It has been a cool week since we talked to you last. Temperatures were about 1°C lower than usual but at least it remained mostly dry, until the start of this week when it was fairly wet, and then yesterday was scorcher! Not easy to plan your fishing with all that going on, and we’ve not even got into the winds and tides…

There’s always room for innovation in angling. And despite it being a sport full of traditions there is no shortage of anglers who are willing to experiment. Keith McDonnell has been developing a line of streamer flies for a while now. Having had endless success with trout, he turned his attention to salmon and hooked 4 springers in one day, landing this 18lb fish, his PB and our Catch of the Week.

Catch of the Week – a salmon on a streamer

Spring salmon fishing has been fairly productive so far with good results from the south east where the Nore, Barrow and Suir got of the blocks early this year. There have been a number of mid teens fish reported and one smashing Nore salmon of 30lbs. At the other end of the country the Moy is also producing some fine sport for springers and there was even a salmon caught on Lough conn. Further north again there was some great fishing on the Finn where the spates came at just the right times.

River Lee brown tag draw

Did you apply for a River Lee brown tag? The second round draw was held on Monday and the lucky numbers are listed here. All anglers whose number was drawn are asked to acknowledge receipt of their Brown Tag by email including the tag number to [email protected]

Fabrice with a 4kg Sheelin trout

The cool conditions and often bitter winds of last week made for tough trout fishing on the lakes. To top it off Saturday saw flat calms and anglers on Sunday were met with wild squalls which saw fishing out for many. It was far from easy on Sheelin but there were still a fair few trout caught, including a smashing fish of 4kg. Anglers used a real mix of methods, traditional wets, buzzers and lures and lines from floating to Hi-D. It was a similar tale on Conn where between times sedges were hatching well. Meanwhile on Lough Corrib there was some reasonable wet fly fishing, when conditions allowed, and there were plenty of Olives coming off. Ferox anglers also had some decent sport with one boat getting a couple of 70+cm trout earlier this week. River anglers were hit by the same tough conditions but there were still opportunities to cast a fly and some nice trout were reported from the Nore.

Sheelin Survey

IFI has launched a new survey that will tap into the knowledge of trout anglers in Lough Sheelin. The survey features questions for anglers about their trout catch and about different aspects of the fishery now compared with when they started fishing on the lake. Each participant also has the opportunity to enter into a prize draw for angling tackle, with one €200 voucher and two €100 vouchers to be won. If you fish for trout on Lough Sheelin you can find out more here.

The smolt run

We would like to remind all anglers that salmon smolts are running our rivers right now, and they will often take a fly meant for larger fish. The smolts are very delicate and don’t respond well to handling, so make sure to take care if they turn up while you are fishing and try and release them with as little handling as possible. View the video here to see how to best release a smolt.

Richard Bedford with 58lb from the River Shannon at Portumna

Coarse anglers found that Portumna was fishing well at the weekend. Richard Bedford won a club competition with 58lbs, great news ahead of the Spring Festival fishing which starts this weekend. There was also good competition fishing at Lough Gowna where the second round of the Feeder King competition was fished. Lough Muckno was also fishing well and Iascaire Feeder Fishing Club had a good 3rd round of their Spring League at Concra where 1st place was won with 9.75kg.

Nicolas with a 101cm
Nicolas with a 101cm pike from a Longford venue

Pike anglers have been busy in the last while as fish that have spawned are feeding hard again. Newbridge and District Pike Anglers had decent fishing at a variety of venues from small rivers to lakes, but the better fish came from the bigger venues. It was a similar experience for Leinster Pike Angling Club, but they confined their competition to a small system where 91 pike were caught but they only found jacks and the biggest was just over 7lb. Anglers in Longford had better luck and found large pike as well as large quantities. One group of French anglers staying at Melview Lodge had over 200 pike to 107cm.

A really vibrant Ballan Wrasse

Richie Ryan was back out on Cork Harbour with guests where pollack on the fly was the quarry. The fish were reasonably plentiful on the day and great entertainment was had. The first reports of bass from the Harbour are also coming in now.  South Shore SAC fished Arklow beach at the weekend. They were frozen and fishless until the tide turned at which stage they remained cold, but at least were busy with the plentiful whiting that came on the the feed. Clare charter boats Lady Gwen and Clare Dragoon are back on the water. They both found low water temperatures meant slow fishing, but as with our friends in Arklow a change of tide brought a change in fortunes. Staying in Clare, Lisdoonvarna Fanore anglers had a bass competition at the weekend. They had no bass but flounder and the odd sea trout kept them going.

Fanore, Co. clare

On Galway Bay charter skipper John Fleming was another who reported the tides influence when a dull day eventually came good with decent pollack and some really spectacular looking wrasse. Finally, Killybegs Mariners hosted Howth Sea Angling Club last weekend for an innovative inter-club competition on Streedagh beach, Co. Sligo. Some great fishing was had with flounders to 39cm, turbots to 37cm and even some flashy sea trout to 43cm.

Sea anglers citizen science survey

Calling all sea anglers, IFI are looking for recreational sea anglers to participate in a citizen science project to help understand the health of fish stocks in our coastal waters. By providing catch information as part of the Irish Marine Recreational Angling (IMREC) project, anglers can play their role in the long-term conservation and sustainability of the resource for future generations.

Other News

Irish Spring Angling Fair

spring fair

It won’t be long now until the Irish Spring Angling Fair on the 30th of April and 1st of May. The organisers promise that it’s going to be a fantastic weekend for all anglers, and they are looking forward to welcoming you all to the show. With  demos, instruction, workshops and more on fly casting, coarse tactics, fly tying sea angling as well as plenty of shopping to be done there really will be something for all anglers – SeaSalmonTroutPike and Coarse.

Something Fishy poster competition

Primary school students around the country are being asked to design a poster that encourages greater conservation of Ireland’s native fish. To enter, primary school students are being asked to create a poster with the ‘catch, photo and release’ message, take a photograph of it and then submit it by email before the closing date of Friday, April 15th 2022. For more information see Primary school artists wanted for conservation campaign

And now the weather

Good Friday will start mostly cloudy with scattered outbreaks of rain and drizzle. It will brighten up and become drier through the day with a mix of sunny spells and scattered showers developing. Highest temperatures of 13°C to 17°C in a light southerly or variable breeze.  Unsettled through the Easter weekend, with rain on Saturday followed by showers for Easter Sunday and Monday. Mild to start but turning cooler from later Sunday. Feeling much cooler on Monday with a mix of sunny spells and showers, some possibly heavy with hail. Highest temperatures of just 9°C to 12°C in moderate to fresh westerly winds. The further outlook is cooler and generally unsettled weather for the early part of next week with showers or spells of rain at times. That’s not an awful fishing forecast so get out there an wet a line if you can.

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland. If you’re heading to the coast, don’t forget to check the tides.

Myles Kelly
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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Pike Fishing Reports

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