Snow and ice gripped the country earlier this week but the the conditions are a bit milder now, though that’s not to say things don’t feel cold in the fresh winds that are gusting about in some places. Sea angling reports are still in short supply as few boat anglers have ventured out in recent times. For freshwater anglers it was also a quiet week with harsh conditions to contend with and high water at many venues.

The Polish Pole Anglers fished the second competition of their Spring League at Albert’s Marina, Co. Roscommon. Neither the anglers nor the fish were put off by the changeable weather and there were some good bags made up. The biggest fish was caught by Mariusz,  a beautiful rudd measuring 33 cm.

Nick from Belgium is over the moon with his personal best of 24lb 2oz.
Nick from Belgium wins catch of the week with this pike of 24lb 2oz.

Pike anglers in Fermanagh had to work hard to find a venue as the Erne system is very high just now. However there is still some good sport to be had with pike and perch chasing soft plastics last weekend. Belgian anglers Jean Pierre and Nick endured bitter weather in Co. Longford but it was all worth it in the end as Nick caught a lovely 24lb 2oz pike. This is a personal best for Nick, on his 19th trip to Melview Lodge. Kayak anglers out on venues in Cavan and Monaghan had some enjoyable fishing. Both report that the fishing was quiet in the morning and it was over shallow water where pike were eventually met, despite the cold.

There was a small bit of small boat fishing in Cork Harbour last week, but the opportunities to get out have been very limited by the weather. There are still a good few cod about and though they are not as big as in previous years they provide plenty of sport on light tackle. Staying in Cork the West Cork and District SAC report on their first competition of the year fish at Broadstrand. Scratching tactics were needed and in the end there were 71 fish landed, 8 species in all.

On Lough Mask there were a couple of good bags for early season anglers fishing sinking lines over shallow ground, but the conditions have been difficult. Rainbow warriors at Ardaire Springs had some serious big fish action with one angler landing 2 big fish estimated at 14lb and 20lb.

Just before the weekend another springer was reported at Delphi. The fishery has done unusually well so far this year and with the recent run of salmon on the Drowes there is a feeling that it might be shaping up to be a good year for salmon anglers. That said it was a quiet week on the Donegal river where rising water levels made for unproductive fishing. Weather and wind dominated the reports from Lough Currane where few boats have been out given the conditions. The Bandon has reported it first fish of the year, caught by Jason Nash who was well up for the task coming fresh from a successful trip to the Drowes the previous week. Ian Powell tells us the Blackwater Lodge got March off to a good start with two salmon recorded. Ian reports that there are fresh fish being seen and met as far as 15 miles upstream of Mallow, so it looks as if there is a good head of spring fish in the system.

The weather is likely to be pretty unpleasant in the next couple of days. At the time of writing there is a Status Orange Wind Warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick and a Status Yellow Wind Warning for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary and Waterford. South to southwest gales developing overnight on coasts from Valentia to Erris Head to Malin Head will extend to all coasts and the Irish Sea during tomorrow, increasing to strong gale force on western and northern coasts. Needless to say, take all sensible precautions if you are going fishing over the weekend.

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

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The Bandon River - courtesy of Jason Nash
The Bandon River – courtesy of Jason Nash