Earlier this week, the sporting and angling world was saddened to learn of the passing of the legendary Irish football manager and World Cup winner Jack Charlton over the weekend. Jack Charlton was an iconic figure in Irish life, whose influence was felt far beyond Irish soccer… He was a keen angler and loved to fish in Ireland. Jack had a strong association with North Mayo, particularly Ballina. A second home for him, he spent many hours fishing on the River Moy and Lough Conn, formed many local friendships and helped to promote angling in the region. The angling world will remember him with great fondness and our thoughts and prayers are with the Charlton family in their grief.

The weather this past week has been extremely changeable with heavy rain and wind in places but also longer warmer periods with plenty of sunshine at times. Fishing on the loughs has been rather quiet. The midland lakes are just waiting for the best of the green peter fishing to happen, while anglers on Lough Arrow reported some localised hatches.  On Sheelin, catches were also lean in comparison to the effort and time being put in. The returns still, however, stretched into the double figures with trout up to 6 lbs. being caught.

A lovely Sheelin brown

While the changeable conditions and heavy rains might have impacted negatively on trout angling, most salmon and sea trout fisheries benefited from the extra water. Many fisheries such as Delphi have reported excellent grilse runs and good catches. The Mount Falcon Fishery on the Moy had a record week with over 100 salmon, while the Munster Blackwater is reported to be “on fire” between Cappoquin and Fermoy!

A proper Moy salmon ready for release

The weather this last week or two has been fine for some coarse anglers and some big bags have been landed too. Despite high water levels, weights were reasonable during a match on Lough Rynn. Cavan Monaghan Lakelands Feeder Club held a very successful first club match since the lockdown on Lough Muckno, while the Grand Canal at Edenderry has also produced some good nets of fish in the last week.

A great bag from the Grand Canal

On the pike fishing front, it was much quieter this time after last week’s excellent catch reports from the midland loughs. However, we received a photo from Brian Dempsey of his 10-year-old son Sean holding his first ever pike which was caught while jigging on the Grand Canal at Tullamore. The smile says it all…Well done to Sean and let’s hope it’s the first of many more to come!

Not a specimen….but a fish young Sean will always remember!

The very best of this week’s fishing, however, has been reserved for those who went offshore. Off the east coast, a lot of tope were caught, including a number of specimens, as were some fine smooth hound.

21.5lb PB Hound for Jessica McBride

Also on the east coast, Dublin small boat angler Niall Hogan has been getting some pretty decent cod fishing in recent times with fish well into the double figures. In the south, blue shark are beginning to turn up in bigger numbers, while some specimen skate have been landed fishing out of Union Hall. On the west coast there have been some good reports from Galway as boats there return to the water.

Specimen skate from Union Hall

Anglers fishing out of Cork Harbour reported some great catches of pollack & cod and boats targeting wreck fish were getting good sized ling.  However, the most notable catch this week goes to eight-year-old Amy Kennedy who caught her first ever blue shark. Amy has been fishing with her dad Sidney since she was three years old and has already a string of specimen catches to her name. Amy wins our catch of the week for her 6ft blue shark!

A proud dad beside Amy with her first blue shark

Further along the north-west coast plenty spurs to specimen size were caught, while Killibegs Mariners SAC reported outstanding species fishing with up to 21 different species among a group of four.

A nice Donegal turbot

Finally, anglers wishing to engage in IFI’s & the Marine Institute’s Bluefin Tuna Data Collection Programme will be pleased to learn that the programme will operate again in 2020 with a total of 22 authorised charter vessels taking part. Further information and a full list of authorised skippers can be found at www.fisheriesireland.ie/bluefin

And now the weather…

Rain in the northwest will gradually extend southeastwards during Friday afternoon, holding dry in the southeast till evening with some hazy sunny spells. Highest temperatures of 14 to 17 degrees generally but warmer in east Munster and Leinster with 18 to 22 degrees. Winds will be moderate and southwesterly in direction but fresher on southern coasts.  It will become drier and more settled over the weekend, and for the early days of next week, however, it will feel fresher in a predominantly northwesterly airflow. Monday will be mostly cloudy with patchy rain and drizzle developing along northern and eastern coasts. Maximum temperatures of 14 to 19 degrees in light to moderate northwesterly breezes. The further outlook, however, is for more settled weather and it will get gradually warmer through the middle of the week.

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

Markus Müller

Catch, Photo, Release

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