.

Best specimen of the weekend went to Mike Sherwood coming in at 199lb
Catch of the Week goes to Mike Sherwood for this 199lb common Skate

Charter boat anglers have been enjoying good specimen fishing at Wicklow. Of the 46 female spurdogs caught in the last few weeks, 36 have been specimens. The Borough SAC enjoyed good fishing at Kilmore Quay and while plenty of fish were caught it was the cod that impressed most and one fine fish of 11.5lb was taken. In West Cork a group of shore anglers using the humble lugworm as bait had gilthead bream, flounder and bass in an evening session, while offshore small boat and charter boat anglers also met with success. Pollack on fly provided the sport for the small boats but it was “big boat, big fish” for those fishing with Tom Collins on Loch an Iasc as 3 specimen skate were landed. The biggest, 199lb, is our Catch of the Week. Good fishing was also reported from anglers afloat and ashore in Kerry, Clare, Mayo/Sligo and Donegal.

As it is a Bank Holiday weekend many will be in a rush to get lines in the water. Don’t forget to stay safe. Check the weather – there are Small Boat Warnings and Status Yellow Rainfall Warnings in operation at this time. Check the tides. Don’t take risks. Wear a life jacket.

Finally, the weather – Saturday will be mostly cloudy and windy, with patches of rain and drizzle, especially in Munster and along the west coast. The best of any brighter intervals will be in the northeast. Highest temperatures of 11C to 13C with freshening southerly winds. On Sunday morning, persistent or heavy rain will affect much of the country and there will be a risk of flooding.  Highest temperatures of 10C to 14C with fresh southeast winds. Monday will be dry and sunny spells will develop with highest temperatures of 13C to 16C and light variable breezes. The rest of the week will be mild or warm and mostly dry. A Bank Holiday Monday and the conditions look promising. If you’re not already fishing, then that’s the day!

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

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

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