The mild and generally dry weather continued in the past week and there was even more angling activity as a result. The bit of rain that did fall in the west and south west during the week freshened up a number of rivers further adding to the spring feeling in the air.

"Big Hole" - Ireland's first 40lb carp
"Big Hole" - Ireland's first 40lb carp

The biggest fish reported in the past week was a huge 40 lb. carp taken by Andy Doyle at a private syndicate water near Maynooth. This fish certainly eclipsed the present certified record fish of 29 lb. 13 oz taken by Sidney Kennedy in the Lough in Cork in 1998. This mighty fish wins our Catch of the Week. Other coarse fishing news this week is the announcement of dates for a summer league at venues in Co. Leitrim and a match this Sunday on the canal near Keshcarrigan. Senior committee members of the Carlow Coarse Angling Club recently made the journey to Kilsheelen in Co. Tipperary to take part in a Water Safety Course run by the Angling Council of Ireland.

For the second time in three years, Ballina native Martin Conroy has hooked and landed the first fresh run salmon of the season on the Moy system. This is the earliest date that the first salmon of the new season has been recorded. Down in Lough Currane, UK Angler, Mr. Mark Knowles, fishing with his Gillie Mr. Dominic McGillicuddy, caught the first Salmon at 10 lb. on the fly. A day later, he landed another fish of 6 lb. also on the fly. Well know angling ghillie, Bob Priestly had caught and carefully released 46 Kelts this season before he finally caught a 6lb. fresh fish this week. Up on the River Drowes, the good fishing continued with the best fish reported at 10 lb. taken on size 8 Cascade fly. The River Feale opened on March 1st and Patrick Lenihan had the honour of catching the first salmon of the season on that river.

The trout season has started brightly on the western loughs and on Lough Mask Liam Conroy and Peter Gossan had11 trout, the best 2 lb., in two days and all returned. Many other good catches were also reported. There were reports of trout feeding well during the hatches of buzzers on Lough Melvin on the milder days. 3 anglers fishing on Saturday had caught 8 trouton wet flies with the best of these weighing 2¼ lb. It was another good week on Lough na Leibe where the increase in temperature combined with water levels dropping close to normal level and almost 200 trout were landed over the past week. The 2012 Leinster Youths Fly Tying Competition took place in the Tullaghan Centre at Lough Owel on Saturday 25th February 2012. The winner was Sean Dempsey, Coosan Anglers. The trout season opens on a lot of waters on March 1st local and visiting anglers you will need a current IFI permit for the likes of Owel, Ennell, Sheelin etc. Fishing Permits are available on line by contacting IFI at the Tudenham office in the mornings, Monday to Friday at +353 (0)44 9348769 or online at here.

Navan Anglers Association are actively recruiting new members for the coming season (1st. March- 30th. September), and would be pleased to accept applications from all, particularly from our younger friends. Navan anglers hold the rights to almost ten miles of superlative fishing on both the Boyne and the Kells Blackwater.

The Pike fishing the past few weeks has been very good overall around the country with fish to 23 lb being caught in the Longford area. Dead bait proved to be the best however jerk baits did produce pike to 14 lb. Shane O’Reilly, Angling adviser from Inland fisheries Ireland had a trip out with Kevin Lyons of Melview Lodge in Longford recently and his biggest of the day weighed in at 18 lb 1 oz caught using pollan dead bait. Kevin himself managed fish of 2 1 lb. 3 oz and 23 lb. all on roach dead bait. There was a report of a great day’s pike fishing on Oakport Lake in a competition for the Donnellan cup on 25th February. There were more than 30 pike landed and the best fish counted. The winner was Pat Healy with a fish of 19 lb. 15oz. Meanwhile Pat Healy landed a huge 21 lb. 3 oz. pike to win the Camlin Angler’s competition on Lough Ree.

Charter skipper Mark Gannon out of Courtmacsherry reports that the good fishing continued for his anglers visiting from Bradford. Over the weekend they had cod, pollack, coalfish and ling on the inshore reefs but the size of fish increased when they went offshore and another specimen pollack, this one 15lb, was landed. Kevin Brain from Waterville, Co. Kerry reports that the bass are moving to baits but that the weather needs to settle or the surf to improve for fishing to really come alive. The first leg of the Grauvell West Coast Shore League 2012 was held on Saturday last at the stony beach in Renvyle, Co. Galway. Fishing was excellent for the time of year, with 157 fish recorded. 7 species were landed, including thornback ray, dogfish, coalfish, 3 and 5-bearded rockling, flounder and pollack. Winner was Mike Curtain.

Tight lines especially in Ireland,

Paul Bourke

Angling Information Officer.
Catch, Photo, Release


Coarse angling reports

Pike fishing reports

Salmon fishing reports

Sea angling reports

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Happy anglers fishing the opening day on the Feale in Co. Kerry
Happy anglers fishing the opening day on the Feale in Co. Kerry