Monday 24th April 2017
10:00 - I'm not due back until very late tonight when normal service will be resumed as may (I hope) the Tench. However, unless I've missed something, I'm not aware of any caught since Saturday.
This weeks weather doesn't look too favourable for my favourite species, but I'm informed the gusher output is extremley warm at the moment, so that may draw some more tincas in from the Longford side of the Lake.
On the Lough, the temperature is still only 11.3c (52.34f) I think this the most gradual rise since I started studying the data. I honestly believe that a sustained temperature of 12.5c (54.5f) is needed to tempt those big ladies into the river. Of course, a certain amount of reed growth may be required as it still looks like February below the bridge.
It's time to have a moan. In the last two weeks, I've seen no less that 4 dead Pike including one well over 12lbs. Pike don't just simply die, they are killed, either by game anglers, or (as is probably the case here) by those lacking in experience on how to handle Irelands finest predator. Even a small spinner can tempt a very large Pike, and when I see novice anglers fishing without landing nets, unhooking mats and forceps, I know that any potential capture is likely to suffer. Add barbed hooks into the equation, especially on dead baits, and you have the perfect recipe for a fatality.
If I had my way, I would impose a license to fish with lures or dead baits and insist on anglers carrying sufficient tools/tackle. I'm sure there are enough angling clubs across Ireland to provide such training and would surely benefit the well being of Pike.
....and then under my new regime/dictatorship, only sea baits would be permitted....
I had a message to correct an entry from Friday, Richie and Fran had a combined Tench haul of 10 fish and not 12 as I previously stated. They lost a further 6 fish to the reeds.
This young man enjoyed his first overnight session catching a new P.B. Hybrid Well done Jo-Jo!
The moon man has informed me that this weeks new moon will provide extremely good fishing if sufficient cloud cover is available. Key times are at rise and set and also the high point. This is halfway between two key times.
If I have any reports coming in, I'll post them before flying out of Gatwick tonight, otherwise wait until 09:30 tomorrow morning.
Tuesday 25th April 2017
09:30 - On leaving Dublin airport after midnight, the air temperature showed -0.5c What a welcome to the Irish summer! I had every intention of joining Larry Kelly to re-acquaint myself with the tincas. He had already netted four males and added another one before 02:00. Not surprisingly, I was far too tired to get out of a warm bed when the alarm turned itself off at 05:00
Just before dawn, a good bream shoal rolled through his swim, and Larry caught two between 5-6lbs before adding a further four female Tench, three of which were barely a pound. What was strangely noticeable, the male fish all had red marks on the underside. I would presume this to be spawning damage, but the largest female had no evidence of getting down and dirty.
I now think I have all the symptoms of tincaritis, a rare disorder affecting the nervous system, the only cure is to sit patiently until I'm better. There is an antibiotic known as Rutilus, and this is currently available on the river Inny below Ballymahon where the annual Roach run has just started.
22:00 - That was a bitterly cold day, and god knows why I went out this evening. At least my perseverance was rewarded by a young lady of just over 2 lbs. Aside from two late arrivals who were on the hot stretch, there was only one Piking angler earlier today. I was far too frozen to bother investigating who the late comers were, but the amount of good sized Bream or giant mongrels turning below the bridge would suggest they may have a good session if they can bare the cold.
The alarm is set for 5am....I must be mad?
Wednesday 26th April 2017
08:45 - The body failed again, probably due to a weekend of rock n roll excess, it just wouldn't react to my brain. I knew it was going to be very cold and with Tim Collyer arriving at first light, mentally I really wanted to join in. Tim bared the downstream wind to record his first Tench of the year and went on to catch a further three. His best was a female of 5 lbs with the others all being male from 1.5lbs upwards.
10:15 - I don't believe my data info pages, claiming over 1,000 page views per day, yet only three visiting anglers. Hello, are you receiving me? There are loads of tench all along the lower section and although some are babies of less than two pounds, there are odd fish to five. The total caught today was 17 including Tim's early session. I blanked this evening, despite introducing my magic mix of particles earlier in the afternoon. Dubliners Barry and Pat shared the best of the catch with 13 Tench including one identified as being one I saw last week. I can but speculate, but with numerous males being weighed in at 5.01 or 5.02, there could actually be a low population at the moment, but with many repeat captures?
Perhaps the hot stretch also has a good number present? There several big fish turning at dusk and I presume these to either very large mongrels or Bream.
With the holiday weekend almost upon us, any visitors should pre-order bait to avoid disappointment, and if anyone requires bait before the shop opens, call me the night before and I will arrange to open the shop as early as 06:00 if required.
Thursday 27th April 2017
08:30 - I was on the bank as early as 05:30 to find Barry and Pat still there. They had only just re-started after a break. They failed to get a bite after dark and that was the way it continued for a very long time. I had just one bite resulting in a 12oz Rudd before deciding to throw the towel in. I don't expect the others to last much longer as they too have not caught their target species.
The water level is dropping at an alarming rate. Regular readers of these pages may recall my comments in 2013 on the OPW plans to lower the mean level of Lough Ree to protect the gallows below Athlone. Over the last three weeks, no less than half a meter, which is 20 inches in old money, almost an inch a day has been lost. At this rate, there may well be no water in the stretch aside from that emitting from the gusher, and at a temperature of 67f or more, will result in very few fish in the upper section above the bridge.
Now I'm out Tenching, my evening report may not be published until 23:00 or sometimes later, but if I have a bad night, I will aim to get it out by 22:00 (fnnr, fnnr)
22:00 - I took the boat out for a spot of pre-baiting in preparation for this years 'Bream master' and also, for this evenings session, in three swims just in case my favoured area was taken. Absolutely no one fished until 19:00 when I was joined by two Lithuanian anglers from Mullingar. I was landing my only Tench of the evening when they arrived, but from then on, I failed to add to the 3 pound female who put up a scrap worthy of one twice her size.
The others caught some tiny Rudd, I presume they used maggots before deciding on a bigger bait which proved successful as one netted a 2 pounder. Again there was much surface activity and Perch were very active chasing the Rudd.
Friday 28th April 2017
12:00 - Some great reasons to come to Lanesborough,-
1 - There is always room to fish.
2 - The bait is cheap
3 - Beer is free *
4 - The women are easy *
5 - It never rains *
6 - Bridie's Tickle shop is open all hours *
Why is there no one here? the conditions are ideal, it's a holiday weekend and BHAFC are about to become champions of the championship. So tell the wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or even the neighbours wife, that fishing must come first and head on down the N4 to Co. Longford where everyone is happy and smiling faces greet you.*
Fishy news when someone fishes for fish with fishing tackle and goes home smelling of fish*
* I may be exaggerating
We had an internet loss last night so firstly I'll write yesterdays news before a new entry for Saturday.
Pat Mulryan fished the bush for a few hours and had some success on a whip, puling out Hybrids to over a pound. Below the bridge, two Dublin anglers tried for Tench and caught three small ones. Just before dusk there were up to nine anglers all after the same species and by 01:00 if I'm reliably informed a total of eight were recorded, the best being a 6lb fish caught by Dave Palmer.
For some reason unbeknown to myself and others present, an unknown angler cut a lot of lilies from the upper section of the hot stretch, presumably to create further swims. Whilst I'd admit this is a bit extreme, especially as the individual did not fish, I suppose he must have intentions for himself and others to fish this weekend. I've been guilty of weed cutting before, but only the undesirable stuff and not lilies on the inside line, which in my opinion provide valuable cover for all aquatic species.
I took the evening away from all the excitement to assist my good friend Peter Wood on a trip below Shrule Bridge. Peter's eyesight has deteriorated since last year and is now unable to drive. Also, as an keen float angler, it is now impossible to partake in his favourite method, so has to use a feeder, even though it may not be to his liking. He hooked and lost a good Trout before I re-tackled his rod and then had a much smaller one thus avoiding a blank. For me, it was just one Minnow and two tiny Perch. There have been reports of odd Roach coming up the river, but it is far from ready for the mass run that appears every year.
Saturday 29th April 2017
09:15 - After my long walk on the Inny last night, the body said no to getting up, but perhaps it knew the fishing would be hard this morning. A strong south-easterly wind is hampering presentation on the lower stretch below the disabled swims, but has little effect from the steps up to the gusher. Only two anglers are present at the moment, and sadly neither has added to the Tinca Tally which is currently at an estimated 88. Don't get too excited at this figure as there haven't been many fat ladies as yet, in fact, it is of the opinion of both Larry Kelly and myself, that we are seeing many repeat captures. There have far too many males of between 5 and 5.02 which in itself is a great weight for male fish, for them not to be repeats.
18:45 - The wind was the winner this afternoon, and it's set to worsen over the next 36 hours. At least it is turning ESE which make it feel more comfortable for those on the disabled pegs and below. Larry moved up to the gusher and had 25 Bream, odd Hybrids and a couple of very large Rudd. The Bream may only have been babies at just over 2lb a piece, but these fish are the future breeding stock.
Noel Donahue had a successful session with this mixed net of 23lbs
David Palmer with the 4th recorded six pounder of 2017
No further news tonight as I'm off to the island, - it could get very messy!
Sunday 30th April 2017
11:15 - Over 24 hours without fishing, and now I'm starting to twitch. I would have got up but for the disappointment of last nights result against Bristol City. My morning walk saw seven anglers with varying levels of return. Robert Cilindz has had six Tench, mostly sub 2lbs but one very plump female probably nudging 5lbs. On the hot stretch, one angler just below the bush is doing very well with mongrels up to a pound. All other danglers are catching, but a wee bit slower.
Pre-baiting done, so after the Russian Grand Prix it will be time to prepare for this evenings session.
I'd love to catch a big Tench on the float at Lanesborough, but unless it's a fluke, it's not likely to happen. Except that I found a swim amongst the lilies thats 7' deep with little flow so I chose a modified lift method which after a bit of fiddling worked perfectly. Aside from not actually catching a Tench, I was happy with three Rudd knowing that perseverance will eventually win.
Elsewhere on the disabled pegs and below, at least four Tench were caught, with 'man of the moment', Aiden Dooney claiming three. There are now several overnight anglers along both the upper and lower sections, so let's hope for some good news in the morning.
As we end my favourite month, on reflection it has not been too bad. My main concern is the lake temperature which is simply not rising quick enough. It currently stands at 10.8c and has remained around that figure for nearly three weeks. I can't help but repeating myself, I can't help but repeating myself, but I honestly believe we need 12.5c for at least 3 or 4 days to get the rest of the Lakes Tench population into the river, and the forecast for the coming week shows no signs of that likely to happen.
Below is a table of rainfall for the area above Lanesborough. It just shows how bad the low water situation is likely to be in the coming months unless we see significant rainfall as in May/June 2012. I really fear for angling here in the summer.
More data for other areas may be seen here,-