We’ve seen yet another week with more unseasonal weather including heavy rain and very strong winds sweeping across the country affecting all angling disciplines.

While water levels on many water courses here in Ireland have risen again making fishing almost impossible or at least very difficult, let’s have a look over to Slovenia which was hit by what could only be described as a natural disaster of biblical dimensions. Last weekend, torrential rains have lashed about two thirds of the Alpine nation, killing people, destroying infrastructure and causing widespread ecological damage. The damage to fish stocks and the aquatic ecosystem in general is colossal and it will take years before such famous rivers like the Savinja in Northern Slovenia will recover and be fishable again. Events such as these should always remind us how fragile our ecosystems are and that we need to value and protect them as best as we can.

Over here in Ireland, however, salmon fishing is still slow across the country with only the odd exception. With continuous rain, high and coloured water over the last week, it was an unusually quiet week on the Moy for this time of year and some beats only saw a fraction of the anglers that would normally be out and about.  On a different note, for interested parents and children, East Mayo Anglers are hosting a Youth Angling Event on the 16th of August on the River Moy to invite and inspire the next generation of anglers.

Salmon angling on the Munster Blackwater has also been very poor so far this month even though many fisheries have enjoyed perfect river conditions. A few salmon, however, including fish to 16lb, have been caught on the Killarney Lakes and rivers last week. Staying in the south, Vincent Appleby reports of a few sea trout from Lough Currane but also a generally quiet Bank Holiday weekend as far as the fishing was concerned.

In contrast, the month of July saw plenty spates and relatively good salmon fishing on the River Erriff as Donavin Brinklow tells us.

The River Erriff in Co. Mayo fished quite well during July

Salmon anglers might like to tune into this week’s Ireland on the Fly podcast which features keen salmon angler Cian O’Boyle and his passion for the sport.

Over to trout angling, where sporadic hatches and high water levels made fishing difficult on many of the bigger loughs. This was also the case on Loughs Conn and Cullin where anglers struggled with the conditions.

Angling Guide Dan O’Neill who normally writes about the great wild brown trout fishing available on the River Nore, wanted to try something a little different this time and sent in a great report about his trip to Co. Carlow where he enjoyed a super time at Southern County Fishing Resort.

A muscular rainbow from Southern County

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Irish Youths Team on winning their third gold medal in a row at the Four Nations Youth International held in Wales! This is a fantastic achievement! Well done!

Great achievement for the Irish Youths Team in Wales

Trout anglers who are interested in competitive flyfishing might find Eamonn Conway’s latest video useful.  Eamonn, who has won a number of high-profile competitions in the past, gives a brief breakdown of how a competition day works and explains the equipment required to get started.

In coarse angling, high water levels didn’t deter IASCaire Feeder Fishing Club members from hitting the lakeshore in search of bream, roach and hybrids with 11-year old Samuelis Navickas bagging up good numbers of cyprinids.

Young Samuelis Navickas with a fine fish

Tulla and District Angling Club coarse anglers ventured all the way to Oaklands, Co. Wexford for their “Carp Cup” which was won by Steve Guyett on peg 1 with over 53kg, while the Leinster Coarse Fishing Federation were delighted to be able to return to Annaghierin Lake in Co. Cavan for their last qualifier competition.

We also received a few festival results. The Belturbet Coarse Fishing Festival came to a close on Thursday, August 3rd, with well-known festival attendee Julian Kendrick finishing top of the pile. Julian ended up with 65.440kg, over 7kg ahead of the nearest competitor. Meanwhile, the four-day Clones Angling Festival concluded on Monday, August 7th, with John Potters the winner for the second consecutive year.

Great bag of tench

It is still very quiet on the pike front. Predator anglers, however, might like to hear that the Lough Ree King of the Lake International Pike Festival (8th – 10th September 2023) got even more exciting with a trip to one of Europe’s biggest angling expos to be won.

Finally, over to sea angling, where the weather has not favoured charter boat angling this summer, at least not since the good weather ended in June. Frequently windy conditions have kept many boats tied up for long periods, with just the odd break in the weather allowing offshore trips. Skipper Luke Aston at least has the relative shelter of the Shannon Estuary on his doorstep which provided some great fishing for tope and ray. A recent break in the weather also offered some great mixed fishing off Loop Head.

Thornback ray from the Shannon Estuary

In Galway Bay, fishing was also on the slow side, at least as far as shark angling was concerned. Nevertheless, mixed fishing for pollack, ling and wrasse provided nice sport for anglers aboard John Fleming’s Brazen Hussy II.

Further north in Donegal Bay, the bluefin season is in full swing already with charter boats making use of the breaks in the weather catching, tagging and releasing good numbers of tuna up to 600lb. The icing on the cake, however, is the spectacular wildlife experienced while out fishing. Hundreds of dolphins, “Bue Planet” like feeding frenzies and breaching humpback whales have been a regular site for anglers over the past weeks, which makes this our Catch or, better…our “Experience of the Week”.

What an experience!!! (picture courtesy of Gary Burrows)

Staying in Donegal Bay, members of Killybegs Mariners SAC enjoyed good boat and shore fishing including a few more club records.

Elsewhere, Killala Boat Club will be holding a shore fishing competition on Saturday, August 26th to raise funds for the Irish Youth and Junior Teams, who will be competing in the 2023 World Championships in the Netherlands this October. It is great to see that Ireland has so many keen up-and-coming sea anglers!

At Fanore Beach in Co. Clare, the next generation of sea anglers had a fantastic time during the week when Lisdoonvarna Fanore SAC held the first of a series of competitions as part of their International Angling Week.

Check out my flounder!

In other news

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.

And now the weather

There is more heavy rain on the way which will develop in the west over night and will spread eastwards. Tomorrow will see sunshine and showers, some heavy with spot flooding possible. Highest temperatures 17 to 21 degrees with moderate to fresh, southwesterly winds. At the start of the week there will be further sunny spells and scattered showers. Winds will be moderate from westerly directions. Towards the middle of next week showers will become more isolated and the outlook is for drier more settled weather with higher temperatures.

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

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

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