The continental conditions we had enjoyed for so long have finally left our shores and the weather this week has been dominated by much cooler north westerlies driving a drop in air temperatures; there was even some wet stuff falling from the sky on occasion, though not enough to give our rivers and lakes the badly needed ‘fresh’ that so many fish and anglers want…..

Low water levels are still hindering salmon fishing on many rivers, while higher water temperatures were becoming a worry before the weather finally broke. Some hard caught salmon have been reported from the Munster Blackwater, the Bandon and the Suir but reports are few and far between.

Anglers are asked to keep an eye out for red skin disease (RSD) on salmon in our rivers again this season; many salmon were reported to be suffering from this disease in 2019 and it seems as though it has returned with the fish in 2020, with cases already reported in the rivers Corrib and Leannan. Anglers are asked to forward any reports of salmon with signs of RSD along with photographs and an estimate of fish weight to [email protected] or notify us by calling IFI’s 24 hour confidential hotline number on 0818 34 74 24 or 0818 FISH 24.

A salmon from the River Corrib showing early signs of the disease in 2019
A salmon from the River Corrib showing early signs of the disease in 2019

Shore anglers featured well in reports this week. Bright conditions and clear blue skies can make for difficult fishing but the anglers who did spend time at the coast seemed to do well enough; bass, rays, smoothies and some mackerel coming ashore from various marks around the country.

Linda Manton in clear blue Clare

Many charter skippers are readying their vessels for June 8th when they will once again be able to take bookings for angling trips. Skippers have been very proactive in designing their own customised Covid 19 guidelines to suit their boats and keep their anglers safe while on board – top marks to them.

Lisín 1 all set for launch

As part of the Irish Marine Recreational Angling Survey, IFI in consultation with stakeholders have developed a behaviour and attitude questionnaire to inform about the state of sea angling in Ireland. If you consider yourself a sea angler, regardless of your level of ability or enthusiasm, we would love to hear from you.

We haven’t seen many reports in from pike and coarse anglers this week, although we know of some large catches of tench in the upper Shannon region. We hope to see some more reports from coarse and pike fisheries next week when we expect more anglers to get out fishing.

Ireland’s loughs have continued to fish well for trout anglers. Some large fish were reported on Sheelin to both spent mayfly and to the murrough which are starting to hatch around the lake. On Lough Conn, local anglers reported their best mayfly season for a long number of years, with low numbers of anglers thought to have had a very positive effect. Over on Lough Corrib, the caenis hatch is well underway providing superb sport for the early risers.

Playing a fish on Lough Sheelin

And now the weather….

Rain will become widespread through Ulster, north Connacht and north Leinster overnight on Friday, holding mostly dry further south. Windy and rainy on Saturday, especially in the morning,  top temps 11°C-15°C. Sunday will be mostly dry day with some sunny spells. Highest temperatures to 13°C in the north and 18°C elsewhere in moderate northerly winds. Mostly dry and cloudy on Monday with some sunny spells. Highs of 12°C in the north, 16°C elsewhere in light northerly breezes. Tuesday will start cloudy in most areas and rain will push in from the Atlantic, becoming patchier as it moves eastwards overnight. Highest temperatures to 17°C.

It is expected under Phase 2 of the relaxation of lockdown measures that people will be able to travel anywhere within their own county; this will open up access to many of of our rivers, lakes and coastal areas to increased numbers of anglers who are desperate to get on the water. Remember to observe good hygiene and social distancing measures wherever you find yourself fishing.

Safe fishing to all this weekend 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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