It's the catch of the day
Published 18/01/2014 | 02:30
It was the one that didn't get away.
Weighing in at 11.5lbs, this salmon ended up on the dinner plate of angler Gerald O'Shea last night.
Mr O'Shea, from Curraheen, Tralee, Co Kerry, accomplished the coveted feat of catching the first salmon of the season on the Lakes of Killarney and its environs on the traditional opening day of the season that will run until September.
He hooked his prize on the River Flesk near Killarney at lunchtime yesterday.
"I'm delighted with it and we'll dine well tonight and for the next few days," the married father of three told the Irish Independent.
About 60 anglers took to the rivers yesterday hoping to catch the first salmon, most on the mouth of the River Laune and on the Flesk.
Among them was angler Ken O'Neill from Milltown, who explained the draw.
"It like a wedding and anglers will take the day off work so they can fish on January 17," said Mr O'Neill, who caught the first salmon about four years ago.
For anglers, the prize is catching the first salmon but the scarcity of the delicacy has made catching any salmon an elusive goal.
A total of 57 rivers will be fully open for salmon fishing this year where a surplus of stock has been identified, while a further 30 will open on a "catch and release" basis.