Monday  1st May 2017                              

10:15 - No overnight Tench action I'm afraid, despite many rods trying their best. Several Pike were active and one absolute monster was spotted which Robert and Flano agreed could have been close to 30lb. I didn't see a lot of surface activity at dusk, but was assured it started later than usual.

It's a far nicer day and I'm really hoping for one or two extra degrees to tempt more Tench into the river. As in 2012, we have been spoiled by the early arrivals, but at least this prolongs the season.

22:30 - OK, so I was telling lies about a 5pm report, so this is either very late, or a bit early? A pair of visiting English anglers from the west midlands enjoyed good stick float fishing under the bridge this morning with some quality fish showing. They both experienced Pike trouble by what could have been the same predator as was seen last night.

The bright sunlight and warm (18c) weather put paid to any serious angling into the early evening although there was a huge number of casual danglers out enjoying the sunshine. I took the boat where I'd previously not dared to before and disturbed a number of big fish. They were probably Tench although it is possible they were Pike.

There were three of us fishing below the disabled swims this evening and between us failed to catch anything more substantial than a Rudd or an 8oz Bream. A lovely night but an early bath was called at 22:15

Time for bed zzzz

   Tuesday  2nd May 2017                          

08:30 - Not the best of morning sessions. I failed to register a bite as did Tim Collyer until he hooked a solitary female Tench of 5lb 3.5oz. The sunlight was a major factor in the shallow water as to why I didn't catch.

I've been trialling a new concept in hook design which emits an odour to tempt certain species. Obviously, I chose the "s-tinca' design which I'm assured only attracts female Tench. I ordered a packet from C. U. Cumming Tackle Ltd who specialise in gear for the angler who likes to stay ahead of angling technology. If you'd like to see their range, click here and enter a number 5 in the box.

22:30 - May can be such a frustrating month at Lanesborough. Low, clear water, bright sunlight and excessive weed all contribute to indifferent fishing. There was a shoal of large fish under the bridge this morning, probably Hybrids, but maybe the odd Roach amongst them. Seeing is one thing, but catching is another as one angler found this morning. After just six fish, he moved upstream to the bush. 

I took young Dana out to experience the joy of fishing for small Roach. She was thoroughly entertained for an hour and a bit before deciding that all the maggots should be mixed with the ground bait to make a cake for Ralf. The smile on her face said it all.

This little girls Daddy knows how to catch Roach, who's the Daddy?

I had a paddle around the reeds looking for Tench again before feeding my favoured swim. Once again I failed to catch and as far as I know, only one small Tench was netted just above the disabled swims.

   Wednesday  3rd May 2017                   

09:00 - Water temperature on the lake is now 14.29c No one fishing, nothing to report, until later (I hope)

22:30 - I have to admit to being rather unwell and after returning from Athlone at lunchtime, retired for the afternoon. By the time I rose at almost 5pm, some anglers had arrived for an overnight session. It's always good to meet up with friends I've made over the years, and it was a surprise to see Ross Macklin and Adam O'Connor, both aiming to catch a specimen Tench.

Only one Tench was caught earlier by Robert Cilindz, but the best catch for a long time was had by Mullingar angler David Condron who caught the the biggest Rudd I've had the pleasure to weigh. At a hefty 2lbs 6oz it was a fantastic looking specimen. If only my solitary Rudd was half as big tonight.

There are still at least six overnighters all below the bridge, so surely something of note will be caught before I return at 04:30?

L-R David Condron (2lbs 6oz Rudd), Ross Macklin and Adam O'Connor (6lb Tench)

   Thursday  4th May 2017                          

09:30 - I was up at 04:30, but I really don't know why. Three Tench were caught during the dark hours including a 6lb specimen. For 90 minutes I watched my tip without so much as a twitch. Then I decided that my bed was a far better option.

For the last couple of days, the high pressure, bright sunlight and general gut feeling has led me to think that the Tench have relocated into the lilies and mud on the hot stretch. By day, that environment is far more to their liking and so this evening, I'm going to follow my instinct and head to where no man should go.

It's another glorious day and I've just seen that the lake temperature dipped a wee bit after peaking at 14.55c and is now showing just under 14c. So if the big ladies are to show themselves this year, I'm confident it will be very soon.

21:00 - I just couldn't be bothered, the wind prohibited a paddle upstream to get some action on the gusher, and forecast of more of the same weather for the next two days has led me to an early night. The lads on the Tenchy pegs have failed to add to their tally during the day, in fact it has been worse than grim. One elderly gentleman fished above the bridge for just two fish. At the gusher swim, you can now stand where water should be without getting your feet wet. Very soon, you will be able to walk across the hot water stretch with just wellies on. Think I'm exaggerating? just look at the chart below.
The dot on 9th April shows the optimum level which would be even with the concrete under the bridge. So in a little under 4 weeks, we have lost 19 inches of water which, if not for the OPW policy of lowering the mean level of Lough Ree by 0.6m, would have seen a half decent head of water, and I'm sure, more fish and of course, more anglers?
   Friday  5th May 2017                                 

11:00 - Fran and Richie completed their second overnight session without employing the landing net too often, in fact it was Richie who caught the three small Tench, with a baby of barely 8oz. Fran has been rather unfortunate in catching just TWO fish since he arrived. 

Thankfully, there is some cloud cover and a strange phenomena known as 'rain' predicted for tonight. I understand rain to be water that falls from the sky, I'll have to see that before I believe it!

I presume we will see some visitors later today, but be warned, fishing will be very difficult here. To make matters worse, I've just had a call from Jeff Wood regarding the Inny at Red Bridge. It appears there are no Roach running up the river as we may have expected as yet. However, I believe anyone fishing the same stretch in the evening may have reason to differ.

20:45 - Some better news today, on the hot stretch some quality Hybrids have been caught from Ryan's gate up to and above the bush. Further down on the disabled swims, Fran and Richie failed to add too much before packing up at the end of the afternoon.

I really can't be bothered at the moment. If I wake up in the morning and feel good, I'll have a go, but have been unable to introduce any of my special particle mix on any of my preferred swims due to the downstream wind. We have about nine overnight anglers who are all far more optimistic than myself. My glass remains half empty and I desperately need a refill.

   Saturday  6th May 2017                          

10:45 - Some better news, Tim Collyer landed the seasons second best Tinca late last night weighing in at 6lbs 5oz, * another Tench was caught by Robert, albeit on Tim's tackle and much smaller. Other anglers reported mongrels and an Eel.

* Oops! - it was actually 5lb 5oz

The cloud cover at dawn was not as much as forecast but is currently 100% with little wind. With anglers fishing throughout the day, there is every possibility of some further notable catches.

I've noticed that the water level is holding, I can only presume the OPW think that 2.2m is an adequate height not to drop the level further. At the rate it was going, we would have had some swims with less than a foot of water by the end of next week.

22:45 - With the cloud cover we were all hopeful of some tinca action, sadly by 22:30 at least, this was not the case. Robert was kicking himself for failing to net one at his feet which may have gone 5lbs, whilst the angler below him also lost one. There was at least one Tench caught on the upper disabled swims.

I took the unorthodox route of using my pole in the lilies to tempt a tinca, 2 hours without a bite was more than enough punishment, but in my eye-line I could see many fish being caught just above the bridge. I think they were mainly hybrids, but rods were indeed bending which was pleasure to see.

Good craic was had by all on the lower section as Flano prepared some Polish sausage which was the highlight of the evening. I really should be out for an all nighter as it absolute heaven in the warm night air. There was no rain as forecast, but the cloud cover at least gave everyone a half chance of landing the target species as darkness fell.

   Sunday  7th May 2017                               

11:15 - Yes, it's finally happened, after many unsuccessful years of trying, Flano has landed a Shannon Tench. Although yet to be confirmed, it is believed to weigh around 4lbs. A photo to prove this really happened will appear later. Well done Flano!

Elsewhere, Tommy Mcgee from Co. Galway also caught his first tinca from Lanesborough weighing in at 4lbs 4oz. 

23:45 - Ok, so it's nearly Monday, but the fish don't know that, or do they? Yes, another pointless evenings fishing was had by all. So many fishing and just a handful of Hybrids and Rudd were caught. I don't know why we bother.

The day saw temperatures of 23c and should have been ideal for a ladies wet t-shirt competition, as that would have been far more fun than fishing in this years summer heatwave. Two Rudd were caught below the disabled swims, one was around a pound and a few swims produced on the hot stretch by casual danglers that are the norm for Sunday afternoons in Lanesborough.

Tommy Mcgee from Co. Galway and a 4lb 4oz tinca caught this morning