KILLALA SEA TROUT ANGLING
GUIDED SEA TROUT ANGLING ON THE RIVER MOY ESTUARY
Here you will find some brief reviews of past angling seasons
Since my last post the trout fishing has been a mixed bag and has undoubtedly got more difficult than in May and June.
Also a lot of the really good sized fish over three pound appear to have moved on. However we are still catching nice trout to just over 2 pounds with a few around 2 1/2 pounds. There have been days when we only managed to take a few good fish and other days when we have had around 8 or 9. I fished with 2 anglers from Northern Ireland on the 26th/27th June and they had 7 nice trout to bring home with a best fish of 2 1/2 lb. On the 13th July I had 3 guests from Germany and they enjoyed an excellent days fishing taking 8 good fish and releasing a few more small fish. So that is very briefly how the fishing is going at the moment : not as consistent as it had been but there are still good numbers of nice trout around and its just a case of hitting them on the right day when they're on the take!
Below are a few photos of some of the fish taken over the last few weeks.
I fished with 2 anglers from Co Meath on the 21st June. Not long after we started fishing one of the guys took a nice trout well over 2 pound and we missed a few bites and then had another decent trout.The fishing was a bit slow but as ever with angling perseverance is essential and often pays off and we ended up taking 7 good trout with a best fish of 3lb 3oz. We released some more smaller ones too. SEE PHOTO BELOW.
On the 22nd I fished with a regular visitor from England and a German fisherman. Again the fishing was a bit slow but we persisted and managed to take some beautiful sea trout including 2 fish of 3lb 4oz and another a fraction under 3lb. We caught fish to nearly high tide. Very often this season the fishing has been more about taking good sized trout rather than about large numbers: I would far rather catch a few 3lb plus fish than 20 small ones. The trout this season are not only a good size but also in absolutely superb condition: there is an abundance of sandeels and most of the trout are stuffed with them. Fresh and frozen sandeel have accounted for every fish taken. PHOTO OF THE ANGLERS WITH THIS DAYS BEST FISH BELOW.
21st June, best fish 3lb 3oz.
22nd June, some of the catch, including two trout of 3lb 4oz each.
I brought out a group of 5 French anglers on the 8th June. As there were too many to fish from the boat 2 of the group fished the ebb tide from the beach and did quite well catching several trout including one of 54cm. Unfortunately no photo of this fine trout as by the time we met up they had cleaned it but I weighed it anyway. Even cleaned the fish was almost 3.1/2pound so would have been a nice 4 pounder. Fishing from the boat and about 1 hour before low water one of the anglers hooked a nice fish and whilst playing the trout to the boat one of his friends hooked another. When we got both fish landed the first weighed 2 pound 11oz the second a beautiful trout of 4 pound 5oz. 2 trout for 7 pound weight ,not bad! SEE PHOTO BELOW. All together the party took about 15 trout with most released.
The following 2 days I fished with a father and son from N.Ireland. The fishing however proved difficult, we had a bit of bad luck missing bites and losing a few nice trout too. The 10th proved to be a bad day with the wind getting so strong we had to head back to harbour early. Over the 2 days 3 trout over 2 pound were caught.
2 French anglers with trout of 2lb11oz & 4lb 5oz.8th June.
We have enjoyed more excellent sea trout fishing over the last while.
On Tuesday 23rd May. I fished with a Canadian gentleman. Now I must admit to feeling a little concerned when someone tells you they are from a country like Canada that has such a wealth of great fishing. Is the fishing we have here going to fall short of expectations? However I needn't have worried as we had a great day out taking 15 trout many of which were well over 40cm & the weather was also good. We only kept 3 fish that were badly hooked, the rest we released.
Its always nice to fish with people who prefer to release most of their fish. At the end of the day my Canadian guest told me the day had been one of the nicest he had ever spent fishing,a great compliment.
Unfortunately I have no photos of this day:as I started taking a few photos I quickly realized I had left the memory card at home in the computer.Rather annoying! The next day I fished with a gentleman from the North of Ireland and although the fishing was a bit slower than the previous day we steadily built up the tally of trout to about a dozen,again with good sized fish caught.Most fish released again.SEE PHOTOS BELOW.
The following day,unfortunately, was a rather different story with only a couple of fish for myself and 2 anglers. Despite seeing plenty of fish jumping at the turn of the tide they simply weren't taking.
The fishing was not helped either by a very high spring tide which really raced out and back in again bringing a lot of weed and sandy conditions and, once the current picked up, made a lot of my usual marks almost unfishable. Thats fishing though I guess. Its just not possible to have it easy every day.
Last Saturday 3rd I brought out a German couple for their second day sea trout fishing and once again they enjoyed excellent fishing with around 12 good sized trout including a best fish of lb3.5oz.
The 2017 sea trout angling season is now well underway and we have enjoyed some superb fishing.
On Thursday 18th May I took out a party of three German anglers and they enjoyed some great fishing on the last 3 hours of the rising tide taking 10 good trout over 2 pounds with some of 3 pounds and a best fish of 4 pounds. The 4 pound trout was caught on a 5ft ultra light rod and gave a great fight. This 4 pound trout was a nice coincidence as a friend of the man who caught the fish, and who was also on the boat, had caught a trout of exactly the same length & weight in exactly the same place and at the same time last year.
The ebb tide didn't fish quite as well but we still got a few more nice trout. The trout were all taken on sandeel baits. All in all a nice days fishing. See photos below and in my gallery.
I had a German couple fishing on the following day, 19th May. I have known these people for over 20 years and I am pleased to say they also enjoyed some very good fishing. The fishing was a little slower to start off with than the previous day but we soon had our first fish, and missed some takes, although it wasn't a fish every few minutes all the fish we hooked throughout the day were a good size, between 2 and three pounds and we did quite well on the first 3 hours of the ebb tide and finished up with a good catch. Again all the trout were taken on good quality sandeels.
I catch and freeze all my own sandeels to ensure my customers have the very best bait. See photos of this day below and in my gallery. More updates and photos to follow soon.
18th May, Playing a sea trout from my boat.
18th May, A German angler with a nice trout of 4 pounds.
18th May, 3 anglers from Germany on Bartragh Island with their catch.
19th May, A German lady playing a trout of 3 pounds.
19th May, A couple from Germany with their catch of fine sea trout.
08/07/2016: Since my last update the fishing has, apart from the odd poor days which are inevitable, been excellent, and we are still taking good numbers of very nice trout to 3 pounds. Fishing with a regular visitor from Dublin for 2 days near the end of June we enjoyed excellent fishing on the 1st day with lots of fish biting on the rising tide which resulted in several very nice trout being caught (see photo of me below with part of our catch). The following day was quite different and we had to fish hard to take a few good fish. Two more Dublin anglers fished with me on the 29th/30th June. On the 1st day we had lots of fish but the really good sized ones eluded us and we released most. The following day we had a bit of bad luck, hooking 3 good fish but 2 of them made successful bids for freedom. As the tide turned we once again lost 3 more very nice trout but then the lads hooked and landed 3 beautiful sea trout. We could have landed about 8 or 9 good trout this day but for a bit of bad luck but that's fishing! I enjoyed some fantastic sport with an angler from England on the 5th July. We fished with ultra light 5ft rods and had several lovely trout to nearly 3 pounds which gave some great fights on such light tackle.( photo below of me with a few of the trout which gave such great sport). As usual sand eel has been the killer bait.The weather may not be great at the moment but for the most part the fishing is still excellent.
Some of the trout caught fishing with a Dublin angler on the 22 June.
We had fantastic sport taking these trout on ultra light rods.5th July.
19/06/2016: Up to the week ending 19/6/2016 I am pleased to say we have enjoyed more excellent sea trout fishing. I had a father and son fishing with me on Saturday the 18th June and they enjoyed a superb days fishing taking 12 really nice trout to nearly 3 pounds, losing some good fish too as well as taking some smaller ones. ( sea photos below and gallery). We were lucky with the weather this day, which was great for fishing: the previous 2 days where very wind and as I'm writing this update, Sunday 19th, there are strong winds and rain. I fished with 2 anglers earlier in the week and we had many takes as the tide started to return which resulted in several nice trout being caught. Sand eel, preferably fresh, have as usual proved to be deadly baits. As we all know the superb weather we enjoyed has, unfortunately, come to an end. Lets hope we still get plenty of good fishing weather to get out and enjoy the excellent sea trout fishing we are having this year.
A trout of nearly 3 pounds jumps high from the water whilst being played from my boat.
This father & son enjoyed a superb day of sea trout angling with me on 18/6/2016.
07/06/2016: Over the last several days the fishing has carried on in much the same fashion as recent weeks. The conditions have remained quite difficult at times with cold and, at times, quite strong Northerly winds and clear, blue skies. Despite these conditions which can often prove quite difficult for all kinds of fishing, we have caught good numbers of fine sea trout. Whilst we haven't had huge numbers of fish the size of the trout has been excellent with plenty over 40cm and several of 50cm and over,a far better result than catching dozens of small fish. ( see latest photos below, taken over the last few days) It must be said that although this fine weather may make for some difficult fishing , it is fantastic to be out in and is very welcome after the awful weather we often had last Summer!
Two angler's who fished with me on the 30/5/2016
These 2 anglers caught several fine sea trout fishing with me on 3/6/2016
The 2016 angling season is now well under way. The fishing, as is usual, has had its good days and more difficult days,though I'm pleased to say we haven't had a blank day so far and even on the more difficult days persistence, which is so important in angling, always paid off.
We have had a lot of very cold Northerly winds which, together with blazing sunshine, has added up to quite difficult conditions at times.
I'm pleased to report that we have had good numbers of trout since the beginning of May with plenty of fish over 40cm. Fishing with 2 groups, of regular visitors from Germany, over a few days last week ( 16th - 22nd May) we had the 3 best fish so far this season of 51cm, 53cm and 58cm. The largest fish was approaching 4 pounds in weight. (Photos of the anglers and 2 of these fish below). We also released a number of quite good fish.
Id far rather have people catching a few really nice trout than hooking and damaging 20 small fish which, especially if bleeding, wont survive long after being released. All fish where caught using sand eel, fresh or frozen, and despite trying spinning with lures several times we had no fish using this method. As is common early in the season some of the fish are still quite thin and need to fill a bit more and we have tried to release these fish if at all possible. Hopefully we will start getting more milder South Westerly breezes and a bit less of the cold North winds which have been so frequent this Spring.
A German angler with a fine sea trout of 58cm.
A German angler with a nice 53cm sea trout.
Since my last update the fishing has been a very mixed bag, unlike the weather, which has just been crap!
The fishing can be very good one day and quite poor the next. There are however reasonable numbers of decent trout still present and even on some of the poorer days we still saw quite a few fish jumping or following the baits.
The 23rd of June turned out to be one of the best days this season. Fishing with 2 guests, a couple hours before high tide, we soon started getting some good takes on sandeel baits and this resulted in some lovely sized trout, well over 40cm.
The best was still to come however.The tide had barely started to ebb and we got a few more nice trout. One of my guests then put his rod in the holder to get something from the front of the boat, next I heard his reel suddenly clicking rapidly and looked round to see the rod bouncing wildly.
The fish hooked itself and as soon as the line was tightened it leaped 2 feet from the water and we knew straight away this trout was at least 4 pounds. After a fight lasting several minutes with the fish leaping clear of the water 3 or 4 more times, my guest coaxed the fish to the net. A beautiful sea trout that weighed exactly 5 pounds and 62 cm in length.( Please see photo below of the lucky angler with this fish and my gallery for some of the other trout taken this day).
I fished this area again the next day with four German visitors for a half day and whilst we didn't see a 5 pounder they still took some nice fish, enough for a great meal that evening.(see gallery)
On one of the more recent days a guest from England enjoyed some decent fishing, catching and releasing some nice trout on sandeel, mackerel strip also worked very well.
At the time of writing the wind is howling and we have had more torrential rain, I think I've just about given up any thoughts of getting a Summer this year! This poor weather has certainly been very bad for anyone involved in angling tourism(especially if it involves any boating) but it looks like we will just have to put up with this awful weather and hope for the odd decent spell.
One of my guests of the 23rd June with his 5 pound,62cm sea trout.
Since my last update in May, the weather, as we all know, stayed pretty awful- cool, wet and windy, very changeable. This certainly hasn't helped the fishing. June has been a bit better and I have ventured forth with plenty of anglers. The fishing has been a bit like May, a rather mixed bag, varying from good days to difficult days, all rather inconsistent. I fished with 2 anglers in a gale on the 5th June & whilst the water wasn't that rough the conditions where a bit of a challenge! Despite the wind we took some nice fish and it was a first sea trout trip for one of the guys and he caught the most fish including a nice 49cm trout. (a lot of water was covered as a sandeel can be cast a hell of a long way with a gale behind it!). Surprisingly this day fished far better than earlier in the week when conditions seemed perfect. I had a group of 5 French anglers out one day and they took turns fishing from the shore and the boat and went back to their house with plenty of trout for a great meal that evening. The weather this day was fabulous and it must be said that during great weather Bartragh Island is one hell of a beautiful place to spend the day and the lads had a great day out.( see photo in gallery of 2 anglers with fish) Over the last month we have taken reasonable numbers of fish well over 40cm.I fished with 3 anglers from France on the 18th June and for the last hour and half of the ebb we starting taking a few fish and one of my guests hooked a good fish and after a nice fight on light tackle we landed a lovely 52cm trout.(see photo below). We enjoyed some more decent fishing on the rising tide and took several more nice trout but missed quite a few good takes and lost another good fish which leapt from the water when hooked and was gone. Its Hard to believe June is drawing to a close already, lets hope the weather improves soon!
Here is my update on the 2015 trout season.
The 2015 sea trout fishing season is now underway & I had my first group of anglers for three days in April. We were very lucky to get the last of the great weather we had in April. The fishing was a rather mixed bag but we had pretty good results overall for the 3 days. The 1st day was the best day with about 20 fish caught, the largest was 44cm.The following day proved to be quite different with only several fish taken. The fishing on the 3rd day started off very slowly but with some perseverance & local knowledge put to good use we ended up taking around 12 or so fish with some nice sized trout including a best fish of 45cm. As would be expected early in the season many fish where still quite thin although 2 of the 3 largest were in good shape, another well over 40cm was very thin and safely returned. The weather in May has been pretty awful resulting in cancelled trips. We ventured forth on Monday the 18th May and endured rain, hail and strong wind before heading back to the harbour early. I fished with a client on the 21st May and had reasonable fishing but the highlight of the day was a beautiful 3 1/2 pound,55cm sea trout, the best fish so far this season.(photo below) At the time of writing the weather has warmed up considerably and if the wind settles down the fishing should continue to improve. For photos of some of the best fish caught so far this year please see my Gallery page.
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Me with a fine trout of 3 1/2 pounds, 55cm. May 2015.
Here is my look back at the 2014 trout season.
One thing I can definitely say about last season is it was one of contrasts. From the end of April to around the end of July we enjoyed plenty of good quality fishing taking good numbers of fine trout. The fishing during August and September however proved to be rather difficult in 2014.
For much of the summer the weather played ball being quite calm and, fortunately for the sea trout fishing (admittedly not for salmon anglers though), we had no big floods. The calm seas meant fishing along the beaches facing the bay and down on the bars was possible on many days.
As with any season certain days will be remembered, hopefully for the right reasons, and of course this is usually because of excellent fishing.
Of all the good days we enjoyed last year the 30th May and 17th July stand out.
On the 30th May I took out two regular clients from Ireland and a new visitor from Italy. We started fishing not long after high tide, almost in the open water of Killala Bay. We took a few decent trout as we fished towards low water. I just had a hunch to keep on fishing this area and it really paid off!. Things really took off about 2 hours before low water. Fishing sandeel the lads just started getting one bite after another and we enjoyed fantastic sport for one and a half hours. I cant remember quite how many fish we caught but we had our bag limits and released plenty of fish included good numbers of 35- 45 cm fish and as always lost a few too. To round the day off one of the Irish lads took his best fish of the day on the rising tide and my Italian guest caught the last trout of the day,another good fish, just as we were finishing up. All in all a superb day. Good company, great fishing, great weather -perfect really! See the photo below of the anglers with some of their catch.
The 17th July was also an incredible and very enjoyable day. I took out two regular clients from Dublin who are always a laugh and good company to fish with. They have had a bit of bad luck with the trout before but we more than made up for it on this day! We began fishing a channel along the beach about 2 and half hours before high tide. We had hardly started free lining our sandeels in the currant when we had our first takes and straight away we were into some lovely sized,hard fighting trout. This carried on for quite a while until things went quite near high tide. As soon as the ebb started to pick up speed the trout were on the move again and we started catching more good fish again. As the tide dropped we moved along the beach and had some fun watching for trout jumping or feeding at the surface and quietly getting within casting distance and pulling our baits through these areas.This resulted in a few more nice sea trout. What really makes this day memorable was the excellent size of the trout. I can remember releasing fish well over 40 cm and the best fish of the day was returned. Well pleased the lads decided to finish early, for their journey home, bringing with them their lovely trout that I'm sure made some fine eating! For photos of this day and other days of 2014 please see my gallery.
As I said the fishing got father difficult for August and September and though we took more good trout I had to work hard and the anglers had to put in the effort to get those fish! Fishing will always have its ups and downs though.
One more thing:could everyone who enjoys fishing in Ireland, wherever you are, please take ALL your rubbish away to a bin .To all the litter louts out there (and there's plenty),cop on : our rivers,lakes,beaches,bogs,roads etc are NOT suitable places for you to throw your litter and forget about it. Discarded rubbish is now a huge problem and its such an ignorant and completely unnecessary activity.
Lastly Id like to thank everyone who fished with me 2014 and hope to see most of you again.
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An Angler from Italy with two Irish anglers who enjoyed great fishing and great weather.
At the time of writing (20/7/13) Ireland is in the grip of a very rare heat wave. It was, however a very different story at the start of the sea trout season in the 2nd half of April. It was very cold and we where plagued with strong, often north winds. However, despite the poor weather we had plenty of excellent fishing with good numbers of fish most days,frequently catching 10 to 20 odd nice trout.
During June the weather finally settled and we were able to fish the lowest part of the river.down to the bar. We had many fine catches of trout with good numbers over 40 cm. July has been extremely warm & hot and the sea trout fishing has provided an excellent alternative for disappointed salmon anglers praying for rain!
Despite the hot sunny weather the trout have,generally, been biting quite well most days. However the huge shoals of white bait that can be seen moving in with the tide are starting to make the trout extremely well fed and somewhat picky and harder to catch. We have generally been taking 5 to 10 good trout most days with a best catch of 13. On several days we have netted white bait and these often proved a deadly bait, not surprising given that the trout have been gorging on them. I have also had considerable success with a small silver, jointed plug which is quite a good white bait imitation. On another occasion myself and a friend from England enjoyed a couple of hours of fantastic sea trout fishing on an absolutely beautiful evening. We left Killala harbour for the Moy channel at high speed and started to fish about 1 hour before high tide. We had a few fish straight away but I knew from the previous days that large numbers of good trout would be moving back with the ebb tide close to the beach. As soon as the tide turned we were just surrounded by trout jumping and boiling near the surface as they fed. For about 1 hour we had none stop action on sandeel,mainly,but I also took some good fish on the jointed plug.We kept a few good fish and put plenty back and missed more bites than we could remember! A perfect evening when we where definitely in the right place at the right time and a great example of just how good the sea trout angling on the Moy Estuary can be.
During August the fishing has been very patchy and rather hit and miss,there are still really good numbers of trout showing though. At the moment its possible to struggle for a couple of days then suddenly have a really good day and this has happened a few times lately. I have had a number of very experienced fly fishermen out this last month or so and we did have some success but on many occasions,despite being surrounded by feeding trout, the fish chose to ignore anything that was thrown at them and were only interested in one thing : white bait. I am sure that on these occasions had we netted fresh white bait to use instead we would have had some great sport!
So far this season I am pleased to say that we haven't had a blank day though of course some days have been far better than others but that's fishing!
The fishing during September has been more or less the same as August and two of us,on one day, succeeded in having the only blank day so far this season! We missed a few fish on a spinner and lost one at the boat but despite our best efforts failed to boat one fish,but that's fishing . That's the story so far this year and hopefully we will have some good weather and fishing to round off the season.
At the time of writing the 2013 season is over ( hard to believe another summer is over so quick!). We had lots of small trout for the rest of September and we definitely had better size fish last September. All in all the fishing was excellent this season and we took many fine trout especially during April, May,June and July. Finally I would like to thank everyone who fished with me and everyone who sent anglers to me this season and hope to see you all again next year to enjoy the great fishing we have on the Moy Estuary.
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Sea trout to over 40 cm taken near the bar of the River Moy in July.
A party of anglers from Germany with part of their catch, July 2013.
During May and June we enjoyed plenty of excellent fishing. Weather permitting I concentrated most of our efforts on the lowest stretch of the Moy around the bar and up to the last perch and most days this eventually paid off with great fishing, especially on the last hour or so of the ebb tide and on the flood, often taking fish until almost high tide. We had plenty of fish of 40cm and over and quite a few just over 50cm.
Fishing a day in May with a group of French anglers, they took 38 trout, all good sized fish, the majority of which were released. On another occasion I fished 2 days with a regular client from Germany and the two of us took 50 nice trout keeping only several of the larger ones.
July, however, got off to a bad start. We had a huge flood in the Moy and this coincided with a naturally occurring bloom of toxic plankton which was brought into the estuary on a spring tide and ruined the fishing. The angling was very unreliable after this event and took some time to recover.
By September the fishing was once again quite good with the usual autumn fishing of large numbers of smaller fish.
On one of the last days this season I brought two regular visitors from France on the estuary and we enjoyed a fantastic days sport with literally nonstop bites and fish on the line, including some nice sized trout over 40cm.
Finally to round off I would just like to thank everyone who fished with me during 2012 and hope to see you all again to enjoy the fantastic sea trout angling we are so lucky to have on our doorstep here, hopefully the fishing will be as good again for 2013.
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The 2011 season has, im pleased to report, got off to the best possible start. A group of 7 French anglers fished with me for 2.5 days and enjoyed fantastic fishing. Despite very windy, difficult conditions they took over 50 nice trout, releasing many. Most fish were taken on my boat but good sport was also had fishing off the Beach of Bartragh Island. On day 1 the shore anglers had great fishing on the ebb tide but the majority of the fish taken on the boat were caught on the rising tide. On day 2 the shore fishing again proved best on the ebb tide,the fish often seem to move back on the ebb very close to the beach, while both the ebb and flood fished well from the boat. Once again sand eel, especially freshly caught eels, proved to be deadly bait. The average size of the trout has been very good too at 36.9cm. About 9 fish over 40cm were taken with the best 2 at 49cm: 1.23kg and 50cm: 1.40kg. A half day fishing the ebb tide off the island resulted in another 7 fish including the largest. Another French party of 2 had reasonable fishing with about 10 fish taken. Very windy conditions made their day quite difficult and caused a lot of missed bites. Hopefully we will have plenty more fishing of a similar standard as this is great for the area and will encourage people to return in the future. The sea trout fishing in July has been similair to June - inconsistent. One of the better days in June, fishing with two French Anglers, resulted in just over 20 nice trout(some over 40cms among them. 2 Days later we had to fish hard to take 6 or 7 good fish. The last week in June fished reasonably well with good trout taken. I had two of 44cms. The Moy bar fished well on the last hour of the ebb tide and also for the first hour and a half of the rising tide. The fishing has been characterised by short periods with plenty of bites followed by quiet stretches.
We have seen good numbers of nice trout jumping however its often been difficult to temp to take a bait. We have still managed to take 6- 10 nice size trout most days plus many small. There is still an abundance of sandeels and also many white bait appearing in the estuary, plenty of good feeding for the trout! Thursday 21st July, this day proved to be the most difficult so far this season. Fishing with a party from England, we found the trout very difficult to catch. The Estuary was very coloured after the previous rain, however the day was saved for one angler when he hooked and landed a beautiful 4.5 pound 56cm trout.(See gallery for photo).
On a slightly more negative note there's one thing going on in this country which is certainly not going unnoticed by visitors coming here, I know because they mentioned it, and that's the incredible amount of rubbish along our roads and other places. A real shame, incredibly ignorant and 100% unnecessary. Thanks whoever you are!
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