The weather conditions have been a bit kinder in the last week although there has been some freezing fog on some days which made fishing nearly impossible at times particularly on inland waters.  Heavy rain at times brought up water levels nationwide so many of our rivers and loughs are impossible to fish and sometimes dangerous in these severe colder periods.  At this time of year it is wise to consult the weather forecast before venturing out and anglers should not take any risks when trying to access their favourite waters if there are bad floods and poor weather conditions prevailing.  There were some fair conditions on some venues in past week and there was some nice fishing both on inland waters and at sea.

youghal winter cod
Kevin McCartin wins Catch of the Week with this good shore caught cod from Youghal

Twenty hardy anglers braved cold conditions while fishing a fur and feather coarse fish competition on Black Island on Lough Muckno last Sunday with reasonable catches reported.  Most anglers used the feeder to catch skimmer bream, hybrids and roach.  The winner was Jim McAlastair, Lurgan with 6 kgs. 760g.  Elsewhere there was some good catches of roach reported at venues in the upper Cavan Lakelands and in south Fermanagh where a few small matches took place at the weekend.

There were some pike reports from the north east with angling guide Peadar O’Brien out fishing on several small loughs in the Carrickmacross area where there were plenty of jack pike taken including a best fish of 12 lb.  Some double figure pike were reported from lough Ramor from both shore and boat at the weekend.  In Leitrim, a nice pike estimated at around 25 lb. was taken by Karl Bohan Leixlip while fishing a popped up deadbait on a lough near Aghavas in Co. Leitrim last week.

With the salmon fishing season only weeks away, anglers will be gearing up especially for salmon fishing on the River Drowes and some other fisheries on the 1st of January.   On the river, a new river webcam has been installed on the river, looking upstream towards the Upper Mill and Crooked Hole which should interest the many salmon anglers fishing there in the near future.

There was a lot of sea angling activity over the last weekend and charter skipper Kit Dunne from Wicklow reported some nice spurdogs and bullhuss for a party of anglers for the last trip of the year.  Bass guide Jim Hendrick gives us a sounding on how the bass season was for him and his clients this year in the Wexford area.  Steven Brennan gives us tips on how to tackle those big flounders in the south east coast over the festive season.  There was no sick bed for Anne Keller as she wins top rod at Tralee Bay SAC Christmas competition on Fenit Pier where there was a great turn out and super fishing with many species recorded on the day.  At Youghal there was some fine Cod reported taken from the shore and we have a picture of a super shore Cod which was caught by Kevin McCartan which wins our Catch of the Week. In the same location charter skipper Gavin Tivy had a party of angler out at the weekend and fished over a wreck and they all caught some wonderful ling.   In another report “rockhunter” caught some fine cod while shore fishing in the east Cork area.  Up in Antrim, shallow running lures, soft plastics and the cracker Black Minnow were successful for a party of shore anglers fishing for bass in the North Antrim coast.

Despite some frozen ice patches on the Curragh Springs fishery near Newbridge in Co. Kildare, some fine rainbow trout were taken on the fly over the last weekend.  At the sheet water in the Carton House Fisheries, there was some fine rainbow trout fishing reported also.

On a bright note, English readers in the weekly angling times magazine voted Ireland as the best Holiday destination in a recent survey reported by Dave Houghton from Active Irish Angling [Ireland is voted the Best Holiday Destination !].   It has been a very busy season and unfortunately due to work pressure the hard copy of the new Irish Specimen book will not be out for Christmas as in most years.  It is hoped that this year’s report will be available to download in  pdf format  tomorrow with a bit of luck.

Finally be careful when fishing over the festive period and in the next angling update we hope to report on the first salmon of the New Year

Happy Christmas to all and Tight lines in 2013,

Paul Bourke

Catch, Photo, Release


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