Mighty craic on Lough Mask but only nine fish made it to weigh-in

Angling Notes: Mayfly season is truly up with fantastic fishing in all Lough Corrib quarters


A group of 32 members from Wicklow Anglers’ Association held their 30th annual outing on Lough Mask last weekend, staying at Máire Lukes in Tourmakeady, Co Mayo. There was a great sense of camaraderie throughout the weekend; it was a time to meet with fellow anglers, some for the first time.

While the fishing left a lot to be desired due to weather conditions, the craic was mighty and the accommodation, food and bar facilities were all first class. Proprietors Barbara and Frank Philbin really know how to look after the anglers’ needs.

Fishing on the Saturday was an all-day affair with wet and dryfly permitted. Along with my boating partner, Brian Byrne, we tested the bays along the Kilbride shoreline with little success. I managed just one trout of about 1lb.

Rory McCabe won the day with an excellent trout of 1.290kg and, over dinner, was duly presented with the Wicklow Cup by committee member, Lucas Glendon. Rory caught his fish at Caher Bay on a foam mayfly. Only nine fish made the weigh-in!

Fishing on Sunday was curtailed to 3pm and the quarry on this occasion was for the heaviest fish. Although just six trout were caught, William (Billy) Fegan managed three, his heaviest being sufficient to win the Lough Conn Perpetual Cup.

Prizewinners at Saturday’s competition: 1, R McCabe; 2, T Butler; 3, R Megren; 4, D Driver; 5, G Merrick.

A big thank you is extended to Lucas Glendon for organising a great weekend.

Fermanagh fishing festival

Last Monday saw the commencement of the 43rd Waterways Ireland Classic Fishing Festival in Co Fermanagh with 205 competitors lining the banks of Lough Erne in their quest to net the top prize of £5,000 (€5,760) and the coveted crystal chalice.

Wigan angler Gary Whalley laid down the gauntlet on day one with an impressive catch of 23kg 800gms. Fishing on the fancied Portora section, Whalley netted £500 (€575) and held a narrow lead over David Revill, Nottingham, with 20kg 180gms, caught at the Ely Lodge section.

The sunny weather over Erne was not ideal for fishing, but the organisers were delighted with the first day’s catch. Expectations are high for the forthcoming days when anglers gather for the draw at the Lakeland Forum in Enniskillen.

Waterways Ireland has sponsored the Classic for the past 16 years with the organisation by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Katrina McGirr from Waterways Ireland has any further details required at +353(0)71 95 50560.

Buzzer fishing on Lough Corrib

The mayfly season is well and truly up with fantastic fishing reported from all quarters of Lough Corrib. Over the last 10 days, Larry McCarthy of Corrib View Lodge guided Gareth Jones, Kieran Jenkins, Tony Cartwright and Matthew Griffiths who, together, boated 75 trout over six days, mostly on buzzer. On one day alone, Jones and Jenkins caught and released 15 trout for over 50lbs!

Most clients staying at the lodge reported great buzzer fishing. Mayfly also produced on windy days with great bags caught in the Annaghkeen and Kilbeg areas.

In the Cornamona area, Tom “Doc” Sullivan said regular visitors from Tunbridge Wells in Kent enjoyed excellent sport with six rods over six days landing 63 fish on mayfly and buzzer.

Guests staying at Basil Shields’s Ardnasillagh Lodge in the Oughterard area included David Wilson and Gary McGuire from Enniskillen who boated 16 fish, best 5.5lbs while Paul Mooney and Trevor Ferguson had 33 fish for two days on Mayfly.

Inshore lifeboat naming ceremony

Lough Derg RNLI held a naming ceremony for their new inshore lifeboat – the Atlantic 85 B911 “Jean Spier” – in Dromineer, Co Tipperary, last Saturday. The new B-class was donated by Robert Spier and his late wife, Jean Spier.

Mr Spier expressed his pleasure in handing over the boat to the RNLI and into the care of Paddy McLaughlin, an Irish council member and coxswain of Red Bay Lifeboat Station. In reply, Mr McLaughlin, said: “There is no greater gift that we can receive, no act of generosity more appreciated by the volunteers, than the bequest of a lifesaving vessel.”

Wooden spoon for Ireland

England took full advantage of home ground at last weekend’s IFFA Home International Spring Match at Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire with a convincing win over their nearest rivals, Scotland.

The home team finished with a total of 109 fish, 25 more than Scotland. Wales took bronze position which left Ireland settle for the wooden spoon but nevertheless, with a reputable 70 fish.

On an individual basis, Ireland’s Nigel Greene did exceptionally well to finish in runner-up position, missing out on the top spot by just seven ounces. This was exceptional fishing against a field of 64 anglers and he was joined by Darren Maguire and Tony Walsh in the top 10 positions.

angling@irishtimes.com and derekvevans@gmail.com

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