Angling notes: Burke’s Competition proves that it’s not all about catching fish
More than 100 fly anglers made their way to Clonbur, Co Galway, for the two-day Burke’s brown trout fishing competition
Heaviest fish winner, Pat Sweeney (left) with boatman Sean Maloney at Burke’s Competition
More than 100 fly anglers from across Ireland made their way to the Gaeltacht village of Clonbur in Co Galway for the sixth two-day Burke’s brown trout fishing competition on Lough Mask, last Tuesday and Wednesday.
A phrase often overheard that fishing is not all about catching fish, certainly rang through as far as the Burke family was concerned. With Tomás to the forefront, their easygoing approach brings the term ‘fishing’ to a new level.
I arrived a day early and spent time with colleague Tom Ormond checking out fishing grounds around Rams, Inishocht and Saints. While conditions were good, trying to entice a fish proved difficult. We managed just the one fish each. (Not a good sign for the following two days.)
Following a hearty breakfast in Burkes on competition day, anglers met their boating partner and set off to outlet points of their choice around the Mask shoreline. I paired with Jim Flanagan (otherwise known as the ‘Heineken Man’ from Westport).
In cold but otherwise good conditions, we headed for Ballykine Rocks and Inishocht Island but struggled to boat two fish over the two days. This trend followed through for the rest of the anglers with just 63 actually catching fish, mostly one keeper, at that.
The reason given for the low catch was put down to water temperature which struggled to reach four degrees. Duckfly hatches were scarce and the trout were at a ‘standstill’ down deep.
However, all was forgotten when it came to eating as the award-winning food in Burkes Restaurant was outstanding, not least the fresh pork from the revolving pig-on-the-spit, more than sufficient to feed the troops.
The winner over the two days was Jimmy Fleming from Killarney with five trout (three and two) for 2.617kg (5.77lb). Jimmy caught his fish around Saints Island on a Cock Robin, Sooty Olive and March Brown. His reward: A 42” Panasonic Plasma TV and the Ignatius Burke Memorial Cup.
The heaviest fish prize went to Pat Sweeney from Dublin for a trout of 1.355kg (3lb) from Cushlough Bay.
Many thanks to the Burke family for a wonderful few days in Clonbur.
Results: 1, J Fleming, 5 fish, 2.61kg; 2, S Dixon, 4f, 2.18kg; 3, C O’Brien, 4f, 2.14kg; 4, D Kelleher, 3f, 1.78kg; 5, R Gibbons, 3f, 1.62kg.
Meet at Delphi
Ken Whelan and Jason O’Riordan are looking forward to welcoming you to their River Erriff Salmon Fishing Course on Friday (evening) 18th to Sunday, 20th May, 2018. The plan is to meet at Delphi Resort around 8pm on Friday evening to chat about your salmon fishing experience and expectations from the course.
The tackle and theory sessions will take place in Delphi Resort and the neighbouring River Erriff. Should the weather prove difficult the session will revert to Aasleagh Lodge.
The course will start at 9am at the resort on Saturday 19th and will be complete by 4pm on Sunday afternoon. Should you wish to stay on and practice what you’ve learned, the Erriff Fishery is offering day tickets at a reduced rate to those attending the course.
(Jason and Ken have a commitment on the 21st but will leave you in the capable hands of the Erriff fishery manager, Osgur Grieve. There is a really good chance of a springer.)
Accommodation is available at Delphi Resort and the new hostel. To enquire about this, contact Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a wide selection of accommodation available in Westport (about 30 mins drive or in local B&B’s.)
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided but participants should make their own arrangements for pack lunches, evening meals and accommodation.
Closer to the date you will receive full details of the course, location maps and advice on tackle and weather, etc. The full cost is €195 per participant. To confirm your place, please forward deposit of €100 per participant.
You can do this by bank transfer to a/c Kenneth and Frances Whelan, Bank of Ireland, High Street, Westport, Co Mayo, a/c: 12890805, sort code: 903998, BIC: BOFIIE2D, IBAN: IE15BOFI 9039 9812 8908 05 or cheque to Ken at 23 Cowper Downs, Cowper Road, Dublin D06 V0T2, Ireland.
Salmon Watch Ireland (SWI) will hold a conference under the title ‘Has the Irish Salmon a Future?’ in the Plaza Hotel, Tallaght, D24X2FC, Dublin 24 on Saturday, 21st April, 2018, from 11am to 4pm.
The conference will examine the ongoing debate as to whether the wild Atlantic salmon has a future in Ireland. It is an opportunity for all persons interested in this unique fish to engage with those concerned with the management of the resource.
There will also be an opportunity to view the remarkable film Lost at Sea which should promote a large degree of discussion as to why Atlantic salmon continue to struggle in Ireland and elsewhere.
This year we have deliberately included a substantial period for discussion where views on how salmon abundance might once again be achieved. This will be an open forum where the views of the audience and panel of speakers on ‘What is to be done’ can be discussed.
11.15am: ‘The state of the Irish salmon population’ - Dr Ciaran Byrne, Chief Executive, Inland Fisheries Ireland. Noon: ‘The drivers of the decline in the salmon population’ - Dr Ken Whelan, Director Research, Atlantic Salmon Trust.
12.45pm: Lunch and showing of the documentary film ‘Atlantic salmon - Lost at Sea’.
2.15pm: ‘What is to be done’ - Discussion facilitated by Eamon Cusack, Vice President, Institute of Fisheries Management.
3.30pm: Conclusions - Niall Greene, Chair of Salmon Watch Ireland.
Delphi Club in the Bahamas has the following availability for a late peak-season bonefishing break - April 29 to May 3 (4 nights); May 6-11 (5 nights); May 14-20 (6 nights); May 19-26 (7 nights). Rooms are also available from June 8-17 at $100 off per person per night.
The mailing address is: Delphi Club, PO Box AB20006, Marsh Harbour, Abaco AB-20006, Bahamas.