Predator Battle Lough Derg
Anglers head out to fish the Predator Battle on Lough Derg

As the game fishing season winds down pike, coarse and sea angling continue to provide plenty of thrills for anglers all over Ireland. Most trout and salmon fisheries will close at the weekend for another year but that doesn’t mean anglers will be hanging up their boots by any means…

Water has been a problem on most salmon fisheries in the last month. Rainfall created floods that seemed to go on and on at many rivers, but having said that in some places there was good fishing to be had. The Munster Blackwater reported some great days in the last couple of weeks right up to the current flood. Fishing was tough on Bandon as water levels were up and down continuously. A few fresh fish were taken recently but resident salmon are making up the bulk of catches. Anglers on Lough Currane have caught and released salmon to 13lb and sea trout to 10.5lb in the last week and the fishing there seems to have improved a bit. Bright and gaudy flies seem to be working better this past week on the Erriff where anglers are looking forward to enjoying the last of what has been a terrific 2017 angling season. With only three days remaining until the 2017 salmon season will come to an end, the Moy system produced just over 100 fish for the past week. Angling conditions remained poor throughout the week as high water levels persisted on most days. The Drowes continues to produce fresh fish as the late run continues but the majority of salmon being met are stale fish. There were a couple of good floods on the Owenea last week and some decent salmon have been landed.

Anglers on Corrib are reporting slow to moderate sport for the time of year. A drop in temperatures resulted in less hatches and heavy recent rainfall caused lake levels to rise. The majority of fish are being taken on wet fly but the dapped cricket has tempted a few trout in recent days too. There was a persistent, disagreeable and unseasonable mix of continuous rain, nightly chills and contrary wind on Sheelin last week so it is no surprise the anglers described the fishing as a challenge. Some good trout were landed and though sedges continue to hatch wets were again the tactic of choice.

Hanne-Lydia Righton, with her dad Michael, holding her beautiful ferox trout from the Cong River
Hanne-Lydia Righton, with her dad Michael, holding her beautiful ferox trout from the Cong River

Catch of the Month goes to Hanne-Lydia Righton who caught and released an 82cm trout on the Ashford Castle beat of the Cong River at the end of August. The fish was estimated to weigh 14lb and is well and truly a catch of a lifetime for this junior angler.

It was another thrilling week of the best fishing Ireland has to offer in the Lakelands & Inland Waterways World Pairs Angling Championships. It ended with the 2016 runners-up Michael Buchwalder, (Preston Innovations) and Rod Scott (Sensas) scooping the prestigious title and the €10,000 prize. There are no end to prizes and categories in this event which makes it popular with a broad mix of anglers. At the recent Arva King of Clubs 2017 festival  63 anglers caught a total of 2,369.925kg of fish. Mixed weather conditions prevailed throughout the week but good weights were recorded each evening. In the end Tony Hopkins won the event with 66.790kg. In other coarse angling news Connaught won the Inter Pros on Inniscarra and Dave Brooks won the Portumna Angling Festival.

Igor Klosowki and Rafal Pelc won the Predator Battle fished on Lough Derg last week. The competition saw a number of big pike landed, but this competition is fished on length and the winning pair boated 512cm of pike, perch and trout. The biggest pike of the competition was a fine 109cm fish landed by Damien Culliney and Kevin Lyons.

Team Goldielocks scored an impressive victory in the Cork Small Boats Festival of 2017. It was a first CSBF title for skipper Malcolm Neild and team mate Dan Davies whose skills and tactic were just right. The event was fished in near-perfect conditions in Cork Harbour and surrounding waters and the winning crew landed 28 different species. Staying in the south west, Kerry anglers are reporting some great bass catches, particularly on soft plastics. In other shore angling news Ruairi Coleman won the Connacht closed Gold medal and Ray Toner cup in the Erris area of Mayo while Aidan O’Halloran won the Tubertini West Coast Shore League title with a magnificent 4 wins out of 6. Freshwater floods were heavy enough to impact sea angling in some areas and Killala Bay was no exception. Nonetheless a group of angler charter boat fishing at the weekend had cod, ling, pollack, pouting, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, coalfish, scad and some lesser spotted dogfish on the first drift of the day so it wasn’t all bad news.

As crayfish plague has been confirmed in the River Barrow anyone using the river is being urged to observe the Check, Clean and Dry protocol. All wet gear should be checked for any silt or mud, plant material or animals. It then should be cleaned and finally dried. Disinfectant or hot water (over 60C) should be used to clean all equipment followed by a 24hr drying period should be adopted as standard practice in all freshwaters. Drying is especially important, including removing of any water from inside a boat and disposing of it on grass. A drying period of at least 24 hours is needed to ensure that a boat is clear of infectious organism.

The outlook for the weekend is for unsettled weather with spells of wet and breezy or even windy weather. Current indications suggest Saturday night will be the wettest, windiest period. Highest temperatures will range a near normal 15C to 17C, with warmest conditions further east. South to southwest winds will be fresh and gusty.

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

Myles Kelly
Catch, Photo, Release

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