w/e - Sunday 1st April 2012
Tuesday 27th March 2012
By the number of hits my homepage has received in the last 48 hours, it would appear some of my readers are getting impatient for the first reports of the year. Perhaps they are just missng me? If only women I know could get so excited. Well the wait is finally over, and after what must be the mildest winter since the ice age (last year) nature has already made arrangements despite the clocks only going forward last weekend.
I arrived at 07.43, a full eight minutes ahead of schedule and made my first river inspection. I really didn't like what I saw. The level is very low. As a reference point, I use the concrete by the bridge as a marker and it is a full one foot down. When I was over at the beginning of February, there was at least two and a half foot of extra water and I could never imagine it would drop so much, so quickly.
I usually do a session within the first couple hours after my arrival, but fatigue and lack of enthusiasm caused me to postpone wetting a line until just after 5pm. The nice weather had brought a few casual anglers out and some smallish Roach were their reward. I had 20 minutes on the gusher with 4 spratt sized Roach before a move to the bridge as the sun created some shade into the swim. I caught 7 fish with the best about 6oz. For some mad reason I walked across the bridge to try the navigation channel. Normally, this would unfishable in March, but with levels close to what I'd expect in May, float presentation was easy. 1 Perch of 2oz was caught before having the final 20 minutes of daylight above the bridge on the Longford side. It was here that I netted my first bigger fish of my spring campaign with a Roach of around 14oz. Three more 2-3oz fish followed and then it was time to quit.
I've had far worse first days, but the amount of weed showing is going to make fishing very difficult at Lanesborough this year.
Before you go to sleep tonight, please pray for rain, and ask that Brighton and Hove Albion continue their run of form to make the play-offs!
Wednesday 28th March 2012
The temperature dropped close to freezing overnight and the river was steaming when I made my early walk at 8.15. Gerard and his father from Dublin were fishing above the bridge and were very cold. As the sun came up, it was evident a number of larger fish had amassed in the stretch, and although unwilling to feed, were clearly visible from the bridge with my polaroids. The pair continued for the duration of the day to catch probably 10lb of bits with a couple of Rudd of 8-10oz. Tim Collyer arrived for an evening session and raked some of the weed from the disabled swims. He had 3 Rudd of similar size to Gerards. My session produced just two small Perch on the feeder. There were other anglers present but no fish of note were reported.
Tomorrow we are looking for volunteers to help clear the abnormal amount of weed that is making fishing impossible in many areas. If you are able to help, please meet at the river around 2pm. This will benefit all planning to visit Lanesborough in the coming weeks. Bring a rake if possible.
Thursday 29th March 2012
Another cold night but with far less mist than yesterday. No one fished the stretch up until lunchtime. There were quite a few good fish under the bridge so I took a break to tempt them. I managed some 1oz fish but the bigger ones refused to feed.
I was hoping for some bodies to help with the weed clearance this afternoon, but only John Groghan made the effort. Together, we as good as cleared the stretch below Ryans gate which was almost unfishable. Below the bridge will take more than just the two of us as it is, at present, completely choked with weed. This particular type of weed, when dried and rolled into a spliff, will produce absolutely no effect when inhaled, but if anyone would like to try....
I had an evening session for 90 minutes and caught 24 fish, mainly 1oz Rudd and Roach but with four bonus Rudd between 10-14oz and needing the landing net. Things are looking up, but we could really do with some cloud cover.
Friday 30th March 2012
I have to pinch myself to remember it is still March! This morning, although much colder, saw the cloud cover needed to encourage the fish to feed. I only had 45 minutes before opening the shop but caught steadily just above the bridge. Browning sponsored Leigh Maitland, was fishing a pole above the bush and recorded the first Tench of the year along with a superb mixed bag of 80lbs which included two very good Roach of 1 1/2lb or so. Others fished with mixed success.
My evening session resulted in some nice Rudd and Roach but no monsters. Below me, on the disabled swims were two lads from Moyvore, who when I left at 8.30, had caught 3 Tench, all males. This is very significant, as I believe we will see the Tench in great numbers again this year.
Leigh Maitland (Browning) 80lb. Derek Keenan with a male Tench.
Saturday 31st March 2012
Apologies for posting this very late, it's now 22.30 and I've just returned from doing a session normally reserved for May evenings. With the number of Tincas showing, Steven Keough and myself had to have a piece of the action and fortunately we both netted the rare commodity that is a March Tench. Mine was a male of 2lb 13oz whilst Stevens was a female of 3lb. he also lost two at the net, and I had the consolation of two Perch.
Earlier in the day, Steve and Josh Blacklidge from Chorely shared a good mixed bag above Ryans gate and there were a lot of casual anglers coming and going all day. I'm sure the water temperature has hit the magic 51f because the navigation channel was alive at dusk. I really must get the thermometer out tomorrow. I don't have any reports as yet of Pike in the stretch. Normally, when the first shoals appear, Esox Lucious is not far behind.
Sunday 1st April 2012 Today will go down as one of those "special" days. Some early birds arrived long before dawn which paid dividends. Larry Kelly from Athboy had a Bream estimated at around 5lbs along with some Hybrids on the gusher. Above the bush was Chris Ganley from Ballyhaunis who recorded the best bag of the season so far with 80lbs of Bream, Hybrids and Roach. All fell to a feeder in a little over 5 hours. His best Bream was a specimen of 7lb 8oz with an added bonus of two Roach both going 1lb 13oz.
Somewhat under the radar was Steven Keogh who caught 16 Tench to 5lb 7oz despite packing up a little after 10am. At 5pm I closed the shop and was lured into joining him for another session. Between four of us we netted 14 bringing the seasons Tinca Tally to 45! My contribution was three fish of 4lb 4oz, 4lb 6oz and a baby of 3lbs. There was a lot of surface activity again at dusk, so I am expecting a bumper week ahead of us.
Was my report an April Fools Joke? Would I lie to you?