Spent a day weekend before last on the Shannon not far from Athlone and fished just below Lough Ree and a couple of bays. I fished with Peter Smyth from England, who was over for the rugby.
The water levels were way up after all the recent rain. The day we fished luckily was calm and dry. We first tried the main river itself with float ledgered baits, but to no avail. The water was still quite coloured.
In the afternoon we moved into some of the backwaters. Fishing at anchor we had our first run on a half mackerel and this turned out to be a fish of 20 lb 2 oz. [slideshow gallery_id=”12″]
No more action while anchored, so we changed methods. The bay we were in is usually only a few feet deep, but with the high water it was about 12 feet. I decided to try float trolling baits. After only 4 or 5 pulls of the oars,we had a take, and it felt like a decent fish from the start and was proved as the fish made several tail walking jumps close to the boat, before coming to the net.
Shorter than the first fish, this one was a fat fish, and turned the scales to 20 lb 6 oz. After a quick picture we released her unharmed. We float trolled for another hour until dark, but it was all quiet. Peter is looking forward to coming back in the summer to fly fish for the Pike.
Hopefully the weather will pick up and we can get down to some serious fishing over the next while. rj