The weather was much colder in recent days with sleet, snow and some severe frosts. There was also quite a bit of rain in places and a number of rivers are in flood. These conditions are not the best but nonetheless there were still plenty of anglers casting a line over the last week and some even managed to turn the conditions to their advantage.

Butch Roberts, skipper of Sundance Kid, displays a specimen red gurnard.
Butch Roberts, skipper of Sundance Kid, displays a specimen red gurnard caught by John Young. John wins Catch of the Week for this lovely fish.

Coarse anglers may find the canals and lakes are fishing better than many of the rivers which are swollen with floodwater. Good perch fishing was reported by Michael Flanagan on Lough Ennell and anglers on the Canal at Athlone had a good fishing for roach and hybrids. Roach fishing at Belturbet is also going well given the conditions and at Portumna roach to almost 2lbs were landed by Michael Murray fishing corn and worm cocktails.

Pike anglers also enjoyed some success at Portumna and on Lough Derg with one angler reporting 8 pike to 12lb. Meanwhile a group of French anglers fishing the lake had 4 pike over the magical 100cm mark. The flooded River Inny fished well for Michael Flanagan who had pike to 12lb in a bay normally inaccessible.

Catch of the Week was won by John Young fishing with charter skipper Butch Roberts out of Kinsale. Haddock, whiting to 2lb, cod and ling were also taken on what was a cold grey day off the Old Head. Noel Lane on a separate charter with Butch had some great fishing with pollack, wrasse, whiting and gurnards caught, but best fish on the day was his 3.18lb specimen whiting. Good luck to all the anglers taking part in the 25th Irish Winter Shore Angling Festival which kicked off this morning.

The Laune opened last week and about 25 anglers marked the occasion. Some kelts and one red fish were caught and carefully released, but no fresh run salmon were encountered. The river is now very high, though Beat 3 may offer a chance of a fish. The Drowes too, is in flood and angling there has not produced any more salmon since opening day. Lough Currane also opened last week but a salmon has yet to be caught on the lake this year.

The weather is to continue much as it is with milder daytime temperatures than last week, but it will be more unsettled and the weekend is likely to wet and windy with frost at night still a possibility.

Wrap up warm!

Tight lines,
Paul Bourke
Catch, Photo, Release


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A wintry scene at Cong