Earlier in the week, it seemed that summer would make a first real appearance (at least here in the north-west) but unfortunately, this only lasted for a day until more windy and showery weather reached us from the Atlantic. However, the unsettled weather brought some badly needed rain to some northern and western parts of the country while most other areas remained on the “dry side”.

The Moy was one of the rivers which benefited from the fresh water with grilse fishing improving significantly.

Anglers fishing the Cathedral Beat in Ballina

The Moy Estuary also fished well during the week as reported by skipper Judd Ruane. While anglers on the Moy were blessed with rising water levels, their counterparts in the south-west were still hoping for some rain. Having said that, a number of big fish up to 9kg were caught on the Cork Blackwater despite the low water conditions. Low water levels also impacted on salmon angling on the Bandon and rivers in West Cork, while grilse fishing picked up on Lough Currane.

Over to trout fishing, where after a poor mayfly season flyfishing hasn’t really improved and is still quite slow. In the north-west, anglers on Loughs Conn & Cullin were struggling with windy conditions and the unseasonably cold weather which was reflected in the poor fly life observed. The picture was the same on Lough Sheelin, where trout anglers experienced yet another tough week with very little surface activity reported.

The last farewell…Sheelin’s Ephemera danica

Staying with Lough Sheelin, Ireland on the Fly podcast spoke to Eamonn Ross from the Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association about this year’s mayfly season and other interesting topics. Whilst flyfishing on the Western Lakes doesn’t seem to be very effective these days, other methods produced great results. On Lough Corrib, Toni Kurman enjoyed some fantastic Ferox fishing together with his clients, while angling guide Jasper Mathews was also successful on the troll.

Nice Corrib Ferox

With regard to river trout fishing we received a wonderful report from Keith Millar who recently moved from South Africa to Co. Cork together with his family. What a little gem they found just on their doorstep… Find out here.

In coarse fishing, the 5th qualifier of Ireland’s Feeder King took place on a very blustery Lough Muckno in County Monaghan but still producing highest weights of 12kg and 13kg of skimmers and hybrids. Hybrids were also the target for Mark and Dave who were staying with Kevin Lyons of Melview Fishing Lodge. The two UK anglers overcame adverse conditions for big catches of bream and hybrids in Longford.

Mark and Dave with a good bag off Hybrids.
Mark and Dave with a good bag off Hybrids

In the absence of any pike reports, sea anglers were doing exceptionally well all around the coast this past week. Starting on the east coast, Kit Dunne of Wicklow Boat Charters reported more specimen tope and hounds for his clients.

Specimen Wicklow tope

Fishing out of Courtmacsherry with West Cork Charters, Bert McGregor will definitely remember his 70th birthday catching blue whiting, blue shark and a 45 lbs. blue skate, which makes our “Catch of the Week”.

blue skate
Blue skate, a variety of common skate…an individual species opinion is divided. One this is for sure though they are a lovely looking fish

Kayak fishing has also been good in West Cork.  David Norman of West Cork Bass was out with a client on a guided kayak fishing trip and reported on some great top water bass action. Moving up the coast, the West Clare charter boats took advantage of any better days lately, and were enjoying some great mixed and predator fishing including fine tope, ray and huss.

West Clare Thornback

A little further north in Galway Bay, anglers on the Brazen Hussy II also had some good mixed species fishing. This was also the case in Donegal Bay where anglers had big pollack, tope, ling and cod. Finally, Killybegs Mariners SAC recorded another multitude of species including a new club record mullet for Gavin Dorrian.

New club record thick lipped mullet for Gavin Dorrian

Other News

The 2021 Irish Specimen Fish Reports has been published and is available on the ISFC website www.specimenfish.ie. Hard copies of the report are available free of charge from Inland Fisheries Ireland offices nationally. Over 470 specimen-weight fish were caught by anglers from venues throughout Ireland in 2021 including a new Irish record set by Jim Clohessy from Cork who smashed the existing record for Stone Basse when fishing off Cork Harbour.

And now the weather

Tonight, rain will continue in western parts , potentially turning heavy and thundery at times with a continued risk of spot flooding. Further to the east, it will be clearer with isolated showers. Tomorrow will be an unseasonably cold, windy and wet day. Heavy rain will continue over the western half and will spread across the country throughout the day. Highest temperatures of 11 to 17°C, coolest in the west, in fresh to strong and gusty southerly or variable winds. The outlook for Sunday and the beginning of next week is for more unsettled weather with widespread rain turning heavy at times. Daytime temperatures will remain on the cool side ranging between  3 to 17°C.

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.

Markus Müller
Catch, Photo, Release

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