w/e - Sunday 18th April 2010      

    Monday 12th April 2010                        

 Recent additions of bait additives in Bridies shop

Grubjuice - €6.50 Boosted Bloodworm - €12.50 Bloodworm Hookbaits - €6.50 Shelfish Concentrate - €12.50 Hemp oil - €9.75 

The alarm was set for 05.45 and I somehow managed to get out of bed soon after. This was to be my first early session of the year and I'd forgotten just how cold an April dawn was. There was no surace activity and despite very hot water coming from the gusher, it was looking ominous. I chose the bush swim above Ryans gate and lobbed in two balls of groundbait. 2nd run through a 6oz Roach was landed, closely followed by a 1lb 2oz fish. The following two hours were patchy but I totalled 14 fish for about 5 and a 1/2 pounds. After a breakfast break I returned to get another 14 fish but their average weight was far smaller. Peter wood joined me and fished opposite the gap. His ten fish or so were of a good stamp averaging 10oz a piece. It was nice to see quality fish back in the stretch.

I have no evening report as I decided to embark on my first Inny session. Starting at Ballymahon on the steps, I had a Salmon Parr first cast and followed this with 7 Roach, the best going close on a pound. Then I drove to Maladys to join Peter and Frank. By the end of the evening we had amassed about 40 fish between us, with a couple topping a pound. My contribution was 10 Roach, 2 Perch and a Trout. My most satisfying day so far this year, (I'm easily pleased)

    Tuesday 13th April 2010                       

It was even harder to get up this morning (ooh-er!) but after a slowish start I had just under 10lbs of Roach with a solitary Hybrid. Three fish were around a pound, but nothing really exciting. I had a short break before starting again at 11.30. The fishing wasn't as good as between 7- 9am but I did manage to beat my personal best Roach. Despite two attempts at weighing, the fish refused to put on 1/2 an ounce so I had to settle for 1lb 15.5 oz. Perhaps it's my destiny never to catch a "2"

The evening session was very poor. Phillip and Joe were above me and two others below, all on the feeder or lead. I hooked but lost 3 good fish, 1 of which was a large foul-hooked Hybrid. I only caught a single Roach of 12oz, whilst Joe caught one considerably bigger. Everyone else blanked except one angler fishing with a shallow worm on the gusher had a couple of Perch of 12oz or so. He also reported several Perch approaching specimen weight from the harbour.

 And Smith must score………... (F.A Cup final 1983) so near, but not quite…… This is me with a 1lb 15.5oz Roach caught today. A new P.B, but still not what I've been after for 34 years. Click image for full size photo.

    Wednesday 14th April 2010               

I was reluctant to fish after last nights disappointment, and in hindsight, I shouldn't have bothered. The going was hard and I managed less than 10lbs in three and a half hours. I hooked a very large fish in the gusher which was probably a Pike but never saw it. The daytime saw a Dublin man Piking but despite three runs on his dead bait, failed to hook one. I had a lot of walks today and found the fry in the harbour had vanished. A lot of Perch were caught on the gusher by John Groghan from Roscommon.

On a positive note, the water level has dropped but the lower level is still completely covered.

    Thursday 15th April 2010                     

A very indifferent day was had by all who fished Lanesborough this morning. Two anglers from Armagh fished the feeder below Ryans Gate, they had a couple of nice Roach but generally struggled. I never started until 10.00 and the downstream breeze was very cold. I'd caught 4 fish on the stick float before an ignorant tosser decided to fish the lead not 5 yards from where I was. With only four of us on the stretch you'd think he'd show a bit more courtesy. He probably saw me catch so thought he could capitalise on my success. I relocated to the gusher, continuing to rub his nose in it by catching more. Then I moved twice, firstly to below the gap where I had a purple patch with many fish in the 12oz to a pound range. Next was the bridge swim, again a few fish but mostly smaller including a Perch of around 8oz. Then below the bridge where it was much harder but I had 4 smallish Roach in 20 minutes. A total of 46 fish in 3 and a half hours for an estimated 14lb catch. I believe the stick float wins every time during the early part of the season when Roach are the predominant species. However, the feeder certainly comes into its own when the Hybrids arrive. This year, so far, I have seen barely a handful of Hybrids although they were present in great numbers on the last Sunday in March, just before I arrived. On that evening, Philip Gordon had a monster weighing in at 5lb 1oz when the river was alive!

In the evening I went to Ballymahon to take advantage of the Roach which were amassing around the bridge. I had my Jonah hat on as I caught just three, along with 2 Salmon Parr, 3 Perch and a Trout. A brief session below Shrule bridge found 4 Roach and then it was time to head back to Lanesborough to see dusk. Not a lot to report there, but some fish were topping on the navigation channel.

News of many airports being closed after a massive cloud of dust drifed into UK airspace. The cleaner of Celtics trophy cabinet room has since been arrested.

    Friday 16th April 2010                            

Another beautiful day on the bank where many species were caught. Killian McCormack fished the gusher to record a Hybrid of well over 2lb and a good number of Perch to close on 2lbs. Dubliner Deco, (Double Dekker) now residing near Elphin had a Pike of 10lb 9oz. There were at least seven Roach over a pound and a half with the biggest going 2lb 2.5oz captured by Micheal Passco. The highlight of the day was a superb Trout of 1.750k caught by Polish angler Mario Skalski which was safely returned to fight another day.

 Click image for full sized photo.

My session started very slowly, with the first 10 fish averaging less than 4oz each, but after the bait was delivered, my catch rate improved as did the general quality of the fish. I gave up with 40 Roach and an estimated 19lb 8oz. I was so convinced one of my largest Roach was a "2" that I publicly stated I would cut off my cock if it wasn't. I now have no Penis, but several Perch were reported to be feeding well in my vacated swim. Incidently, the Roach went 1lb 12oz and another was 1lb 10oz.

The evening, for myself at least, was a bit of an anti-climax. More very large Roach were present and I think a total of 11 over 1lb 8oz caught today. Double Dekker had another Pike of an estimated 14lb+ but I only had a pair of Perch, a 4oz hybrid and a single Roach, but then, I wasn't really trying.

I'm going to make a bold prediction based on todays observations, The Roach currently in the stretch may spawn overnight.

    Saturday 17th April 2010                      

I was expecting a full house at Lanesborough this morning so when I got up at 07.30 it came as a surprise to see only two anglers present. These were soon joined by four others. Most fished the feeder and I think their returns were possibly not as good as I may have expected had they tried the stick float. Ross Lester and his father were 30 yards short of the gusher and did reasonably well during their session. With three Roach over 1lb 12oz they were quite rightly satisfied. Other notable catches were made by Willy and Willow fom Dublin who shared a 35-40lb catch with some big Hybrids and Roach to 1lb 11oz.

When the shop shut, I tried my luck on the Roscommon side. With the water level dropping I was able to present my float into 12' foot of water above the bridge with ease. I only caught two Roach of 1lb 2oz and 10oz before a boat moved off and I had to re-locate below the bridge. A solitary perch was my only success here but I'm sure this week I'll do far better over that side of the river. I stupidly walked back to the Longford side and caught two small Roach.

Incidently, the Roach don't seem to have spawned just yet, but the two I caught on the navigation channel tonight were very close to ready. Good news though, my willy grew back this morning!

    Sunday 18th April 2010                         

A major disappointment was had by the 6 anglers having an early start this morning. Sport was very slow and by mid-day they were all leaving. The Roach numbers diminished but were replaced by a few (but not enough) Hybrids. The water level dropped to leave most of the lower concrete step exposed. However, there is still 4" of water at the bridge.

At 4.30pm I shut the shop and was hoping for a change of fortune, how wrong I was. With just a dozen spratt sized Rudd and Roach, I wished I never bothered. Some large Bream were spotted below the bridge and hopefully they will be caught in the hot water this coming week. I'm not too optimistic, but who knows?.

I had an evening at Roosky below the weir to catch 32 Roach and Perch, it was easy fishing with the best going around a pound backed with many 6oz fish.

Dawn French is so distraught about her split with Lenny Henry that she has gone on hunger strike. Doctors say she has 24 years to live.