Anglers frustrated by poor catches – but there are honourable exceptions

The strange unsettled weather that this so-called summer has thrown at us has finally taken its toll on catches from our larger lakes. Low barometric pressure, high water levels along with falling water temperatures has seen sport drop off in some instances to where anglers are catching almost nothing.    Reports coming in indicate very poor sport on most of our larger lakes and loughs. Anglers fishing Kilglass and Grange Lakes tell of dismal catches, with several rods returning no fish whatsoever.    The fish are still there in abundance however. Because of the poor reports I decided to go over the waters with my fish finder and found huge shoals of fish that were just not willing to oblige.    The situation is not the same on many other waters. Some of the smaller lakes are fishing very well and the good news is that local rivers are providing good sport for anglers who care to fish them.    I have recently fished the River Suck above Donamon and sport has been hectic with roach, hybrids and skimmer bream. On my last visit I had a bite almost every cast and a session of about three hours saw over 40lbs of fish come to the net.    I pole fished red maggots over ground bait which attracted fish between six ounces and two and a half pounds. Lough Luong is also fishing reasonably well for moderate to good catches of small bream and roach.    The Shannon above Jamestown bridge proved to be in fine form for two visiting anglers. Fishing from a boat Colin Hall and partner landed hybrids to over 4lbs, bream to 5lbs and several roach in the 2lb class. Catches to over 150lbs were recorded on several days of their visit.    Colin told me that they had been visiting Ireland for over 20 years and this was their best year ever.    Further afield the shallower lakes in the Gowna and Arva area have provided anglers with some superb fishing. Lisney Lake, Dernafest and Church Lakes have fished very well, with anglers reporting catches of 50lbs plus.    This week one of the most prestigious competitions in the Irish angling calendar is being fished on the Gowna complex. The Irish King of Clubs Angling festival is taking place and hopefully the good sport in that area will continue. The competition attracts many anglers from the U.K. which bring valuable revenue to the area.    I have been watching with much interest the developments on the Royal Canal. Last week I visited the new lock above Clondra to see how work was progressing. The structure is almost complete and hopefully the last remaining section of de-watered canal will be filled this year.    The new bridge near Ballymahon has enabled that particular stretch to be filled and I am sure the stretch towards Kenagh will soon see water once again.    It’s quite amazing how these new water courses soon establish a healthy stock of coarse fish. It’s not that long ago that the canal at Abbyshrule was made navigable.    The bonus for anglers was large stocks of tench soon moved into the water. It now provides great sport with not only tench but roach and good quality rudd. I am sure that within a year or two the whole length of the canal will provide bonus sport for not only local anglers but also for the few anglers that still visit these shores. The canal will once again be navigable from its source in Dublin to the basin of Clondra Harbour.    I often have anglers making complaints about how many boaters show total disregard to people fishing along our river banks. In the main I find these people in the minority.      Anglers and boaters alike should respect one another and what we must remember without boats our canal network would not exist.      Finally now that September is upon us I wonder where the year has gone. Maybe we will get some sort of Indian summer and good sport will continue. A stretch of warmer weather could even see a late revival in our larger waters. Let’s hope so………..