he weather of late has been rather cool and fairly breezy but largely dry with just the odd wetter day in places. Some parts of the country haven’t seen any longer spells of rain for weeks which impacted negatively on water levels; most noticeably on some spate rivers along the west coast such as the Owenmore system on the Dingle Peninsula.

The 2024 salmon season should be well under way by now, but anglers are still waiting for the grilse run to kick off properly. Listening to salmon anglers around the country it appears that numbers are down and following a similar path to 2023. Anglers on Lough Currane would definitely agree according to Vincent Appleby who reported of a tough week on the lake with the exception of a specimen sea trout for one lucky angler. Staying in Kerry, the situation wasn’t much different on the Laune system including the Killarney Lakes where low water conditions continued last week with only a few salmon reported.  Thankfully it is not all doom and gloom these days as far as salmon angling is concerned. Some lovely fish were running the Munster Blackwater lately with anglers catching a decent number of salmon well into double figures.

Fortwilliam salmon ready for release
Fortwilliam salmon ready for release

Reports from the Moy also suggest improved fishing and first signs of a steadier grilse run. Having said that, we probably won’t know until mid-July if this year will see a more abundant run of salmon.

This week’s Ireland on the Fly podcast, however, is putting some positivity and hope back into the current salmon season talking to avid salmon angler Sean McLaughlin, who is based outside Derry. Ireland on the Fly are also running another of their popular webinars. For this Masterclass, Paddy McDonnell, one of Ireland’s most renowned salmon anglers and guides, will be sitting down with presenters, Tom Doc Sullivan and Daire Whelan, with lots of tips and advice.

Over to trout fishing, where the mayfly season is drawing to a close on most of our lakes. Chris Oliver, however, reports that there were still a few fish moving to mayflies on Lough Sheelin, while fishing sedges also worked well for him. On Lough Conn, two prestigious competitions were fished in challenging conditions the week before last.

Fine Sheelin trout caught on a Green Wulff

In river trout angling, Dan O’Neill tells us that the Nore is fishing excellently at present with trout responding well to both wet and dry flies, while Paddy Dunworth of Celtic Angling sent in a report from Limerick where American and Canadian anglers enjoyed exciting wet and dry fly fishing on the River Maigue.

Peter Driver has also been in touch with a weekly round up from Piscari-Fly including a report on a successful session with the Irish Youth Team on the Avonmore River in Co. Wicklow. Piscari-Fly are training this year’s Irish Youth Team which will be heading to the Czech Republic this August competing in the 21st– FIPS-Mouche Youth Fly Fishing Championships.

Great conditions on the Avonmore

Coarse anglers were involved in a number of matches and festivals lately. Recently, Edenderry Coarse Angling Club held its yearly festival on the Grand Canal. The festival is split into two parts, with a two-day competition and a three-day competition running on alternate days. The event attracts some of the best canal anglers in Ireland and the UK and is a long-standing event on the Irish coarse angling calendar. The fishing over the 5-day event had been pretty close, leaving anglers tightly packed in the rankings. In the end, however, Gal Charnock backed up his win in the 2-day, with a win in the 3-day, making him the undisputed king of the canal at Edenderry. And repeating his double win from the previous year!

Double win for Gal Charnock

Meanwhile, Liverpool angler Jeff Stirrat, who finished runner-up in the two-day Edenderry event, scooped first prize in the Progressive Genetics Cup which was fished over two days on the Royal Canal, Co. Meath leaving reigning All Ireland Canal Champion, Dean Murray, in second place.

Elsewhere, Chris Lawlor wins the first round of Athy & District Anglers’ first match of their mini summer league, while Matija Ivkov finished tops in the latest round of the Sensas/Dennett Summer League held at Oaklands.

On the pike front, things are slowing down somewhat as water temperatures rise steadily and fish moving into deeper water. Nevertheless, some venues still produced some exceptional catches. Senan Stanely was out on Lough Derg last weekend and continued his lucky streak with more chunky pike up to 105cm, while his boat partner Daniel caught a whopper of a perch at 39.5cm.

Staying in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Boyle based Bodo Funke of Angling Services Ireland tells us of super pike fishing on fly and lure for his clients including some cracking Esox measuring in excess of the magic one-meter mark.

One meter plus pike from Boyle

Finally, over to sea angling where the charter boat season is getting better and better. We received a number of remarkable reports from charter skippers around the coast. Starting in Galway Bay, anglers fishing on the Brazen Hussy enjoyed some great reef fishing with plenty of mackerel for bait, some cracking pollack and even a few brightly coloured red gurnard.

Further south along the west coast, it’s been a week for big, toothy fish on the Clare Dragoon. Boating a few bull huss and tope in the shelter of the Shannon Estuary earlier in the week, Luke Aston and crew got out offshore for a crack at some really big fish – six gill shark. After losing one of these leviathans, their second attempt was crowned in success resulting a 10ft six-gill estimated between 800 to 900lbs. What a great achievement and the first six-gill of the year!

First six-gill of the year!

Our Catch of the Week, however, goes further south to Co. Cork. Mark Gannon of Courtmacsherry Sea Angling Centre reports of a fantastic week’s fishing with plenty species and specimens. The week kicked off with plenty big pollack and a skate tipping the 200lbs marker. This was followed by three specimen skate for a group of Dutch anglers who also had conger up to 25lbs, pollack up to 9lbs and near specimen bull huss!

skate at courtmacsherry
One of many specimen skate from Courtmacsherry

The week continued with more specimen common skate, biggest measuring 204cm, a specimen spur and 3 blue shark averaging 60lbs for a gang of UK anglers. Finally, this remarkable week was crowned with two elusive hake fishing over some offshore wrecks.

Another hake!
An elusive hake

In other news

Inland Fisheries Ireland calls all sea anglers to participate in the 2024 IMREC Survey. The Irish Marine Recreational Angling (IMREC) Diary was launched in 2021 to help monitor recreational catches of marine species in our waters. A primary aim of the project is to collect data that will help all stakeholders to better manage, conserve and protect the fisheries resource, thereby providing benefits for recreational sea angling in Ireland and supporting those small businesses involved in the sea angling sector.

hand on diary

On Wednesday 12 June, 2024, a draw was scheduled to allocate 64 Brown Tags for the taking of salmon on the Roughty River. As there were more tags than entries all valid applicants received a tag. The final draw will open for entries from 22 July to 04 August with the draw taking place on 07 August.


And now the weather…

Cloud and outbreaks of rain and drizzle will continue to push eastwards over the country early tonight followed by further showers, some heavy. Lowest temperatures 6 to 9 degrees. Light to moderate westerly or variable winds, fresh to strong near Atlantic coasts.

The weekend will bring a mix of weather across the country. It’ll most likely be cloudy across the northern parts of the country with outbreaks of rain, with some heavy bursts. Brighter further south with sunny spells, but scattered showers too, some heavy with a chance of isolated thunderstorms. Highest temperatures of 14 to 18 degrees, warmest in the sunshine in the south, in mostly light to moderate westerly winds.

The further outlook is for largely dry conditions until the middle of next week with some sunshine and daytime highs in the mid-teens generally, but continuing rather changeable and mixed thereafter, with wet and breezy conditions at times.

Don’t forget to check the forecast before heading off and if you’re going to sea, check the tides.

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] and don’t forget that all of our fishing reports are available on our dedicated Angling Ireland Facebook page.

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