Temperatures have been quite pleasant over the past week, remaining a few degrees higher than the norm for mid-May. In other regards, the weather has been pretty average, with average rain and average sunshine levels across most of the country. However, one recent meteorological event was far from ordinary, as last Friday night saw parts of the country bathed in the spectral light of the Aurora Borealis. The event was best appreciated in areas without light pollution, and what better place than on an island in the middle of a large Irish lake? That is exactly where Gavin O’Brien was lucky to be when he captured this stunning photo of his angling boat moored on Inchagoill with the Northern Lights as a backdrop. He wasn’t the only angler abroad that night either, as a couple of miles to the south, angler Paul Fingleton was enjoying a similar spectacle from his camp on Urkaun Beg. What a night to be out under the stars…

Spectral sky from Urkaun Beg

Unfortunately, for both of the above anglers, the light show was definitely the highlight of their trips to the Corrib. They found the fishing to be somewhat challenging, with only patchy hatches of mayfly and few fish moving to them. Anglers on Loughs Conn and Cullin did manage to tempt a few trout on mayfly patterns over the past week, as the Crossmolina Anglers held their Aidan Connor Cup with 12 fish over the 12″ limit boated. The mayfly is reported to be up on Arrow too, but they are still waiting for the big hatch, and fishing has been a bit sporadic. Mayfly were also evident on the River Maigue, and small browns were snapping them up. On Lough O’Flynn, a fine trout of 2lb 14.2oz won Connie Finnerty the Michael Malone Cup as he and his partner finished with a bag of 6 fish for 12lb. Lough Mask delivered the goods for Peter Kavanagh during the week, as it provided him with his first wild brownie since taking back up fly fishing a few years ago. We wrap up this week’s trout reports on the River Nore, where instructor Dan O’Neill was instructing a man who had once been instructed by one of the greatest instructors of all, Lefty Kreh.

Mask trout for Peter Kavanagh

To sea angling now, and many sea angling clubs around the coast are fishing their way through their Master Angler series. On the east coast, South Shore SAC were back at Kilcoole for the latest round of their MA. Luckily, it fished better than the previous trip there, and Ciaran Fogarty won the round and landed a fine bass while doing so. On the west coast, Galway Bay SAC headed to the Clare coast for the latest leg of their MA, and bass featured in the catch for the winner there too, as Tom Keal landed a bass and some flounder to take the win. Cobh SAC went on the water for the second leg of their MA, as they fished Cork Harbour, landing plenty of good pollack, and a super specimen bullhuss for young angler Jay O’Halloran, which wins this week’s Catch of the Week.

Specimen bullhuss for Jay O’Halloran

Charter boats have also been reporting some good fishing. The reefs off Union Hall are producing some good pollack for anglers fishing with Adrian Nowotynski, and they are also getting to see some basking shark activity. And pollack to 9lb featured in catches for anglers fishing with Sean Maxwell in Courtmacsherry, while bass anglers did well fishing from the self-drive boats. Off the Clare coast, skipper Sean Maguire reports that anglers had over 13 species, and mackerel seem to be around in good numbers. Fly fishing guide Richie Ryan had a bumper day on Cork Harbour, as clients landed over 30 bass on the fly and a few nice pollack, too. Bass were also active off the Wexford coast for lure specialist Cormac Walsh, with fishing into darkness proving most productive.

To pike fishing news now, and congratulations to the Polish team who were victorious in the Nations Cup 2024 held on Lough Ree last week, and well done to Senan Stanley and Paul Bourke, who topped the individual standings. Angling guide Bodo Funke had an expert fly angler from Austria fishing with him this week, and they had some cracking results, including five pike over the magic 100cm. A little further south, a trio of anglers from France spent a week fishing at Melview Lodge, and they landed plenty of pike to 103cm. Chris Barry had some clients out fishing in the Boyne Valley area recently, and they had lots of action, with the best fish going to Ciara McCarthy, who boated a fine 101cm pike, breaking her PB. Anybody interested in learning about lure fishing for pike should tune into the latest video from Norbert Renaud, as he discusses what role colour plays in lure selection.

Ciara McCarthy with her new PB
Ciara McCarthy with her new PB 101cm pike.

To coarse angling news now, and to Lough Mucko, where the CM Lakelands Feeder Club found small hybrids making up the bulk of their catches as Darren Fairhurst finished top with a bag of almost 7kg. The Naas and District Angling Club had a small knock-up on the Grand Canal at the weekend and found the tench to be biting despite the sunny conditions. Meanwhile, the Leinster Coarse Fishing Club were on the Royal Canal at the weekend, and they found some quality bream amongst their catches. To wrap up the coarse news, Oaklands Lake saw the first 100kg bag of the year fall to Ivalyo Benov, who netted 102kg to win the third round of the summer league.

A fine brace of decent bream from the Royal Canal

We wrap up this week’s angling reports with salmon angling news and begin on the Blackwater, where anglers were scarce despite conditions being good, but at least two lucky anglers met a couple of good fish. Angling is steadily improving on the River Moy, and a handful of double-figure fish were again reported from various fisheries throughout the system during the week. Fishing is also improving on Lough Currane, where a couple of nice springers were caught and the sea trout have begun to put in a welcome appearance. In the latest edition of their podcast, the Ireland on the Fly team chats with Frank Maunsell, who regales them with tales about his years looking after the Owenmore River in Co. Kerry.

3rd cast lucky for Damien Lawless on the Blackwater Salmon Fishery

Lastly, if you are a coarse or pike angler, you are probably aware of the angling potential in the lakes around Bailieborough. The Bailie Hotel has been in touch to say they are now making things easy for you to enjoy the fishing in the area by offering packages designed especially for anglers. What’s stopping you!

And now the weather…

The weather looks to be in a settled pattern over the next few days and Friday will be mostly dry, with some sunny spells and temperatures reaching the low twenties in places. The evening will see some showers in the midlands which will die out overnight. Saturday will also be mostly dry with a mix of cloud and sun, with temperatures between 15°C and 21°C. Sunday will follow the same pattern of dry weather with a couple of showers, while Monday will see a bit more sun and slightly higher temperatures.

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

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

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