Posts Tagged ‘Tasmanian Devil’

Shadless at St Mullins.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

The alarm rang at 04.30am and through the fog of sleep I heard wind driven rain bouncing off the window. Is this a good idea, do I really want to go? The bed felt warm but the arrangements had been made so up I got, a brew of coffee and away, the car having been packed a few hours before. Six thirty saw me on the river bank at St Mullins greeting a small cohort of equally determined anglers who made the trip, hoping not only to land a shad or two but to claim that elusive specimen.

Ken Murphy from the rebel county displays a shad for the camera.

Anglers from counties Cork, Kildare, Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford bore testament to the popularity of the annual shad run. Blue and silver Tasmanian devils, some modified by replacing the central wire spine with a length of nylon to which the swivel and treble are attached, were the main lure of choice. Immediately on my arrival Ken Murphy from Cork obliged with a nice shad for the camera, a great start but they were few and far between.

The Tasmanian Devil lure so popular with shad anglers.

On a bream fishing trip during late April I witnessed large shad being caught, that day was a spring tide the tides since then have been small until now. Did the run come early or will the Barrow see a late influx? Certainly reports this season lean towards an intermittent showing of shad with no large shoals materialising and anglers catching only one or two fish. A good year would see anglers returns over a session reaching well into double figures, this season has been a struggle.

The Blackstairs mountains close to the village of St Mullins, Co. Carlow.

That said I enjoy the drive down through towns and villages with place names such as Bunclody, Ballindaggin, Kiltealy, Ballymurphy, and Glynn. The sweep of the Blackstairs Mountains with Mount Leinster standing sentinal, deep greens, gorse yellows, and whitethorn softening the valleys in contrast to the grey scree slopes higher up.

Kevin McCrea an angler with a special passion for large trout.

By 09.30 only one or two shad had announced their presence but not to me. This could be the first year in a while that I remain shadless, hopefully it is just a temporary condition and that a large run of this endangered species occurs before the month is out. I enjoyed the morning making aquaintance with a number of fellow anglers while chewing the fat on various angling issues of importance. A big hello to Kevin McCrea, thanks for the cup of tea and the few tips, I’ll see you on the water before too long.