The new moon phase for Tuesday through to Thursday looks very good for dawn and dusk fishing, - shame the barometer thinks otherwise. I think the cold water coming down the Shannon will deter any major fish movement this week. The OPW data at Hodson Bay appears to have not been updated since March 31st, but the level has risen possibly by 3" since then. I would estimate the water temperature to still be around 8.3c (47f) which is a long way from the required 10.5c (51f) that would see Roach in pre-spawning mode entering the river in huge numbers.
Of course, I could be talking bollocks...
I was resigned to having a day away from the stretch as I believe it really isn't ready for 'the rush' so a trip to Lough Fergus, near Roscommon was needed. It's only about 15 miles and easy to find. Unfortunately, the swims are rather difficult and a rake is required to get through the reeds. It's very deep, and I'm sure could produce some huge fish. Another day perhaps?
Back at Lanesborough it was a sorry sight. The bank was empty except for a solitary figure plugging near the duck pond. It was Artur, the Polish angler who recently moved to Lanesborough. He had one nice Perch of 6oz as I walked towards him.
Anglers are desperately needed to ascertain the population of the stretch. I'm reasonably confident I'm correct in my assumption that only small fish are present, but if three or four quality anglers fished together using different methods, we could be surprised?
A bright and blustery day although I'm sure the extra rays would do the river no harm. The levels continue to rise and another couple of inches could see the entire lower concrete stretch covered by Friday.
I spent most of the day repairing rods for either myself or customers. I was quite proud of building a 'new' rod out of scraps and opted to christen it this evening. Naturally, I was the only one present. I fished for barely an hour on the gusher catching fish nearly every drop in. They were mainly Roach as is expected, with the first recognisable male showing spawning tubercles. There was a Perch of 6oz or so, but my most gratifying catch was a Gudgeon. I think it was two years ago that I caught about a dozen of these little fellas on the hot stretch and I'm always pleased to see one.
I packed up early for three reasons,-
- The line tangled in my closed face reel.
- Brighton are playing Birmingham tonight.
- I'm off to Longford for a Irish music session.
I usually make a note as to when I see migrants arrive* and so far I have yet to see a Sand Martin. With only three days before the traditional "Swallow Day" of April 8th, it is a bit alarming.
* (perhaps UKIP have barred their entry via mainland Europe?)
The wild wind blew and between showers the sun shone, - typical April weather? For me it was a time to rest. I failed to rise until nearly 10:00 thanks to Mr Smithwick. For almost the entire day, the stretch was deserted yet again. I went out at 6pm and found lots of small fish near the bush. A move to the gusher was rewarded with better quality fish, another good Perch and two more Gudgeon. The lads who vacated the swim failed to catch on sweetcorn. When a heavy shower and more wind came at 7:20, I knew it was time to stack.
One surprising observation came in seeing lots of 2" fry in the margins. For many years I have suggested that either the spawning window has widened considerably, or perhaps Roach spawn twice. With record temperatures in December, which were more like our perception of how April should be, is it not conceivable that they went through the motions?
They're getting bigger... The stretch was very quiet all day. The wind dropped a wee bit and by evening it was just a gentle downstream breeze and much warmer than yesterday. There were plenty of fish to be caught, and I had my fair share in 90 minutes. The usual suspects of Rudd, Roach, Perch and two more Gudgeon, but as it was just getting too dark to see my float, my best fish of the campaign were landed. A pair of Rudd and Roach, both around 6oz were a pleasure to catch.
Another theory, could the bottom feeding Gudgeon have a taste for infant asian clams? Much as it would hate me to do so, I think my Stanley blade may be employed to dissect a Gobio tomorrow to see what the stomach contents are.
I have some bad news to start this evenings report, I can confirm that the power station will again be off line from May 11th for 7 days. Right in the middle of the tinca season again. Unusually, this is a midweek closure, but my informant has never been wrong, so let's hope for some warmer weather very soon to get the Tench into the stretch.
At the moment, the area below the bridge looks the same as it does in mid winter. Until some green shoots come through, that section will not produce what Lanesborough is famous for. For those wanting information on the levels and temperature, I'm afraid the Hodson Bay monitor is still not working. On one of the nearest stations, the temperature shows as being a little over 8c. The level here is still rising and under the bridge there is about 6" of water.
In 2014 there was research on the whole of Lough Ree to determine the stock. I think we all agree that gill netting is a most inhumane of securing the data, but that is the way I.F.I. operate. It is very interesting reading and for those who bemoan the lack of Bream, it will make you wonder how accurate the conclusion reads? Download the document here.
I had to drive to Trim today to sort out my boat. At least I can claim to have seen my first Swallow whilst there. Right on cue, 8th April - Swallow Day. Still no Sand Martins here though.
As far as today's fishing is concerned, that was difficult with the damp weather bringing out only the hardy. Two anglers from Dublin, David and Tony fished the feeder and recorded two blanks. They couldn't tempt a Pike either. It just goes to show how localised some of the fish are. I went out for 90 minutes towards dusk and also found the going very difficult. I only just got into double figures, much unlike last night. I didn't even get a gudgeon, so perhaps they've eaten all the clams?
I'm hoping for a better weekend, but only other anglers can improve the reports. So come on down, Bridie has multi-cultural pinkees, as well as red and white maggots in stock, fresh delivered today.
You'd think on the 2nd Saturday of April, we would have a few anglers here, think again, no, just myself and Larry Kelly were on parade. The fishing was't too bad either. Larry had a number of Rudd and several Perch, the best topping a pound. He also had three jacks between 3-4lbs before losing a very large Trout below the duckpond.
I had much the same as other nights with the best Perch going around 10oz. For the last hour before dusk, I tried a bit of still water angling in the harbour. I never expected much until the float slid away and the landing net was used for the first time this year. A Roach of 10-12oz in pristine condition took my single maggot over a ball of ground bait. I was then cursing missing two other bites. It was getting very cold by 9pm but I must try there again soon....
Brrr.. That was cold last night. Much warmer now with the first news of the day. Artur caught a very large Trout in the same swim that Larry lost one last night. Who knows, perhaps Lanesborough will become a mecca for Ferox Trout if the Tench don't show?
Artur Rydzak with a beautiful wild Brownie of 5 lb
I have to admit that this evening was very frustrating. I had contemplated not going out at all, because when I walked Ralf at 6pm. I put my hand in the gusher to find the water very cold. I believe the few fish in the stretch would have been not so concentrated as in previous days. I tried my hardest but only managed 8 fish in 90 minutes, two of them being later at the bush. Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit warmer, so I'll just have to hope.
Just to prove this mornings Trout wasn't a fluke, here is a picture of one Artur caught on St. Patricks day. Weighing in at 3.5kg (about 7lb 11oz) and measuring 66cm this is a fine catch by a fine angler. I think his daughter is very proud of her Daddy!