Last weekend was a busy and successful few days for two of our major brown trout fisheries in the midland region.
With the close season extended by a further two weeks, but with a later start date than their counterparts in the western lakes, Lough Sheelin and Lough Ennell attracted almost 300 anglers to their weekend festivities.
Record numbers attended the Lough Sheelin Trout Preservation Association annual competition last Saturday with a staggering 232 anglers, all eager to ply their skills for the heaviest fish and the much-sought-after 19' Sheelin 'McCabe' lake boat as first prize (email@example.com).
Richard McDermott from Longford emerged as the winner with a cracking trout of 7.306lb. Second place went to Gerard McCrish for his fish of 7.134lb followed by three anglers in the six pound bracket, Oliver McCormack, Pádraig O’Neill and Richard McGowan. The cut-off point for prizes stopped at 15th position with a fish of 3.8lb.
Patience pays off for McBride at Lough Ennell
On Sunday, Lough Ennell Trout Preservation Association held a charity competition in aid of the local St Brigid's Special School in Mullingar. A total of 55 anglers turned out to support this worthy cause and raised a much-welcomed €1,200 for the charity.
Conditions on the day were best described as a “hard day’s fishing with strong blustery winds and heavy downpours”. Nevertheless, 11 lovely fish were returned for weigh-in.
David (Dave) McBride of Southside Angling took the honours with a terrific fish of 4.080lb on a Stimulator.
“I had almost given up, but with less than an hour left up he came and grabbed the fly. It was a bit of a surprise to be honest,” he said.
Nicholas Shaw was pipped at the post for second place with a trout of 4.028lb (just .052oz in the difference), third position went to Gerry Feeney on 3.154lb followed by J Duffy on 2.906lb.
Additional winners included: S Cash; P O'Toole; N Kenny; P Gallagher; T Gorman; J Donohue and A Brown. A special thanks was extended to all of the sponsors.
* Correction: Eddie Corry from Co Clare, winner of the recent Galway Challenge Cup on Lough Mask, caught three fish for 3lb 10oz and not 2lb 10oz, as listed in last week's notes.
Footage of juvenile angelshark recorded in Wales
For the first time ever, scientists have recorded footage of a juvenile angelshark in the UK. Filmed in North Cardigan Bay, the unique underwater footage provides encouraging evidence that the species is using Welsh waters to give birth.
The angelshark is listed as critically endangered, following a decline in their range over the last 50 years. Angel Shark Project: Wales (ASP:W) is a collaborative project co-led by Natural Research Wales (NRW) and Zoological Society of London.
Ben Wray, Marine Ecologist and Project Manager at NRW, said: "Little is known about the status, ecology or location of important habitats for angelsharks in Wales. Only four per cent of angelshark records gathered by ASP:W are juveniles, so this footage is extremely important.
We will use this evidence to help plan future research and discover more about this rare species in Wales.”
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