Angling Notes: Despite cancellation due to poor weather, fishing spirit triumphed

 

What have the World Cup Trout Fly Fishing Championship and Croagh Patrick got in common, apart from being in Co Mayo? Answer: both had their main annual event cancelled this year due to adverse weather conditions.

In the case of Reek Sunday, it was the first time in living memory the pilgrimage to the top of the sacred mountain was cancelled. Despite the warning, several hundred people attempted the climb which resulted in numerous casualties.

World cup finals day on Lough Mask also fell foul of the weather. However, the finalists who qualified from the previous four days’ heats heeded the cancellation call and stayed away from the lake.

This too was the first occasion in 59 years for a postponement due to gale-force winds. Finals day is now rescheduled for Saturday, August 15th.

Boarfish trials

The second and final article on boarfish (Capros aper) by SeaHealth-UCD deals with processing, sensory tests and levels of heavy metals. The four trials focus on the species as candidates for human food and conclude their most likely use would be as fish mince, such as nuggets, bites and fishcakes.

In this regard, the ability of boarfish mince to bind inherently with added water is a key attribute in the potential for it to be processed.

The e-bulletin is aimed at personnel in fisheries and aquaculture, fish packers, processors, distributors, retailers, health professionals and consumers. A comprehensive report on boarfish trials is available from ronan.gormley@ucd.ie

Ballynahinch high

The week ending July 25th was the most prolific of the month, producing 11 fish on Ballynahinch fishery. A notable day was the 21st in which Jack Meredith managed to land three fine fish, the best weighing about 5.4kg (12lb).

Since July 25th, fishing has slowed down, with perpetual high water and gale-force winds making for tough conditions, with the week ending August 1st producing six hard-earned fish.

“There is plenty of water in the river at present, and with the high tides at the moment we are hopeful for another good run of grilse. There are 60 fish in the book as of August 3rd,” Brid O’Malley said. (Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, 095-31006).

Lough Inagh salmon

Over on Lough Inagh fishery, Colin Folan reports the run of salmon is very good, with plenty of fish in the 5lb bracket and in great condition. However, the sea trout fishing has been disappointing, although there is a fair amount of finnock, but a serious lack of fish over 0.7kg (1.5lb).

Along with the wonderful salmon fishing, the brown trout action is as good as ever, with dozens of 0.9kg (2lb)-plus fish from the lake and river beats. July catches are as follows: salmon 54, sea trout 164 and brown trout 150. Notable catches include Brian Lawlor (Westmeath), who caught and released a brown trout of 3.4kg (7.5lb) on Lough Inagh on a size-12 Kingsmill.

Top flies for the lake were Silver Daddy, Bibio, Leggy Green Peters and Muddlers and, for the river, Van Beck, Green Highlander and Black Shrimp. Bookings to hotel reception at 095-34706.

Sheelin trout

On Sheelin, areas that fished best last week stretched from Orangefield into Ross Bay, and were dependant on wind direction. Fishing was tough in the mornings and only picked up for daytime catches between 4pm and 6pm – and even then fly life was poor, so it was mainly fishing blind.

Trout were on the move, however, and willing to surface for Bibios, Silver Invictas, Dabblers, Bumbles, Daddies, Claret & Mallard, Hoppers and Goslings.

The Murrough and Green Peter mean late-evening and nighttime fishing – this is when fishing is now at its best and worth the effort to experience the trout life of this great lake, according to fisheries officer, Brenda Montgomery.

The total number of trout recorded was 72.

Mackerel return

Mackerel fishing along the Ulster coast is the best in years. While many of the fish are small, they are shoaling close to shore in large numbers with every high tide – well within casting range at harbours and rocky headlands.

 

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