Apparently there was a Supermoon during the week, only it wasn’t that apparent, as I failed to see it on any of the three nights that it supposedly graced our skies. Any attempts I made were thwarted by the thick, low-lying cloud, that I could sometimes make out anytime it stopped raining long enough for me to see through the gloom. Interestingly, while I didn’t get to see it, the August full moon is synonymous with good fishing for some Native American tribes, who named it the Sturgeons Moon, due to the prevalence of sturgeon in the Great Lakes area at this time of year.
So, while we finally bade farewell to what was the wettest, dreariest July on record, August hasn’t brightened our horizons yet, as rainfall continued to dominate forecasts over the past few days, with some parts of Ireland receiving 220% of the norm last week, and plenty more forecast for the Bank Holiday weekend. Luckily, if the weather clears up in time, I have another chance of seeing a Supermoon later in the month, as the end of August will see a ‘once in a decade’ Blue Supermoon. At times like this, you might wish you were in Sri Lanka… no, not because of the weather, it’s raining over there too… but because Sri Lankans get a Public Holiday for every full moon during the year, which, when added to their regular holiday days, gives them an enviable 26 Public Holidays in 2023. That’s a lot of extra fishing days…
From a surfeit of sturgeon in north-east America to a profusion of porbeagle in mid-west Ireland, where John Fleming of Blue Shark Angling reported one of his best-ever sharking weeks in Galway Bay. Multiple different clients got in on the action as the porbeagle shark seemed to be in a feeding frenzy, and there was even a specimen sized porgie for well-known east coast charter skipper Kit Dunne. These muscular shark are one of Ireland’s most prized angling species and it is rare to get such consistently good fishing for them over an extended period, so this spectacular fishing wins this week’s Catch of the Week.
To the south of Galway Bay, the Clare coast was also on fire with predator action last week. Skipper Sean Maguire had a group from Tipp onboard, and while they were mopping up pollack they decided to have a crack at porbeagle and boated a monster just shy of 200cm. Also on the Clare coast, Skipper Luke Aston reported good fishing for blue shark, with porbeagle also showing up in the catches, along with some excellent tope fishing featuring multiple hook ups. Meanwhile, Kit Dunne is certainly on a roll. He got a mention above for catching a specimen sized porbeagle in Galway Bay, and he followed that up with a specimen sized tope of 162cm from Wicklow.
To the shore scene now, and the Killybegs Mariners were on a road trip to Kerry last week, hoping to beat their tally of 25 species from last year’s trip. They were thwarted by the weather, but still managed a very creditable 23 species despite being lashed by the wind and rain. We wrap up this week’s sea angling news back in Clare, where Lisdoonvarna Fanore SAC is holding its annual International Angling Week from 6-13th August, running five competitions over the week, for which all IFSA members are eligible to enrol.
To coarse angling now, and we begin up on the Erne system, where the 2023 NCFFI Coarse Angling Championships was held last week. Anglers had a soggy time of it, with constant downpours testing rain gear to the limit. But catches of skimmers and hybrids were consistent, and Tommy Dowd from Virginia took the top honour with 10.150kg. Staying up that direction, the Belturbet Coarse Fishing Festival is well underway, and as per above, anglers are facing very waterlogged venues. But with Andrew Lightbourne winning the pre-festival open with a cracking 31kg of bream, tench and skimmers, it seems the fish aren’t to put off by the rain.
To the midlands now, and junior members of the Tullamore Angling Club were on the banks of the Grand Canal again during the week for the third round of their junior league with Caoimhe Carroll winning out on the night with a bag of 2lb 4oz. We wrap up the coarse angling report with a tale of sunnier climes, as Team Ireland Youth are in Portugal for the World Youth Angling Championships which takes place this weekend. We wish all our young anglers well for the competition and we hope you enjoy the experience of representing your country in an international event.
Unsurprisingly, the rain had a big impact on salmon fishing during the week, as a number of spate fisheries benefited from the wet conditions, while other fisheries struggled with high and dirty water. This was borne out in the southwest, where some fisheries reported good fishing, while others cursed the ongoing floods. On the Moy, it was a similar pattern, as measurements on the water gauge fluctuated wildly over the week, but anglers still managed to do well when conditions came good. The rain was very welcome on the Owenmore system in Kerry, where it kept water levels in fine order, providing a steady run of fish into the system. To wrap up the salmon news, IFI would like to remind anglers to return their completed salmon angling logbook, as many anglers especially 1-day licence holders and 21-day licence holders may have completed their fishing for the season.
To trout fishing now, and the rain has meant that many of our rivers have been unfishable over the past week, but some of the lake fishing has been decent. Anglers fishing on Lough Conn & Cullin found sporadic hatches of mayfly and olives and the fish were feeding well during these periods leading to some good catches.
We have no report of pike fishing this week, but we do have news of some qualifiers for Ireland’s Lure Boat Angling Team for the 2024 World Championships, where bookings to enter are now open.
We wrap up with a couple of podcasts which will keep you entertained if the weather keeps you indoors over the weekend. First up, the Ireland on the Fly team has a dive into this season’s poor salmon run and what might be done about it. And in the latest episode of The Lure Fishing podcast, host Cormac Walsh has a wonderful chat with renowned artist, angler, author and diver, David Miller, who gives us some great insights into bass behaviour as well as talking about all things nature and art.
And now the weather
The early sunny spells on Friday will give way to thickening cloud and more persistent rain, with some heavy outbreaks in places and the possibility of spot flooding. It will remain wet overnight and will begin to clear on Saturday afternoon, but winds will strengthen giving blustery conditions in places. The weather over the remainder of the Bank Holiday weekend will remain in this mixed pattern, with patches of bright sunny weather interspersed with showers, many of which will be heavy. So wherever you go, make sure to bring your rain gear…
Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.
Catch, Photo, Release
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All the angling news
Sea Angling Reports
- The Lure Fishing Podcast – Episode 15 – Artist, Angler, Author, David Miller
- Killybegs Mariners get a lashing in Kerry
- Sharks and more in west Clare
- Great predator action in Clare
- Excellent sharking in Galway
- International Angling Week to get underway in north Clare
- Specimen tope tagging for Kit in Wicklow
Coarse Angling Reports
- Tullamore juniors back on the banks again
- Belturbet Festival well underway
- NCFFI Youth Team in Portugal for World Championships
- All Ireland Coarse Angling Championships 2023
Salmon Fishing Reports
- River Moy angling report – week ending 30/07/23
- Ireland on the Fly – Will the 2023 salmon season become the tipping point for real action?
- Water levels keep the fish coming on the Owenmore in Kerry
- Rain brings some good fishing for South West Fisheries