My neighbour went off to sunny Spain last week and tasked me with watering the plants in her front garden. She needn’t have bothered… as the rainfall was 2 to 3 times the average across much of the country, and the watering can stayed put in my shed. There was a markedly autumnal feel in the air last week as temperatures cooled, bringing a nip to the air in the mornings and evenings. In other years, many of us might have fired up the central heating for the first time to take the chill out of the air, but being the year that it is, most of us probably opted to grit our teeth and put on a jumper or two…
Autumn normally sees a tapering off for our charter boat fishing as a combination of unsettled weather and species moving offshore limits the fishing opportunities. Luckily, that decline has not happened just yet, as reports of good fishing came thick and fast over the past week. Blue shark seemed particularly active, and we have reports of top-quality shark fishing from a couple of our charter boats. We’ll start in Courtmacsherry, where anglers fishing with both charter operators had their hands full with quality blues during the week. A group of Belgian anglers fishing with Courtmacsherry Angling hit the jackpot with 10 blues boated, including three over the 100lb mark. Also in Courtmacsherry, anglers fishing with West Cork Charters had a similar bonanza, with one group recording 16 blues and another group recording 10 blues, a couple of those also being specimen sized. Anglers fishing on the Clare Dragoon also had the blues, and enjoyed some decent fishing for spurs pollack and tope as well.
Staying in Clare, the Lady Gwen hosted some anglers from Mississippi last week, and they brought some US-style lures and rigs to try out on Irish fish. It seems the fish were quite taken by the new-fangled rigs, as codling, pollock, ling, haddock and gurnards all fell for some US Steel. Next up, anglers fishing with Blue Shark Angling in Galway had some nice tope alongside a decent mix of other species and the odd squid thrown in for good measure. And to wrap up our charter report, Wicklow Boat Charters have been experimenting with some new tactics of late, namely targeting bass off the Wicklow coast. And with three out of four trips proving successful so far, it looks like they have added another species to their repertoire.
On the shore scene, the Killybegs Mariners kicked off their winter league with a trip to Rossnowlagh, where 20 anglers turned out and had some good fishing in terms of size, if not numbers. Meanwhile, South Shore SAC had to change the venue for their match last week, switching to Wicklow North Beach, as their preferred venue of Kilgorman looked too blustery. 31 anglers fished in day-long torrential rain, and as if that wasn’t enough, the fishing was a bit on the dour side too. Over in the west, Brian Reidy won the final leg of the Galway Bay SAC Master Angler, making him the champ for the second year running. Brian will also captain the Connaught team in next year’s inter-pro, so he’s on a bit of a roll…
Moving to small boat fishing now, over 90 anglers from Ireland and the UK competed in this year’s Rosslare Small Boats festival last week. The competition had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions, but anglers flooded back to the event after a couple of years of absence, and it was Liverpool-based boat Nirvana that came out on top with a total of 26 species.
And for any small boat anglers that fancy a bit of competition this weekend, Greystones Ridge SAC has asked us to remind you that they still have some places in their Monster Tope Angling Festival this Saturday & Sunday.
Moving onto salmon fishing, and we would have expected to see some good reports following the rain during the week, but reports have actually been quite thin on the ground. The rain certainly got things moving down in Waterville, with both the lake and the rivers turning up some decent fishing. The rain also brought the fishing on down in the south west as a number of fisheries reported an increase in catches for the week. Unfortunately, the rain on the Moy failed to produce the hoped-for flood, and anglers were left disappointed as a result.
We also have monthly reports for August from both the Erriff and the Galway Weir fisheries. As one might expect, the very low water levels combined with high water temperatures made it a month to forget for most anglers that wet a line.
And in a reminder to all salmon and sea trout anglers, the season will end in the next couple of weeks, so your logbooks and unused tags will be due for return. Please remember to get the logbook and any unused tags back to IFI by October 19th.
September normally sees a return to action for many of our pike anglers and pike angling clubs, and true to form, we have seen an increase in piking activity over the past week. Newbridge & District Pike Anglers kicked off their winter season with a double competition held last Saturday and Sunday. With many opting to bivvy up on the bank overnight, it was a good opportunity for catching up with old fishing pals as much as it was to do a bit of fishing. Limerick County Pike Anglers also resumed their competition schedule last week, but the heavy rain forecast meant a low turnout as only 7 anglers were brave enough to face the dirty conditions.
On the guiding scene, Bodo Funke of Angling Services Ireland has had a cracking start to his autumn season, with a number of 100+cm pike landed, including one of 112cm for an American guest. Meanwhile, Galway-based angling guide Tomi Kurmann has also boated a number of 100+cm pike during the week, but even more impressively, he also boated 4 fine ferox trout, bringing his total for the year to a hugely impressive 96! This week’s fine tally of large pike and ferox wins Tomi this week’s Catch of the Week.
On the coarse angling scene, festivals are still taking place around the country, and at the Belturbet festival, anglers found that a long-forgotten venue was, in fact, a hidden gem, with some quality catches for anglers that got to fish it. On Lough Muckno, 19 of Ireland’s finest feeder anglers endured torrential rain as they competed in the final of the Irish Feedermasters. In the end, only grammes separated the top spots, with Robertas winning out with a bag of 11+kg.
Over at Melview Lodge, two Dutch anglers were on form, landing plenty of cracking tench along with some bream, hybrids and roach. Meanwhile, staying with Melview, Andy & Pete from the UK were also finding the fish in a biting mood, with tench, bream and hybrids also featuring for them.
To wrap up this week’s report, we turn to trout fishing, and we begin on Lough O’Flynn, where the Maloney/Keady cup was held at the weekend. In what was a heaviest fish competition, John Burke won the day with a fish of 3lb 4oz. Meanwhile on Lough Conn, not many anglers ventured out, but of those that did, some were rewarded with fine fish, including one of 4.8lb, the biggest recorded on the lake so far this season!
For anglers looking for some end-of-season tips, the latest edition of Ireland on the Fly podcast features top competition angler Peter Driver discussing tactics for September, amongst other things.
Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.
Catch, Photo, Release
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And now the weather…
Friday will be fresh and mostly dry with a sprinkling of autumn sunshine. It should remain dry overnight and Saturday will start crisp and cool, leading to some dry, sunny weather across most of the country. The dry, settled weather will continue into early next week, with a slight change coming on Tuesday as showers will spread eastwards from the Atlantic coast.
All the angling news
Sea Angling Reports
- Blues and tope in Carrigaholt
- Reidy takes Connaught Closed Gold
- Fine tope and mixed species fishing in Galway Bay
- Belting blue shark fishing for anglers in Courtmacsherry
- Over 90 anglers from Ireland and the UK compete at 35th Rosslare Small Boats Festival
- Start of Mariners’ winter league and some more club records
- Mixed species for Mississippi men in West Clare
- Sunday deluge fails to deter hardy South Shore anglers
- Wicklow Boat Charters add bass to their repertoire
Salmon Fishing Reports
- Low water levels prevail on the Moy
- Rain brings the fish on the take on many SW fisheries
- A quiet month of August on the Galway Weir
- Low water levels on the Erriff impacted on angling during the month of August
- Fish moving on Waterville system as season enters it’s last few weeks
- 2022 Salmon & Sea Trout Angling Logbooks: due for return shortly
Pike Fishing Reports
- Autumn season starting well for Angling Services Ireland
- Ferox count nears the ton for Tomi on Corrib
- Rain hampers play for Limerick County Pike Anglers
- Newbridge & District Pike Anglers start their competition season with a double match
Coarse Angling Reports
- Fishing going well for regular UK coarse anglers staying at Melview Fishing Lodge
- Dutch coarse anglers finish their holiday well at Melview Fishing Lodge
- Torrential rain dampens the Muckno mood for Feedermasters finalists
- Successful finish for Belturbet Festival
Trout Fishing Reports
- Few but big trout caught on Lough Conn
- Lough O’Flynn Maloney/Keady Cup
- Ferox count nears the ton for Tomi on Corrib
- New episode of Ireland on the Fly features Peter Driver