Daffodils and tulips are in bloom, birds are nesting and fish are biting. Spring has most certainly sprung, with temperatures up to 16C yesterday. It’s been a fairly wet spring so far, after a relatively dry winter. Water levels have risen significantly in recent weeks, with many rivers in flood and more rain crossing the country today.
The high water levels have put many salmon rivers out of order, and we have only two reports this week. The Upper Caragh fishery is certainly having a good early season, with several fish reported this week.
Elsewhere, a few windy days kept anglers off Lough Currane, but when the wind abated there were salmon to be caught, according to Vincent Appleby.
The current mild weather favours fly hatches on the lakes, with duckfly the most important at this time of year. Loughs Conn and Cullin were quiet, but Brenda Montgomery reports that over on Sheelin spring has sprung, with duckfly hatching and providing sport, although lures are also doing well.
Visiting anglers from distant shores also got to grips with some early-season trout fishing on the lakes of the Boyne Valley region. Recent arrivals from Singapore, Jaden and Regina enjoyed good fishing with Chris Barry of GoFishing Ireland. It might be only 48cm, but for their first Irish trout, and for the happy smiles, this is our Catch of the Week!
It’s been a busy week on the coarse angling scene, with competitions and festivals up and down the country. There was excellent fishing at the 3-day match at Inniscarra, where Neall McKitterick was the top rod with a fantastic catch of 44.4kg.
There was good fishing at Annaghieran Lake, Carrickmacross where the VDE Baggers club held a competitive outing, with a top weight of 7.58kg winning it for Charlie Richards. The Munster Coarse Anglers winter league wrapped up at O’Briensbridge; the backup venue chosen because the east Clare lakes were all flooded produced great fishing, with nearly all pegs producing double figure weights. Steve Grogan continued his good form with top weight of 17lbs 13oz, taking the competition and the overall league title.
The Erne Anglers also wrapped up their winter league, with 32 anglers taking part in the final leg. Mick Mahoney took the overall honours for the league, while Paul Smith managed to find some nice bream to take the victory on the day.
Ballinakill Anglers were another club finishing their winter league, with the overall standings finishing in a dead heat, Gary Leech winning on a countback with a total weight of 54lbs 2oz.
Finally, NCFFI are hosting the World Feeder Club Championships on Lough Muckno on April 22-23rd, and are looking for stewards to help out.
Pike clubs have mostly concluded their winter leagues, with spring/summer competitions now kicking off the new season. Luke O’Ciaran won the Leinster Pike anglers first outing with a bag of 35lbs 5oz . Tucker McCabe had an impressive catch of 16 fish for over 40lbs at the Whitewood Anglers outing in Monaghan. O’Caseys Pike Angling Club have already left the traps and hosted the second of their 2023 competition up in Cavan last weekend. Dylan Farell was the top angler on the day with a bag of 6 fish for 23lb 13oz and he also managed to scoop the heaviest fish prize with a pike of 11lb 12oz.
Sea temperatures are just starting to warm up slightly, some fish are returning to our shores after winter migrations, and angers are starting to enjoy more sport. Anglers in Killybegs, an active lot, have been enjoying plenty of multi-species action from the pier, including flounder, coalfish, rockling and even lobster!
A calm spell and a shoal of sandeel got pollack feeding in Connemara for guide Vinny Corrigan and his client Bernard from Chicago, who landed some nice fish.
Elsewhere in Connemara, Galway Bay SAC enjoyed some pleasant sunshine on Lettergesh beach; although the flounder have not moved back inshore in big numbers yet there were still enough fish to provide a competitive outing.
Charter boats are getting up and running for the season, and we feature two Galway Bay boats that have had a refit over the winter. Anglers booking trips on John Fleming’s boat the Brazen Hussy II can look forward to a very clean looking boat, she looks a million dollars now! And new owner/skipper Julian Dusso has made some good renovations to his new boat, the Leaca Rua to have her looking in great shape for the season.
Many anglers are familiar with Inland Fisheries Ireland’s role in angling tourism, and a new article on our website outlines some of the work our angling team do in marketing Ireland as a sustainable angling destination. The article also features Dominic O’Morain from Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel, who says when angling groups are staying, there is a real buzz in the whole community. And did you know there are more anglers in Ireland than golfers? Read more here.
Over the last number of years, bluefin tuna have been the basis of a remarkable new fishery in our inshore waters; with zero quota this remains an angling-only fishery with fishing strictly licensed to charter boats participating in a research and tagging programme called Tuna CHART, which gathers invaluable data for fisheries scientists and managers. Fishing for these giants outside of this programme is illegal, and this week three men were convicted in court of illegally targetting tuna off Baltimore in October, 2022.
And now the weather
Rain currently soaking the eastern half of the country clearing slowly, with brighter but showery weather spreading from the southwest. Tomorrow (Saturday) will see rain again in the east, but drier and brighter spellsin the south and west with scattered showers. Highest temperatures of 9 to 12 degrees in a moderate northerly breeze.
Sunday looks a nice day, with bright spells, just the odd light shower and temps of 11-14C in a light southerly breeze. Positively spring-like weather! Enjoy it while it lasts – Monday sees freshening winds and cloud spreading from the west, bringing rain by evening. The weather continues mild and breezy with scattered outbreaks of rain on Tuesday.
Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.
Catch, Photo, Release
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All the angling news
Salmon Fishing Reports
Trout Fishing Reports
- Loughs Conn & Cullin still quiet
- Ireland on the Fly talks to Frankie McPhillips
- Spring has sprung on Sheelin
- From the South China Sea to an Irish lough
Coarse Angling Reports
- Neall McKitterick wins Trev Tackle 3 Day festival at Inniscarra
- Volunteers: Tulla Anglers to clear O’briensbridge swims, stewards wanted for World Feeder Club Championships
- Steve Grogan wins Munster CAC’s winter league at O’Briensbridge
- VDE Baggers ‘bag up’ on Annaghieran
- Erne Anglers wrap up their winter league
- Ballinakill Anglers league ends in a dead heat
Pike Fishing Reports
Sea Angling Reports
- Some nice pier action for Killybegs Mariners
- Galway Bay charter boats back in action after refits
- Sandeel and a calm spell bring Connemara pollack on the feed
- Connemara in the sunshine – the fishing was ok too!