Over the past week there’s been no shortage of rain and the rivers and lakes are high in most places. Spring is well underway and the blackthorn is blossoming in most hedgerows. Temperatures are around average for late March, but it was certainly colder in the last couple of days, with sleet and snow falling in some places. It doesn’t come across as a poor week for anglers though and we’ve a better mix of reports than last week to share with you today…

Salmon angling was probably hardest hit by the high water conditions on rivers up and down the country. We have no news of catches this week, but on Lough Currane, there was some activity due to a good hatch, Duckfly, and those with trout rods moved to make the most of the chance. Anglers hoping to keep a salmon from the Roughty this year have an opportunity to enter the 2nd brown tag draw for the river, but you’ll need to make your application by midnight April 14th 2024. Inland Fisheries Ireland is selling permits on behalf of the Ballina Salmon Anglers Association at their online permit shop to facilitate access to the fishing. This association water comprises approximately 5km of double bank fishing from the weir in Ballina to the confluence with the Corroy River and 1 day, 3 day and 1 week permits are available. Finally, we share a memory from the 2023 season from Andrew McGall to motivate anyone thinking of wetting a line this weekend.


Trout anglers did well on rivers and loughs over the last week. Dan O’Neill was on the King’s River where the trout were coming to a mix of tactics – sunk lure and dry-dropper. Peter Driver shares reports from the Erkina, another tributary of the River Nore, where the trout were coming well to nymphs and dry-dropper set ups. Senan Stanley was catching trout on ultra light spin gear in the Hidden Heartlands. He shares a series of videos which are well worth watching. We also have a report from Lough Mask where one angler enjoyed the healing power of time on the water, and our Cath of the Week. On Lough Corrib where a father and son enjoyed a double hook up on ferox trout. Staying with lakes, anglers hoping to fish on Lough Bofinne or Shepperton are alerted that both fisheries will remain closed until 08 April this year. Finally, in podcast news, Ireland on the Fly talks to Julie Gerry, the only woman to win the Lough Mask World Cup, on breaking boundaries and encouraging youths into the sport.


The first FeederKing qualifier for 2024 was held on Lough Muckno on Sunday, with plenty of small fish caught on White and Yellow Islands but very tough fishing for those drawn on to the Black Island section. The final match of the Erne Anglers Winter League was fished on a fast flowing, high River Erne. The winner was John Potters catching 7.300kg on the pole and whip. Further south Ivaylo Benov, bagging 56.840kg, won the first round of the Oaklands Spring/Summer league. Not too far away a visiting angler, young Cooper Carnahan, had a great time catching roach on waggler in Co. Kilkenny. The VDE Baggers held a match on Creeve Lough at the weekend. On a day when every fish was hard-earned,  Aaron Nabc Hutchmann bagged the top prize with 101 roach for 2.9kg. The 8th leg of the Leinster Open was held at Haughton’s Shore on Garadice at the weekend. Fishing was scrappy and most of the fish landed were on the small side, with roach, hybrids and perch all featuring in catches. In the end, Tommy Dowd took top honours with 7.38kg.

There are a couple of sea angling competitions in this week’s reports. One was fished at Roney Point in Wexford, the other at the Slob Bank in Youghal but both found the fishing to be difficult despite promising conditions. At the other end of the country, Killybegs Fishing Trips were back on the water and enjoyed better fishing with plenty pollack, some coalies and a few wrasse. Jim Murray, of the National Mullet Club, was on to let us know that the Irish Shield for the best mullet caught by a club member in Ireland was awarded to Dave Rigden. The FIPS – Mer World Shore Angling Championships will be held this November in Péniscola, Spain. Meet Ireland’s eight man team here Meet Team Ireland: Shore World Championships 2024, Spain.

Upcoming events…

The NCFFI Predator section are organising the last of the three qualifying events to select the 2024 Boat Team to represent Ireland at the World Championships – to be held in Ireland – and it will take place on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th April on Upper Lough Erne. For more information see Predator Boat Team 2024 – Qualifier Three, Upper Erne

Newbridge District Pike Anglers will be hosting a junior IFPAC qualifier on the 13th April. Fishing will take place from 11am to 3pm, and the event will be free for all children up to 18 years. For more information see Newbridge District Pike Anglers to host IFPAC Junior Qualifier

After the incredible success of last year, the organisers of the inaugural Kerry Pairs have announced that they are preparing for the second edition of the event in 2024, with a July 20th return to the beaches of Cappaclough and Delis and fishing from 11am – 4pm. For more information see Kerry Pairs event returns for 2024

Agus anois an aimsir…

As we go to press, there are Small Craft and Gale warnings in place tomorrow and over the long weekend for all coasts, so check the forecast before making any plans to go afloat. Inland, there will be a mix of sunny spells and showers tomorrow. Some showers will turn heavy, with a chance of hail and isolated thunderstorms. Highest temperatures of 8 to 11°C in light to moderate southerly winds, fresh at times in the south. Unsettled for the Easter weekend but turning slightly milder with daytime temperatures in the low to mid-teens. Remaining unsettled next week with further showers and rain. That’s what you get for having Easter in March I suppose.

Make sure to check the forecast before going afloat and if you’re going to sea, don’t forget to check the tides. Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.

Beannachtaí na Cásca ort!

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to [email protected].

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