w/e - Sunday 24th May 2009      

    Monday 18th May 2009                         

The 2009 Bream Master competition was held on the mud island below Lanesborough starting at 22.00 last night through to 08.00 this morning. I was first to catch but it was an Eel. The conditions were horrendous with rain lashing down until dawn. Needless to say, I retired to my cabin whilst Damien and Killian had to suffer under their umbrellas. Damien had a Bream of 2 and a half pounds and a Hybrid of 2lbs before Killian took the lead with a Bream of 5lb 6oz by which time I was fishing again. The wind and rain had completely died down and a few fish were rolling. My first bite resulted in losing a good fish through line being caught on the boat. I soon redeemed myself with a specimen of 7lb 12oz, an hour later another of the same size (but looked bigger) graced the net. Damien was now destined to lose his crown, and by 07.30 they had both thrown in the towel. So the 2009 Bream Master is me! To see the award ceremony click here.

On the stretch, the French guys were doing particuarly poorly. Two anglers above Ryans gate were catching a few smallish Roach to 6oz. Feri from Dublin had 22 fish in his session including three Tench, two of which were estimated at over 7lbs. In the evening Chris from Athlone was on the gusher catching reasonably well but with no large fish.

The water level is now at it's highest i've ever seen in May and I expect it to rise again tonight with the possibility that the entire lower concrete section will be covered before Wednesday.

    Tuesday 19th May 2009                        

My last but one day at Lanesborough saw little action. The French were having a bad time again and a group from Hertfordshire all but blanked by the steps below the bridge. Despite little activity, we were blessed with a beautiful spring day and I took Bernie Murphy out for a trip around the area. Bernie's books are worth their weight in gold for their wealth of information along with stories to make essential reading. We were doing some video footage to accompany one of his future publications. I showed him around the mud island through to the cut and then up to the islands above Kilnacarrow. Then we took the "Ark Rose" off the water for another year. I spent the afternoon cleaning the boat.

The evening saw a heavy shower which rather dampened my enthusiasm for a final session on the hot water. Daniel and Shane had  some nice Hybrids, Roach and Rudd near the gusher. The level rose to a new high and tonight should see a peak.

Thought of the day, - If that had gone in, it would have been a goal.

    Wednesday 20th May 2009               

The last day of term passed without any major incidents. I did all the things I needed to by lunchtime and took a trip to Longford. With the river looking like liquid poo, I wasn't too confident but after an hour caught 2 lovely 12oz Roach. This is a water I've really missed this spring. Visiting anglers so easily dismiss smallish rivers, but sometimes they can be rewarding.

Back on the stretch, the French had a better day with Bream, Hybrids and a Pike of 95cm (why do they never weigh their fish?) I decided to do a last session at Maladys on the Inny, perhaps I shouldn't have bothered as just two Perch were my only fish.

This year we have been beaten by the conditions. On the day I arrived, the level was lower than I would have expected on my last day when it was higher than I'd like to have seen on March 31st. I think it rained every day for the last five weeks.

The fishing has suffered, but to the best of my knowledge, here is a list of the top weights,-

  Bream - 8lb caught by myself

 Tench - 7lb 5oz caught by Keith Morely

  Pike - 22lb 7oz caught by Steven Haughey

  Rudd - 1lb 14oz caught by Ross Lester

  Roach - 2lb 1oz caught by Leigh Maitland (

Photo by David Houghton, not to be re-produced without consent info@activeirishangling.com

With the exception of the Rudd, Lanesborough has produced a high number of specimens, although I doubt if any will be claimed. There must have been at least ten Tench over 6lb and I had three Bream over 7lb 8oz. I think the best bag was caught by Arnie Williams at 70lb or so, I'm not sure if anyone actually weighed a bigger overall catch which might sound a bit on the low side.

I would like to say thank you to everyone that has made this web page possible, especially Phillip Gordon, Ernie Callghan, David Mulkeen, Clifford and Keith Morely, Stephen Haughey, Arnie Williams, the "Italians" - Alan, Feri and Costi, Peter Wood for info on the Inny, Barry Lister and last, and without doubt, least, Damien and Killian.

Whoops, nearly forgot Bridie!

So that's it, my reports finish here. If anyone has a catch, please let others know on the forum. I'll check any postings every couple of days or so. I'm convinced there are still many more fish to catch and the Roscommon side will surely produce once the level has dropped.

On my way to Dublin last night I had a text message from o2 welcoming me to Ireland. It really has been that kind of year!