Fishing and Hunting


Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck, August 2013

"Salmon Fishing at Lough, Corrib, Galway Ireland - Every Saturday - October 21, 1871"

Sports fishing in Loughs Corrib and Mask was mentioned in English sport publications as early as 1815. Lough Corrib was the second larges body of fresh water in Ireland with over 44,000 square acres. The loughs were noted for trout, eel, salmon, perch and pike.

In 1833 in an article about fishing in the loughs it was stated:

Lough Mask and Corrib. It would appear, that in these lakes the fish are commensurate to the waters they inhabit. It is no unusual event of pikes of thirty pounds weight to be sent to the landlords by their tenants; and fish of even fifty pounds have not unfrequently been caught with nets and nightlines. The trouts in those loughs are also immensely large. From five to fifteen pounds is no unusual size, and some hare been found that reached the enormous weight of thirty. The perch tribe appear the smallest in the scale of relative proportion. These seldom exceed a herring size, but they too have exceptions, and perch of three or four pounds weight have been sometimes seen. Within fifty years this latter fish has increased prodigiously, and in the lakes and rivers where they abound trouts have been found to diminish in equal ratio - If any doubt remained touching the fecundity of the perch, some of the Mayo waters would prove it satisfactorily.

The field book; or, Sports and pastimes of the British islands, by the ... By William Hamilton Maxwell, 1833

The italics are mine. I believe it can be assumed that if the tenants were catching fish to give to the landlords, they were also catching fish for their own consumption.

In 1892 Ballinrobe was the headquarters for fishing in Lough Mask and the local rivers including the Robe. There were experienced locals who could recommend the best fishing spots. Boats could be hired as tolerable rates.

In a Guide through Ireland (1844) James Fraser noted: "Farming and fishing, it is well known, do not assort well together; and however active the natives appear in the latter occupation, they are little inclined to exertion in the former."

Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck, August 2013

"Wild-Duck Shooting on Lough Corrib, Ireland"

In this illustration a local "lad" is propelling a "small canoe". Hunting included such species as waders, snipe and duck in the autumn.

Poaching notice 1749 Connemara Galway, R. Martin

"Tenants and Locals will not poach on said river for a distance of six miles tenants at their peril."
Deer/stag hunting was prerogative the of the gentry.

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©Maggie Land Blanck - page created 2013 from an original page of 2004 - latest update, August 2013