Our weather conditions have been drier than normal across most of the country for the past seven days and sunshine totals have been above normal across the east and north of the country, but below normal in the west and southwest. This pleasant weather, combined with the relaxation of restrictions on movement, has meant that many more anglers have been able to venture out on the water, in search of that elusive fish they have waited so long to fight…

This is the time of year for large salmon and reports are that they have been stirring in all corners of the country despite the lack of rain. A couple of decent fish were caught on the Boyne in County Meath and several more fell anglers on the Moy and also to boat anglers on Carrowmore lake in Mayo.

Carrowmore Lake – spring salmon fishing at its best – Catch, Photo, Release!

On Lough Melvin in Leitrim, both salmon and sonaghan have been landed by boat anglers, while some fresh fish have been met further downstream on the Drowes, even though low numbers of anglers are fishing. Anglers on the Munster Blackwater in the south have caught both little and large salmon, with some early grilse of about 3lbs and some chunky springers to 15lbs among the catches there. On Currane, there has been a steady level of effort, with between two and four boats fishing most days, but unfortunately they have little to show for those efforts. Reports are that some of the other lakes in the south west are fishing well. One such example is in Kerry, on the White Lake on the Owenmore system, with some good early sea trout and plenty of brownies for anglers fishing there.

Salmon about to be released #CPRsavesfish
Pete Davis about to release his salmon

Over to the trout loughs and Lough Conn has been the pick of the bunch, with 42 fish reported in the last week, mainly to wet flies. In the midlands, some of the stocked fisheries have fished well and anglers have also taken trout on the troll while fishing the larger loughs. On the rivers, the water is still a little cold for good fly hatches but nymphs and wet flies have worked, one good example being that of Dan O’Neill on the Nore.

A Happy Orla Walsh on Lough Conn with her 2.81 lbs. beauty

We haven’t gotten many coarse angling reports in weeks, but we did get one this week that was worth the wait. Like many of us, Munster Coarse Anglers’ Kevin Leahy has been trapped for months without any fishable water within 5km; his first ‘away’ trip had him catching plenty of roach to 1.5lbs and a vegetarian 2lbs perch on a piece of corn! We don’t see too many 2lbs perch so Kevin wins our Catch of the Week. Mind you, his second trip also got him in amongst some good bream, so his fishing ‘fast’ has been long forgotten already!

Kevin and his vegetarian 2lbs perch – our Catch of the Week

No reports from saltwater this week, but If you do fish in the sea, don’t forget to take our ‘Then and Now’ sea angling survey, which aims to compare catches of times past with those of today. Respondents will be in with a chance of winning a tackle voucher to the value of €200.

Hot off the press –  the much anticipated Irish Specimen Fish Committee Report for 2020 has just been released, you can download a copy here. One new record was set and over 300 exceptionally large fish of different species were caught by anglers from venues throughout Ireland. Some of the main species to feature in 2020 were shark species like smooth-hound and spurdog and, in freshwater, pike and brown trout dominated. All fish were caught, weighed, measured and released.

In other news…

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has announced the line-up of virtual events for Go Fishing Week 2021. The week is a national celebration of fishing and this year is being held online with a programme of virtual events, competitions and social media content. The programme of events will spread awareness of a series of themes over the week including sustainability, protecting habitats and wellbeing benefits. All events are free to attend and partake in and will be accessible for all to join in online.

And now the weather…

High pressure will dominate the weather pattern through the weekend bringing dry and settled conditions. Saturday will be dry with good sunshine though a little hazy at times in Leinster. Highs of 12°C to 18°C, lows of 3°C to 6°C overnight. Mostly sunny on Sunday, becoming hazy at times. Highs of 13°C to 17°C, though easterly breezes will hold highs at 10°C to 13°C in the east and south with overnight lows of 1°C to 4°C. Good sunny spells on Monday, 11°C to 17°C.

Safe fishing to all 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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