Well, it’s that time of year again where I get to thinking about boats and rods and reels and all the gear required to get my season rolling. Number 1 priority is my P2 passenger boat licence for Pegasus…due for renewal this season and that check list alone has more than twenty items. I have her booked into Inland Inflatable Boats in Sligo for next week where Ronan, Tony and the lads will give her the annual service. I am replacing my GPS and fishfinder with a Garmin combo on Tony’s recommendation so I will update you on that when I’m on the water. The first job for that unit will be a survey of the channel to mark any change that might have occurred over the winter months.
When it comes to tackle, I have to admit I have been negligent in the past at ‘winterising’ rods and reels but lo and behold, last October I did a great job, if I may say so myself. (beginning to sound a bit like POTUS) The rags and WD 40 got the job done and all I have to do is replace the lines.
Weather is always an issue for anglers…too much rain or wind or sunshine…did I say SUNSHINE! Yes, that long dry spell we got last year was a bit of a disaster for salmon and sea trout anglers. The water became deoxygenated and the fish became lethargic. Back in the 60’s and 70’s when we had snow in the winter and sunshine in the summer the month of August in particular fished poorly. I would normally head into Killala Bay and do some sea fishing…not that I was very good at it, but you could have some sport on the mackerel and pollack.
When I was a kid I swam in the Moy where the water was crystal clear and you could see every rock and pebble under the water. Unfortunately, our water quality has deteriorated over the years with increased population and industry. Our politicians can talk the talk but they turn a blind eye when it comes to treatment plants, or should I say , the lack of. In the county of Mayo there are only two tertiary treatment plants…one treats sewage and wastewater in Castlebar. The second one treats industrial effluent in Ballina. All others in the county are Primary or Secondary. Not good enough!
In Europe there is an environmental awareness amongst politicians with a massive increase in upgraded treatment plants. In France the River Seine and its tributaries are now home to more than 40 species of fish, according to environmental watchdog Naturparif. Eels and salmon have made a comback in small numbers. In Germany the river Reine is cleaner and less polluted. As a result they are losing a fish called Zander. Theses fish are very shy and like murky heavily coloured water. The Reine is now too clean for them! It’s the same story in England…salmon (admittedly in small numbers) and seals have returned to the river Thames.
Our Sea Trout season opens April 17 on the Moy Estuary so we need a couple of weeks dry weather to allow water levels to drop before then. Fingers crossed…and a little Prayer to St Peter would also help!
Tight lines everyone… Judd