w/e - Sunday 13th April  2008    

    Monday 7th April 2008                            

I would like to have got up at dawn, but was unable to find enthusiasm in the high winds which are still gusting from the North. It was nearly 10.00 before I started and I was into 4oz Roach from the off. I don't know why I lost them, but the going got harder for a while. A move to the fence failed to improve my catch rate, but I fluked a Hybrid of 1lb 6oz and then returned downstream. The water felt warmer in the stretch, but Barry informed me it had dropped to 46f across the lake. I had a purple patch landing a number of good Hybrids and a Roach of 1lb 9oz. My three hour session was a wee bit dissapointing at a shade under 12lbs. Arnie from Roosky fished just below me and had a Roach of 1lb 10oz.

My evening session also started badly. The winds had completely eased but after an hour I had barely a pound of smallish fish. I lost what I presumed to be a large Bream and then had a succession of bumped fish. I changed hook to a B611 - 16 and managed to land a few Hybrids to 2lb 2oz and Roach of 1lb 8oz and 1lb 4oz to finish with just under 15lbs. Andy Burnett fished above me for the last 90 minutes or so and suffered a similar fate of bumping including a Bream of over 4lbs at the net.

    Tuesday 8th April 2008                          

I rose at 06.30 for my first early session for a while. The first two trot thru's produced 4oz Roach which both attracted the attention of a Pike. I ran back to the van to get the big net and Pike rod and luckily caught a 2oz Roach to sacrifice. Eventually it was taken and a 6.300K Pike was safely weighed and quickly returned. I only caught about 4lbs of small fish in my first session of the day with nothing ove 6oz. Breakfast was at 09.00 as Arnie arrived from Roosky. My main job today was to get "The Ark Rose" from the farm to Lanesborough for an engine service. After a pint of Smithwicks in Clarkes, I was raring to go again. Arnie was bagging. I weighed a monster Roach of 1lb 14.5 oz for him, This is the largest i've personally seen at Lanesborough. I fished just above him between the trees, but struggled although I did catch a Roach of 1lb 12oz. A Pike again troubled my swim, but a small Perch was all it took to get my second Esox of the day weighing in at 4.200K I weigh my Pike on a set of scales that go to 25K so apologise for anyone used to pounds and ounces. Arnie finished up with around 70lbs with at least 6 Roach over 1lb 8oz. I gave up at 5 o'clock with only about 8lbs. I had an evening session, but with a very low cloud, it got dark early and I only had 5 fish for a small total of less than 5lbs 

 Arnie Williams from Roosky is always a great laugh to fish alongside and I look forward to seeing him each Spring. This beauty of of a Roach weighed in at 1lb 14.5oz which beats my own personal best by 1.5oz Click image for full size photo.

Someone sent me an E-Mail saying how lucky I was to get on the bank so much. I save all year for this 6-7 week trip and I work as a Karaoke compere at home mainly on the south coast. If any of you want to see what else I do, click here - be warned, you may be shocked (no, I'm not a gay porno star)

    Wednesday 9th April 2008                  

I was a bit worried after such a bad session last night and pretty much the same this morning, I thought the fish may have returned to the lough. I had but 5 fish in two hours, all Roach with the best going 1lb 4oz but really struggled. The only excitement was when a Pike snatched a Roach at my feet. Breakfast at 9am was eagerly taken. Arnie arrived soon after I stopped and somehow coaxed the fish into feeding. I am a crap angler after all ! I resumed at 1pm with my pole intending to fish a long line to hand. 40 minutes later still without a fish, my elastic broke confirming my previous statement. A change to the stick float saw a few Roach mostly over a pound with best at 1lb 11oz. Arnie went home at 15.30 and I had a bash at the gusher. I foul hooked a Roach of 1lb 12oz which dropped a lot of spawn in my landing net. Not a good sign when we're still in single figures for April. I was even more fed up when a Bream of between 5-6lb was also foul hooked but was lost at the net. The afternoon session did at least provide nearly 20lbs of fish with 12 over a pound.

For birders you may be interested to know that I saw my first Sand Martins and Whimbrel today. I have never seen the Whimbrel this early. The Irish know them as the May Bird, so they might have to consider re-naming them.

    Thursday 10th April 2008                     

An early session the same as the previous two mornings. At the gusher I couldn't buy a bite but continued to acciddently foul hook fish. I landed a Bream of exactly 3 lbs, but when fouling another decided to move to "Ryans gate". I only had two bites in an hour, the first from a Hybrid of 1lb 6oz that attracted the attention of a good Pike, but let go leaving the Hybrid in very poor condition. A 1oz Rudd was the only other fish caught in the margins. This was duly sacrificed hoping to lure Mr. Esox. it wasn't long before the bait-runner was doing its job and I struck into the monster. At first it just sat there and then strangely almost glided to the submerged net waiting. I could see this was at least a twenty and thus commanded the utmost respect. Not surprisingly it took a dive a fought for a good ten minutes until I finally netted it. I un-hooked her whilst still in the water and then lifted the net to find the weight to be well over Ten kilos. Luckily for me, Mr. Ryan was about to take his children to school, and with not a soul on the bank, I would like to thank him for his assistance in taking a photo. After releasing the fish and checking the weight of the net, I found I had a new personal best at 9.200K which is 20lb 4.5oz. After this everything was an anti-climax and my only other capture was a Perch of 4oz. I was back at the shop before 9am and then got the "Ark Rose" into the water.

My biggest worry in life (with the exception of being re-incarnated as a Crystal Palace supporter) is to land a personal best Roach only to find it had been foul hooked. Sadly this is exactly what happened when I chose to fish the evening session with my feeder rod on the gusher. It weighed 1lb 14oz. At least it wasn't a two. I moved to the scene of my morning sessions but still struggled for 90 minutes. Two Roach of 12oz a piece came quickly but a lull followed. It was a full hour before my next two in consectutive casts, Hybrids of 6oz and then a 2lb 6oz fish. With only a few minutes before I planned to pack in to watch "The Bill" I hooked, but lost a good fish in the cabbages which are gaining strength each sunny day. A Tench perhaps? I don't know, but at least I had a good reason to make my way back. There are so many fish in the gusher with little evidence to suggest a fresh influx of stock coming off of the lake.

   Friday 11th April 2008                              

Not the best of days, I had to drive to Ballyconnel to get the weeks bait. On returning to Lanesborough, I found Barry Lister and one other struggling on the stretch. It was cold and an up-stream breeze made it feel far worse than it really was. I set up only to get a 5oz Roach and two Perch on the gusher. An hour was all I could manage. A few heavy showers came in the afternoon but I decided to go out after closing the shop at 18.30 There were only a few novice anglers catching not much between them. I only had three fish in 90 minutes, all Roach but with one weighing 1lb 10oz, I wasn't too dissapointed. On a more positive note, there were a lot of fish moving below the bridge at dusk.

   Saturday 12th April 2008                       

Last nights observations proved correct as Darryl Swain from Lough Rinn steadily caught all day to claim the first "ton" of the season. The bag was probably under estimated as we couldn't lift it. Hybrids close to 3lb, the odd Bream of similar size and to cap it all, a Roach of 2lb 0.5oz. This is the first weighed 2 pounder I've witnessed at Lanesborough in 17 years visiting the town. many anglers have claimed to have surpassed the elusive target, but as far as I'm concerned, if it's not weighed, it may as well be 1lb 10oz or sometimes even less. There were a few anglers present today, mainly novice Kodaks and no one of the caliber of Darryl. The showers around 17.30 all but cleared the bank, but by 18.30 they were easing so I went out for my usual couple of hours. I had a good few Hybrids, the largest going 2lb 13oz and a number of Roach but no monsters. I hope next week will be as good as the past seven days.

  An absolute gem of of Roach that went 2lb 0.5oz caught by Darryl Swain from Lough Rinn on a day when we were the only anglers present for most of the session. I don't like the hat !! Click Image for full size photo.

   Sunday 13th April 2008                          

For those of you over in good old Blighty who make their annual pilgramage in the first week of May, Just look what your missing. Quality fish in good running water that haven't seen a hook for ten months. I was up at dawn but wasn't the first on the bank as a Kodak beat me to the peg I would have liked. I still caught about 25lbs before having to open the shop at 9am. I had a confrontation with a man over a fish he put in a black sack, he went ballastic, calling me some choice words in his native tongue. I just had to stand my ground after I tried to explain he had to return the fish. Their were six of them and I was outnumbered but do not regret making my stand. - If in doubt, call the Guard, they will be obliged to act if you have been verbally threatened.

As I was in the shop for most of the day, I missed the best action of the year, Steve Moran from Strokestown had 22 Bream on Lob tails to 6lb 14oz for an estimated 100lb bag. Other notable catches were Gus Green from Lough Glynn who had 60lb of fish on the pole and stick float including a specimen Bream of 7lb 9.5oz Brian Madden had a similar weight in the adjoining swim. My evening session was a non starter with only a 4oz Rudd and an 8oz Roach.

  Now that's what I call a Bream! This 7lb 9.5oz specimen was caught by Gus Green of Lough Glynn near Castlerea. Click image for full size photo.