In the last week, it was certainly a case of, ‘If you don’t like the weather in Ireland, wait 15 minutes and it will change!’. Change it did, but mainly for the worse…

Our cover photo this week was given to us by a concerned angler who noted many boats fishing on one of our loughs while a storm cell was directly overhead. There’s something we’d like to emphasise here: DON’T STAY OUT ON A LAKE WAVING A 10FT GRAPHITE CONDUCTOR IN THE AIR DURING A LIGHTNING STORM! An open boat on a lough is a dangerous place to be in an electrical storm – you are likely to be the highest point for hundreds of metres in any direction. The advice is to stow the fishing rods, stay low in the boat and get off the water until the storm passes.

The changeable weather brought erratic fishing for trout anglers looking for mayfly action on our loughs; the fishing see-sawed between frenetic periods of activity, when heavy showers brought on good hatches, and long lulls of inactivity when it either went cold or the sun came out. Looking through the week’s reports, the one word that is most often repeated is ‘patchy’ and I think that says a lot. There were some great fish caught though, particularly on Derg, Arrow and Sheelin, but anglers had to work hard for their rewards. The week on Conn and Cullin was described as ‘challenging’, but anglers who were up for the challenge got good trout and the very odd sea trout to their mayflies.

A happy Sarah Maxwell with her 4 lbs. Arrow trout caught on the dap. Sarah wins our Catch of the Week this week for her super fish.

Fishing for trout on some of our rivers was tricky this week, the heavy showers from the previous week still had many of them running high and coloured. Those poor conditions didn’t stop the Nore fish from feeding though.

The rivers that started to run clear also started to fish well for salmon. The Slaney produced a fish or two and the floods in the south west encouraged a few more fish to run the Roughty, Inny and Currane systems in Kerry. Anglers on the Laune had no such luck unfortunately. In Cork, the Ilen Anglers had a decent week with 12 fish, the Bandon reported 8 more and the Lee nearly hit double figures with 9 fish caught, the best at 15lbs. The Munster Blackwater was badly affected by the unsettled weather, but the fish are there and once levels drop back a bit, fishing will improve. In Mayo, the number of reported salmon for the Moy last week topped the hundred mark, the biggest fish clocking in at 16lbs from Knockmore waters, with a couple of fish also taken on the troll on Lough Conn.

Salmon about to be released #CPRsavesfish
Slaney Salmon about to be released

We don’t have many pike reports in this week, but we do have some great videos in from well known pike guide Norbert Renaud of L’ile Verte Lodge in Cavan. Norbert goes into great detail on how to tie up leaders when fly fishing for pike; he also puts them to the test on a red letter day in his belly boat! Well worth a watch.

Some coarse angling clubs, like the Edenderry Coarse Anglers and the CM Lakelands Feeder Team, are getting back to the canal banks and lakeshore to train for when matches get back up and running. The practice paid off, with some decent bags of skimmers and the odd canal tench making an appearance. The Go and Catch Team also got their nets wet on Garadice, with fair bags of mixed species.

To the tide and in Killybegs, the Killybegs Mariners finally finished off their ‘winter’ league after months of delays with plenty of flounder – up to 41cm – making the final round all the more exciting for them.

We are very happy to see some of our charter skippers back on the water after what has been a very tough time for them. Sea Fishing Sligo  had some excellent fishing for mixed species between downpours in Sligo Bay, while Killybegs Fishing Trips had another great week out in Donegal Bay after big pollack. On the east coast, Wicklow Boat Charters got out for both wreck and ground fishing and, after a rusty start, managed to really get on the fish. In Clare, the Lady Gwen recorded her first tope of the season, while the Clare Dragoon caught plenty of mackerel, pollack and coalies. Up the coast in Galway, the Brazen Hussy II and Galway Bay Fishing both had success with wrasse, cod and pollack; mackerel were also plentiful, making for good bait and better eating.

If you are planning on an Irish holiday this summer, why not book a day out on a charter boat with your family or friends – you’ll find our full charter boat directory here and the skippers and crews, like most small Irish businesses, really could do with our support this year.

In other news…

Anglers and fishery owners are asked to report any incidences of salmon with signs of red skin disease (RSD) to IFI to help determine the occurrence of the disease nationally.  Anglers who capture such salmon are advised to follow normal biosecurity procedures and disinfect tackle, waders and equipment.  Until the cause of the disease has been determined and the risk of spreading the disease established, affected salmon should not be removed from the water.

IFI is appealing to anglers 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

IFI is also assisting with a new survey about less well-known fish species as part of the multinational European project DiadES. Project partners across several countries are assessing the recreational fishing interest of migratory fish species that spend much of their lifecycle at sea and periods in riverine habitats; these include shad, thin-lipped mullet, smelt, flounder, salmon among others. These species spend much of their lifecycle at sea and periods in riverine habitats. If you would like to participate in the study, you can find the survey here:

And now the weather…

Generally dry but misty in parts tonight with just light variable breezes. Lowest temperatures of 5°C to 10°C, coolest under clearer breaks across west and southwest counties. Saturday will be a very mild or warm day with good sunny spells breaking through but with the odd shower. Highest temperatures of 15°C to 21°C, best values inland. Winds will be light and variable. Most areas will be dry overnight on Saturday with clear spells, lows of 5°C to 8°C. Dry and warm on Sunday in most places, with good sunny spells and highs of 19°C to 21°C in light southerly breezes. Not quite as warm across the south and west coast.

Current indications suggest the early days of next week will remain mostly dry and warm with pleasant spells of summer sunshine.

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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