Finally a summer flood

After weeks of low water nationwide we finally had some rainfall in the last week to freshen things up. Salmon and salmon anglers were the ones who benefited most, the water levels came up slightly, peaked in most parts on Sunday through Monday and led to decent fishing in the early part of the week. Water levels are dropping back now though and, while there are showers forecast for the coming week in places, it may not be enough to sustain the decent fishing that was and levels are likely to drop back to summer lows….

Sea anglers don’t mind a lack of rainfall, although the breezy conditions we have had lately aren’t ideal for charter boats. Having said that, there are still good numbers of elasmobranchs getting caught off all coasts (that’s sharks, skates and rays to you and me). In the east, there are still good numbers of tope, smoothhounds and bull huss, while over in Galway Bay the first blue shark of 2019 are turning up, along with some good tope.

In the south, some nice ray and skate (including a specimen or two) have been landed – along with Dutch visitor Piet’s stone basse, caught aboard Loch an Iasc in Union Hall. Piet’s stone basse wins our Catch of the Week simply because we don’t see them very often in the Irish Angling Update!

Piet’s stone basse wins our Catch of the Week

Further north, the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers held their 2019 Boat Master Angler competition out of Killybegs at the weekend; thirty-two anglers took part over the two days and Sean Og McShane came out on top so congrats to him.

Master Boat Angler 2019 Sean Og McShane

Shore anglers have been out too with a good variety of species making up the catches; one species that hasn’t featured much for shore anglers yet is the mighty mackerel, reports are that plenty are being landed offshore but no real signs of them coming close enough for the land based angler yet.

Not many reports from pike anglers this week, the one place we do have some good reports from is Lough Derg where anglers have recorded some pretty impressive fish. The pike seemed to switch on with the rainy weather of last weekend and the windy weather early in the week; during this spell some fairly hefty fish of 110cm+ were landed.

The Dubs on Derg got several 90cm+ fish

Coarse angling has been excellent in parts of the upper Shannon and lakes in Monaghan. Some big bags of bream were landed in Longford and a number of successful competitions were held on Lough Muckno where, as ever, every angler caught a respectable number of fish.

Conor Browne with a decent haul from Muckno

River trout fishing has been good this week and the river Dodder, possibly our finest urban stream, hosted the I.T.F.F.A Leinster Rivers competition at the weekend. Fourteen anglers took part, over 200 fish were recorded on the day and Shane Callan of Dundalk came out on top.

On the loughs things have been slower, a quiet week was reported on Corrib while the 82 anglers fishing the McConville Cup on Mask only managed 22 fish above minimum size. Joe Creane followed up his success in the European Cup earlier in the year to win this one.

One of the Dodder’s finest ready to go back

As previously mentioned, conditions have been difficult for salmon angling again this week; low water levels nationwide are keeping the fish from running. Those spate rivers that saw a bit of a flood, such as the Erriff and Bundorragha, did see good numbers of fish caught while the slight rise on the bigger waters, such as the Munster Blackwater and the Moy, helped to stir the fish into some action. Lake fishing is still slow for salmon and sea trout although a few fish have been caught to the troll.

Stefan Hilbe ready to release a grilse on the Upper Moy

For those clubs and organisations interested in salmon conservation, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) is welcoming applications for the ‘Small Grants – Sharing Good Practice’ programme to enable activities related to the International Year of the Salmon (IYS). This limited funding is intended to support activities related to the International Year of the Salmon in your community or network.

Find out more:

A reminder to all anglers to be biosecurity aware to prevent the spread of invasive species, crayfish plague and other water borne pathogens. Anglers are also advised to be on the lookout for other water users whose activities might spread the disease. The National Parks and Wildlife Service are asking anglers and members of the public to be vigilant, especially along the Barrow waterway and canals, where illegal crayfish harvesting is likely to spread the plague more widely.

A special mention goes to An Garda Síochána Kildare Division who have been actively patrolling in this area; the patrols are being carried out to combat the illegal poaching of our native animal and fish species and the decimation of fish stocks.

An Garda Síochána patrolling our rivers and canals in Kildare

The patrols are set to continue over the next number of months. We welcome all persons to fish our waterways but they must do so responsibly and legally. Operations such as this are part of An Garda Síochána’s commitment to combat all types of rural crime and we commend them for this.

The results of illegal crayfish harvesting – a seizure from the canals

Poaching of fish and animals is an organised criminal activity. If you see any suspicious activity please report it to IFI, the NPWS or local Gardai.

And now the weather…

Friday night will be dry and calm, feeling fresher compared to recent nights, lowest temperatures of 7°C to 10°C

Most places staying dry on Saturday with sunny spells and light westerly breezes. Just a few well scattered showers, mainly across the west and southwest. Highest temperatures 17°C to 22°C, again warmest in the east and southeast. Dry Saturday night apart from an isolated shower in the west. Minimum temperatures 10°C to 13°C in moderate northwest breezes.

Sunday will see sunny spells for much of the country and just isolated showers.  Highest temperatures of 16 to 21°C , coolest in the north, in light breezes. Isolated showers overnight, minimum temperatures 10 to 14°C.

Monday is looking mainly dry as well with sunny intervals and just the chance of some rain in the south and isolated showers elsewhere. Highest temperatures again 17 to 21°C with light to moderate variable breezes.

Current indications are that the weather will stay a bit changeable with temperatures around normal for the time of year.

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

Paul O’Reilly
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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