The cold wintry weather which has hit the country in recent days has curtailed a bit of angling activity this week but there was some fine fishing reported in the days leading up to last weekend.  There was very little salmon fishing reported but there was some fine sea angling and some very good pike fishing also.

Boatman Justin Bird holds the 26 lb. pike for captor Jim 'Red' McKeever and is the Catch of the Week.
Boatman Justin Bird holds the 26 lb. pike for captor Jim 'Red' McKeever who wins Catch of the Week.

Many salmon fisheries opened on the 1st of February but conditions are presently very poor with high water levels prevailing and the cold snap has kept angling pressure to a minimum.  Last week, some kelts and some spent trout were caught and safely released on Lough Currane, but no fresh fish were reported.  In fact were no reports from any other open salmon fisheries over the last 7 days.  In the fly tying world Ciaran Reilly (aged 12) from Loughrea, Co Galway, was adjudged best all-round fly-dresser for 2012 at the Connacht Youth Fly-tying Championships in Loughrea and will captain the team in the national championships later this year.

There was a fair bit of pike angling activity up to the weekend just before the weather broke. Angling guide Michael Flanagan enjoyed good fishing on the River Shannon system at Dromod where two anglers took pike to 15 lb. on copper spoons.  Mick himself along with well known angler Barry Darby fished in loughs in the Westmeath and Cavan areas taking many pike with a variety of lures to record several high double figure pike.  Also in the Cavan area, two anglers had great sport on Lough Oughter area catching a number of pike with the best two fish of 12 lb. and 9 lb on deadbaits.  Over on the River Suck near Athleague, Pat Cooper landed pike up to 11 lb. mainly on smelt deadbaits.  This week’s Catch of the Week is the biggest pike of the week at 26 lb. taken by Jim ‘red’ McKeever fishing with boatman Justin Bird on a lough in south Monaghan.  The fish was taken on the last cast of the day on a float trolled roach.

On the sea angling side the 4th Irish Winter Shore Angling Festival was fished this year on the beaches at Ballinoulart, Kilgorman and Ballinesker in Co. Wexford attracting a big entry of anglers from home and 23 anglers from the UK.  The fishing was excellent for the week’s fishing with a huge range of species recorded.  There was individual, two man team and four man team competitions including many section wins up for grabs.  Dublin anglers David Roe and Ian Knight won most of the main prizes over the week but all anglers enjoyed good sport just before the colder weather hit the east coast. This weekend, the Kilmuckridge Sea Angling Club Open Competition takes place on Saturday 4th Feb 2012.  The event will be fished on all local beaches and all baits are allowed. Fishing will take place from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Tight lines especially in Ireland,

Paul Bourke
Angling Information Officer
Catch, Photo, Release

Pike fishing reports

Sea angling reports

Salmon fishing reports

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