OK, I may have exaggerated a bit, as I'm still in Tunbridge Wells. I'm on a flight in the morning and raring to go. www.irishtv.ie are visiting the village to film for Longford Matters. For those with Sky, you can find the channel on 191. I don't know what angle the news is going to be, but they called me to say they need someone fishing. They didn't say anything about fish, that would be a bonus?
There were a couple fishing this afternoon, Mark Ryan and his brother in law Noel Shallow from Frenchpark who enjoyed a day catching 7 Pike between them along with numerous small fish. Mark also lost a Tench at the net through only choosing a light hook length.
Mark Ryan from Frenchpark looking very happy with a 7lb Pike...
What a wonderful day. I arrived a little before 2pm and was amazed to see the transformation of the river in the six days since I was last here. The amount of weed growth in the hot stretch is alarming. It won't be long before a rake will be needed just to get a bait in the water.
There were a few danglers who were struggling to catch anything substantial. 1-2oz being the sort of fish we don't want at this time of year. How different it was on the Roscommon bank? Peter Wood was doing very well with several Roach over a pound, making my choice an easy one for my evening session.
The river was alive with Roach turning on the surface. Catching them was easy to start with, but as dusk fell and more fish arrived, so the bites dried up. They have 'love on their minds' and it will not surprise me if the spawning happens overnight. I had 16 fish including a mongrel of a pound and a tiny Perch. Most of the Roach were 10-12oz and they were all male. Walking across the bridge, is was very evident that the Longford side saw far less fish coming up the river.
Warning, - Bivvy Alert !!
I didn't get up early due to fatigue from the long journey yesterday, but when I did I witnessed an amazing sight. There were hundreds, if not thousands of Roach under the bridge, some if not most were well over a pound. In fact, unless there were mongrels amongst them, some could have been over 2 lbs.
On my second inspection at 11:00 my eyes popped out of my head, as the shoal had been joined by a Carp of well in excess of 20 lbs. Also, a number of bigger fish which I suspect were Bream, unless they too, were smaller Carp. This is the biggest shoal of fish I've seen in the stretch for nearly five years. So, despite the impending rain forecast for the weekend, I'd expect a full house here from Friday.
12:00 Bridie, Joe and myself went to look again, and I can confirm there are three Carp, two of which are mid to high doubles and the other is possibly a low twenty. It looks like we will have to get a bigger landing net?
18:00 We've been watching these monsters all afternoon, and believe that they may be feeding on Roach spawn? Needless to say I won't be doing a 10pm report as I'll be fishing into darkness trying to tempt one with halibut pelletts. Is the Irish record still 29-13 ?? Daniel and I saw one below the bridge that would go very close if caught.
23:15 Just got back in. No Carp but loads of liners and my heart stopped when line was being peeled off the bait runner at a rate of knots only to strike into nothing. Elsewhere Tim Collyer had a Tench of 3.08 and a Rudd of a pound or so. Peter was fishing the Roscommon bank and I presume caught loads as there were so many fish in the navigation channel this evening. I had several male Roach up to 12oz and a couple of Mongrels before casting out the heavy gear. Pat and Connor Lowry were also fishing and had lots of smallish Roach and at least two small Pike.
Was anyone listening yesterday? By the lack of anglers on parade this morning, you'd think not. I was on my own except for one little shit (sorry, I no understand) who was also using a 6 foot keep net. This is the sort of person who will get angling barred at Lanesborough as Keep Nets are currently prohibited.
The angling was superb, I had several pound plus Roach, male and female, but on inspection at the gusher, it was evident that spawning had occurred overnight. Some serious action was had by Mr & Mrs Rutilus, leaving a golden bed of spawn. There was also much commotion in the navigation channel where I caught several fish including 3 mongrels, the best probably topped 2lbs.
There isn't much sun at the moment (9:30) so I'm not sure if the Carp will be visible, but anyone wishing to know where they are, please come and find me and I'll show you.
21:45 I'm a bit surprised in the low turnout today. I honestly believed that the stretch would be packed, what with the news of the Carp spotted in the last 24 hours. Perhaps my April fools stunt was the reason? For most of the afternoon, it was very overcast and not surprisingly, a very heavy shower came about 5pm. Fortunately, two visitors who came to see the Carp were not disappointed as the sun came out (very briefly) at 7pm when we saw on of the high doubles.
My evening session was more of the norm. Plenty of fish in the gusher, the best Roach going 1.04 which had not spawned. All the Roach here were hens, but when I fished the last 45 minutes of dusk on the navigation channel, they were all cocks!
In all the excitement of the last few days, I forgot to mention that I saw my first small flock of Whimbrel on Wednesday night. They seem to be of very low numbers so far. I hope you appreciate this news Colin?
A difficult day to say the least, early morning heavy showers combined with a 180 degree turn of the wind to a bitter Northerly, saw a marked downturn in activity. Anglers came and went and returns were poor. The larger Roach all but disappeared and I struggled on the gusher with just two small fish. It was no better elsewhere and even the usual banker swim on the Roscommon side produced only three juvenile males and a Perch.
Upstream from Lanesborough towards Kilnacarrow, Michael Galvin had a new personal best Pike weighing in at a hefty 28 lbs 2 oz. I wonder how much this monster would have gone a month or so ago when carrying spawn?
At the end of the stretch near the duckpond, James and Bobby Mchugh arrived early in anticipation of their overnight session. I sincerely hope they are both still there tomorrow morning. The forecast for the coming week is cold, so I think it is time for a prayer?
Michael Galvin and a new P.B. at 28lb 2oz caught near Kilnacarrow
If I had stayed out another half hour last night, I may have witnessed a huge shoal of Rudd that appeared near the duckpond. James and Bobby were geared up for bottom fishing so were not able to capitalise on these golden beauties. James however, was later rewarded with a brace of tincas. Can you guestimate the size as James forgot to pack his scales?
James Mchugh with a Mchuge male tinca.
Earlier this morning, some reasonable angling was had by two visitors. Noel from Carrigellen caught several fish up to a pound with two Rudd (in my opinion) being the most notable part of his catch.
On my first inspection, I couldn't see any of the Carp, but the shadows were still long and by mid-day I hope they are visible. The stretch and the navigation channel both seemed very devoid of fish with no surface activity.
Robert Cilindz and Conor Lowry were out on the lake after Pike and had 8 before it was time for me to leave Lanesborough.
I went on an away-day to the Robe River in Co. Mayo, 130 mile round trip for 6 Roach and 3 Perch. Maybe I should have stayed at Lanesborough where Larry Kelly arrived to find the stretch deserted?
He had several Rudd up to 8oz before catching the first of his four Tench, the best going 5lb with the others all between 2-3lb with some Bream of a pound or so. He was lucky enough to see two very large Trout chasing the Rudd as dusk fell, so I'd guess he went home as happy as....
Larry Kelly with the largest of 4 Tench caught this evening.