So while Ireland parched for much of the late summer & early autumn period, the rain gods have been working overtime in recent weeks, ensuring that the country is well and truly drenched as we turn into November. Rainfall was 2 to 3 times the normal amount last week, and that fell on ground that was already completely sodden. All around the country, rivers are at overflow, lakes are brimming to the hilt, and even the fields are flooding out. What angler would dare head out in all that…? Well, luckily for us, some did, and though reports are thin on the ground this week, there are still some quality fish being caught out there.

We’ll begin this week’s roundup with some surprising reports of quality pike fishing. Lots of freshwater flooding into lake systems usually puts the dampeners on pike fishing as they tend to go off the feed in these conditions. But last week seems to have been an exception to that rule, as we have a few reports of fine pike being landed. Starting in the Boyle area, German visitor Michael Hackenberg, guided by Angling Services Ireland, had some insane big pike action, with 6 pike over the magic meter mark, the largest of which was over 10kg. With plenty of good 90+ fish too, it was certainly a week to remember for Michael.

Michael with one of his ‘crocs’

Up on the Erne system, the team from Guided Predator Angling found conditions to be challenging, and they only managed three bites all weekend. Luckily, all three produced fish over the magic meter, with the biggest measuring 110cm. So it was certainly a case of quality over quantity for them.

One of three over the meter

In the midlands, Kevin Lyons of Melview Lodge sent in a summary of his recent guest’s catches. His groups came from Ireland, Belgium and The Netherlands and faced some pretty horrendous weather, but they still managed to produce plenty of fine fish in difficult conditions.

To the coarse angling scene next and Lough Muckno, where the Halloween 3-day festival was held in almost constant rain, and on a lake verging on unfishable. But the fish didn’t seem that put out by the downpour, and catching was quite consistent over the three days, with a respectable 25.8kg topping the table for Stephen Whyte. No sooner than the weigh-in was completed, the lake spilled over & flooded the access roads, meaning all events have been cancelled over the next few days… Next, we have a young angler who has helpfully shared some of his tips and tricks for fishing at his favourite venue, Lough Ramor. Brian Smyth has been fishing for four years, and you can tell he has learned a lot in a short space of time as he describes some of the rigs that have brought him success fishing the venue.

Junior angler Brian Smyth shows off a chunky, well-marked Ramor Perch

On the sea angling front, most boats would have spent much of the last week ashore, but Killybegs Fishing Trips made the most of a weather window to head out after Bluefin Tuna, and they were well rewarded with a fantastic fish that measured 103 inches or a whopping 700lbs. They had managed a 600lb fish the day before and thought that was going to be hard to beat, so they are definitely on a roll right now, and fish of that stamp deservedly wins this week’s Catch of the Week.

700lb of bluefin tuna

It would take some really foul weather to keep the Killybegs Mariners away from the beaches, so it was no surprise to hear they were back in action again last week. This time it was one of their younger members that came to the fore, as junior member Cormac landed some nice turbot, coley and flounder.

Cormac with a small turbot

In a week where we were short on angling reports, it was great to get a retrospective report in from Richie Ryan of Eirebass. Richie regularly hosts a couple of friends from South Africa for a few days pollack fishing in Irish waters. And they all agree that Ireland has a major untapped resource in the quality of its fly fishing for pollack.

A happy Jacques Bronkhorst with a fine fly-caught pollack

In another welcome retrospective, salmon angler Seán Woods shared a video of the various venues he has visited in search of salmon in 2022. By the looks of things, he gets plenty of days on the water, and makes the most of those days in terms of fish, photos and video.

To wrap up, the latest podcast from Ireland on the Fly has just been issued. With the title of “Boiled bluebottles & more…the fly tying secrets of Jackie Mahon”, this one really has me intrigued, and I have the headphones ready to listen in, just as soon as I have finished this update…

And now the weather

Friday will be mainly dry, with some isolated showers, mostly falling in Ulster. Rain will spread from the southwest overnight, with some heavy falls in places that may lead to spot flooding. Saturday will begin wet but will clear to sunny spells in the afternoon before showers return to the Atlantic counties towards evening. Sunday will again bring heavy showers, and the unsettled weather with plenty of rain looks set to continue at least into midweek.

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

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

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