This week saw June become July and with the windy then calm weather, the sunny then showery, the cloudy then clear and the warm but then cool we were left with no doubt the the Irish summer is fully upon us. Those coarse and sea anglers who ventured out were rewarded with some nice fish; the salmon and sea trout anglers saw fresh water to get the fish moving and the brown trout anglers saw such changeable weather that it kept the hatches to a minimum and the fish off the surface.

The big news from the angling federations is that, with no restrictions on travel within Ireland and less rigorous restrictions on group sizes, they can finally organise both competitive angling events and novice coaching events for their members. The National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI) and the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers (IFSA) both released statements detailing their plans to kick off their events calendars for the remainder of the summer; both federations have detailed how they hope to fulfill their plans in line with Covid 19 guidelines and this information is available on their websites and facebook pages.

Robbie Buckley and his first blue shark

Offshore there were some lovely blue shark reported around Dungarvan with some nice smooth hound, including some specimens, recorded further up the coast off of Wicklow.

Bert McGregor is delighted with this specimen

A most unusual capture and our Catch of the Week for this week is Stephen Gill’s Angel Shark that took a shine to his lure as he fished the Shannon estuary. The fish, which he estimated to be 20-22 lbs in weight, was unhooked and released back safely. These magnificent fish are now very rare in Irish waters and hardly ever turn up in angler’s catches. When they do, they are generally caught using bait of some sort.

A lure caught Angel Shark wins our Catch of the Week for Stephen Gill

A quick reminder to sea anglers that the IMREC sea angling survey will run for another couple of weeks and if you haven’t completed the survey yet and claimed an Angling Ireland neck buff and line clips you still have time – more information here.

On the coarse fishing front, club members will be out with their rakes and scythes this weekend cutting swims and clearing pegs for competition and pleasure angling alike. Some super bags of bream and hybrids are coming off lakes around Cavan and Leitrim; these are fish that don’t mind the kind of weather we’ve been having. We’ve also had reports of good tench fishing from the early risers and night owls, the dull weather also meant for good hauls during the day for some.

A nice bag of bream and hybrids for the Go and Catch guys

The changeable weather and extra flush of cool water has made for tricky river trout fishing in some parts where trout weren’t inclined to rise to flies, while on the loughs it seems as though anglers fishing wet flies are having more success than those seeking trout on the surface. Lough anglers eagerly await the hatches of the Green Peter sedge to get the trout really moving again.

John Gorman, Sligo, with a fine Arrow brown

While we do know that salmon are getting caught we haven’t been receiving many reports from anglers in the last week other than a couple, including one from Waterville where Lough Currane has been very quiet. One good report we did see is that of Angus Seigne catching and releasing a fine salmon on the Bandon river in Cork, nicely done.

Angus Seigne returns his fish to the Bandon

We haven’t received any reports from pike anglers this week but we do know that some very big pike as well as some very big trout were caught by lure anglers on the larger loughs.

And now the weather…

Mostly cloudy for the rest of today with scattered falls of rain and drizzle. Whilst it will remain driest and mildest across the midlands and east, some rain will move into these parts too. Highest temperatures of 18°C or 19°C. Saturday will be another mostly cloudy day with scattered outbreaks of rain and drizzle; however, longer drier spells will occur too, with the best of these during the afternoon. Highest temperatures of 19°C or 20°C. Sunday will see outbreaks of rain in the west and northwest, with the south and southeast faring better with perhaps some sunny spells developing. Temperatures on the low side in at around 13°C to 17°C. Monday will be showery in the northwest but elsewhere will become drier with some sunshine breaking through later. Tuesday currently looks dry and sunny with light westerly winds and temperatures around normal for the time of year.

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

Paul O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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