Aaron Murray with his 21lb 6oz pike and club chairman David Shannon
Aaron Murray, pictured with David Shannon, won Catch of the Week on 28 December with his 21lb 6oz pike

A happy new year to all anglers fishing in Ireland this year and may you enjoy good fishing throughout the year whether you are fishing in freshwater or at sea.   The New Year certainly brought in some very stormy weather with a mixture of heavy rain, some sleet and some cold weather on occasions.  Despite this there was a fair bit of angling activity mainly in freshwater.

There was plenty of pike anglers out over the festive season and catches were very good although many of our big river systems were in winter floods so the best of the fishing was mainly on loughs.  Three days after Christmas 12 year old Aaron Murray caught a super pike of 21 lb. 6 oz on Lough Gara and wins the Catch of the Week for the Christmas week.   There was a few pike competitions and the Ardee club fished a lake in Monaghan and the winner was club member Andrius Kryzevicius with 21 fish for 48 lb. and plenty of other fish were recorded on the day with the best pike weighing 11 lb.  15 anglers from the Drogheda and District anglers held a competition last Thursday on a lake in Co. Monaghan, and 69 pike were recorded on the day.  The winner was R. Gaynor with 9 fish for 20 lb 12 oz.  Angling guide Peadar O’ Brien from Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan fished on a squally day on a nearby lough along with his wife Maria. Despite the inclement weather, Peadar and Maria managed to get some nice pike on float fished dead baits and lures fishing in the sheltered areas of the lough.

Declan Briggs with the first Salmon of 2012
Declan Briggs with the first Salmon of 2012 wins this week's Catch of the Week

The new salmon season kicked off on New Year’s Day and there was a fair few anglers out fishing on the River Liffey in Dublin and on the River Bundrowes or the Drowes as it is better known as in Co. Donegal.  Declan Briggs from Dublin on his third cast of the day using a devon minnow fitted with a single barbless hook caught and landed a lovely fresh salmon of 8.5 lb. which was quickly photographed and put back alive just after nine o clock in the morning.

The first Donegal Salmon of the new season was caught on the Drowes today at 12.15 pm. The captor was Ian Martin once again who caught the first salmon of the season last year. He caught the fish from the Middle Blackwater on a green & black cone head fly.  The River Liffey salmon fishery is now closed for the rest of the year but conditions on the River Drowes since the opening day has been appalling with big floods and stormy weather.  Very few anglers have ventured out in the last week since Sunday and no more salmon were reported to the rod.

There was one report of a group of anglers out shore fishing on the north Wicklow beaches last week fishing into dark.  They caught some nice dabs, whiting and a few dogfish.

The Irish Specimen Fish Committee published the new annual report just before Christmas and a copy of the report is online on their website at http://www.irish-trophy-fish.com/ Hard copies of the report are now available through the Inland Fisheries Inland office in Swords.  Ring +353 (0)1 8842600 if you want a hard copy of the report sent out to your address.

Tight lines especially in Ireland,

Paul Bourke
Angling Information Officer
Catch, Photo, Release

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