“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall”

Oscar Wilde must surely have known that feeling of “Where did the summer go?!” when he wrote that line. It seems like only yesterday we were exiting lockdown and looking forward to an outdoor summer, and already the days are drawing in, the kids are back in school and warm summer nights are giving way to cool morning mists and ripening blackberries on the hedgerows. Or perhaps the observation that the years seem to go by faster as you age is entirely correct, and your correspondent is, simply, getting old.

Like migrating swallows, game anglers feel the onset of autumn and with it, the approaching end of the season. We have had a bit of an Indian summer of late, however, with little rainfall to bring welcome relief for salmon anglers. Fishing was even quiet on the mighty River Moy. A round up from the River Erriff reported some excellent fishing during August, once the July heatwave passed, with up to 37 salmon on one day.

Trout anglers have also suffered this week, with settled weather and low water levels not producing much sport. Hopefully as September moves on, cooler conditions and late hatches will improve matters.

The coarse fishing festival scene is in full swing now, and Cathal Hughes was a popular winner of the East Clare Lakelands Festival. The All Ireland Feeder Club Championships were held on Lough Muckno, and a hotly contested event saw Lurgan Blue take top honours, with Philip Jackson also taking top individual prize.

Philip Jackson had a great start to the Championships which saw his team win
Philip Jackson had a great start to the Championships which saw his team win

September is usually a great month for sea angling, with sea temperatures at their warmest and fish feeding hard before the long winter ahead. Great mixed species fishing was reported from charter boats around the coast, including west Clare and Galway Bay. The settled weather allowed some lucky anglers on Dave Edwards boat Silver Dawn to get out to the continental shelf, where they encountered albacore tuna and blue shark, while some incredible ling were also reported while wreck fishing. Evan McGovern’s specimen fish of 31lbs makes our Catch of the Week.

Bluefin tuna fishing is also picking up again, and legendary Fermanagh rod man Gavin Mannix enjoyed his trip aboard Kiwi Girl, landing the biggest fish of his life.

The Killybegs boats also reported tuna, but the Killybegs shore anglers also enjoyed some great fishing, including trigger fish, and incredibly smoothhound in numbers off a local beach!

Gavin made sure the photographer got his best side!

In other news…

International Women’s Fly Fishing Day takes place on 11th September, and you can read all about it here, or check out Facebook here for info.

Western anglers interested in learning more about freshwater habitats and biodiversity may be interested in a Water Biodiversity course starting shortly, run by Galway Rural Development.

The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications has requested IFI to develop a medium to long-term management plan for the Western Lakes. CEO Francis O’Donnell commented: “From our research to date, it’s clear that the Western Lakes are under threat, and we must take action underpinned by best available scientific data to protect and conserve the unique status and importance of these salmonid waters in the long-term. The new management plan should inspire a positive vision for the future of the Western Lakes and serve to protect them as they are topographically distinct waters in terms of salmonid habitat.” 

IFI have just launched an exciting opportunity for recreational sea anglers in the Republic of Ireland to become citizen scientists and help collect information on fishing effort and catches around the coastline. By doing so they will be playing a vital role in the long-term conservation and sustainability of the resource for future generations.

The Irish Marine Recreational Angling (IMREC) project aims to answer three main questions:

  • How many people fish?
  • How often do they fish?
  • What do they catch?

If this would interest you, the IMREC initiative is now live and can be viewed here. To take part, All you have to do is click this link or send your name and email to [email protected] with the subject line “IMREC Diary Sign Up” and we will get you signed up.

And now the weather…

Saturday will start mainly dry and bright, with sunny spells, but showers developing through the afternoon. Winds mostly light southerly or southeasterly.

Outbreaks of rain will push up over the western half of the country on Sunday morning, extending across much of the country through the afternoon, although parts of the south and southeast may stay dry. Highest temperatures of 17 to 20 or 21 degrees in light to moderate southerly winds.

Generally cloudy on Monday morning with scattered showers across the north of the country. Brightening up through the afternoon and becoming mostly dry. Feeling warm with highest temperatures of 20 to 23 degrees.

Current indications suggest this warmer weather will stay with us through to midweek next week with warm nights too. There’ll be rain at times but some sunny spells also.

With generally light winds and warm temperatures, the only thing hampering angling is free time. If you have some, why not get out and wet a line?

If you’re heading to sea, don’t forget to check the tides.

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.

Kevin Crowley
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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