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Seatrout Angling Techniques




The seatrout and slobtrout which are caught from the shores of Inis Saimer can be fished using various angling methods. The natural food of these seatrout are small fish, such as sprat, worms and shrimps.

The most popular method to catch seatrout in the Erne Estuary is fly fishing. This can be done in two ways. The first is by using a normal flyfishing rod of between 9.5 and 11 foot (2.9 to 3.35 m) in length. The fly lines used can be either floating or sinking depending on circumstances and the stage of the tides. What can be useful is a floating line with a detachable sinking tip so that the angler can change easily between these two while fishing. This means one does not need two separate fly lines and reels. The flies which are most popular in the Erne Estuary imitate small fish. They usually have silver bodies with blue or green hackle, but any fly imitation of small fish is effective. Ballyshannon's well known "Rogan" flies such as the "Gadget", "Parson Tom", "Baltic Special" and "Tandem" are much used flies. However, experimenting with various other patterns can also give good results. Three flies are used on a caste, as it is known, when fly fishing with a normal fly rod (A). Flies can also be fished with a spinning rod if a plastic bubble float is attached to the end of the line and three flies are fished from droppers above the float (B).

The bubble float is half filled with water so that it can be cast out. Retrieval of the flies should imitate the action of a little fish, so the retrieval rate is relatively fast. Both fly fishing methods can be used by trolling the flies behind a boat.

Spinning with small spinner, pirks or plugs baits is also successful. The "Tasmanian Devil" lure is locally very popular. Again silver and blue seem to be the best colours. The usual retrieval methods when imitating small fish should be employed.

Worm fishing can also be successful on occasions. When there is a strong current in the river around the island a "paternoster rig", with the lead at the end of the line and one or two droppers above the lead, should be used. It is wise to use the specially shaped leads which tend not to get caught in the bottom. If there is little or no water flow in the river a worm can also be float fished, particularly close to the edge of the water. Worms are difficult to find on Inis Saimer, but can be bought locally.

Shrimp can be used instead of worms using the same methods, on a paternoster rig when the water current is strong and with a float when the current flow is less. Live shrimp can be caught by pushing a hand net through the seaweed on the rocks at the edge of the water. Areas where the water current is not too strong are the best areas for collecting shrimp, such as the wall of the Mall Quay.

Fresh or frozen sand eel is also a popular bait for seatrout. These can be slowly spinned or fished in the same way as the shrimp and worms. Sand eels can be bought in local tackle shops.

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