The Royal Canal was the place to be during May, with plenty of tench, rudd, roach and big pike falling to visiting anglers.
Here in Ireland the month of May 2006 has been one of the wettest since records began. This has resulted in the lakes flooding up into nearby fields and rivers overflowing their banks. Near the end of May I received a phone call from a local guest house owner. She had four visiting English anglers from Lincolnshire, both husband and wives. They were looking for somewhere easy to fish, I decided to bring them to a section of the Royal Canal that as far as I know had not been fished in the past twenty years. I was interested to see how it would fish. Float fishing with red maggot roach up to 14 ozs, were coming to the net on a regular basis. Mervyn Horsepoll also had some lovely hybrids. (Photo below) His wife Margaret and friends Lawrence and Marian Stevens were delighted with the fishing.
I met up with David Boulton and Eelis Davis from Stoke on Trent along the Abbeyshrule stretch. They were just starting to unpack the gear. On this part of the Royal Canal there is plenty of nice comfortable shore fishing, visiting anglers can drive right up to the side of the Canal. This was the lad’s third trip to this area where on the previous two days they had a total of 10 tench to 4lbs roach to 12 ozs and pike to 14lbs.
Up at Shrule Bridge often known as the White Bridge. The Inny was alive with big roach. I meet Michael Beeb from Yorkshire, who was fishing maggot on the float just below the bridge. Michael was having fabulous sport I find float fishing on a river very exciting especially to big roach like the one in the photo below.
I made that return journey to the Red Bridge, when I got there not a fish in sight. They had moved further up river to a stretch known as Malady’s, when on their spawning run the roach don’t hang around for long. When the spawning is over its back to their rich feeding grounds in Lough Ree on the Shannon. I suppose it is something similar to the salmon that returns to the sea. One thing that puzzles me, why do the roach run up the Inny to spawn.?
I decided to get in on the action myself. (Photo below) On this trip I had between 20 and 30 nice sized roach the heaviest went to around 1lb 10ozs. They were all taken on float fished maggots. When coarse fish are about to spawn I prefer to leave the keep net at home, when I catch a fish I return him straight back to the water as quickly as possible.
Since reporting on Derries in my previous updates, I have received quite a few requests for further info on the Lake. Derries will be featured in Book 3; to be honest I have never fished the lake the only info I have is from a couple of visits. Once from the shore to have a chat and do some filming, (which can be seen on my new DVD) with some English anglers, and the other in my boat Adventurer.
In the photo below you will see an English angler with a nice bream from Derries, in a chat he told me of himself and friends catching 18 tench in the upper part of the lake some of these fish went to 7lb. Derries is joined to the Gowna system by a short stretch of the River Erne. The lake is in a figure of eight, in the middle there is a shallow area where the depth is only between 2 and 3 feet. Unlike the rest of the lake which has a stony bottom, here the bed of the lake is very muddy and the water is covered over with lillypads, I have a feeling this is the main feeding and spawning area for the shoals of bream and tench. However the visiting angler will need a boat to fish this area.
That English angler and his friends caught those tench during late September, when I think the tench move back to the deeper water to lie up for the winter months. There is plenty of easy shore fishing on Derries into between 6 and 8 feet of water, which is weed free.
On a visit during late May I met up with two English anglers on Upper Gulladoo, this lake is in book 2, they were having some excellent fishing to mainly roach and hybrids. (Photo below) Gulladoo is divided into the upper and lower sections by a short stretch of river. On my new Dvd you can see an English angler by the name of Brian catching lots of nice bream from the upper part of this lake. With some previous ground baiting I think Gulladoo could offer up superb sport to big bream, hybrids and roach.
I received an email from an English angler by the name of John More, who was over in the Irish Midlands during early May. John sent me a photo of a nice tench his friend Kevin Best caught on Lough Lowfield. (Photo below) This lake is a noted tench fishery it has a long wooden platform to fish off and is well worth a visit if tench are your quarry.
In late April and early May Brian Bohan paid a visit to both Loughs Clooncose and Nabelwy. On Clooncose he bagged up with 60lb of roach and hybrids, this is a lovely little fishery that is rarely fished. On Nabelwy Bria
n was fishing with two Dublin lads, they were catching plenty of bream to 3lb. This lake is noted for its big tench but on this occasion they failed to show up. Both Nabelwy and Clooncose are featured in my second book.
The heavy rain that fell in May caused the water levels in the lakes to rise up into nearby fields making fishing very difficult. However one place that the angler can be sure of some fishing in these conditions is Lakeland Fishery at Rooskey. In this well kept commercial fishery the visiting angler can easily bag up with plenty of big bream, tench and carp like the one in the photo below.
Mary with this large carp, taken on Lakeland Fishery.
In Hot Water
At the start of June regular visiting English angler Andy Stone invited me along to do some filming of himself and his friend Steve Dennis. They were fishing the famous Hotwater Stretch on the Shannon at Lanesboro. When I arrived I found two very happy anglers, (Photos below) who were catching plenty of bream, rudd, hybrids and tench. The successful method was fishing maggots on the feeder. On this day, they had the Hotwater Stretch to themselves not another angler in sight.
If you would like a free DVD of the lads fishing the Hotwater Stretch, just send a 9 by 6 inch stamp-addressed envelope. To Bernie Murphy, Curry, Athlone Road, County Longford, Ireland.