Just as most of us were giving up hope, the cloud, cold and wind all departed for more northerly climes last week, leaving Ireland basking in mostly warm, dry and sunny weather for a prolonged period. This is the first spell of settled weather we have had all summer, and it looks set to continue with temperatures forecast to rise over the weekend and into next week.

Settled weather systems are a boon to the charter fleet & small boat operators, as the calmer conditions allow them to get out to sea more often, and to travel further afield to less fished marks. The influence of this settled spell can be seen in the sharp pick-up in reports of good fishing from all around our shores, so it’s no surprise they make the bulk of this week’s update.

Beginning down in Courtmacsherry, a couple of avid anglers had a great time fishing from boat and shore with plenty of species firsts to mark their cards with. Also in Courtmacsherry, a group of Dutch anglers back in Ireland after a two-year, Covid enforced break, made up for lost time with some fantastic catches of common skate and ling. Moving to the west coast, boats fishing the Shannon Estuary encountered huge packs of Spurdog, which were so numerous they eventually had to move to give anglers a chance at catching other species. Further up the west coast in Galway Bay, the long-awaited shark returned for anglers fishing with John Fleming as they managed to catch a few good porbeagle.

Super skate for Dutch anglers

Further again up the west coast, Newport SAC were delighted to host the 2022 National Junior Competition / Daniel Peacock Memorial on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd of July. A total of 33 junior anglers competed for the trophy, and judging by the smiles in the photos, all had a super time on the water. Coming out on top, with a total of 37 fish which earned her 185 points was local angler, Holly McGee. Congratulations to all who took part, and we hope to see you feature in these pages again as you continue your angling journey. And to mark Holly’s great achievement, she wins this week’s Catch of the Week award.

Holly receives her prize.

Continuing around the country to the east coast, Borough SAC held a boat competition with Wicklow Boat Charters, and they had some frantic fishing, including a whopper of a Spurdog. Next up, we move to a couple of small boat reports. The first is from the crew aboard Shock Waves, who embarked on a spur-of-the-moment trip and were rewarded with heaps of…you guessed it…Spurdog. Finally, we move to Cork Harbour, where Jim Clohessy had a good mix of species, including a steady stream of haddock, most of which were caught on lures.

To wrap up the sea angling report, there was some great news last week as the Irish team pulled off a brilliant win in the Home Nations Shore Championships held in Weymouth. It’s always difficult to win on foreign soil as the local knowledge of the home team usually helps them prevail. But in a hard-fought and tight competition, the Irish lads just pipped the English team to the title. The junior team went pretty close too, making it a great weekends work for the Irish.

The Irish Senior Men’s Team with the Home Nations trophy

The bright sunny weather that can work wonders for sea angling generally has the opposite effect on fishing in freshwater, as fish shy away from the intense light and become more lethargic due to lower oxygen levels. Anglers fishing over the coming days should bear that in mind, as all fish will be that bit more vulnerable during the hot weather we are promised. Coarse anglers, in particular, should consider whether they need to use a keepnet, as a lot of fish crowded together can mean some fish will struggle to survive. Anglers, too, should take care under a hot sun, and I’ve seen plenty of red faces and farmers’ tans in photos of anglers who were out in the sunny spell last week…

So, to coarse angling, and anglers up in Belturbet were doing some reconnaissance fishing ahead of their festival later in the year. They were looking for new venues and decided to try an old spot that had not been used in years. Well, the fallow period seems to have worked wonders as they hit into some impressive bream fishing, with one angler, Roger Baker, landing 9 bream for 45lb in addition to plenty of roach and hybrids.

Super slabs from Belturbet

Kevin Lyons of Melview Lodge had a Dub and a group of UK anglers with him recently. They all found fishing to be patchy at times, but prebaiting and perseverance produced results in the end. The 3rd Irish Feedermasters qualifier took place in blazing heat on L. Muckno last week, and the bright conditions took its toll on anglers and fish alike. Still, the winner on the day, Johhny McKinley, managed almost 9kg, which is not bad for a scorcher of a day. Any aspiring match anglers should take note that the All Ireland Championships will take place in and around Ballinamore on Sun 24th July. It has been running for over 60 years and is one of the flagship coarse angling events on the calendar. The competition is open to all entrants, and tickets are available here.

Trout fishing tends to be tough in bright hot weather, particularly if fishing on the loughs. However, anglers venturing out on Lough Conn last week were pleasantly surprised to find the trout quite active. There were smatterings of mayfly hatching off, and the trout responded well, and any angler that ventured out reported good fishing.

Paul Caslin released this good trout outside Gallaghers Bay, Lough Conn, caught on an Invicta.

The bright, hot, dry weather did wreak havoc on the salmon fishing, as most of our waters reported a lean week. Water levels on the Bandon were extremely low, and fishing effort was minimal, with only a couple of salmon reported. It was the same story on the Blackwater, as anglers stayed away due to the unfavourable conditions. Currane fared somewhat better as there seemed to be a few grilse about, with fish reported for most days last week, including a few to the fly. On the Moy system, lower water levels didn’t seem to affect the fishing too badly as anglers reported a creditable 374 fish for the week. One young angler who didn’t let the conditions deter her was 15-year-old Louth angler Julia O’Callaghan. Julia was fishing with her dad on the River Laune and managed to land a lovely 10lb salmon while spinning.

Julia bagged and tagged a fine 10lb salmon on the Laune

And to wrap things up, the sea trout fishing continues to fire on all cylinders up on the Moy Estuary, with anglers reporting bumper days, both in terms of numbers and quality of the sea trout caught.

And now the weather

Friday afternoon will see sunny spells with temperatures between 18°C and 24°C. It will remain dry overnight and into Saturday, with temperatures rising to 26°C in places during the day. Sunday will be very warm and dry, with temperatures reaching the high twenties in places, and it will remain warm on Sunday night and into Monday, where temperatures could reach 30°C. Tuesday will begin in the same fashion, but the weather will break during the day as heavy thunder showers spread northwards during the day.

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

Shane O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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