Home » Fishing reports »

Irish Angling Update

22 April 2010

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

Salmon Angling

Trout Angling

Coarse Angling

Pike Angling

Sea Angling


Salmon angling Update

Eastern Region

David Byrne reports:


Sea trout

Sea-trout are again being reported taken at a number of coastal venues and estuaries on the east coast from Wexford to North County Dublin.

[Return to top of report]

Southern Region


River Nore

21/04/10 Perfect conditions for fishing today with levels ideal for fly and clarity just right. Unfortunately there are no fish in the river to speak of. Two days fishing with a French client this week have yield nothing, not even a pull, and no fish were seen.

Time spent watching from bridges and other likely places suggest that anglers would be best advised to hold off on fishing the Nore til the run of fish improves.
Jim Brown
Salmon and trout ghillie
Address: Rosebank Lodge, Mount Alto, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.
Email: Web:

River Blackwater

Blackwater Lodge

21/04/10 The river is falling slowly & steadily, and the clarity is excellent at about 7-8 feet on the lower river today. Excellent spinning order & will be in fly order in the next couple of days if the level continues to drop.
Ian & Glenda Powell
Address: Blackwater Lodge & Salmon Fishery, Upper Ballyduff, Co. Waterford.
Tel: 00 353 58 60235     From UK: 0871 474 0135  (10p/min any time!)
Mobile: 00 353 87 235 21 20
E-mail: Website:

Fort William Estate Fishery

21/04/10 Fishing conditions are perfect for fly and spinner and clarity is ideal. Reports of a few fish taken up stream so there is fish on the move. Forecast for the week is to stay fine so prospects are looking good as water levels are starting to get low which suits this fishery.
Paul Whelan
Fort William Fishery
Fort William Estate, Glencairn, Lismore, Co. Waterford.
Tel: +353 (0)87 8292077
Email: Web:

[Return to top of report]

South Western Region


Lough Currane

Angling guide Vincent Appleby of reports on the fishing on the LOUGH CURRANE system.

Photo: George Cummins wins out Catch of the Week with this huge 17lb 10oz salmon.

16/4/10 There were two Salmon caught, and normally I would leave the best to last, but not today because 11 year old Master George Cummins, who came all the way from Sydney Australia with his Dad to fish Waterville Lake for just a half a day, and Caught a cracker of a Salmon of 17lbs 10oz caught on the troll within a few minutes of being out on Lough Currane with their Gillie Mr. Dominic Mc Gillicuddy and I will finish by saying, young Georg. won the battle of the Icelantic ashes, and there was also a fine Salmon caught on the fly at the Ledge by Tim O’Connor with his Gillie Mr. Tom Shea and of Wind SSE then Veered SW light to calm. Max air temperature 13.0c.

17/4/10 All quiet on the SW front in both the sea trout and Salmon department but there was a fine Brown Trout of 3lbs caught on the troll by local Gillie Mr. Bob Priestley. Wind W then veered SW light to calm with bright sunshine throughout the day. Max air temperature 13.0c.

18/4/10 Again all quiet on all fronts and being a bright day with very little cloud, what do you expect, even though there was a nice westerly blowing down the Lake that stayed with us until about 6pm then veered NNE. Max air temperature 14.5c.

19/04/10 There was one fine 10lbs Salmon caught on the troll by Mr. Jack Freeney of Dublin and Waterville.

sea trout
Photo: Mr. Axel Zurbugge of Germany caught this 11lb sea trout on Tuesday.

20/04/10 There was a fine 11lbs Specimen Seatrout caught by Mr. Axel Zurbugge of Germany fishing out of with his gillie Mr.Sylverster Donnelly.

21/04/10 There were two Salmon caught on the troll on the day shift Mr. Axel Zurbugge of Germany caught a 10lbs Salmon on the troll with his Gillie Sylvester Donnelly. On the evening shift a guest fishing with his gillie Sean Brain also caught a 10lbs Salmon on the troll and just for the record both fish were caught on the north side.

That is your ration from your Gillie and the Waterville Fishery.
No Spin No fly’s just facts.
Vincent Appleby
Angling Guide and Accommodation
Eureka Lodge, Caherdaniel
Email: Web:

Laune Salmon Anglers get their first salmon of 2010

The Laune System produced the first three salmon of 2009 and it was hoped we would get off to an early start in 2010. Unfortunately spring fishing was very slow this season. Some members had caught some spents in recent weeks and a few Seatrout were also caught.

But the big new is that Tommy Hurley of Tralee caught a beautiful fish of 7 lbs at Johnston's on the worm today 21st April.

As of Wednesday 21st April the river is at 1.5 feet on the gauge. This is an ideal height and the level is holding so for this week -perfect water for all methods.
Laune Anglers Assoication

[Return to top of report]

Shannon Region

Brian McManus reports:


River Feale and Smearlagh

22/04/10 Low water conditions, but a 6lb salmon met on a small "Garry Dog" fly last evening. Weather is sunny and 15C.
Anthony McAuliffe
North Kerry Anglers Association
Web: Email:

[Return to top of report]

Western Region


Galway Weir

Photo: 21lbs spring salmon taken just upstream of the weir at the OPW Beat by local angler Keith McDonagh

Water levels have dropped significantly with the prolonged period of dry weather, and there are 4 gates open on the weir now. Several salmon have been caught since the gates were closed, and a lot of fresh fish have been spotted on the underwater camera.

A magnificent 21lbs spring salmon was taken just upstream of the weir at the OPW Beat by local angler Keith McDonagh on a Flying C this morning. The fish took in bright sunshine and put up a tremendous fight before Keith finally landed it. The salmon was a microtagged hatchery-reared fish from Cong, and the microtag will give us information on how long it was at sea. Well done to Keith on the fish of a lifetime!

Down on the main Galway Fishery, local man Stephen Cullinane landed a fine 12lbs salmon on fly near the bridge on Tuesday the 20th, while another local, Sean O’Toole took a 10lbs fish on shrimp. The spring run seems to be getting under way in earnest, with fish to 16lbs also reported from Cong, and fresh fish reported from the Clare River, and more fish are expected over the coming week.

Kylemore Abbey Fishery

Photo: Nigel Rush finally sees his first Kylemore salmon of the year.

17/04/10 At last the first fish of the season has been landed. In fact it is the first fish that I have visually seen in the river so far this season.

Caught at Tullywee Bridge, it weighed in at 6.5lbs and fell to a Galway Black and Yellow. Not one of our own though... fin-clipped hatchery fish...who cares, a fish is a fish and an additional bonus for us! Not much water forecast for the next while...we need it badly. Still... the low water does not seem to stop them entering the system.
Nigel Rush
Kylemore Abbey Fishery
Tel: +353 (0)95 41178 or +353 (0)95 41161
Email: Web:

Gumbrielle glee on Delphi Fishery

19/04/10 After ten years of trying, Dubliner Tom Gumbrielle has at last nailed a spring salmon at Delphi. The sea-liced 6.5-pounder fell for Tom’s mini-tube in the Rock Pool. It is delightful that Tom’s run of shockingly bad luck has finally reached an end.

Despite the low water and bright sunshine, others have added their name to the scoresheet over recent days – Peter Morris from Newcastle had a lovely fish of nearly 13 pounds, also from the Rock Pool. Andrew Lyall had a 6-pounder from the Waterfall Pool, Christian Kelly took a 9.5-pounder from the Whin Pool, Richard McDowell a 7-pounder from the Turn Pool and Jonathan Murray a fish of similar weight from Finlough.

The April total creeps up to 16 and the total for the season to a rather modest 25. The river is very low again and prospects for the immediate future are not good on the river, better on the lakes.
Peter Mantle
Delphi Fishery
Delphi Lodge, Leenane, Co. Galway.
Tel: +353 (0)95-42222 Fax +353-95-42296

[Return to top of report]

North Western Region

Bryan Ward reports:

[20 April , 2010]

River Moy

Angling on the River Moy remained slow but steady over the past week, with a total of eight salmon being reported for the river. Water levels remained high throughout the week, however, affecting angling on some beats. Ballina Salmon Anglers water reported one salmon for the week while the Cloongee Fishery reported two, both taken on the spinner. Joe Mc Cann, Ballina, had a salmon of 7lbs from the Cloongee Fishery while Jack McCann, also of Ballina, caught a 5lbs salmon. Upstream, the East Mayo Anglers Association water continued to fish well with four salmon being reported for the week. P.J. Loftus, Killasser, caught a 6lbs salmon on the spinner while Mixi Clarke, Bohola, had a 7lbs salmon also on the spinner. Eddie Thornton, Ballyhaunis, also had success with the spinner landing an 8.5lbs salmon while the catch of the week on the River Moy was taken by visiting angler Jorg Benecke, Germany, who landed a fine 11lbs Spring Salmon on the Fly.

Carrowmore Lough

Carrowmore produced five salmon for the week in total. Larry Mitchell, Belmullet, had one salmon at 8lbs while Michael Mc Donnell, Glenamoy, had one weighing 6lbs. Michael Quirke caught one salmon at 7lbs and Michael Naughton, Bangor had great success catching two salmon at 6lbs and 8lbs.

Lough Beltra

Lough Beltra produced a total of three salmon for the week, with James O’Hora, Glenhest, landing one at 9lbs. Jackie Deffley, Glenisland, Castlebar, also had a salmon for 9lbs while Eamon Kennedy, Newport had a fine salmon of 12lbs.

Ballisodare Fishery

Ballisodare Fishery continues to yield impressive catches with a total of twenty salmon reported for the week and, of these, 8 were released. Thomas O’Donovan Junior had a 9lbs salmon on the prawn while Trevor Goulding, Garyderg, had a salmon for 9.5lbs. Dermott Glennon also had an impressive catch, landing a fine 14lbs salmon which took the fly.

[Return to top of report]

Northern Region

Lindsey Clarke reports:



The Drowes fished very well this week with the arrival of early grilse and there were 18 salmon recorded to date. With the very bright conditions at the start the week the fishing was slow. However, over the latter half of the week, good numbers of salmon were recorded. The river was at a good height at the start of the week reading 6.6 metres on the gauge at the Four Masters Bridge. The river fell gradually over the week providing good water levels throughout the week and was reading 5.6 by the end of the week.

On Monday, Richard Todd recorded a 5½lb salmon from the Sea Pool on a Flying ‘C’. There were no salmon recorded until Thursday when Davy Elliott landed a 6½lb salmon on a Cascade fly from the Crooked Hole. Frank O’Mara also caught a 5lb grilse from the Sea Pool on a Flying ‘C’. On Friday, Brian McEvoy accounted for a 7lb salmon caught from The Flagstones on a Flying ‘C’. Peter Zahnd recorded a 6lb fish caught on a #10 cascade fly from Lennox’s Bridge and John Gill caught an 8lb fish on a Flying ‘C’ from Briney’s catching a further 5lb fish in the pool below which was released.

Photo: John Gill caught an 8lb salmon on a Flying ‘C’ from Briney’s

On Saturday, John Gill recorded 2 further fish caught. These were two grilse weighing 4 & 4 ½lb caught on a Flying ‘C’ from The Meadow with both of these being released. Walter Huldi accounted for a 6lb fish caught on his own shrimp fly from Lennox’s Bridge. Marty King landed a 7 ½lb salmon from the Money Hole on shrimp. Hugh O’Hagan accounted for a 6lb fish caught on a Rapalla from The Grazings. Andrew Rush recorded an 8lb salmon caught from The Boathouse on worm. Pat O’Meara accounted for a 6 ½lb salmon caught on worm from the Mill Pool and Gerry ‘from Kerry’ landed a 4lb grilse on the fly from the Island Pool.

On Sunday, Walter Huldi recorded another salmon caught weighing 6lb and caught on the same shrimp fly as the previous fish from Thomas’s Pool. Rory Morrin accounted for a 6lb fish caught from The Underfall on a Cascade fly and Bill Likely landed an 8lb salmon caught from the Stone Ditch on a Toby lure.

The forecast for the coming week is for reasonably settled weather with another high pressure system approaching. Some rain is forecast for the early part of the week which should help to keep water levels at desirable height. Prospects look good!

Shane Gallagher
Drowes Salmon Fishery
Tel: 071 9841055.

Lough Melvin

There was little salmon angling effort though there were three salmon caught. Dougie McKeown accounted for a 10lb fish caught on the fly in Rossinver which he sportingly released. On Sunday, Melvin Schofield and Niall Sweeney landed a salmon apiece.

For info/bookings etc on Lough Melvin:
Drowes Salmon Fishery
Tel: 071 9841055.

Melvin & Rossinver Fishery
Ruth Mettler
Tel: 071 9841451.

Owenea Fishery

The weather over the week was very sunny and dry. As a result, the river ran at very low levels reading only 0.1m on the gauge on Monday and hovering around 0.07m for the rest of the week. The gauge average for the week read only 0.07 metres. Consequently we had no anglers fishing over the week and there is little to report!

For info/bookings etc on the Owenea Fishery – Tel: 074 9551141. (9am to 1pm April to May & 7am to 1pm June to Sept).


[Return to top of report]

Loughs Agency area

Lionel Knobbs reports:


Rivers Finn

20/04/10 Just back from the Finn and I can tell you its down to the bare bones over there! Its bad when you throw out the worms and they dont even move! Reasonable enough conditions but badly in need of fresh water if you were to be hopeful of a catch.
Email: Web:

River Mourne

21/04/10 Fishing remains very quiet here with no fresh catches to report, we have an overcast day today although it is a bit on the cool side and almost looks like it might rain but even if it does it won’t amount to much so we’ll have to hold out hope for something more significant over the weekend.
Email: Web:


[Return to top of report]


Trout Angling Update

Eastern Region

David Byrne reports:


Angling Events

For a detailed list of angling and other fisheries related events taking place in the Eastern Region during Fisheries Awareness Week (22nd – 29th May 2010) and how to take part please visit

Ladies Don’t Forget this Important Date for Your Diary, 22nd May 2010 

The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board is delighted to announce the first of its two ‘Ladies Fly Casting Events’ for 2010. It will take place on Saturday 22nd May 2010 at Rathcon Fishery, Grangecon, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow. This super day is organised so that beginners and improvers can learn more about the sport of angling (theory and practice), from top angling experts Glenda Powell (Blackwater Lodge) and Mark Corps, Angling Adviser with the Central Fisheries Board.

Applications are now being accepted for the ‘Ladies Fly Casting Day’ so if you wish to participate in this free event, please contact the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, Angling Coordinator, David Byrne at 087 9918608 or by email at As there are a limited number of places available it is important to reserve your place as soon as possible.

Mid April on the Liffey

Over the past weekend I had two fishing outings to the River Liffey.

My first outing was on Saturday evening. In the first pool I started fishing at, there were several fish moving to something at the surface. On looking around there was no signs of any fly life to give me an indication as to which fly I would use. I decided that i would try one of my favourites, an Olive Klinkhammer (in size fourteen) and fish to find out what the fish were busily feeding on. I fished with the Klinkhammer for a while and I caught two fish of about twenty cms. On my way up to another pool I changed the fly size down to a size sixteen of the same pattern. The change brought better results. I finished the outing with eleven fish, the best of which made thirty cms. I noticed a few spinners when I was making my way back to the car, these I think were large Olives.

Photo: Wild brown trout from the Liffey

Sunday I was able to get out to the river earlier in the day. I got there shortly before noon and set the rod up using the same fly as the day before. Heading upstream i fished several pools along the way, only managing to rise and miss one fish. Things were not looking good, too bright maybe? While i was having a short break i noticed some olives coming off the water but there was no signs of any fish rising to them. On catching one of the olives i identified it as being a Large Dark Olive (LDO).

Photo: Large Dark Olive

Deciding to change tactics altogether, I set up the rod with a team of North Country Spiders i.e. waterhen bloa, snipe & purple and a harelug & plover. These i fished using the down and across method. After a few casts i hooked and landed a nice little brownie of about twenty two cms long. He had taken the waterhen bloa which was tied on at the point. Then i decided to change the snipe & purple for another bloa that i was wanting to try out. It is a similar pattern to the waterhen with the exception of the tying thread, i used Light Cahill thread. With the olives still coming off the water i fished my way back towards my car. My day ended with a total of fourteen wild brown trout the best (pictured above) measured thirty four cms. All fish were returned safely back to the water.

Upper Liffey

The Liffey is at normal level for the time of year and has been fishing well for brown trout. Karl O’Toole from Southside Angling in Dublin reported that he had a great days sport, fly-fishing for brown trout on the upper River Liffey. In the morning time, Karl had plenty of small trout fishing a bead-head nymph upstream. The water temperature was only 8.5 degrees and there was a good hatch of olives around 2pm in the afternoon. The hatching olives produced a good rise of trout and Karl switched over to a dry olive cdc. Despite the cool breeze, Karl reported excellent sport on the dry fly for the remainder of the afternoon. The trout were small with the majority in the 8-10oz category.

North Kildare Trout and Salmon Anglers Association

The North Kildare Trout and Salmon Anglers Association held a competition on the River Liffey on Sunday 18th April. Nine anglers fished and a total of 29 trout were landed during the competition. The water was low and clear and water temperature was 9 degrees. There were good hatches of dark olives and olive imitations worked best. The best fish landed was a fine brown trout of 1lb 7ozs. The winner of the competition was Nicky Moore from Newbridge, Co Kildare with John Higgins also from Newbridge taking second place.

Creevy Lake

rainbow trout
Photo: John Mulligan from Kingscourt with a nice Creevy rainbow

There was a terrific turnout for the opening day of the trout fishing season on Creevy Lake just outside Carrickmacross on Sunday last 18th April. The weather was bright and sunny but cool and water conditions were low and clear. Between sixty and seventy eager anglers fished opening day and produced a catch of circa 135 brown and rainbow trout. Two notable fish recorded on the day were a well conditioned rainbow trout of nearly 2lbs taken by Andrew Clarke from Kingscourt on the fly. The other was a nice brown trout weighing in at just under 2lb. which was taken by a local Carrickmacross angler.

Twenty four anglers fished Creevy on Tuesday 20th April and 25 trout, mostly rainbows in the 1lb to 1.5lb bracket were recorded up until 6pm. Worms fished by float and on the bottom produced good results. A very cold breeze which eased in the evening did not favour fly anglers however, several trout were also taken on the fly.

Thirty three anglers fished Creevy on Wednesday 21st April. The water has dropped further and is very clear. The weather is fine with only a slight corduroy ripple on the surface. Local angler, John Browne from Lisanisk, Carrickmacross, landed two nice rainbow trout today. John’s fish weighed between 1lb and 2lbs. and were taken on an olive beadhead and a black pennell. Another fly angler, John Mulligan from Kingscourt also landed two rainbows today at Creevy.

Creevy is a stocked fishery located just outside Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. It is run by Carrickmacross Trout Anglers Association. The lake is open for fishing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday of each week. Creevy Lake is closed to fishing on Monday, Thursday and Friday. Permits are available from club Secretary Gordon Sweetnam in Carrickmacross and from John at the ‘Crock of Gold’ in Carrickmacross. Tel: 0876490499 or 042 9661702. A season permit costs just €30.

Kells Blackwater

Andrew Clarke from Kingscourt fished the Kells Blackwater on Saturday evening 17th April and landed a nice 1.5lb wild brown trout. This fish was caught on a dry olive. Fishing guide Pat McLoughlin from Kells has reported that very few anglers are fishing the Kells Blackwater at the moment. The water is still coloured but clearing and there are good hatches of medium olives daily, between 12pm and 2pm. Pat also reported that he fished the Monalty River over the weekend and had good numbers of small trout on fly. Pat’s best fish was a nice plump wild brown trout measuring around 11 inches.

River Boyne

On the Boyne, fishing guide Marc O’Regan reported that he brought Bill Baker from the USA fly-fishing on the Boyne and Athboy Trimblestown Rivers around Trim, Co. Meath during his recent visit. Bill caught and released 10 wild brown trout with the best fish measuring 12 inches. All of Bills fish were taken on a dry dark olive pattern. Water levels in the Boyne and tributaries are falling and clearing but are still tinged with colour.

River Fane

Water levels in the River Fane have dropped further and cleared. Fly hatches have been sporadic but conditions are improving on a daily basis. Trout fishing is sure to improve in the coming weeks.

Lough Lene

Around fifty anglers fished a trout competition organised by Lough Lene Anglers in Collinstown, on Sunday last 18th April. The winner of the competition was Mr. P. Lynam who weighed in a nice trout of .97kg. Second place went to Tommy Keoghan from Trim in Co. Meath with a nice rainbow weighing in at .86kg.

[Return to top of report]

Southern Region

John Flynn reports:


River Nore

Trout fishing on the river is very poor at present. Hatches of olives and other aquatic fly life have been set back by cold mornings and frosty nights. With very few naturals there is no rise worth fishing at present. Hopefuly the warmer weather promised fort he weekend will improve the situation.
Jim Brown
Salmon and trout ghillie
Address: Rosebank Lodge, Mount Alto, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.
Email: Web:

[Return to top of report]

South Western Region


Lough na Mona

Nick Gough arrived on the 8th and the following day we decided to try Lough Namona.  We had good sport with the brown trout catching at least a dozen and with 2 of them around a pound each. 
John Quinlan
Salmon and Bass fishing Guide
Thatch Cottage, Kenneigh West, Cahersiveen, Co Kerry.
Tel: +353 (0)64 9474721
Email: Web:

[Return to top of report]

Shannon Region

Brian McManus reports:



The Annual All Ireland Trout Angling Match for anglers with special needs run by Loch an Dochais takes place at Loch an Dochais, Kilcormac, Co Offaly on Sunday 30th May 2010. This is the 14th year of this competition and the lake now has the capacity of 43 angling spaces with ample car parking available. Great credit is due to all involved who have brought the lake to the state it is today and running this competition.

Anglers will be competing for the Mary Robinson Perpetual Trophy and other prizes. The usual rules apply for this years match.

Presentation of prizes takes place in St Josephs Community Cente, Kilcormac at 3.30 pm. This is courtesy of the Kilcormac Development Association.

A youth trout angling competition follows the All Ireland match. This will be run by the friends of Loch an Dochais and the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board. Fishing is from 3pm to 5pm, with a bag limit of 4 trout per angler. The entry fee is €4.00 and all legitimate angling methods are allowed to fish on the lake during this period. Children to be accompanied by an adult.

We wish all anglers the best of luck.

All enquiries for both competitions to Secretary Denis O'Driscoll. Tel: 057 9135328.

Lough Derg

There were many anglers out on Lough Derg on Sunday last to compete in the Giblin Cup trout wetfly competition. The fishing was extremely poor with only seven fish being produced for the weigh-in by the 100 anglers who took part in the event. The winner was Scariff native Paul O’ Meara with a fish of 2lbs 9ozs. Second was Russell Weston of Plymouth (2lbs 4ozs) and third was Paul Clohessy, Limerick (2lbs 3ozs). Several anglers from the North Tipperary side of the lake took part but none managed to land a fish over the legal limit of 14 inches. For most it was a fishless day, marking a bad start to what is officially seen as the first of the fly fishing on the Lough Derg.

It looks like the appearance of the Mayfly on the lake is going to be a bit late this year, given the freezing winter that we have experienced. We saw just one solitary Mayfly on the lake off Illaunmore on Sunday, so it would seem the peak of the hatch will be several weeks away.

The first of the Mayfly Competitions hosted by Garrykennedy Fishing Club starts this Sunday with the Kevin Reynolds trophy up for grabs. Meanwhile, Ballina-Killaloe Angling Club team up with Mountshannon Anglers for an inter-club competition on Sunday. The weigh-in will be in Mountshannon Hotel at 8pm.

Boats and/or accommodation can be arranged by contacting Padraic Giblin at 086 2520663.
Peter Gleeson
Nenagh Guardian

[Return to top of report]

Western Region


Lough Corrib

Photo: Harry Beattie took a 15lbs trout from the Cong River.

The duckfly hatch seems to have petered out, and the lull before the olives start hatching is always a difficult period for anglers. There are some fish being taken on buzzer nymphs in the absence of surface fly life, as well as fish taken on the troll.

The weather lately has been dominated by high pressure, with northerly winds keeping it cool, as well as bringing that infamous volcanic ash to our skies. Night frosts have been regular occurrences, which hasn’t helped water temperatures. A change to the more usual southwesterlies is forecast for Friday, which should accelerate the warming of the lake, and hopefully get olives starting to hatch.

Harry Beattie, a resident in Cong, caught a super fish when he landed a 15lbs trout on the Cong River. Fishing a worm, he hooked the fish at the hatchery and landed it after a 40 minute fight. The specimen fish was Harry’s best ever trout, and will surely provide him with a great memory.

[Return to top of report]

North Western Region

Bryan Ward reports:


Lough Conn

Lough Conn remains unusually high despite the lack of substantial rainfall over the past week. Bright weather and a cold North Easterly airflow did not improve conditions for anglers. However those who fished had some success. Gerard and Joseph Gallagher, Turlough, fishing out of Pontoon, had three trout for a total weight of 4.5lbs. Harry Godard, Dublin, also had success with a mixed bag for his day, catching a 1lbs trout to the Claret Mallard, a 10lbs pike and an 8lbs salmon both taken on a silver spoon.

Fishing out of Cloghans Bay, Stephen Browne and Joe Ferguson, Cloghans, had a total of four trout averaging 1.5lbs each taken on the Duckfly and Bibio while Neil Rooney, Dublin, had one trout for 1.1lbs.

Lough Cullin

Fishing from Pontoon on Lough Cullin was Robert and Michael Butler, Clare, who had 3 trout on the dry Duckfly weighing in at 1 lb each.

Ballin Lough

Despite the bright conditions over the past week Ballin Lough continues to improve with a total of 18 anglers fishing during the week, catching a staggering 114 Rainbow trout of which 79 were released. Jimmy Gibson, Westport had a total catch of 30 Rainbow trout with the best fish weighing in at 4lbs. Gerry Madden and James McStay, both from Co. Kildare, had a total catch of 18 Rainbow trout with their best at 3.5lbs. Tommy Brennan and John Shaughnessy landed 20 Rainbow trout, with their best at 3lbs and George McLoughlin and friend had 17 Rainbow trout, the best weighing 3.5lbs. The most successful flies for the week were Buzzers, Cats-whiskers, the Whiskey fly and the Montana Nymph.

Lough Doon

Lough Doon has proved successful for those who have ventured out with Dereck and Tom King releasing three trout, with their best weighing 1.3lbs. Simon Beamet and Koln Kiskings, Belgium, had ten trout for their day, releasing nine with their best at 1lbs. Stephen and Lieben Dierick also of Belgium had five for their day, releasing four with their best measuring 32cm in length and weighing 1.2lbs. Dillon Henry, Co. Leitrim, caught and released five trout with his best 1lb while Gerry Bird had three trout with his best at 0.75lbs. Finally, Jarleth Devanny, Dromahair, caught and released two trout. Flies which proved successful through out the week included the Nymph Emerger, Claret Bumble, Black Pennel, Olives, Bibios and Duckflies.

[Return to top of report]

Northern Region

Lindsey Clarke reports:


Lough Melvin

The fishing was very variable on Melvin this week. Certainly the bright days did not help matters. The previous hatches of sedges dried up and it was difficult to find fly over the week. There were sporadic hatches of buzzer and the odd fish to be caught on dry flies but overall the week was disappointing.

[Return to top of report]

Loughs Agency area

Lionel Knobbs reports:


Cashel Trout Fishery

Beautiful spring weather has made things a lot more pleasant at Cashel giving anglers the ideal opportunity to make good catches.

John Hall (Campsie) released an amazing thirty-one trout which fell to black buzzers. Maghera’s Bernard Mellon released forty trout which also took buzzer assortment. Greg English and Colm O’Kane (Draperstown) banked four and one trout respectively with trout averaging 2.5lb for home. Jim Russell and Danny Walker (Monkstown) had a brilliant day bagging three each for home weighing a total of 17lb. They also released fifteen more trout between them which fell to black/silver lures, bibios and black buzzers. Cahir Monaghan and Ivor Smyth (Derry) also had a great time releasing twelve and fifteen trout respectively using black and silver lures. Daniel Reilly (Maghera) bagged two nearing 4lb and released two more which fell to green/white cat’s whiskers. Martin Bradley (Dungiven) released ten trout which took wee dries and zonkers. Seamus Bradley (Swatragh) released ten and bagged one for home which weighed 2lb 11ozs. His trout fell to the orange fritz.

Well done to all!
17 Birren Road , Dungiven, BT47 4SH, 
Tel/Fax: 028777 42159
email:  Website:

[Return to the top of the page]


Coarse Angling Update

Eastern Region

David Byrne reports:


Water levels in the lakes around the Cavan, Meath and Monaghan areas have dropped and cleared further with the recent good weather.


Catches of roach, skimmers and hybrids are still being reported from Concra Wood and other venues on Lough Muckno in Castleblaney. Ballyho Lakes produced some nice roach fishing over the weekend with maggot and sweetcorn producing the best results.


Local anglers have reported that Rahans Lake near Carrickmacross is having what can only be described as a perch bonanza at the moment. Good bags of perch have been recorded by a number of anglers recently. Some of the perch weighed close to two pounds and were taken on worm baits fished on a float rig. So if you fancy a good catch of perch, Rahans Lake in Carrickmacross is the place to fish.

Some nice catches have also been reported from the Brothers Lake in the town with local anglers John Doyle and James Gargan producing some nice roach and tench from this venue. John has produced good numbers of roach on the float and James has been getting catching roach and tench on a long pole (8m – 10m) fishing a short line.

[Return to top of report]

Southern Region


River Barrow

Carlow Junior Anglers successful day out on the Barrow

The Junior members of The Carlow Coarse Angling Club had their first day out of the year on Sunday 18th April. The Junior members met up in Carlow at 9am and proceeded to travel to the Marina in Athy for their day of fishing and B.B.Q. which was paid for by money raised by the Juniors themselves last year on a sponsored fish-in in Carlow Town Park.

Carlow Coarse Angling Club chairman Gerry Mc Straw supplied the bait for the day and Michael Mazur from the new Carlow based company Fishing Masters supplied gifts and groundbait for the children.

Several jack pike were caught on the day, 5 in total which generated lots of curiosity from the younger anglers. There were also several perch, roach and two bream x roach hybrids weighing a pound and three quarters caught by the Junior members.

A good day was had by all and the weather remained fairly good for the day. Carlow is fast becoming one of the best coarse angling destinations in south east Ireland and the Carlow Club being described as one of the best up and coming angling clubs in the country.

Carlow Junior anglers
front row from left.
Teddy Byrne, Danyael McStraw, Emma McStraw.

Middle row from left.
Leroy Byrne, Brandon O'Reilly, Brandon Ho, Kelsey Warburton, Dylan O'Shea.

Back row from left.
Neil Morgan, Graham Kealy, Stephen Dowling, Graham Dowling, Lewis Parr.

If any one has any enquiries or would like to join the club or register Junior members please do not hesitate to contact Gerry Mc Straw in St.Fiacc's Tce. Graiguecullen or ring 085 2844566.
Gerry McStraw
Tel: 085 2844566

Athy and District Anglers Junior Competitions

Athy and District Anglers are hosting a
series of competitions for youths starting on Friday evening the 30th of April. The idea is to bring youths out on the water to start them off and show them how enjoyable fishing can be. We will have senior  club members on hand to explain, teach the basics of fishing and bring an awareness of the natural surroundings along with basic water safety.

If it is the first time out for some youths, that’s no problem as will have all the fishing equipment
required on hand to hopefully catch them their first fish. There will be prizes  for the overall winners and also medals for all youths in attendance for the four week’s.

The event will be free to all youths that are members of Athy and District Anglers, annual youth membership is €5.00.

The competitions will be fished on a Friday evening starting at 7.00pm and finishing at 9.00pm on each of the evenings. We also invite parents to attend,even if they have never fished before or want to learn a little more.

Please see dates and venues below;

To enter any youth, we would ask you to contact the club's Press Release Officer as soon as possible as we will be limited to places and we wish to try to cater for all who attend.


[Return to top of report]

Shannon Region

Brian McManus reports:



Friday 16th April: Another beautiful day on the bank where many species were caught. Killian McCormack fished the gusher to record a Hybrid of well over 2lbs and a good number of Perch to close on 2lbs. Dubliner Deco, (Double Dekker) now residing near Elphin had a Pike of 10lb 9oz. There were at least seven Roach over a pound and a half with the biggest going 2lb 2.5oz captured by Micheal Passco. The highlight of the day was a superb Trout of 1.750k caught by Polish angler Mario Skalski which was safely returned to fight another day.

My session started very slowly, with the first 10 fish averaging less than 4oz each, but after the bait was delivered, my catch rate improved as did the general quality of the fish. I gave up with 40 Roach and an estimated 19lb 8oz. Had Roach of 1lb 12oz and another was 1lb 10oz.

The evening, for myself at least, was a bit of an anti-climax. More very large Roach were present and I think a total of 11 over 1lb 8oz caught today. Double Dekker had another Pike of an estimated 14lb+ but I only had a pair of Perch, a 4oz hybrid and a single Roach, but then, I wasn't really trying.

I'm going to make a bold prediction based on today's observations, The Roach currently in the stretch may spawn overnight.

Saturday 17th April:
I was expecting a full house at Lanesborough this morning so when I got up at 07.30 it came as a surprise to see only two anglers present. These were soon joined by four others. Most fished the feeder and I think their returns were possibly not as good as I may have expected had they tried the stick float. Ross Lester and his father were 30 yards short of the gusher and did reasonably well during their session. With three Roach over 1lb 12oz they were quite rightly satisfied. Other notable catches were made by Willy and Willow from Dublin who shared a 35-40lbs catch with some big Hybrids and Roach to 1lb 11oz.

When the shop shut, I tried my luck on the Roscommon side. With the water level dropping I was able to present my float into 12' foot of water above the bridge with ease. I only caught two Roach of 1lb 2oz and 10oz before a boat moved off and I had to re-locate below the bridge. A solitary perch was my only success here but I'm sure this week I'll do far better over that side of the river.

Incidentally, the Roach don't seem to have spawned just yet, but the two I caught on the navigation channel tonight were very close to ready.

Sunday 18th April -
A major disappointment was had by the 6 anglers having an early start this morning. Sport was very slow and by mid-day they were all leaving. The Roach numbers diminished but were replaced by a few (but not enough) Hybrids. The water level dropped to leave most of the lower concrete step exposed. However, there is still 4' of water at the bridge.

At 4.30pm I shut the shop and was hoping for a change of fortune, how wrong I was. With just a dozen sprat sized Rudd and Roach, I wished I never bothered. Some large Bream were spotted below the bridge and hopefully they will be caught in the hot water this coming week. I'm not too optimistic, but who knows?.

I had an evening at Rooskey below the weir to catch 32 Roach and Perch, it was easy fishing with the best going around a pound backed with many 6oz fish.

Monday 19th April:
For me, this was my worst day since my arrival. I tried to fish but couldn't get a bite anywhere. I fluked a Rudd of an ounce on the gusher but that was the only action I saw in over two hours. On the navigation channel it was the same, but Peter Wood, fishing the old slipway managed about 8 Roach in his short session. On the hot water stretch, Leigh Maitland had just under 22lbs on the pole and feeder including a Roach of 1lb 13oz and several larger Hybrids. The Leeds quartet who are staying locally at "The Gatehouse" had mixed fortunes. One of them lost a good Pike at the net.

I had less than 10 minutes on the bridge at Ballymahon this evening to determine there were no large Roach present. I caught 4 tiny fish which would barely total on ounce together. At Maladys, near Peters cottage, the upstream breeze made float conditions difficult and after two hours I had 3 Perch and 11 Roach, with not one over three ounces. We have cold nights for the next few days, so I wouldn't expect much change.

As the sun sets much later now, don't be surprised if I post the reports later than previous. I'll try to get it all done by 11pm most evenings until I start my overnight sessions in May.

Tuesday 20th April: Another hard day, for me at least, where the stick float which was the best method last week, simply did not find many fish. After 30 minutes above the bridge with only three smallish Roach, I relocated to the Roscommon bank and fished the old slipway. A Roach of 6oz and a Hybrid of of 2lb were my only reward. Back on the stretch, Leigh Maitland fished the feeder to record a relatively good bag of around 42lbs with the best Roach going only 1lb 9oz and Hybrids to 2lbs 9oz. His fishing partner had about 19lbs but had the consolation of a slightly larger Roach.

I went out to the navigation channel about 6.30pm and fished under the bridge, catching 19 Roach, all males averaging 6oz but some going to 12ozs, before having to pack up to watch "The Bill"

I mentioned on last Saturdays report, that I believed the Roach were about to spawn. I am now convinced they have, but as to where, I am confused. Normally, if they are in the hot water stretch, the gusher is awash with eggs. This year I have seen no evidence to support my claim. Perhaps there were just too few Roach to see their spawn, or simply they did in in the weeds out of sight from the gusher. With such a cold evening, it was a bit of a surprise to see so much surface activity. The water level is going down nicely with barely 4' of the wet stuff under the bridge.

Wednesday 21st April - Today's action can best be described as patchy. Simon and John from Co. Galway enjoyed a combined weight of 45lbs for their morning session 30 yards below the gusher made up of the usual suspects, whilst the Ballyhaunis trio below the gap struggled, although their swims were improving as the evening arrived. I pursued the Roach on the navigation channel again. They were more than willing to feed and in 90 minutes I had 30, all males with a few around a pound. In the bright sunlight, I could see thousand of eggs in the weed on the wall, confirming yesterdays report.

Photo: The unnamed angler with 6lb 8oz tench

My short evening session was rubbish with only 5 Roach in two hours. Peter Wood fished the old slipway and had a similar catch but with the addition of a number of Hybrids. Back on the hot water stretch, the seasons first reported Tench of 6lb 8oz was caught.
Paul Waghorne

Mohill and Carrick on Shannon

Photo: Brian Bohan with a great catch of tench

Had some nice nets of Tench with heavy pre-baiting on Creenagh lake just outside Mohill and was up fishing at the crack of dawn for an early morning session, had sport all morning and  ended up with 23 Tench. Lough Rynn is starting to fish well with some nice Tench, Bream, Roach hybrids on feeder. Clonboney lake  is fishing well with lots of Roach and hybrids and Tench. The board walk and ramp at the cottage is still fishing well with a lot of Tench showing early mornings.
Brian Bohan
Mohill, County Leitrim
Tel +353 (0)71 9631870
Email Web

Mullingar Area

The weather has picked up big time and we are enjoying some brilliant sunshine on the lakes and rivers of the Midlands. Plenty of coarse anglers are Out & About on the Royal Canal and are catching some good fish.

Mullingar Coarse Anglers held a very successful match competition on the Royal Canal last Sunday April 18th. On the day Martin Quinn topped the competition with 11lbs 8oz, 2nd was Steve Cotter 9lbs 8oz, and Ned O' Reilly secretary of Mullingar Coarse Anglers finished 3rd with 3lbs 6oz.The members are gearing up for a open Match quite soon on the Royal Canal, and some of Ireland's Top coarse anglers are expected to compete.
Mick Flanagan
Angling Corespondant
Tel: 087-2797270.

Lough Derg Bream on a fly rod!

There were many anglers out on Lough Derg on Sunday last to compete in the Giblin Cup trout wetfly competition.

The fishing was extremely poor with only seven fish being produced for the weigh-in by the 100 anglers who took part in the event. The winner was Scariff native Paul O’ Meara with a fish of 2lbs 9ozs. Second was Russell Weston of Plymouth (2lbs 4ozs) and third was Paul Clohessy, Limerick (2lbs 3ozs).

Several anglers from the North Tipperary side of the lake took part but none managed to land a fish over the legal limit of 14 inches. For most it was a fishless day, marking a bad start to what is officially seen as the first of the fly fishing on the Lough Derg.

I tried a few hours trout fishing myself on Sunday, with some surprising results. Myself and my fishing buddy Liam Young set out from Dromineer each fishing a team of three nymphs on sink tip lines.

Casting close to “The Iron Door” my rod suddenly bent and I thought I had a fine trout. But no, it was a bream of three pounds, which, in fact, fought just as gallantly as a trout before being landed, photographed and put back. A few hours later Liam had a similar sized bream on a tiny nymph in the same location. We discovered that you don’t always have to hook a trout to have great fun on a fly rod and we plan to hunt down some more bream with the same tactics during the summer months when the peak of the trout season is over.

[Return to top of report]

Northern Ireland


The Erne Lakes and Rivers

Jack Tisdall from the Cloughballymill Angling Centre reports on the 2nd leg of the Junior Classic in the Co. Fermanagh area near Enniskillen.

Erne Anglers Junior Winter League

Match seven of the nine match series was fished on the marina at Bellanaleck with an excellent turnout of 7 anglers taking part. Weights were very close with all catching fish mainly on the feeder.

Individual winner was James Crawford (Lisbellaw) with .870kgs, runner up was Kieran Kelly (Enniskillen) with .620Kgs with Conor McGarry (Belturbet) third with .550Kgs.

Kieran Kelly leads the league on 18 points.

Next match will be next week meet at Bellanaleck Marina at 9.00am. Please book in if you intend to fish.

Meadowbrook Omagh Winter League

This was to be the final match of the winter league however due to the hard winter two matches still remain to be fished. A full turnout saw mixed sport with the bottom lake fishing best.

Vincent Walsh (Raphoe) won the match with a mainly small fish catch of 7.100Kgs from peg 5 on the Bottom Lake taken on the pole.

Gavin Brown (Kesh) was second with 6.700Kgs on peg 9, with Mark Vinnecombe (Ballykelly) third from the Top Lake on peg 10 with 5.950Kgs.

Overall John Brown (Ballycassidy) leads the league on total weight being tied on 56 points with Gavin Brown.

Next match will be fished on Sun 02 May.
Jack Tisdall

Cloughballymill Angling Centre
Unit 3, Sligo Road, Enniskillen. BT74 7JY
Tel: +44 28 6632 2008
Web: E-mail:

[Return to top of report]


Pike Angling Update

Eastern Region

David Byrne reports:


Ballyho Lakes on the Meath/Monaghan border have been producing a lot of small jack pike in the last few weeks but on Sunday last, 18th April, a nice 16lb fish was taken by an angler lure fishing from the bank.

Rahan’s Lake is also producing good numbers of small pike.

[Return to top of report]

Shannon Region

Brian McManus reports:


Lough Ree International Pike Angling Festival is here to stay.

Photo: Marc Lombard from France won the best overseas prize.

Ireland’s latest angling event was a resounding success fished over three days on the vast 16 mile long lough at Athlone - and to win any of the six prizes each day it was necessary to catch a pike of 18lb or more!

More than 60 anglers - from Germany, France, England, Northern Ireland and Ireland - competed from boats launched from Coosan Point and Hodson Bay as they battled to catch the biggest fish and win the €3,000 first prize and share in a total cash prize fund of €10,000
The champion for 2010 is Kevin Foley from Clare who caught a terrific pike measuring 106 cms on the final day – estimated to weigh 24lb.

The 26-year-old was trolling with his best fishing pal Kevin Foley and his only “take” of the festival came at lunchtime on Friday when a massive fish struck at the frozen dead rainbow trout. For the next 10 minutes there was an almighty battle and just as the landing net slipped under the pike, the swivel broke.

Ree pike festival winners
Photo: (L to R) Mayor Mark Cooney, winner Kevin Foley, third Pat Byrne, runner-up Adrian Quinn and Marie McCormack, Client service officer with Failte Ireland.

Kevin certainly had the biggest smile later when he stepped up to receive the winner’s cheque from the Mayor of Athlone, Mark Cooney, who has been involved in with the Pike festival since its inception.

There was a conservation slant to the new festival and rather than weigh the fish, which often means placing them in some sort of container and the sailing to the shore with the fish, anglers had to measure and photograph the fish on specially supplied boards, then release the catch immediately.

It reduces the stress and damage caused to pike.
“I came to the Lough Ree Festival because of the measuring system”, said 61 year old Wicklow sign maker Pat Byrne, who used to travel across the country to compete in such events.

“This is the way forward because it protects our pike stocks. I had virtually stopped competition in pike matches but would fish any event using some sort of measuring system”.

Pat featured strongly in the prize list with the biggest pike (103 cms) on the first day, second place on day two (98cms) and fourth spot (90cms) on the third day. He and his boat partner John McDonagh shared a haul of €1,800 in prize money despite not having fished the lake previously!

The runner-up was local angler Adrian Quinn from Athlone who bagged a pike of 104cms while trolling in the mouth of the River Shannon at the Sunken Island near to the yacht club.

The 35 year old Dunne’s Store manager had his own till ringing to the tune of €1,500 by using of buoyant brightly coloured lure on part of the river that would have been unfishable at normal water levels, but on this day it was perfect and his gamble paid off handsomely.

Athlone County Council and Bord Failte sponsored and organised the festival to highlight the outstanding angling potential offered by the River Shannon and Lough Ree


Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Attempting to estimate the weight of a pike from its length is risky simply due to a number of factors, but as a rough guide, a pike measuring 100 centimetres may weigh 23lb.
Dave Houghton
Tel: 071 9642743 (in Ireland) other countries +44 151 324 4744

River Fergus

On Saturday Bill Ryan, Shore Angling Guide, went fly fishing for pike.

Photo: A 13lb 5oz fly caught River Fergus pike

Here is a pike of 13lbs. 5 ozs caught by myself today on fly on River Fergus near Ruan, Co. Clare.

It's my pesonal best and my first this season on fly. I missed the first take on smelt and had the bait ripped off!

My fly rod was ready beside me so I cast the fly (Red Zonker) immediately and he was on! Good fight and pike was released alive.

I placed my camera on a fencepost and set the timer to get this photo.
Tight lines,
Bill Ryan
Shore Angling Guide
Querrin St., Kilkee, Co. Clare. 
+353 87 4130122   
E-mail: Web:

[Return to top of report]


Sea Angling Update

Eastern Region

David Byrne reports:


Wexford shore and boat angling report

Bass outlook

This is the frist month of the new year that I would have some optimism in catching bass on the Wexford coast. The first tentative opportunities begin on the tides at the end of the month but things will remain challenging from a lure and fly perspective until the period just before the beginning of the closed season in May.

A little bit of fishing in your day.
Jim Hendrick
Bass Angling Guide
SEAi, 8 St Johns Road, Wexford, Ireland.
Telephone: +353 53 9123351
E-mail: Web:

Soft plastics, jigs heads and fine lines

plastic baits
Photo: A selection of soft plastic baits

17/04/10 I was asked recently what I use Soft Plastic wise from the boat.

Jig heads here are varying in shape, size and weight ( 7g – 22g). Soft Plastics body shape also varying to give different resistance & action depnding on conditions on the day ( drift speed, strenght of tide etc.)

There is also a good mixture of colours in there too. I've been suprised recently while out on the boat, where on a given day the colour choice can be the difference between a fish or a blank. Its good to note down the conditions when this occurs for future reference, so you can see if there is a trend developing etc.

18/04/10 We were out at dawn again, beautiful morning. Water clarity was excellent with plenty of sea trout about. Unfortunately we did not connect with any bass…

21/04/10 Barry and myself went out for a couple of hours to throw a abit of bait to tempt the Silver Bars that were avoiding our lures. In all we caught 11 Bass ( all schoolies) 1 Codling and 1 L.S.D. All fish were caught on Lug at around 40 yards distance bar 1 Bass and 1 L.S.D. which took Barry’s frozen crab offering.
All fish were released and swam away well.

A pleasant evening to be out to dust off the bait rods. Im still going Lure fishing the week end though!
Danny Meagher
Wexford Angling Blog

Martin Howlin from the Wexford Sea Angling Club Reports

The East coast venues are fishing poor at the moment. A few flounder, codling, rockling and dabs nothing very exciting, except for some small school bass. I think the North easterly winds over the last week have been effecting the fishing. The South Wexford beaches have been producing dogs, coalfish some codling and flounders. On the rougher ground marks Pollock and wrasse have been reported. The only good news is that the flounders have started to return to the estuaries. Some good sized flounders have been reported up to 47cm peeler crab is producing the bests results

East coast outlook

Wicklow to Wexford Harbour

The majority of fishing activity in the eastern region will take place in the areas mentioned below in the coming weeks.  The summer species will begin to trickle in now and we should see increasing numbers of dogfish, smoothhound and some ray (Spotted & Thornback).  Beaches which tend to be traditionally productive and are certainly worth targeting are Ennereilly, Kilmichael area, especially Clones and south to Blackwater and Curracloe.

Bass will be feeding now prior to spawning and will fall to a variety of methods.  The first big crab molt will draw the bass inshore particularly if this warm spell continues.  Bass will fall to lures so anglers fishing for sea trout may encounter some of these early bass.  Just a reminder of the 40cm size limit and anglers should be aware that the closed season for bass begins on the 14th May and ends on the 15th June.  The best advice when bass fishing is stay close to your rod. 

Anglers looking to target ray on beaches south of Wicklow should fish with a long snood below the led.  Snoods to 4 ft long are not unusual, target the sand banks and if distance is required use an “up and over clipped rig”. 

Flounder numbers will begin to build on shore and estuary venues but may well be in poor condition, handle carefully and return as soon as possible to the water.  Anglers should carry a disgorger particularly a model such as the “Gemini” to assist in unhooking  these fish cleanly and safely.

Early season venues for smoothhound tend to be Morriscastle area in County Wexford particularly Tinnabearna. The number one bait is peeler crab and distance casting can be a deciding factor in catch results. The advice is fish with an open drag to prevent losing expensive gear into the sea. 

North Wicklow

As the month progresses dogfish will build in increasing numbers, sand eel usually guarantees results if targeting dogs. As the month draws to an end and May approaches, plaice will show up, they are usually small but an appreciated catch by most sea anglers as they are a beautiful fish. Ragworm works very well for this species.  Distance can be an advantage again if you are fishing Five Mile Point or Killoughter. Medium length snoods, clipped down gear and coloured beads can be helpful especially in clear water conditions. The advice is size 1 hooks with plenty of bait.

Dublin Area

This time of year anglers will be waiting for the first mullet to appear in the estuaries. Bread flake works best early in the year and these early mullet can be very cagey so a cautious approach is advised.   Bass in Dublin bay may show in the first week of May and the best bait is crab and king rag.  Over the last few years, bass anglers have been pleasantly surprised to catch smoothhounds at their bass marks at this time of year. Some smoothhounds to double figures have been reported.  The first mackerel have already been reported from Dun Laoghaire all be it in very small numbers. 

Sea trout have been captured to 6lb weight by anglers spinning from certain north Dublin marks. A reminder that a salmon and sea trout licence is required for sea trout even if fishing in the sea. 

Top Tips from Brian Cooke, PRO IFSA

“Choose a species and target it – smoothhound, plaice or bass for example, fish hard at a venue that suits the fish, one fish of a target species is a success regardless of size”.

Finally, anglers should mark the 23rd of May 2010 in their calendar as the National Youth Angling Expo will be taking place at the Howth Sea Angling Centre between 10am-5pm.  This is part of a series of events taking place in fisheries awareness week and will be a great opportunity for children and teenagers to learn about fishing from the experts in game, coarse and sea angling. Admission is free!

This report was compiled by Des Chew with information supplied by angling writer, Brian Cooke who is the PRO of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers.

[Return to top of report]

South Western Region

Michael Hennessy reports:
E Mail:


130 Bass in 7 days

Bass angling guide John Quinlan report reports from Caherciveen.

Photo: John with a bass caught last week.

Nick Gough stayed until Tuesday lunchtime and managed another 9 bass on fly before he left. Neil Patton came for a short 4 day trip and the bass fishing continued to improve with Neil catching over 60 bass half on fly and half on light spinning tackle.

On Wednesday 14th he and I caught 30 bass each and then we decided enough was enough and went to the pub for a well earned Guinness.

Luca Montanari arrived on Thursday from Italy. He is a fly fishing fanatic and had about 40 bass by Sunday.

In total we had around 180 bass for the week - our best week ever. Most of the fish were between 40 and 55 cm and while I would have liked to see a few big bass you can not complain about that number of fish. We also had a couple of nice sea trout in the sea around the 2lb mark.
John Quinlan
Salmon and Bass fishing Guide
Thatch Cottage, Kenneigh West, Cahersiveen, Co Kerry.
Tel: +353 (0)64 9474721
Email: Web:


Siegy Grabher, skipper of the charter boat Sioux fishing aroud Valentia Island has the following report:

11-17 April: Sensational season opener with endless sunshine and fish! Seven groups of six anglers caught 464 pollack, ling 16, 81 coalfish, 14 cod, 12 pouting, 3 cuckoo wrasse and 5 ballan wrasse.

Loads of of mackerel and sand eels about.
Siegy Grabher
Ballyhearny West, The Mill, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry.
Tel: +353 66 9476420 or +353 87 6871267
Email: Website:

Western Region

Kevin Crowley reports:


West Coast Shore League

The first leg of the West Coast Shore League took place on Sunday 18th April with a competition hosted by Galway Bay SAC on Lettergesh Beach near Leenane. The inaugural West Coast Shore League is being run over 8 legs, with best 6 scores to count, and includes many generous prizes. Main sponsors are The Helm, Westport, A Shore Thing in Westport, and Irish Angler magazine.

The first leg was won by Peter Davis, well known competition angler from Cork, who will captain the Irish team in the Home Internationals in Scotland later this year. Peter landed 10 fish, including flounder, plaice and brill, an unusual capture in this part of the country to take the competition. In second place was Chris Feeney from Galway, a young angler who recently qualified for the Irish under-21 team for the Home Internationals. Third place went to Colin Harty from Galway, with Galway Bay SAC chairman Peter Atkins in fourth. The top junior angler on the day was Kaylem Feeney, with Nathan Collins second and Leo McKenna third.

The next leg of the league takes place at Ballyreen on the 10th of June, hosted by Lisdoonvarna-Fanore SAC. Full details of the league and standings are available at

[Return to top of report]

Northern Region

Lindsey Clarke reports:


Porbeagle prowls wreck in Downings

Charter skipper Michael McVeigh reports from his boat Rosguill.

All the porbeagle left of a good pollack.

First fishing day of 2010 saw the Rosguill head out to the wreck of the Audacious – reasonable numbers of mackerel on the way which is nice for this time of year.

The Audacious did not fish so well, but after a few drifts the answer became obvious – there was a porbeagle hunting the pollack.

Photo: A brace of coalfish on the Rossguil.

A shift another 5 miles out to the Empire Heritage produced lots of pollack to about 7/8 pounds and not too many coalfish.
Michael McVeigh
Rosguill 43' Aquastar. Twin 310 HP
Downings, Co. Donegal.
Telephone: +353 74 9155080
Email: Web:

[Return to top of report]

Northern Ireland


All new Red Bay Predator

Charter skipper Hamish Currie reports from his boat the Predator.

Photo: The new Predator charter boat at sea trials.

Saturday 17th April saw the official launch of the new Predator. She had been surveyed and coded last week and was now ready for action. During sea trials she acheived a top speed of 31 knots and will cruise at 20-22 knots.

This is a purpose built angling machine built by Red Bay Boats with a overall legnth of 10m. The boat has an island wheel house giving 23.5 m of fishing space right round the boat.

There is also a full galley; cooker, oven and grill. For the catch there is a Large fish hole and an onboard live well tank for the bait and specimens.
Hamish Currie
Predator II
Red Bay Stormforce 9.1 Rib
Web: Email:
Telephone: 028 2177 1828   Boat: 07720440117

[Return to top of report]