Lough Sheelin Angling Report, March 1st – March 10th 2024

“The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.”
Josiyah Martin

March 1st, the much anticipated opening day of Lough Sheelin’s 2024 trout season, brought with it an unforeseen meteorological obstacle in the form of 4″ – 6” of snow, which effectively halted the gallop of many anglers who had planned to fish this great lake on the first day.  Despite hazardous driving conditions, plenty of anglers battled the elements and made it to Lough Sheelin eventually and boats on the water hit the double figures on the first day.  Conditions were verging on siberian with slate grey metallic skies, dark waters and gusty to fresh northerly winds.

Captains Bay, Lough Sheelin – March 1st 2024

Early season fishing is never for the faint-hearted at the best of times but this weather tested the mettle of even the most tenacious trout angling fan.  Conditions were bleak and while snow was being shovelled off roads and vehicles pulled out of ditches, someone on social media wryly commented that if any asylums were missing inmates then they would find them out on Lough Sheelin.

The close of the 2023 season, October 12th seems a lifetime away and winter, a dark cloak of rain and cold, so it is hard not to be chomping at the bit to get out again on the water, as if by doing so we can push spring forward that bit faster.

Trout spawning was good on the in flowing rivers during the winter months, the only noticeable factor being that the spawning seemed that bit later than the normal in the Upper Inny.  Redd counts have encouragingly increased compared to previous years.

Trout redd on the Upper Inny, Lough Sheelin

The weather over the past ten days has been challenging with harsh north east winds predominating and water temperatures hovering at six degrees from top to bottom.  Weather apparently does not deter the early season angler here and on most days a respectable number fished the lake with the weekends featuring over forty anglers per day.

The trout are hungry and eager to regain condition after the rigours of spawning but cold water makes them sluggish so they will be after as big a meal as possible with the least amount of effort.  Brisk baltic winds skimming the water wiped out the chance of any early buzzer hatches so fly set ups were off the menu and the lures topped the poll for successes with fry patterns, rapalas, humungous, minkies, snakes and small colourful baits bringing in the majority of catches.

Larry Moley with one of his nine trout for the week

Someone, somewhere once said that wild brown trout fishing is simple, supposedly, once you get a handle on what they are eating, you are halfway there – easier said than done.

There is not a whole heap of food available at this time of year but there is still stuff down there that the trout will find and gorge themselves on.  Freshwater shrimp and hog louse are the main invertebrates on the trout table for March.  The shrimp are found amongst the rocks and stones in the shallows and the Hog Louse while present in the shallows too can also be found in the slightly deeper areas.  Anglers who did spoon fish reported that they were stuffed with shrimp.

A Silver Humungous or Snake worked well on a Fast Intermediate.  The best range of lines were Intermediate, Di3 and Di7.  A slow retrieve worked well and beaded heads on lures worked well to get depth.

The best areas for fishing were down along the Holywell shoreline and into Crover, Stoney Islands and at the back of Church Island.

Before release
Prince Charming


Into the net
60cm of Spring Sheelin trout
Spring Reflections
Join the spots – the beauty of a wild Sheelin trout
A lizard

Lough Sheelin Guiding Services (www.loughsheelinguidingservices.com) 087 1245927

Michael Farrell @ 087 4194156Telephone: +353 43 6681298 Email: [email protected]

Grey Duster Guiding
Kenneth O’Keeffe
086 8984172 Email: [email protected]

John Mulvany  [email protected] 086 2490076

Measuring up



The Kilroy Cup will be fished on Monday, March 18th from Kilnahard pier from 11am to 5.30pm. Prizes will be for the heaviest fish and entry is €30. This competition has been set at a 16 inch size limit with a 2 fish bag limit. There will be no permits available for sale on the pier on the morning so please buy your permit online beforehand or from the IFI office at Kilnahard on the morning. Contact Thomas Lynch @ 087 9132033

Shrimp, hog louse and leech


A newt


Please remember anglers to abide by BYE-LAW 949 which strictly prohibits from June 14th, 2017 onwards:

  • The taking of any brown trout of less than 36 centimeters.
  • For a person to fish with more than 2 rods at any one time.
  • To fish with more than 4 rods at any one time when there is more than one person on board the boat concerned.
  • For a person to take more than 2 trout per day.
  • All trolling on the lake from March 1st to June 16th (inclusive).
  • To fish or to attempt to take or to fish for, fish of any kind other than during the period from March 1st to October 12th in any year.

Catches recorded:  67

Heaviest catch:  Ion Tinca, Dublin with a 60cm trout caught on a small lure

Selection of catches

Ned Clinton, Mountnugent – 1 trout at 2lbs on a Minkie, March 2nd.

Larry Moley, Newry – 9 trout for the week, heaviest 3 -3.5lbs.

James Burns, Antrim – 2 trout at 1 and 1.5lbs using small black and green lures.

Bonas Daskevics, Cavan – 2 trout heaviest at 2lbs on small claret & green lures.

Edgars Nalivuiko, Drogherda – March 1st 1 trout at 35cm.

Nikita Krutijko, Inniskeen – 2 trout heaviest at 6lbs.

Larry Moley, Newry – 2 trout, heaviest at 3lbs.

Marcin Bogdzia – 1 trout at 6lbs, March 1st at the back of Church Island.

Mareks Markanics & Andris Doroskevics, Cavan – 7 trout, heaviest at 3lbs.

Ollie Andries, Ballina – 7 trout (all released) heaviest at 3.5lbs.

Junzs Durskis, Dublin – 1 trout at 2.5lbs.

Guntis Lietavietis, Newcastle – 1 trout at 4lbs.

Paulius Giedraitis, Dublin – 1 trout at 3lbs.