w/e - Sunday 15th May 2011        

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    Monday 9th May 2011                             

It's 1pm and the wind is still blowing a good 'un. Whilst the hot water pegs are not affected so much, below the bridge is a non starter. This, coupled with the rain has put off all except the French pair from fishing this morning and even they were leaving after a torrential downpour at midday.

The wind had dropped considerably by 7pm so I set out for a session near the duck pond. The breeze was going south westerly but luckily this did not affect my presentation. I missed two bites early on as a number of Rudd or small Hybrids were passing through. Eventually I hit a Tench of about 3lb closely followed by a one eyed male of around 4lb. At 10.45 I packed in and walked the stretch to find Steven Doyle from Athlone who was catching well. He already had a Tench of 3lb and while I was there he netted a new personal best Bream of 4lb 8oz which is seen below.

    Tuesday 10th May 2011                         

Steven Doyle continued to catch during the night with his two friends amassing an estimated 50lb bag consisting mainly of Bream. I arrived at the duckpond at first light to find the wind was blowing hard upstream so bites were not easy to detect. I lost two good Tench to the reeds before catching 6 very small Perch and eventually a Tench of 2 and half pounds and a then male of about 4. The rain started to get a problem by 07.30 so it was a good idea to pack in. six anglers from the Birmingham area arrived about 07.00 but the conditions were deteriating rapidly and they had gone by midday. The French pair on the gusher were not catching much either, whilst three anglers near Ryans gate had next to nothing. Even with the low pressure to the south-west of Ireland, the fishing seems to only at it's best at night. The good news being the river has risen about 4-5" since Saturday.

    Wednesday 11th May 2011                  

That's it, I have returned home. It was a long frustrating journey with a bloody 5 mile jam near Heathrow. Some clever bugger has already told Bridie he's caught a 2lb Roach from the stretch this morning. Do ya think he may be winding me up!

I thought it may be a good idea to do a general assessment of each species for the duration of my stint this year.

Roach,- very disappointing, as early as the first week I noted how few there were in the 8-12oz bracket. Considering these were normally the predominate species during the last week of March and first two weeks of April, I was shocked at the low numbers. The biggest was 1lb 14.5oz caught by Michael Beirne and equaled by myself a few days later. The Inny Roach run was disaterous, we estimated only a tenth of last years fish came up the river. Whether there will be another run later this month, - who knows?
Overall species performance - 2/10

Pike,- A complete shambles, Oh yeah, I had a 20lb 11.5oz specimen on April 1st but aside from that the next best I saw was an 8lb fish. My opinion, for what it's worth,- The Pike is a very residential creature, following his/her prey shoals wherever they go. In a heavily fished area such as Lanesborough, where numerous Pike have been eaten/mistreated/killed. it would easy to assume the localised specimens are few in numbers.
Overall species performance - 1/10

Bream, - A major surprise this year was the return of good numbers of Bream between 2-4lb with several going well above that. The days of many 6lb fish in the stretch for the spring may have gone, but there is hope. I still urge anglers NOT to retain Bream in nets as they find it very difficult to regain strength after a long period packed in together. My best 5lb 7oz, - Stretch best - 7lb 10oz plus a possible 8lb+ unweighed by Josh Blacklidge!
Overall species performance - 7/10 (would have been 3 ten years ago)

Tench, - Superb results, I cannot divulge all the catches as per their captors requests, but this year must have been the best Tench returns since 1997 (a very good year) At least 8 specimens with the best going 6lb 14.5oz caught by Daniel Hoare on a pole. My best was 6lb 7oz but as it was foul hooked I do not count it as a Irish P.B.
Overall species performance - 10/10

Hybrid,- Last year was a disaster for the mongrel of the Shannon. Not my favourite species but obviously without them, Ireland wouldn't have many 100lb plus bags. I didn't see or weigh any confirmed 3lb fish although I'm sure someone must have had some. The shoal that used to live under the bridge made a brief re-appearence bit has since vanished.
Overall species performance - 4/10

Perch, - Another poor showing. Last year I had my hopes raised with a number of larger fish showing but this time the best was an estimated 2lb caught by one of the Macc lads. I had a 1lb fish and several others caught some around this size.
Overall species performance - 3/10

Rudd, - No giants, but sheer numbers almost made up for the missing Roach. Lots of 1lb or so fish. These were probably present due to constant 63-66f coming out of the power station. The same reason the Roach were missing?
Overall species performance - 8/10

Gudgeon, - There were at least 4 caught, the first for many years to my knowledge. I love the gobios,- baby Barbel in disquise!!
Overall species performance - 11/10

There was a rumour that a well known specimen angler and his partner (fishing that is, not a civil partnership) caught 700lb of Bream to over 10lb on or near the cut last weekend. It may be absolute bollox, but...…

The river in general was only marginally better than last year so I would give it 6/10. If the navigation side had performed, this would have been raised to a 7. We can speculate at will, but could the Roach have spawned en masse in March, long before any of us idiots seriously tried to tempt them?

And so endeth this years book of shite. My opinions, are my own, and not nessasarily shared by the reader. I'm looking forward to the E-mails I will receive in the coming weeks, but as for next year?