According to the meteorological calendar, the first day of September marks the beginning of autumn. It is actually hard to believe that our summer, which actually felt more like autumn for most of the time, has come to an end leaving just one more month for salmon and most trout anglers to pursue their passion.

Yet again, the weather this past week hasn’t been very kind to anglers and prospects for a more productive last month of the salmon season, which has been one of the poorest in recent years, aren’t looking promising either. Salmon fishing reports from all over the country have been very poor, to say the least with very few fish being reported from the Cork Blackwater and the other West Cork and Kerry rivers such as the Bandon and Laune. Lough Currane also saw a super quiet week so did the Moy in the northwest. The River Boyne, nevertheless, produced a cracking 18 lbs. fish to the fly but overall fishing was rather slow.

Salmon, Boyne, Ireland
Great 18lbs fly-caught salmon from the River Boyne ready for release

In the light of this and with salmon stocks on the decline and fishing getting more and more difficult and unpredictable, interested anglers might like to tune in to this week’s episode of Daire Whelan’s and Tom Doc Sullivan’s Ireland on the Fly podcast. This week the duo talk to passionate fly angler and conservationist Mark McAndrew about the Liffey Salmon project.

Trout fishing has also been on the slow side for most of the summer with just the occasional highlight for anglers on the big loughs. As far as flyfishing is concerned, the past week hasn’t been much different, at least on Loughs Conn & Cullin. Trolling, however, seems to be producing the better fish on Lough Corrib at the moment with guide Tomi Kurman putting clients over some great trout lately.

Super 73cm Corrib beauty

Coarse anglers continued to be quite active during the past week with a number of matches taking place throughout the country. Starting in the north, where the All Ireland Feeder Club Championships and Qualifiers took place on the River Blackwater at Argory, CM Lakelands scooped first prize qualifying for next year’s World Feeder Club Championships in Portugal.

CM Lakelands

Staying with coarse angling, plenty of junior anglers turned up to fish the Johnny Cunningham Memorial Competition 2023 on the Grand Canal near Tullamore last week, while there were two great performances from young anglers in the final round of the Oaklands Junior Summer League in Wexford with impressive bags of 52kg for John Mulligan (overall winner) and 30kg for Charlie Upton (novice section). Over in the east, Monasterevin and Fisherstown Match Anglers have brought a new festival to the Irish angling scene, hosting a two-day pairs event for the first-time last weekend. Ger Power sent in a report from a Belturbet venue where he enjoyed some great fishing catching a number of big bream together with plenty of other coarse fish such as roach, rudd and hybrids.

Ger with one of his big Belturbet bream

Concluding our coarse angling news, Kevin Lyons tells us that Dutch guests Ron and Bert, who we reported on last week, had a great finish to their week at Melview Fishing Lodge with more fine bream, tench, hybrids and roach. Also staying at Melview (for the second time this year), Belgian anglers Jean-Pierre and son Nick, along with fishing buddy Alain enjoyed great coarse and pike fishing.

Dutch visitor Ron with a nice couple of tench

Mentioning pike, it has been very quiet on the predator front for the past few weeks. From now on, however, pike fishing should become more productive after the usually slower summer months. This is reflected in the reports we received this week. Damien Culliney from Anglers Paradise was recently guiding two anglers from Argentina on Lough Derg who had never fished for pike before. And what a first-time experience they had catching several pike over 90cm with the best fish of the day being a cracking 106cm Esox. Mick Flanagan, of Midlands Angling and Shooting also sent in a report. Mick teamed up with old pal Jimmy Murray who was home from New York, with Jimmy nailing a super 110cm fish on one of his own tyings, putting lures in clear second place on the day. This fly-caught 100cm plus fish deserves to win our Catch of the Week.

A smiling Jimmy with his 110cm fly-caught pike

Over to sea angling, where Donegal Bay based charter boats keep catching and tagging good numbers of bluefin tuna despite unvafourable conditions. Further south along the west coast, Luke Aston of Carrigaholt Sea Angling, Co. Clare, provided a great mix of fishing offshore and targeting predators in the estuary as well. His clients had porbeagle, blues, nice ray, some tope and conger.

Big thornback ray from the Shannon Estuary

On the east coast, Kit Dunne from Wicklow Boat Charters reported on good fishing for bullhuss, smoothhounds and tope, including some big tope up to specimen weight and huss of up to 110cm. Also in Wicklow, Greystones Ridge Angling Club held their annual tope festival last weekend, which attracted small-boat anglers from around the country to the east coast venue. Strong winds somewhat limited angling on the first day, but on day two, the winds dropped and fishing improved considerably.

Super east coast tope

Elsewhere, Killala Boat Club held a very successful fundraising competition for the Irish Youth and Junior shore teams at the weekend, fishing the beach outside Killala.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to Cormac Walsh’s recent Lure Fishing Podcast where he chats with David Sølling Johnsen, an expert angler from Denmark who has specialized in coastal lure fishing for sea trout. Without doubt, David’s tips and tricks could be easily applied to our own saltwater sea trout fishing.

In other news

Fly anglers from Ireland and abroad will be delighted to hear that the Irish Fly Fair will be back again! The 11th annual Irish Fly Fair and International angling show will take place on 18th & 19th November 2023 at Enniskillen. For further information click here.

Salmon Angling Logbook Returns

Inland Fisheries Ireland is encouraging salmon and sea trout anglers to return angling logbooks (setting out their fishing and catch record) and any unused gill tags from 2023 if they have ceased fishing for this year or once the season has closed.

These returns provide vital information regarding the status and management of our wild Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout stocks into the future.

Clare River Bye-Law Consultation

A public consultation is now open on a proposed new bye-law for the Clare River and tributaries in Co. Galway, which involves a new bag limit for angling of 2 trout per day. Find out about it and how to make a submission here.

Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme Funding

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) is now open for funding applications, which angling clubs can apply for. The focus of ORIS is to support outdoor recreational infrastructure in countryside areas across Ireland that not only provide an outlet for the communities in which they are situated, but that also deliver added value from a tourism perspective. Read our post about it here.

And now the weather…

Tomorrow Saturday will be mostly dry. Dull at first in places with areas of low cloud, mist and fog clearing in the morning to leave a day of sunny spells, turning hazier later, with just the chance of a few light showers. Highest temperatures of 19 to 22 degrees in light southerly or variable breezes. High pressure will dominate at the beginning of the week. It will be mild with plenty of sunshine and temperatures up to 24 or 25 degrees in light southeast to east or variable breezes. The outlook, however, is for the high pressure to gradually decline eastwards allowing for some rain or showers to move in.

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

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

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