I have to admit that from March 25th through to May 11th, there was little or no chance of my annual pilgimage to Lanesborough being likely to happen, and if were truthful, I didn't miss much.
Those who study weather patterns may have noted that the first three months of 2018 saw the longest prolonged low ground temperature probably since 1963? Some parts of Ireland averaged just 2.5c and I believe this is unprecedented. Being the smart arse that I am, I was confident that spring would be very late to arrive, and from reports all over Ireland, I understand that fishing has been poor.
Lanesborough can usually be relied on (when the levels are right) to produce early sport due to the warmer water from the power station outlet. It is true that some 4oz fish populated the area, these could have been resident fish. For the adult spawning fish however, it was a different matter.
I had my eye on the water temperature for Lough Ree and for most of March it was still less than 6c. It started to rise and on the weekend of 22nd April just got to the magic 10.3c (51f) which sees the shoals amass prior to spawning.
Those who kept in contact with me, were advised to fish the stretch, and Connor Lowry took advantage to weigh a new P.B. of 2lb 2oz. It was noted that far more female Roach were present than in previous years.
At least three Pike over 20lb were caught on the same weekend, but the week after the spawning, it was grim. The water temperature dipped and took a further two weeks to recover.
I predicted that we would not see an April Tench. Thankfully, I was wrong. Two very small males were caught before Arthur, a local Polish man had two in one session. The news of which prompted several very experienced anglers into action. (they blanked!)
So, when offered a window of opportunity to travel, albeit for just 10 days, I jumped in the car and made my way to Holyhead. The water had been a steady 12c for the best part of two weeks and surely it was just a matter of a short time before the next rise to see the Tench in the stretch?
I've been here four days now, and the sport has been very poor. Steven and myself have endured blanks on not just the disabled swims, but on the gusher and the warm peg below. How was this usually prolific area seemingly devoid of fish?
Whilst we were suffering however, two Tench over 6lbs were caught by Clifford and Keith Moreley from Norfolk on Sunday, but like us they really struggled the following day. Last night saw six anglers on the disabled swims, two of us blanked (guess who that was) whilst only one credible fish was netted to Keith who had a magnificent 2lb 7oz Rudd.
I will update these pages once a day, but don't expect too much good news.....
Here is the chart of water temperature rises, 22nd April was the Roach invasion. Yesterday saw the rise which should herald the tincas arrive in numbers?
I'll post more pictures tomorrow..
Normally, I fish only rivers in Ireland, but last weekend ventured out to explore four very small lakes close to Lanesborough.
These lakes are not on google maps and only visible by google earth or from local knowledge. Everyone of the lakes may produce something special, in fact they probably already have!
If access was a bit easier, these four venues would have been known to many, but on one, it took us the best part of an hour before finding the (only) route to a swim. I can't wait to get back here to fish again, I convinced they hold special fish? In fact after vacating the swim on the first lake, this was caught.
Tommy McGee Rudd or Rudd/Roach Hybrid weighed in at 4lb 3oz and 3/8oz
Tommy McGee caught this Rudd which was only ounces away from an Irish record. The location will remain a secret to protect the venue from over fishing. There is concern as to whether the fish is 100% Rudd, I believe it is because, as far as we are aware, Roach and Bream are not present in this land locked lake which is of less than 3 acres. Either way, it is still a superb fish and worthy of 'catch of the year'
* It's not the cough that carries you off, it's the coffin they carry you off in!