After a fine second summer in the middle part of the month, the wind and rain came back with a bang this week with very stormy conditions off parts of the west coast and very heavy downpours in the east. It is noticeably cooler now and, with this year’s autumnal equinox occurring earlier this week (meaning that the night is now longer than the day), the salmon anglers and many of the trout anglers have begun to count the days, rather than the weeks, until the end of their season…

But fear not, there is still great fishing to be had if you know where to look for it and this week plenty of anglers knew exactly where to look, especially those fishing for big game species off our southern, western and northern shores where a great mixture of shark species and super bluefin tuna were caught. Indeed, that mysterious species the sixgill shark made its annual appearance alongside the Clare Dragoon fishing out of Carrigaholt; skipper Luke Aston continuing an uncanny roll of at least one sixgill a year since 2008! This year’s fish wins Luke our Catch of the Week. Another first for our reports this week was that we haven’t seen four of the West Cork charter fleet land at least one bluefin tuna each in the same week, well they performed that very feat this week, so good work and great fishing for them. Wreck fishing has been going well elsewhere with plenty of bluemouth and white fishes featuring in the reports.

Carrigaholt sixgills – thirteen good years and the winner of this week’s Catch of the Week

From the shore we have seen a very fine bass caught on the east coast and some unusual late summer visitors, the triggerfish, on the south coast. Anglers targeting bass, wrasse, pollock and smaller shore species have done pretty well around the coast when conditions allowed.

A smashing wrasse from the rocks

To freshwater and the pike fishing is starting to improve with the fish reacting to cooler conditions. Some bigger fish, the ones that have been sulking in deeper water during the summer months, are starting to make an appearance around the loughs and some good fishing has been had for pike and perch on the canals too.

A lovely canal perch
A lovely perch from the Grand Canal

We would normally be reporting on a whole series of coarse angling festivals and events this time of year where hundreds of our regular UK visitors love to take part but, for obvious reasons, the coarse reports are few and far between this week; hopefully next year we’ll be back to angling normality.

Pike are stirring…

Fishing on the trout loughs has been tough and a return to early season tactics of stripping bushy wets or the traditional late season method of dapping daddys and crickets have been the most effective trout catching approaches. This time of year can throw up some good sized trout and David Smith found that out on Lough Erne last weekend with a fine late season trout as did young Harrison Browne fishing in the Wicklow hills. Away from the wilds and some of our own stocked rainbow trout lakes have fished really well in the last few weeks, particularly Loughs Fadda and Barfinnihy; permits are available from our online shop for those who are interested in getting a trout fix before season’s end.

Releasing a trout on Barfinnihy with a view of the Magillacuddy Reeks in the background

And so to the salmon and we are now in the final week of what was reported to have been one of the better seasons in recent times, it was certainly one of the better seasons for Michael Lynch from Clonmel who managed to catch (and release) a fantastic 42 inch salmon from the Suir back in August. We have only received information and photos of this fine fish in the last few days so we thought it was well worth a mention. Over on the Munster Blackwater the good salmon fishing has continued with a number of above average fish getting caught. Elsewhere the River Lee and the Moy both continued to produce fish but the Currane system remained relatively quiet as did the Laune.

Michael Lynch and his mighty Suir salmon

Inland Fisheries Ireland is reminding all salmon and sea trout anglers of the importance of returning their 2020 angling logbook and unused gill tags on time (by law angling logbook returns must be made by 19th October annually even if there is no catch recorded).

In other news, on Tuesday last, KCLR broadcast the third programme in the series ‘Make Way for the King‘. The series looks at the threats facing Atlantic Salmon both at sea and in the rivers and the conservation measures in place to protect them, well worth a listen.

And now the weather…

Predominantly dry tonight with clear spells, cold with lowest temperatures generally of 0°C to 4°C, slightly warmer in the southwest. Mist, fog and any frost will clear early Saturday to leave a dry day with spells of crisp autumn sunshine. Cool in light northerly breezes with highest temperatures 11°C to 14°C and another cold night overnight, a chilly -2°C to +2°C. Staying dry across most areas for daylight hours on Sunday with spells of autumn sunshine and light southerly breezes, highest temperatures 13°C to 17°C. Monday and Tuesday will see sunny spells and scattered showers, highest temperatures 14°C to 17°C.

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