w/e - Sunday 27th April  2014     

 An elusive creature with a small red eye is sought by many. Some are rewarded for their cause.

Rising and setting times for the Moon

   Meridian Passing 
21 Apr 201402:0911:1006:3718.4°370,55562.6%
22 Apr 201402:5012:2407:3421.0°369,90650.8%Third Quarter at 08:52
23 Apr 201403:2413:4108:2824.5°369,79038.9%
24 Apr 201403:5415:0009:2128.7°370,24827.7%
25 Apr 201404:2116:1810:1333.3°371,35817.7%
26 Apr 201404:4617:3511:0438.0°373,1959.7%
27 Apr 201405:1118:5211:5542.6°375,8023.9%
    Monday 21st April 2014                         
      And so we enter week 5 of this years tale of woe. It's tinca time and reports may not be at the usual 9.30 am & pm. Chris Ganley and Flano shared another disappointing night on the stretch, their best fish not much over a pound. Derek and Ross arrived at dawn and were leaving by 10:00 with just 6 fish between them. We all have theories, every angler does, but let's remind ourselves it is still only the 21st of April and it's early days, but here are a couple of worrying facts, - perfect conditions for a while, great temperatures and not many mongrels, for me that's heaven but for normal anglers, that is a problem, especially at night. I cannot understand how these fish that are at the bridge during the day time, simply refuse to feed after dark. Perhaps time will tell...
     Lots of people fishing today, but not many anglers. Some small jacks were caught below the bridge and conditions were far from ideal with bright sunlight being with us for much of the day.
     The first day of my Tincaring season didn't quite go to plan. I blame it on lack of preparation because I failed to pack nitelite adaptors and batteries for my headlamp. Of course, it was dark when I realised this so packed up early. There were/are four of us trying to dethrone the Tench Maiden by bettering her first fish. I had a solitary Rudd, whilst Tim had some Perch and a Roach.
    Tuesday 22nd April 2014                     
      Up at dawn and it was bloody cold! The gusher however, was the warmest I'd felt this year. Surprisingly not a lot of surface activity and this leads me to one of my theories. The power station maybe on full power prior to Friday's close down for maintenance and the water temperature is simply too warm for all but Tench, Rudd and maybe Carp. Could this be the major factor as to why Flano and Chris failed to catch on Sunday night?
      I opened my tinca account this morning with a fine young male of 2 lb 3 oz. Aside from that possible fluke, only three Rudd were added to my tally. Of course, I was the only angler out, so had the place to myself until packing up at 08:15
     For most of the day there was only one angler present on the stretch, Alan had a number of Roach and was pestered by a Pike on two occasions. Damian Rooney capitalised on the Pike feeding frenzy, again claiming four fish with the best going about 9 lbs.
      Our evening was another disappointment. Big baits for big fish? The small fish didn't read the script, we had bites very cast, probably from Rudd and although I hooked two, they were both only 4oz or so. I left Tim and Phillip at 10pm. Robert Sloan is struggling on the bush, but at least he had more fish than us.
     It occurred to me earlier that not one single Bream has been reported so far. In recent years I've noted an upturn in their numbers with several in or around a pound mark, so where have they gone?
    Wednesday 23rd April 2014              
      So much for the projected heavy showers forecast this morning. I'd already made the decision not to fish if it was raining, but I couldn't get up anyway. Burning the candle at both ends takes it's toll when you get past 43!! I should have gone out, if only to fish the bridge. The wind has changed to a brisk south-easterly blowing some waves upstream.
     As today is St. Georges Day, I'd like to offer a treat to the 36% of visitors to this site from England. For anyone who guesses who wrote the song, there may be a special prize! It's the demo from Insane Society's forthcoming release entitled "Cover it Up!" There's more chance of me hooking a Dragon than a Tench at the moment! 
Click the link to listen,-
And if you like what you hear, you can listen to the first four Insane Society albums (and even buy them) at www.insanesociety.bandcamp.com
As you can see, the noted "tinca" swims still think it's winter, but there are green shoots of recovery. I don't think many Tench will come out before the power station goes off on Friday?

     This is fast becoming a year to forget, Roy Cuthbertson had about 12lb of 3-4oz Roach and easy to catch below the bush, but at the gusher two anglers retired without much success. The Pike dominated with Damian adding another large female to his already impressive season. It was estimated around 15lbs. 
     The upstream breeze dropped around 6.30pm so I ventured across to the navigation to find masses of spawn on the wall. Needless to say, I couldn't buy a bite in 30 minutes. Back to the bush on the hot stretch for one solitary Roach, could it get much worse? Yes, of course it could.
     I decided to get the feeder rod and go Tincaring towards the disabled swims. As I put my gear down, the wind roared and a torrential downpour soaked me in 5 minutes. After that I just stood and shivered for two hours for a Rudd and a Perch. It was just starting to rain when I fluked a small Tench of 2 lbs 6oz. And I didn't see any Dragons!
    Thursday 24th April 2014                     
      A glorious morning without so much as a bite for my first blank of the year. The sun was on the water by 07:30 and by then I knew it was time to quit. The gusher was steaming and the water was as warm as a bath tub. Connor Browne arrived to show how we should be catching and is sitting on the bush swim. I'm sure he'll have a good bag of fish. Let's hope some better mongrels make an appearance.
     It's 5:30 pm and I've a sneaking suspicion that the power station is closing a day early. As I intend on doing a late session, here is a brief update of todays highlights! Connor Browne showed his true class by amassing a 40lb mixed bag on the bush. The best fish was a 1lb 6oz Rudd. Elsewhere on the navigation, a number of Pike were caught to artificial lures.
     There were three of us trying to tempt a tinca (try saying that when ya pissed) and we all failed. The water was running cold and I'm convinced the station has gone off and the water will stop coming through the cooling system by midday tomorrow. This means the hot water stretch maybe devoid of fish for the next few weeks.  Further bad news, the Roscommon bank below the toilets is due some refurbishment to start from May 1st. It may be in my interest to give up and go home? Let's just hope or pray, but there is more chance of Manchester United qualifying for the Champion league next year than to see a good head of fish in the stretch over the weekend.
    Friday 25th April 2014                            
  25th April 2039 - News of a species previously believed to be extinct was discovered at Lanesborough today. The Bream (Abramis Brama) was found alive near the site of the former ESB power station that closed 25 years ago. Inland Fisheries Ireland welcomed the news, as since the eradication of the Pike, Roach were thought to be the sole species in the Shannon system.
     The sheer cost of the "Anglers Contribution" of €9,000 has seen angling numbers dwindle to less than 75 and ongoing aquatic research costs the Irish tax payer a staggering three hundred million euro per annum.
 President Luke "Ming" Flanagan said, "It is money well spent, if we can find one Bream, there must be more, and perhaps, in time, maybe even a Tench". He also reiterated that smoking marijuana will not increase anglers chances of catching fish, but may numb the disappointment of yet another blank.

     Wahay! I saw my first Bream today, O.K. it was a dead one floating down the hot stretch. It was about 5-6lbs and aside from being a deceased Bream, didn't look in too bad condition. The water coming from the gusher was cold, and there was no smoke/steam from the power station chimney.
     I'd love to say normal service has been resumed and loads of fish were caught, but that would be lying. Everyone I spoke to caught Pike today, on both sides of the river. The best was 9 lbs or so. The few coarse anglers really struggled and the shoal that has been resident near the bridge for the past week has moved on. Surprisingly, there is still water coming out of the gusher, albeit cold.
     The evening session was very uneventful, I was showing Louise (The Tench Maiden) how to clip up her line when a pound Rudd attached itself to the hook. I was very apologetic as she hadn't yet caught a fish on her recent acquisition. This was my only excitement until seeing the final moments of Brighton's 2-0 win against Yeovil.
    Saturday 26th April 2014                     
     How inconvenient is it of ESB to turn off the hot water in what may perceived as the peak season? I'd expect loads of anglers here this morning, instead there was a non native blanker and no obvious signs of life. The water is still running, and as long as it does so, if the ambient air temperature rises, then some fish will stay in the stretch.
     I didn't see anyone fishing except for a couple of very casual spinning aimlessly. I'm that bored I've decided to go home for a couple of days. My spies are out and any information will be passed on for what it's worth. I'll be back, refreshed by Tuesday.
    Sunday 27th April 2014                          
     Late news, sometime last week Tim Collyer had marginal success on the disabled swims, amassing eight Tench to 5 lbs 7oz. Of course, this was before the water went cold. Without the influence of the power station, I'm not sure what the required water temperature would be to draw the tincas into the river under normal conditions? They can't be too far away, perhaps we will see them soon?
     Sorry, no news from the stretch today, but tomorrow will see a major announcement to be made by yours truly. I've been threatening to come out with this for a long time, some know already. Log in tomorrow to find out!!