Many of us were caught out this week with a backwards step on the Covid 19 roadmap to recovery; we are back to limited numbers on outdoor events and gatherings with a maximum of 15 allowed under the new/old measures and this will have a knock on effect for organisers of fishing competitions and novice coaching events.

Storm Ellen dropped by

As the much talked about ‘second wave’ of Covid 19 becomes more apparent, storm Ellen made groundfall overnight on Wednesday with more than just a couple of waves crashing onto our southern shores! County Cork once again took a hit for the team and bore the brunt of the storm; damage to property is widespread with some unfortunate angling boats also falling victim to the strong winds. Many of our rivers are swollen from the heavy rainfall with reports of heavy flooding in some areas too – it might be a while before some of our rivers and inshore areas are fishable once more.

Fishing the Munster Blackwater

Before the storm hit, our salmon anglers were still making the most of the good runs of fish in our rivers and loughs. On the Munster Blackwater the fish are spread throughout the system with most of the fish well upstream at this stage, reports are coming in of good fishing from Mallow all the way up to the Kerry county boundary. All of the Cork rivers saw runs of fish with the Ilen, the Bandon, the Coomhola, the Owvane, the Mealagh and the Glengarriff all reporting good numbers of salmon.

In neighbouring County Kerry, a handful of fish were landed in the Killarney system while over in Ballinkelligs bay, the Inny river has had its best season for salmon in a long number of years. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Currane a few miles out the road where fish have been scarce.

In the west, the Erriff produced a decent number of fish despite the low water and the Moy produced a decent number of fish around Foxford despite the low levels of anglers!

A happy Theo Bellanger on Lough Corrib

Trout fishing on the loughs continues to be pretty slow, although Lough Corrib fished well when the conditions came right, with dry mayflies doing much of the damage. On Lough Sheelin, the back-end daytime wet fly fishing is yet to kick off, with evening and after-dark still the most productive periods.

On the rivers, the warm and humid start to the week meant that sedges were hatching in abundance in the evenings and anglers did well with both dry flies and nymph imitations. A cooler, wetter week ahead might mean a change of tactics once the rivers settle again.

Another Gudgeon
A healthy gudgeon carefully cradled in wet weed by a young hand, this is what memories are made of

Coarse and pike angling reports were thin on the ground this week, although we did have one report from the East Clare Two Day Coarse Fishing Festival where fishing was difficult in warm, bright conditions.

One intrepid angler did target a species of freshwater fish not often seen in the Irish Angling Update – the mighty Gudgeon! Angling apprentice Anthony O’Neill spent an enjoyable evening on the River Nore with his dad targeting these miniature wonders and they caught plenty.

Tope
The Menapia Sea Angling Club wins our Catch of the Week for their 10 shore caught specimen tope so far this year

Once again the best of this week’s fishing was in saltwater, both close in and offshore. Bass have been plentiful so far this year with good numbers reported around the southern and south eastern coasts. In the south east, we’ve also seen some super tope fishing from the beaches, the Menapia club reporting no less than 10 shore caught specimen so far this year. Menapia SAC win our Catch of the Week this week for these impressive returns.

Bluemouth

In Donegal, we’ve seen a variety of species from some of the shore marks, most notably good turbot, spotted ray, thornback and specimen wrasse. Anglers also had the blues further offshore in Counties Cork and Kerry, blue shark and bluemouths both featuring along with various other deepwater, wreck and reef species.

      And now the weather

      Windy tonight (Thursday) with fresh to strong southerly winds, up to gale force in coastal areas with widespread showers, thunderstorms and a continued risk of flooding.

      Another blustery day Friday, with strong & gusty south westerly winds and heavy showers. Max daytime temperatures 16°C to 20°C, mins of 11°C to 14°C overnight.

      Cool and windy on Saturday and overnight into Sunday with a mix of clear spells and scattered showers both days. Max daytime temperatures 15°C to 20°C, mins of 11°C to 14°C with lighter winds.

      On Sunday night and into Monday, a spell of persistent rain will extend from the Atlantic. Some sunny spells developing Monday, but scattered showers also, max. 15°C to 19°C.

      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 reports@fisheriesireland.ie.


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