The sun was the major contributor to the downturn in sport today. From early on it was evidently going to be hard going. One angler had come and gone before 07.30 whilst another blanked. On the hot stretch some fish were caught by an elderly angler but it was hardly bagging. By mid afternoon we watched the shoal beneath the bridge and saw a Carp of between 6-8lb cruising amongst the smaller fish. Does this mean this weekend there will be fifteen bivvies and 2 and a half pound test curve rods seen along the stretch?
There were too many anglers on the disabled area for my liking, and coupled with the sunlight, I decided not to fish. This was probably a wise choice as, to my knowledge, not a single Tench was landed. On the hot water pegs however, it was a different story. Pat and Niall Mulryan both caught well but it was Niall who had a trio of Bream, the best going 7lb 2oz. Perhaps I should have fished afterall?
One of those days when my sanity has to be questioned! I got up at 04.00 to find no less than six others already fishing the downstream section. Only one Tench was caught during the darkness hours, and that was foul hooked. I think I was the first to hook a Tinca just after 05.00 but we parted company. One other was caught by Steven Whyte but in general it was very poor. Rory O'Connor had an overnighter on the hot water stretch and ammassed a 40lb net. Daylight hours produced very little for anyone who was silly enough to try. The weed is becoming a problem again and we intend on trying to remove some tomorrow morning, - volunteers more than welcome!
I had nearly four hours on the Inny where there were thousands of Roach, some well over two pound and possibly even three. None were feeding and I had just 2 small Roach, a Perch and two Trout. What a complete waste of time!
Friday 25th May 2012
It would appear that spring is over and my prolonged stay is almost done. It was very hot this morning and the stretch was not at all well patronised. Rory O'Connor had another reasonably good night session to complete his 48 hour marathon. This man is super human and only seems to sleep in the winter, I don't know how he does it. To the best of my knowledge, only two Tench were caught, the first to Eddie Lloyd from Dublin who had a lovely little female of about 3lb on the hot stretch, and the other to an angler from Tullamore who endured the heat below the duckpond area. I'm afraid I don't know how big it was.
I had an evening session towards the hot water pegs, and blanked. Damian Allchorne was above the bush and when I packed in at midnight, he had about 15lbs of Bream and Hybrids. The shoal under the bridge are still refusing to feed, and despite the sharp rise in temperature, there was very little activity in either the navigation channel or the stretch.
Saturday 26th May 2012
Craig Ryan with the best of a seven Tench haul this morning
Damian Allchorne was the only angler who continued through the night on the hot stretch and his patience was rewarded with over 70lb of Bream and Hybrids, although there were no fish over three and and a half pounds. We usually have our annual "Bream Master" ritual on the mud island, but decided last night was our best option. Also, the rules are that to win, the Bream has to be over 5lbs, but we relaxed that one for the session to establish the winner and when I retired just after midnight, I relunctently had to concede my title until next year.
Damian Allchorne aka Captain Cock-Up, winner of the 2012 Bream Master
Craig Ryan had seven Tench to about 4lbs on the disabled swims, but not surprisingly, it was very hard going when the sun came up as Graham Pepper found with just 15lbs of bits. One local lad caught a Bream of 3 and a half pounds at 1pm.
Damian and myself went out as dusk beckoned. I fished near the bridge for two hours, two bites and two fish. Damian continued until 03.30 for 65lb then moved to the disabled swims and getting two Tench, the best going about 4lbs.
Sunday 27th May 2012
Some of the McHugh clan (The Tuesday Club) came late yesterday to target the Tench. James had 4 by 08.00 this morning and was justifiably annoyed with losing a monster near the net. There were three on the hot stretch, but with almost zero cloud cover again, I'm not expecting too much to be caught as the day progresses.
For a very brief period, James and Robert added a further 5 Tincas to 5lb 8oz before giving up as the temperature rose. The water must have been very warm as there were a number of fatalities along the strtch (fish, not anglers!) Shelley from Longford caught a small Pike, but in general the fishing was slow.
I took the evening out for an Irish traditional music session at Drumlish, but when I left at 7pm, there were just two local anglers present, and none when I returned.
This is the final day of my reports. I will do any updates in either the box on the home page, or via facebook However, I will complete an overall assessment report on this page by June 1st
My thanks to everyone who contributed (financially and with infomation) to make this site a success again this year.
A very unusual year, most unlike the previous three, which I also considered abnormal. Of course, the unseasonalbly high temperature in the last two weeks in March saw a change to my usual stradegy. I'd like to have started on the stick float and had some early morning piking, but because the conditions got the Tench feeding, I failed to catch all other species whilst pursuing my Tincas. Perhaps 2013 will see a perfectly ordinary spring?
Normally the first species to appear, but the water level coupled with temperature saw most of us miss them in any numbers. Many over two pounds were reported, although I failed to personally weigh any. The best reported was 2lb 9oz. (where's the photo John?) I'd really have liked to have witnessed this. Overall species performance - 3/10 (for me a big fat zero)
For the entire duration of my stay, Bream were caught every few days or so, not in the numbers of twenty years ago, but still good considering how little water there was in the stretch. Best went 8lb 2oz although several larer specimens were found not far from Lanesborough near Kilnacarrow. Overall species performance - 8/10
Absolutely superb returns, well over 400 caught with at least seven over 7lbs including my new Irish P.B. at 7lb 1oz. My only dissapointment was we never had a real giant to rattle the official Irish best. Who knows, maybe next year? Overall species performance - 11/10
A major dissapointment, I've said before how I believe Pike to be a very localised creature. Even the ducklings had a good year with no large predators other than mink and gulls. From very early on, it was evident there were no anglers having problems with Pike in their swim. There were a couple of lowish doubles reported and a 15lb fish was found dead in the last week of May, but the overall species performance was - 0/10
Aside from those who had some success on the bush swim, the mongrels were not here in great numbers. Night sessions saw good bags with Bream. Personally, I caught very few due to my persistance in Tench. Overall species performance - 4/10
Of course others may disagree with my assesments, especially those who did very well. I honestly believe that had there been an extra foot of water from late March onwards, we would have had a fantastic spring. That may have been at the expense of the Tench. The cold April was a problem, and the low water didn't change in two months. I predict a very wet summer to balance nature. Overall river performance this year was 6/10 but would have been a 2/10 had no one fished at night or caught as many Tench as there were.