A 14lb salmon from the Ballyduff Bridge fishery about to be released. #CPRsavesfish

It’s been a hot few days here in Ireland and though it has been glorious, inland the fishing is starting to suffer, though the saltwater fraternity are less inclined to grumble…

In the run-up to the hot weather we had some pretty good salmon fishing. Parts of the country actually had some real, honest to goodness rain and the Moy a had huge catch of about 800 fish. There are plenty of grilse running at the Galway Fishery and they have recorded 255 fish in the last fortnight. Most of the west of Ireland salmon fisheries saw some bit of a run following the rain, but many were quick to drop back to low levels again. In the south and southwest there was some good fishing at times on Lough Currane and the Suir and Munster Blackwater.

Trout anglers are finding that heatwave is really impacting on water levels and water temperatures, with fishing mostly restricted to early morning and late evening. Last week provided good fishing on Corrib, with mayfly, sedges and Caenis getting trout feeding. This heatwave has made things rather more difficult, but the early morning conditions have been perfect for Caenis fishing. On Sheelin it was a similar story but the emphasis was on evening sedge fishing as Caenis hatches have been small so far.

Good roach to over 700g have been reported from venues in Cavan…

Coarse anglers in the Longford area reported that feeder tactics in 18 feet of water produced the goods and some fine sized tench, bream, rudd and roach were landed. In Leitrim, the five day Kilbracken Club Anglers Challenge saw Dave Brettel take first place with 131lbs 13oz. The venues had not been used for match fishing before and the results were really excellent with an average catch of 20lb per angler each day.

Lough Ree Angling Hub hosted the 2018 International Pike Competition on Lough Ree again this year. 150 anglers took part and some great fish were caught. Chris Barry had the biggest fish of the weekend, a fine 108cm pike, but the winning pair were Barry and Jack Darby who had a combined catch of 408.5cm. In Cavan one angler reported some of the best fishing he has enjoyed in recent years. He broke his PB twice in 3 days as big pike raided his roach swim, the best fish coming in at 11kg.

High water temperatures and Catch and Release

Last week we advised pike anglers to allow plenty of time for revival as water temperatures rise. This week with river water temperatures now reaching over 20C, this advice goes to all freshwater anglers. Many fish will already be stressed prior to being hooked, and while we we promote catch-and-release this may not be feasible during a heatwave. This is especially true for salmon anglers, as there is a high probability the fish will not survive. C&R is currently not permitted at the Galway Fishery until the water temperatures fall below 20C. All anglers intending to fish during this hot spell should consider the implications for fish they intend to return and coarse anglers should avoid keeping too many fish in keep nets, or simply not use them at all.

common skate
This huge, monster of a skate – 219lb wins charter boat Loch an Iasc Catch of the Week. #CPRsavesfish

Sea angling is really picking up now. The tope have arrived in Galway Bay, and reef fishing in the area has been very productive too. The first sharks should be reported off the west coast soon as well, with no shortage of good sport being enjoyed by shark anglers off the Cork coast. West Cork anglers are getting some great skate fishing too, with specimens to over 200lb caught and released. There was more specimen smoothhound action reported from Wicklow, while anglers on Killala Bay have been enjoying species fishing over sand and reef. Congratulations go to Janet Snoddy and Aidan O’Halloran who won the women’s  and men’s Master Angler competitions, the finals of which were fished at Kilgorman at the weekend. Bass anglers are reminded that this year all fishing is Catch and Release only and there is no period during which a bag limit applies.

And now the weather…

Met Eireann has issue a Yellow Weather Warning – not wind, or rain, but a new misery for anglers – 30C cloudless days continuing into the weekend. In coastal areas, onshore breezes will moderate the heat to some extent, making it more bearable for some. The outlook is uncertain for Sunday, there may be showers, even heavy ones, but the weather is not set to break yet. The further outlook for the early days of next week is for continuing warm weather with hazy sunshine, although not quite as hot as recent times. As they say down under, Slip, Slap, Slop! Slip on a shirt, slap on a hat and slop on the factor 50.

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

Myles Kelly
Catch, Photo, Release

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