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ince October started with unseasonal warm temperatures and a continuation of the wet and windy conditions, which characterised our weather for most of the summer, we are finally experiencing conditions which are more typical for autumn time. Cool nights, foggy mornings and generally light winds with little rainfall have dominated for the last few days. This should normally make for good pike angling. However, water levels throughout the country still remain on the high side which might be an explanation why we only received a couple of pike angling reports this week.

Chris Barry of Go Fishing Ireland was in touch to let us know about a recent trip guiding two anglers from Michigan. The day out produced a new personal best, breaking the magic 1 meter mark for one of the visiting anglers while the other caught his first pike ever, making this quite a memorable trip for the two US fishermen.

Over the meter…great catch for Mark from Michigan

Speaking of personal bests, Carmel Devine sent us a short report from Lough Key and a photo of her new PB pike. With 96cm, Carmel’s Esox was just short of the 1 meter mark, but we’re sure she’ll rectify this soon!

Carmel measuring her new PB pike

We have high hopes that pike angling will improve over the coming weeks as this time of year usually sees some of the best predator fishing Ireland has to offer.

Over to coarse fishing where a couple of competitions were fished during the week. The Connaught Match Group two-day October festival was held on the River Suck at Donamon. Rising water levels in the week leading up to the competition made fishing difficult. However, there were still plenty of fish caught, with Shane Dunne finishing 1st over the two-day event.

Meanwhile, the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland, NCFFI reports that Cavan angler and member of the CM Lakelands Feeder Club bronze medalist team Steven Whyte wins the All-Ireland Method Feeder Championships again. Steven finished the match at Oaklands with a phenomenal 92.780kg, putting Damian Foltyn in 2nd place and Grazvydas Karalius in 3rd.

Some fine carp caught at Oaklands

The NCFFI are also delighted to present the Celtic Cup angling competition on the 14th and 15th October. The Newry Canal, specifically the Albert Basin and the developed ‘coal yard’ match stretch is the venue for this weekend’s championships, which is the biggest coarse angling event on the canal since the Home International of 2015.

Yesterday, the last few remaining brown and sea trout fisheries which were still open, closed their doors for yet another season. Vincent Appleby tells us that wild days, bright days, slack days and a couple of good days marked the last week of the trout season on Lough Currane, while Peter Driver reports in his recent Piscari-Fly Newsletter on some challenging Euro-nymphing on the River Fane in County Louth. We also received a final report from Lough Arrow Anglers who held their rescheduled end of season competition on Saturday 30th September.

Wild Fane trout caught on nymph

Keen trout anglers who can’t wait until next year to cast a line might be interested in checking out some of the country’s rainbow trout fisheries, which will remain open during the winter months.

For others such as Dan O’Neill, fishery manager at Mount Juliet,  autumn means a transition from game to coarse and pike fishing. Read about Dan’s transition from river to lake fishing here.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind all salmon and sea trout anglers to return their completed logbooks (even if there is no catch recorded) and all unused tags to the issuing office of Inland Fisheries Ireland by the 19th of October!

While game angling takes a break until next season, sea anglers are still able to enjoy some great fishing always weather permitting of course. In particular, shore fishing for sea bass can produce some great catches during this time of year. Last weekend this was the case for Keith Barker who is no stranger to big bass but with an outstanding fish of 85cm he beat his already high PB by another 5cm. Therefore, Keith’s phenomenal specimen Waterford sea bass deserves to win our Catch of the Week!

85 cm bass Keith Barker
A happy Keith with his 85cm sea bass

Up north, Killybegs Mariners also made use of the settled weather, catching some fine sea trout, bass and turbot from a number of Donegal shore marks. Staying in Donegal Bay, charter boats did well on the tuna with some fine bluefins caught, tagged and released. Co. Clare based skipper Luke Aston will probably also target mostly bluefin tuna from now on as his main fishing season has come to a close. Check out his résumé and some of the most memorable catches of this year’s season here.

Bluefin tuna from Donegal Bay

Further south, avid small-boat angler Jim Clohessy has been back on the water again. In his informative report, he tells us about the many different choices boat anglers have during autumn along the Cork coastline.

For Kit Dunne of Wicklow Boat Charters who is also a regular contributor to our Angling Update, it was the beginning of a new era when he recently took delivery of his superb new charter boat christened “Manannan”.  While his vessel may be new, the quality of the fishing hasn’t changed much, as Kit showed a group of Dutch anglers the best of what the Irish east coast has to offer. The anglers from Holland all caught tope but also appreciated some fine bullhuss, which are quite rare along the Dutch coast.

Super tope off the Wicklow coast

Staying with sea angling, the Irish team are now back on home shores after a very intense two weeks in Croatia, where they competed in the FIPS-M World Boat Championships, representing the Island of Ireland. Finishing in 7th place is a great achievement as all the Mediterranean teams were heavily favoured, being more used to the species, venue and type of fishing. So, well done to the Irish lads who represented Irish sea angling extremely well in tough conditions, worked hard and fished very well.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to a new series of marine maps from Infomar. Not only sea anglers will be interested in these stunning marine maps, anyone with an interest in Geography or Oceanography will be fascinated by their detail and appearance. Further information on how to obtain the free maps is available here.

Superb new free marine maps available now

In other news

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, water quality in Ireland is not as good as it should be. Only just over half of rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters are in satisfactory condition. While improvements are being made in some areas, these are being offset by declines in water quality elsewhere. At the current level of progress, Ireland will fail to meet the EU and national goal of restoring all waters to good or better status by 2027.

In the light of this, this week’s Ireland on the Fly podcast addresses the future of heavily polluted Lough Neagh the largest freshwater lake in Ireland or the UK. Tom and Daire are joined by Dr. Les Gornall who did his PhD with Prof. R.B. Wood on Lough Neagh and by Seamus Donnelly who is Secretary of the Moyola Angling Club.

Algal boom on Lough Neagh

Finally, we would like to draw your attention once again to the Irish Specimen Fish Atlas, a brand new publication. The Irish Specimen Fish Committee has just published a new book documenting and analysing specimen fish catches in Ireland from 1955 to 2019. It promises to make an interesting read for any angler interested in learning about specimen fish and how catches of specimen fish have evolved over time. Find out more about the Irish Specimen Fish Atlas and how to buy your copy at: Irish Specimen Fish Committee Fish Atlas Published

irish specimen fish atlas

And now the weather

Tonight will bring a mix of clear spells and scattered showers, most frequent in the west and north where a few could be heavy with a slight chance of hail. Tomorrow will be a cool and mostly dry day with spells of sunshine, though a few well scattered showers will feed in from the northwest. Daytime temperatures will range between 9 and 12 degrees.  High pressure will keep our weather cool and mainly dry for Sunday and the early days of next week. Ground frost in places at night. Current indications suggest that the rest of next week will be milder and more unsettled with rain or showers at times and temperatures in the mid teens.

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

IFI Staff
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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