Shad, an elusive anadromous sea fish, run the River Barrow during early May to spawn in gravel at the head of the tide below the village of St. Mullins, Co. Carlow. A consequence of this yearly migration are large numbers of anglers who flock to the venue in the hope of luring a specimen weight fish from the large shoals that pass through. It is not easy for at times the river can seem empty of fish, and on other occasions it can be a fish a cast. Dawn and dusk are good taking periods, so having established that the Shad were in, I hit the road early arriving at St. Mullins bang on 06.30am on Friday 30th April, 2010.
With the bank holiday weekend ahead an advanced guard of anglers were already in situe. The spring tide was nearly full in and one or two Shad had been landed. Casting a blue/silver, 13.5 gram Tazmanian Devil until 09.00am with no takes I called it a morning. Eric Gosnell, up from Co. Cork had better luck landing a couple of fish over the top of the tide. The next week will see shoals of Shad enter the system which warrants another visit or two once the bank holiday mayhem is over.