Salmon season rated best for 40 years

Renowned angler John O’Connell, believes this year’s salmon season has been the best in the province for 40 years.

The incessant rain has ensured ideal angling water for the province’s salmon anglers. Over the past two weeks, 80 salmon averaging 7lbs each have been landed on the River Lee. Down the road, 37 salmon, averaging 7½lbs, were landed over the same period on West Cork’s River Bandon.

On the Lakes of Killarney, four salmon were landed, three weighed 5lbs. and one 13½lbs, all caught trolling. Five salmon landed for the week ranging from 3lbs to 5lbs. each, on the River Flesk and 11 salmon, averaging 4lbs, caught on worms by local anglers, on the previous week.

Three fish averaging 5lbs, were caught on worms by local anglers on the Long Range River, Killarney.

On the Laune, salmon were being met on most fisheries. The angler who got things going was Tom Curtayne of Killorglin, who had a sparkling 9½lb fish at Crowleys, followed the next day by a 17lb specimen at the Rock Pool. There were a total of 10 fish reported for the week. Two fish were landed weighing 4lbs and 6lbs by Cork anglers spinning. Two fish were landed on Johnston’s Fishery weighing 4lbs and 3lbs by tourist anglers spinning and a 6lb fish was caught by a tourist angler.

On Beat 3, Richard Miller, Tralee had two fish, 11lb and 6lb. John Hussey also had a 10lb fish.

There were 34 salmon — best 14lbs on a flying C — caught on the Ilen River.

On the Coomhola River, there were six salmon landed, best 7lbs on a worm by a club member.

On the Ouvane River there were eight salmon landed, best 8lbs on a worm.

Blackwater Lodge Fisheries recorded the highest monthly catch total for June since 2003 and this with only 109 rod days. The average size of the fish has also shown a 30% increase in the last 10 years. In 2003 it was 5.4lbs for the month of June. This year it was 7lbs.

On July 4, while fishing from the MV Lady Louise, Courtmacsherry, Keith Wright caught a common skate weighing approximately 120lbs. Keithlanded skate two years ago to 100lbs and also landed a porbeagle shark in the mid-1970s of 225lbs. The fight with the 2012 skate lasted two hours 30 minutes and was previously tagged. The fish was re-tagged and returned alive.

Favourable water conditions prevailed on the Erriff.

David Gaffney, Dublin, caught a good 6lb grilse in the School House on a Shrimp fly. Jim Wilson, Mount Falcon, caught a grilse at The Hill on Beat 5. British angler Colin Edwards, released a grilse taken in the Garden Pool on a Cascade and lost another in the Bridge Pool also on Beat 9.

Fishing the Erriff for the first time, Sue Clarke, London caught her first Irish salmon in the Falls Pool on Beat 9 on a Cascade. Tight lines continued for the following two days for Sue with two other good 5lbs grilse from the Garden Pool on Beat 9 and from Joyce’s Sand Hill on Beat 5.

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