Angling Notes: Bluefin tuna catch and release scheme to run in 2020

RNLI recruiting fundraisers amid ‘perfect storm’ of being busy while income declines

Bluefin pilot programme

Building on the success of last year's bluefin tuna pilot programme, a catch and release fishery for the species in Ireland will again operate in 2020 and, should the programme continue to be viable, it may continue for a further two years.

A maximum of 25 authorisations may be granted to angling charter skippers and the fishery will operate from July 1st to November 12th, without exception.

The project is a collaborative scientific programme between Inland Fisheries Ireland and Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority; the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

In 2019, 15 charter skippers were trained to tag, measure and record bluefin data and over the three-month season, 219 tuna were caught and released. On one fishing alone, as many as eight were tagged.


This important data is being collated by the partnership group for reporting to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna.

Charter skipper Peter Power from Mullaghmore, Co Sligo is again looking forward to the tuna season. Last year, he caught, tagged and released nine bluefin from his Prospector 1 state-of-the-art angling vessel. To book Peter, call 087-2576268 or

A call for applications for the 2020 season will be announced on February 18th and the last date for receipt of completed applications is 1pm on March 6th. Applications can be made at

The core aspect of the programme is the welfare of bluefin tuna. Authorised skippers are required to have high specification rods, reels and line in order to bring the fish alongside in a timely manner.

Anglers also have an opportunity to contribute to this important study by fishing from authorised vessels only. Unauthorised vessels are not permitted to target or catch bluefin tuna and any found to be targeting bluefin will be prosecuted.

Income down for RNLI

The RNLI is currently looking to recruit more fundraisers to encourage new supporters to sign up after the charity experienced a shortfall in funds last year.

With 46 lifeboat stations across Ireland, the charity is facing a “perfect storm” of being busier than ever while its income is down. The role would suit engaging individuals with interpersonal skills who can share inspiring stories of volunteer crews and lifeguards.

A crucial part of the role will include educating visitors about key safety messages and a drive to help sign up new supporters. Training will be given in all aspects required for the role.

RNLI's Neal Somerville said: "Our face-to-face teams are inspired by knowing that a simple but effective safety message can save lives. Successful applicants will work with a team of like-minded people which is a great way of making new friends."

More information is available at

Twin Bridges, Montana

To relish some of the best blue ribbon trout fishing anywhere in the world, Prof Ken Whelan and Mike Geary are offering a personally hosted trip to Healing Water's Lodge, Twin Bridges, Montana, in August 2020.

Last season, Whelan experienced amazing dry fly action in rivers such as the Beaverhead and his favourite, the tiny but highly productive spring creeks. For details on prices etc, see

Historic tackle

Congrats to Rory and Mary Harkin who are celebrating 60 years of Rory's Fishing Tackle, Temple Bar, Dublin, this Friday (Feb. 21st). Rory's is one of the oldest tackle shops in Ireland.

To mark the occasion they are having an anniversary sale starting on Friday with up to 50 per cent off many items. They will be giving away €60 vouchers and spot prizes to some lucky customers over the weekend. Wishing Rory and Mary continued success.