Catch and Release Weekend 2019

The first week of July has been pleasant with dry conditions in most places with light winds and mild temperatures in the low twenties most days; perfect weather for the pleasure coarse angler or boat angler at sea, not so good for the game angler with either trout or salmon in mind. The good spell of weather is set to continue in many parts over the weekend so get out there and enjoy it even if the fish don’t – we might as well.

Having said all that, the salmon fishing hasn’t been too bad this week; the Moy is still fishing well with another 300 fish reported caught up to June 30th. In Connemara, Delphi Lodge reported over 93 fish for the month of June while the Erriff grilse run is building by the day. The Galway Weir has good numbers of fish entering the system too, with the peak of the run happening now and for the next week or two.

Sergio Breton Diez releases a grilse in the Weir Pool on the Moy

In Munster, both the Blackwater and Suir have seen the arrival of good numbers of grilse averaging 5lbs or so. A handful of fish were landed on the Lee. The Ilen has also produced more fish than previous weeks with 19 fish landed on Monday and Tuesday alone – some good double figure fish included in those. Anglers fishing on Lough Currane are catching some salmon and sea trout, early morning starts can make the difference there at this time of the year. We also have mixed reports from Donegal where the Drowse had an estimated 100 fish fish landed for the first part of the week but other rivers, like the Owenea, are struggling with low water conditions.

Anglers are invited to practise ‘Catch and Release’ when fishing for all salmon this weekend, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of July 2019, as part of a Catch and Release Weekend to mark International Year of the Salmon (IYS).  Anglers who participate in catch and release over the weekend can submit their catch details via an online form to earn a #CPRSavesFish merit pin. The new #CPRSavesFish Pins Programme will be available to anglers throughout 2019. Anglers are also invited to share pictures of their catch and release on social media using the hashtags #CPRSavesFish and #YearOfTheSalmon to promote the message of sustainability with the public.

One fish that we would not like to see released this weekend is the invasive pink salmon and we would like to remind anglers to report any captures of this non-native species which are once again beginning to turn up around the country. Anglers are asked to kill and tag any fish they land, then hand them over to an IFI staff member who will replace any tags used.

Trout anglers on the rivers are reporting good hatches of fly and good evening rises; the best of the river fishing will usually be confined to the late evenings in Ireland in July, with the warmer, brighter days keeping the fish sullen until the sun fades. On the loughs, the hatches of sedges are increasing in numbers; once again, the best chance of good fishing at this time of year will be either very late or very early, the days bookended by sedge fishing at one end and caenis at the other.

Pike anglers are having good fishing in the midlands with some excellent catches reported; these include numerous 100cm+ fish taken by lure anglers. Some really exciting piking can be had this time of year, with fish willing to chase after diving lures, flies and even surface lures, before water temperatures become too warm and the fish become less active as a result.

Barry Melon with a new PB – 22lbs and 112cm

On the canals, while we have had reports of excellent tench fishing in the last week, particularly on the Grand Canal, we were disappointed to learn of a fish kill on the Royal Canal at Kilcock, an investigation is currently underway. We encourage all anglers to remain vigilant and to continue to ring the IFI Hotline 0818 34 74 24 with any illegal fishing reports, pollution reports, fish kills or sightings of invasive species.

On the Lower River Bann the 25th European Coarse Angling Championships was held last week, Team Lithuania won the team event and Ramon Ansing of the Netherlands took the individual Gold Medal, congratulations to them.

Anglers line the banks of the Lower Bann

To the coast and charter boats are making the most of this fine spell of weather and some excellent reports have come in this last week. An exceptional smooth hound 0f 22lbs was landed in Wicklow during the week. Willie Roche of IFI and the Irish Specimen Fish Committee gets Catch of the Week for this super fish. In the south we have reports of good fishing for skate and blue shark along with a wide variety of wreck species coming aboard. Back on dry land and some good bass and wrasse have been landed on the south west.

Willie Roche releases his 22lb smooth hound – our Catch of the Week
A Ballinskelligs bar of silver

The Irish Federation of Sea Anglers are also hosting the Home Nations Shore Event this weekend in the Kingdom of Kerry, anglers were met with conditions more akin to Belize than Glenbeigh this morning for day one of the event – the best of luck to the Irish teams competing.

Sunshine and blue skies on Glenbeigh beach

And now the weather……….

Rather cloudy to start the day on Saturday with patchy rain. Drier and sunnier weather will soon develop in Ulster, extending slowly southwards to much of Connacht and north Leinster during the afternoon. Mostly cloudy elsewhere with further patchy outbreaks of rain. Maximum temperatures of 17°C to 21°C.

Sunday will be mostly cloudy across southern and western parts of the country with a few spots of light rain or drizzle in places. Brighter and mainly dry elsewhere though, with the best of any sunshine across Ulster and north Leinster. Top temperatures will range from 16°C to 21°C, in light variable or northwesterly breezes. Becoming mainly dry on Sunday night with variable cloud amounts and some clear intervals. Lows of 7°C to 12°C, coolest in Ulster. Light variable breezes.

Some drizzle early next week as the days become warm and humid with temperatures in the high teens and low twenties in light westerly breezes.

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

Paul O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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