Home » Fishing reports »

Irish Angling Update

03 December 2009

Editor: Paul Bourke, Angling Information Officer
email: Paul Bourke
Ph: 00 353 (0) 1 8842600
Fax: 00 353(0) 1 8360060

Salmon and Trout Angling

Coarse Angling

Pike Angling

Sea Angling


Eastern Region

Ashley Hayden reports:


Tinnehinch Angling Centre, Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

Photo: Tinnehinch Angling Centre, Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

Developed and run by proprietor Mr. Hugh Duff, Tinnehinch, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow has been a Sea Trout fishery of renown for well over twenty years. Last Friday the 20th November a lifelong dream of Hugh’s was realized when he opened the “Tinnehinch Angling Centre”, combining a quality Rainbow Trout Fishery with the superb wild Sea Trout fishing enjoyed on the River Dargle. To cap it all Hugh has built a state of the art luxury angling lodge reminiscent of Canada or Alaska. This is Game fishing on a grand scale and Hugh has to be congratulated for his vision.

Photo: The Lodge at Tinnehinch, Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

Located in the Dargle valley below Powerscourt House and Gardens, invited guests which included representatives from the national angling media, the tackle trade, and friends of Hugh, were treated to a fabulous day out in beautiful surroundings. Opened with a lighthearted speech from Derek Davis, guests were then treated to a master class in fly casting from Mr. Game Angling himself, Peter O’Reilly. Everything from double handed spey casting to fly casting basics was delivered in an informative easy going manner by the master.

Peter O'Reilly
Photo: Peter O’Reilly addressing fly casting theory in the Lodge at Tinnehinch

Peter O'Reilly
Photo: Putting theory into practice, Peter O’Reilly outdoors at Tinnehinch

Having whetted the appetite to cast a line all those present had to quell the urge until the formality of lunch was taken care of. It was worth putting on hold, for the Ritz Carlton Powerscourt Hotel had laid on a fabulous buffet lunch fit for a king. Roast beef and all the trimmings, Monkfish, locally grown vegetables, wonderful desserts, fine wines, a veritable gourmets delight.

Karl O'Toole
Photo: Karl O’Toole, South Side Angling, with a hard fighting Tinnehinch Rainbow

On the water by two PM the guests fished hard until sun down. Karl O’Toole and Denis Goulding seemed to be having a head to head as to who would catch the most fish. Working buzzers below a bite indicator the dynamic duo on occasions made it look easy landing some beauties throughout the afternoon.

Mary Harkin
Photo: Mary Harkin of Rory’s Fishing Tackle with a Rainbow running 8.lbs

Not to be outdone the Ladies got in on the act with Mary Harkin of Rory’s netting a superb fish running 8.lbs plus. Lines up was called as the sun was setting on what had been a great day for all those that had participated. Everyone retired to the lodge where a number of presentations were made before Josie Mahon of the ERFB wrapped up proceedings.

Derek Davis, Hugh Duff
Photo: Derek Davis being presented with a large ball of malt by Tinnehinch proprietor Hugh Duff

Hugh Duff thanked all those for attending, the Ritz Carlton for the lovely fare, and presented both Derek Davis and Peter O’Reilly with a fine bottle of Whiskey and an engraved Cross pen respectively.

Peter O'Reilly,Josie Coleman, Huff Duff
Photo: Peter O’Reilly with Kelly Kettle, Josie Mahon (ERFB), and Hugh Duff

Josie Mahon presented Peter O’Reilly with a Kelly Kettle and in a nice touch mentioned how in her early days in Fisheries she had visited Hugh at Tinnehinch. On that day Hugh described his vision of Tinnehinch incorporating both a wild Sea Trout and managed Rainbow Trout fishery. Today in 2009 his vision had became a reality with a world class trout fishery now adorning the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. Well done Hugh.

All wild trout and salmon fishing is now closed until the 2010 season. See you again in 2010.
If you need a trout fishing fix in close season why not try a rainbow trout fishery?

[Return to top of report]

South Western Region

Eileen Carroll reports:
E Mail:


Ballyhass rainbow trout

Declan Collins of Cobh was fishing with a friend at Ballyhass at the weekend. Despite the cold weather and fog conditions were still encouraging with good numbers of fish moving a clearly feeding sub-surface. Declan found a sinking line with a white booby to be very effective and boated 4 good fish in a short afternoon session. Other boats on the lake also seemed to be meeting a lot of fish with lures and buzzers all producing the goods.


[Return to top of report]

Northern Region

Lindsey Clarke reports:


Drowes Salmon Fishery News - One Month Till Salmon Season 2010

The countdown is on to the start of next year’s salmon season which opens this day month on January 1st 2010 at 8,30am. Fishing permits and state salmon licences will be available from our fishing tackle shop at Lareen from 8.30am on Thursday 29th, Friday 30th and Saturday 31st December 2009 and from 6am on New Year’s morning January 1st 2010.

The price of river permits will remain the same as last year. No announcement has been made on the price of state salmon licences for the 2010 season but it is anticipated that they will remain unchanged.

Photo: The Drowes in flood on a frosty morning.

There will be reports on water levels and conditions on the website in the lead up to opening day 2010.

The closed season has been exceptionally wet so far and November has been the wettest on record in Ireland. Water levels on the Drowes peaked at 1 metre on the gauge at the Four Master’s Bridge but have since rallen to about .9 metres following recent frost. Much of the west and south of the country has been severely hit by floods. The rainfall in the north and northwest has not been as intense but water levels remain above normal winter flood levels.

Due to the massive volume of water in the river at present it has been impossible to gauge if any spawning activity has begun and due to the milder conditions there is probably little activity as yet.

Anyone who has yet to return their 2009 log book and unused tags is asked to do so as soon as possible. If the pre addressed returns envelope has been mislaid, returns can be sent to:

Central Fisheries Board,
Swords Business Campus,
Swords, Co. Dublin,

Or for this region

Northern Regional Fishery Board
Station Road, Ballyshannon,
Co. Donegal, Ireland.

The 2008 salmon tagging statistics report has been published and is available at 2008 Salmon Tagging Statistics Report.

The report puts the number of salmon taken by rod and line and tagged in 2008 at 22,215 up from 19,480 in 2007. A further 11,977 were reported as caught and released, giving a total rod and line catch in 2008 of 31,457, an increase of 6.51% on the previous year. The angling log book return rate was 69% in 2008, up from 65% in 2007 but still low compared with returns from other sectors.

The caught and tagged salmon catch for the Drowes for 2008 is 611, with an adjusted catch total of 695 calculated considering non returned log books. A further 255 salmon were recorded as caught and released, giving a total of 866 salmon caught on rod and line at the fishery in 2008. This equates to a catch and release rate of 29% which compares to a high of 66% and a low of 15% in open and non C & R fisheries.

A positive note is that the Drowes records the third highest TAC, Total Allowable Catch of any river in the country, behind the Moy and Blackwater, at 3,845 and is currently running at 300% of it’s Conservation Limit.

The compilation of these statistics dictate the future of salmon conservation policy in Ireland and underlines the importance of making full and accurate catch returns on ones’s log books and contributing to, in the absence of a viable counter programme, the best assesment we have of current salmon stocks.
Shane Gallagher
Drowes Salmon Fishery
Tel: 071 9841055.

[Return to top of report]

Loughs Agency area and Northern Ireland

Lionel Knobbs reports:

30 November 2009

Cashel Trout Fishery

report by Marlene Mc Laughlin

Although temperatures have dropped slightly, anglers are still managing to bank a few trout on buzzers and a few lures.

Stephen Gurney and Keith Nicholl (Limavady) released three trout in total using bloodworms and black lures while Maghera’s Jimmy Norton only banked one weighing almost 2lb which took a zonker. Derry lads, Henry and Liam Kelly had quite a few trout turn away from their flies but Kevin Burke (Claudy) did fool them using a grey buzzer releasing two nice trout back into the lake. Derry’s Michael Rabbett, Liam Hegarty, Eamon Shiels and Jack Ceulemans released three trout and bagged two trout weighing 4lb 12ozs. Unfortunately Michael lost a big one of around 7lb which took a cat’s whisker. Martin Bradley and John Hasson (Dungiven) had a lucky couple of hours on Sunday evening when the trout began to take f-flies and buzzers. They released five trout between them.

There was atrocious weather on the weekend of the 21st but this did not deter a few anglers at Cashel. Using assorted Lures and Bibios, trout weighing up to 5lb 10ozs were banked by Liam Kelly. Henry Kelly caught and released 4 trout up to 7lb. Pat McDevitt also bagged 2 four home using a Zonker.

Well done to all!
17 Birren Road , Dungiven, BT47 4SH, 
Tel/Fax: 028777 42159
email:  Website:
Short Breaks Offer: Special discounts for 1st October 09 - 31st March 2010 (Excluding Christmas & Easter) ring 028 777 42159 for further details.

Fly Tying Classes in Enniskillen

Beginners Fly Tying Class:

Date: Thursday 26 November Time: 7.00-9.00pm
An introduction to Fly Dressing tying the following patterns
Black Pennell. (Hackled wet fly)
Bibio. (Dubbed body fly)
Diawl Bach. (Nymph)
This class is aimed at the complete beginner or someone with a little fly tying knowledge.

Intermediate Fly Tying Class:

Date: Friday 27th November Time : 7.00-9.00pm
Fiery Brown. (Mallard Wings)
Golden Dabbler. (Dabbler winging styles)
Claret Bumble. (Bumbles, including tying blue jay)
This class is suitable for tiers of moderate abiblity.

Stillwater Lures:

Date: Thursday 10th December Time: 7.00-9.00pm.
An introduction to tying stillwater lures including, Blobs, Catswhiskers, Boobies.
This class is suitable for tiers of beginner/moderate ability.

Advanced Class:

Date:Friday 10th December Time:7.00-9.00 pm.
Green Peter. (Sedge Wings)
Klinkhammer Special.(Parachute hackling)
Dry Daddy. (Dry fly winging / hackling)
This class is suitable for tiers of moderate/high ability.

All tools and materials are provided but please feel free to bring your own tools if you wish.
Classes are limited to max eight pupils per class.

To book contact
Frankie Mc Phillips
No. 8 The Buttermarket, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
Tel: +44 (0)28 66 323047 ( From ROI 04866 323047)

[Return to top of report]
[Return to the top of the page]


Coarse Angling Update

Northern Ireland, Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries

Lionel Knobbs reports:


Potential Irish record roach

At last Sunday’s (15/11/09) Erne Anglers Winter League match, Sensas Erne Anglers angler John Potters from Lisbellaw caught a fantastic specimen Roach which if verified is beleved to be of Irish record weight.

Photo: John Potters and what may be Ireland's new record roach.

The fish weighed an outstanding 1.700 kgs (which is almost 3lbs 12ozs) from Inver Lake near Roslea and was caught on pole fished maggots. The fish was weighted on a set of Salter Match scales weighing up to 10kg in 10g intervals. The fish was caught from a lake near to were the current record fish of 1.425kg was caught on Drumacritten Lake in Oct 2002. Both Lakes were recently developed for angling by the Erne and Melvin Enhancement Company.


Erne Anglers Winter League

Despite a very cold north wind lots of fish were caught in the latest round of the Erne Anglers Winter League which was again fished on the Roslea lakes due to high water levels on the Erne. John Potters (Lisbellaw) won his second match in a row in the league catching 60 Roach and 4 Perch from the new lake (Gavin’s), for a weight of 5.480Kgs. This new lake again dominated the results with Nick Harrison (Arva) second with 4.550Kgs and Lyndon Read (Lisnaskea) third with 4.300Kgs. Tony Kersley (Ballycassidy) remains top of the league on 24pts as he also won the section on Inver with 3.850Kgs. The final section on Drumacritten was won by Fergal Smith (Belturbet) 2.800Kgs.

Next week see’s the return of the Float Only League on the Lakes, book in at Cloughbally Mill Angling Centre If you wish to fish.

[Return to the top of the page]


Pike Angling Update

Southern Region

John Flynn reports:


Don't put the rods away yet - pike on the fly

Salmon angling guide Jim Brown sent us this pike angling report from the River Barrow.

Photo: Keith Wenham and his pike on the fly from the River Barrow.

Not quite salmon fishing but pike fly fishing can get you through the closed season. This is Keith Wenham on the river Barrow, last week he had one over 18lb.
Jim Brown
Salmon and trout ghillie
Address: Rosebank Lodge, Mount Alto, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.
Email: Web:

[Return to top of report]

South Western Region

Michael Hennessy reports:
E Mail:

no reports this week - [most recent report 28/10/09]

[Return to top of report]

Shannon Region

Brian McManus reports:


Floods hamper Shannon pike angling

Just when things where going great, somebody seems to have forgotten to turn off the tap.
Yes, it's been raining here for the last two weeks nearly everyday and water levels in the whole system are higher than I ever seen them before and a lot of venues are totally flooded!

All the fresh water has also cooled down our lakes and rivers by several degrees and the water temperature in many place is only at around 6 degrees Celsius and this also has resulted in the pike fishing somehow deteriorating over the last week. Having said that for those who want to brave the elements there is scope to pick up some big pike still. Deadbaiting in particular has yielded some good results for anglers in the region.
Bodo Funke,
Angling Services Ireland,
Boyle, Co Roscommon


Pike to 24lbs as floods drop

After all the heavy rain the high water levels in the upper Shannon and some of the lakes on the back waters are starting to drop back slightly. It will take another week without any further heavy rain for lakes in the area to reach even near normal levels for this time of year.

Photo: Sean Ashdown and his personal best pike, a 24lb beauty.

Sean Ashdown from London was on a visit to the area with the family and they asked if I would give him a surprise and take him out for a day or two fishing. I met Sean and straight away we were exchanging witty banter as we headed to the lake and set up the gear. We had four pike including fish of 12lbs, 15lbs 8oz and 16lbs 7oz. Sean landed the best pike of the day at 23lbs 14oz and was absolutely delighted with the personal biggest fish he had ever caught.
Brian Bohan
Mohill, County Leitrim
Tel +353 (0)71 9631870
Email Web

[Return to top of report]


Sea Angling Update

Eastern Region

Ashley Hayden reports:


Wexford Beach Angling Championships

28th – 29th November 2009

Casting into the storm
Photo: Anglers casting into a rising storm, Kilgorman Strand, Co. Wexford

The inaugural Wexford Beach Championships took place on Saturday and Sunday the 28th and 29th of November 2009. Organised by Courtown Sea Angling Centre with sponsorship from Ian Golds Fishing Products, Greys Tackle, and Anyfish Anywhere, the event proved to be an outstanding success despite the storm force conditions prevailing on competition day two.

The anglers
Photo: The calm before the storm, Wexford Beach Championships in full swing.

Six zones of 33 pegs each were fished over two days, three zones on each day. The Saturday match was fished from 7pm – 11pm on Morriscastle, Tinnabearna, and Ballinamona, with Sunday’s competition fished off Kilgorman Strand, Dodd’s Rocks Courtown, and Roney Point; from 12 noon until 4pm. Fishing was good over the two days with some great catches on Saturday night, however a northerly weather system developed into a fully fledged gale on Sunday afternoon, testing the resolve of even the most seasoned match anglers present.

Ian Knight and biggest flat of Day 2
Photo: Ian Knight, Ballybrack S.A.C. with the largest flatfish caught on day two.

With over thirty cash payments and prizes daily on offer including Individual honours, Longest Flat and Round fish, Team events, and Zone wins, competition was friendly but firm amongst all the participants that took part. Lugworm and Razor fish appeared to be the key baits, with Flounder, Codling, Coalfish, Rockling, and Schoolie Bass, the main species landed.

Wexford Beach Championship winner
Photo: L/R, Mark Chambers (Courtown SAC), Joe Byrne (Courtown Angling Centre), with the Wexford Beach Championships overall winner, Ian Knight of Ballybrack S.A.C.

At close of play the overall winner of the inaugural Wexford Beach Championships was Ian Knight of Ballybrack S.A.C. Ian fished well gaining a zone win on Sunday, a zone place on Saturday, and the heaviest flatfish for day two. The four man team event was won by Eamonn Birmingham, T.C. Keogh, Paul Mason, and Stephen Mason, with the father and son pairing of Paul and Stephen Mason doing the double by collecting the two man team prize also. Dave Roe (South Shore S.A.C.) and Ritchie Dalton (Tramore S.A.C.) were individual winners for Day one and Day two of the event respectively.

Wexford Beach Championships 4 man team
Photo: L/R, Mark Chambers, Joe Byrne, Wexford Beach Championships Four Man Team Event Winners, Stephen Mason, Paul Mason, Eamonn Birmingham, and T.C. Keogh

Joe Byrne, Penn Sea League winner Dave Roe, and the hard working committee need to be congratulated for organising a well run event, and giving a boost to north Wexford tourism at what is generally a quite time of year, with close on forty anglers staying in the Kilmuckridge area over the weekend. Joe and Dave would like to thank all those that participated, Ian Golds Fishing Products, Greys Tackle, Anyfish Anywhere, for the prizes, and Sean OG’s Hotel, Kilmuckridge for providing a fine base for the event. Over € 4000.00 was handed out in cash payments. With a three to one chance of winning cash and prizes this is a competition which will go from strength to strength, another plus for Ireland’s east coast sea match angling circuit.


East Coast Codling make an Appearance

Photo: An East Coast Codling caught at Greystones, 21/11/2009 (Image courtesy S.A.I. website)

Last season they were like hen’s teeth, however there have been signs lately that a few fish might be running. Sporadic catches of Codling have been occurring, usually in one’s and two’s, along the east coast beaches. It really is a case of being in the right place at the right time. The fish above was beached in the Greystones area last weekend, while Co. Wicklow angler Gerry Mitchell landed two Codling over 40cms off a south Wicklow mark on Wednesday evening 25/11/2009. Dabs, Flounder, and Schoolies were also caught by Gerry during the evening session.

Target venues comprising mixed to roughish ground, and on the north Wicklow beaches a falling tide is usually better. Lugworm and Mussel are the ideal baits, and vary the distance, as some of these fish are surprisingly close in.


Wexford Delivers Again

Photo: Dublin angler Darragh Touhy with a certified specimen Wexford Flounder

Good reports on shore angling in the south east just keep coming in. If you want top class sport, target fish, do the homework on bait, tides, weather conditions, rigs, etc, and head to the right venue. Within the last week, Des Frazer of “Southside Angling” and his mate Darragh Touhy did just that, and achieved a bonus result.

Photo:Des Frazer, “Southside Angling” with his bonus Wexford Bass

With Flounder in mind Des and Darragh headed to south Wexford. Using Crab for bait the Flounder proved obliging with Darragh landing a specimen lunker, one half of a hefty Flounder double header. Des duly followed suit with an end of season Bass. Both fish were weighed on certified Reuben Heaton scales, and are proof positive again of the quality shore angling available in Ireland’s south east corner.


Storm Force Wexford Flounder

Photo: Wicklow angler John Ring with a brace of Ballyteigue Flounder

Wexford flounder are a hardy species, even gale force winds will not put them off the feed. With the barometer falling and storm force nine winds forecast for the south coast, conditions did not look promising for a Ballyteigue Bay flounder hunt. However the bait was ordered and the day set, so there was no turning back for Wicklow anglers Gerry Mitchell, John Ring, and Ashley Hayden of the ERFB.

Photo: Gerry Mitchell and John Ring display a treble shot of Wexford Flounder

The intrepid trio were not to be disappointed as the flounder signalled their presence very early in the session. Seeming to travel in waves, flurries of activity were followed by short quiet spells. John Ring had a particularly good afternoon catching two brace and a full house treble, all on lugworm. The best fish of the trip went 45cms with many in the high thirties. Good fishing by any standards, and testament to the quality of winter shore angling in south Wexford.

[Return to top of report]

Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries

Lionel Knobbs reports:


Culdaff SAC Open Shore Angling Competition

Culdaff SAC Open Shore Angling Competition, Culdaff Beach 22/11/09 1-6pm

On a blustery and wet Sunday afternoon 37 shore angler braved the elements to take part in the 2009 Culdaff SAC open shore competition. The large turnout was rewarded with good numbers of fish with the majority of anglers taking counting fish above the 20cm minimum size limit.

The competition was run on a catch and release basis with fish being measured and returned to the water unharmed. Flounders, turbot and coalies were taken in good numbers with rockling also making an appearance.

Longest flatfish was a flounder of 36cm taken by John Black (B.A.D.A.C) and longest roundfish was a coalie of 35cm for Graeme Blair (Castaways SAC).

Top Junior angler was Ryan Blair, Castaways SAC, Larne who received a £20 voucher for Land, Sea and Sports Tackle Shop. Third place overall was Andy McCallion (Portstewart) who received £55, second place was John Shields who claimed prize money of £90.

First place overall with a score of 203 points and 8 counting fish was Sammy Stirling (B.A.D.A.C) who walked away with a voucher for &50 from Lough Swilly Flies and Tackle and £160 prize money. Soup and sandwiches were provided by McGuiness' Bar Culdaff and were most welcome after the difficult conditions during the competition.

[Return to top of report]

Northern Ireland

Hamish Currie reports:


Red Bay charter fishing report

Charter skipper Hamish Currie reports from his boat the Predator II.

Friday and Saturday gave me a weather window to push across the channel and I wasn't disappointed with over 30 congers, spurs dogs and a nice skate taken.

Photo: A double shot of conger!

Getting mackerel ws not a problem for a change with plent of fish mid channel along with herring. They were easy to locate by watching for flocks of gulls gorging on fry.
Hamish Currie
Predator II
Red Bay Stormforce 9.1 Rib
Web: Email:
Telephone: 028 2177 1828   Boat: 07720440117

[Return to top of report]
[Return to the top of the page]