w/e - Sunday 12th April 2009     

    Monday 6th April 2009                         

I was expecting a fair amount of rain today so I wasn't too bothered about fishing. At midday we still had not seen a drop. Two anglers were "between the trees" and were catching when I took a walk. Peter Woods fished above the bridge and recorded a mixed bag of just under 25lbs including a 1lb 14oz Roach. I had a 3 hour session above him and didn't do well until he packed up at 15.45 then I caught steadily 'til the sun came out and the bites stopped. My best Roach was 1lb 10oz and the Hybrids topped 2lb in an estimated 20lb catch. The two others had a poor afternoon and finished with 25lb and 30lb. Surprisingly little Pike interest in the hot water. The most significant catch of the day was by two youngsters who fished the navigation channel and had 5 fish between them indicating the "run" is about to commence!

  Stephen Haughey with this years biggest Pike from the "Hot water" at 22lb 11oz Click image for full size photo

My evening session saw me have the bank to myself, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven only to find there were just small fish present. 90 minutes on the gusher with only 16 fish averaging 2oz a piece. Never mind, there is always tomorrow!

    Tuesday 7th April 2009                         
I had every intention of putting a few hours in today so was on the bank at dawn. I'd forgotten just how cold it can be first thing. The upstream wind was bitter and I caught just two 4oz Roach in 40 minutes. If I was catching I probably would have stayed but a short shower saw me go back to bed. One angler had about 20lb at the bridge and below the gap Arnie and Rod caught a few of the usual suspects. Arnie claimed about 30lb whilst Rod had a Pike of around 12lb. With the wind and rain increasing in the afternoon and through the early evening, there was no chance of me going out. It would have been difficult to spot any surface activity at dusk so I had an early night.

The shops bait delivery arrived this afternoon but will surely run out over the long holiday weekend. Phone the shop on 04333 21491 to reserve your bait.

    Wednesday 8th April 2009                

Not a lot of action this morning. I arrived on the stretch at 09.30 to find one "angler" on the gusher using a beachcaster and another below the gap. Both were not catching. I tried the bridge, but the upstream wind made seeing the bites almost impossible. I had two sub 2oz Roach before moving above "Ryans Gate" At least here I had a few fish albeit very small with nothing over 4oz. To be honest, my heart wasn't in it today as I had a gut feeling there were no good fish present.

I drove to a stretch on the Suck below Ballymoe. I thought the river was carrying a fair bit of extra water after yesterdays downpour. I chose a swim I tried last year and in 90 minutes had 25 Roach to 8oz but averaging 4oz a piece. I then made a foolish move to get out of the wind and failed to register any more bites.

Back at Lanesborough, Andy from Elphin and his fishing partner had a few good Hybrids to two and a half pounds by the bridge. My evening session was un-eventful, just a handful of Roach, Hybrids and a couple of Perch for a total of about 2lbs. At dusk there was very little surface activity and the prospects for the coming weekend is not looking good.

    Thursday 9th April 2009                      

Another wet and windy day, I had much to do in the shop so didn't venture out until lunchtime. I found David from Roscommon who had just under 15lb from "between the trees" including a Hybrid close to 3lbs and a Rudd of well over a pound. A few novice anglers struggled, but in all fairness, there are not many fish present in the stretch.

I had a call from Peter Woods who was at Dunamon to say the Suck was up within inches of the boards. The Lough Ree section of the Shannon usually peaks about 48 hours after the rain, so I'm expecting it to be up on the first step by tomorrow. It's currently up about four inches since yesterday.

A break in the rain prompted me to a short session on the stick above the bridge, I couldn't buy a bite so I moved to the gusher. For two hours I had almost a fish a chuck. Sometimes a Roach of an ounce and then Hybrids to 12oz. I never knew what was coming next. I also had about a dozen Perch who were no doubt hoovering up the Roach spawn from last weekend. I also caught a couple of Rudd. Some of the fish were hooked on Enterprise immitation maggots (available in the shop) I used these when it was raining because my bait box was getting drenched. I reckon I had between 8-10lb before having to return to watch "The Bill" - essential viewing on a wet Thursday!  I expect a few on the bank tomorrow as it's Good Friday, no pubs open in Ireland.

    Friday 10th April 2009                           

Good Friday usually sees a number of casual anglers out for their first session of the year, so it was of little surprise that the shop trade was brisk. Surprisingly, on this beautiful spring day, there were few serious anglers on the stretch, Alan and Costi, two Italians residing in Dublin were making their debut at Lanesborough. They amassed 30lb and 25lb but probably would have had more if it were not for the sunlight. Barry Lister arrived for his month long stint. I assisted in getting his boat on the water. I rely on Barry to give me accurate water temperature readings and he obliged today with 49f across the lake. Not quite warm enough to produce movement en masse. There is a large shoal in the deep hole ready to move any day now. I had expected the water level to increase overnight but this failed to materialise. In all probability, the gates at Athlone are open to keep the height to a minimum with the increased amount of boat traffic over the holiday period.

I had just an evening session tonight, starting "between the trees" I had about 10 Rudd to 4oz before moving to the gusher for dusk. A handful of caster laced groundbait was all that was needed to spark the fish into feeding. The darker it got, the more fish were in my swim. I had about 15lbs made up of Perch to 12oz, Roach to 1lb, A Rudd which I should have weighed as I estimated it at 1lb 4oz and several Hybrids to just under 3lbs. I also had a Bream of over a pound. A snapped hooklength prompted my retirement. A great short session, and now I'm more optimistic with a lot of surface activity below the bridge at 21.30

    Saturday 11th April 2009                      

A showery day, sometimes heavy. The morning sunshine soon turned to cloud which would have got the fish feeding. I was in the shop all day so was unable to inspect the river. Two lads from Mullingar were on the hot water pegs but didn't do as well as I might have expected. By 16.30 they were packing up with about 20lb each in their nets. A torrential downpour between 17.00 and 19.00 saw everyone vacate the river. Just as I ventured out it had all but stopped. I'd like to say I caught well but sadly, this was not the case. I barely had 8lb with only a Hybrid and a Roach of about 12oz needing the net. The rain started again at 20.45 so it was time to pack up.

  Peter Wood 100lb ish on the Inny Click image for full size photo

Good news from the Inny, Peter Woods claimed an estimated 100lbs of quality Bream at Tom Foxes this afternoon. He must have got very wet but I'm sure he enjoyed himself. Lets hope this daytime catch will lead to a good amount of bait going in to keep the fish in the river.

    Sunday 12th April 2009                         

It was a pleasure to witness the dawn mist over the river on a quiet Sunday morning. With little traffic, there was a certain eerieness as I walked along the bank to the gusher. I was into fish straight away but never caught any monsters. In 2 hours and 15 minutes, I caught 25lb of fish, made up of mainly Hybrids including 5 "netters" to 1lb 12oz whilst the rest were Roach to 4oz, Perch of a similar size and the odd Rudd. As with every Sunday during April and May, I was confined to the shop for most of the day but managed a walk around midday to check out the action. Ross from Cork had a few fish by the bridge but found sport difficult as the day progressed. Phillip was 40 yards above him and had about 30lb of quality Hybrids and Bream to 4lb 4oz. Two Hungarian anglers also caught but nowhere near as much as Phillip. I spoke to them as they were packing up (sorry, I didn't take their names) and they showed me some photos of superb Bream catches they had last year at a lake near Strokestown. It's so easy for us English and Irish anglers to assume all "foreign nationals" as bad eggs when it comes to fishing. This is of course, very wrong. The Hungarians are true professionals who care passionately about our sport and are a credit to their country. As are Alan, Costi and Alex, three Italians living in Dublin and members of the Portobello club. They arrived for an evening session and did extremely well from "Ryans gate" up to "Between the trees" all using the long pole and short line. At the time of writing this (10pm) Alex had about 20lb including a male Tench of 4lb 1oz (photo uploaded tomorrow) Alan had around 40lb whilst Costi had less but did have a Bream of 5lb or so. I started out on the gusher at 19.30 and hit the fish as soon as I put in. I only caught about 7lb of fish tonight and also foul hooked a Bream of 4lb 9oz. This corresponding Sunday last year also produced well with the Bream making an appearance.

One thing I forgot to mention on Friday, Tim Collier and his son fished below the steps hoping for an early Tench. They had half a dozen big Hybrids and a Bream of 5lb before the cold got the better of them and they packed in at midnight. With a good amount of bait going in over the weekend, conditions may suggest we are in for a bumper week.