The cold icy weather last week has slightly changed to more spring like conditions in the last few days and anglers are starting to enjoy some really good fishing.  Night temperatures are still very low and water temperatures are still pretty low for this time of year but the fishing is definitely improving on loughs, rivers and at sea.

The first angling festival of the year at Inniscarra Lake in Cork proved to be very cold for the competitors fishing but fine nets of skimmer bream, hybrids were stocked.  Kevin LaVille won the two day festival with 21.950 Kilos of fish.  Perch and roach were reported from Annaghierran Lake just outside Shercock.  The Naas and District Anglers held their fifth round of their Winter League down on the River Barrow near Graiguenamanagh and the fishing was excellent.  Paul McLoughlin won on the day with 23 lb. 10 oz.  Danny Murphy ended up as Oaklands CAC Master Angler after the latest match on the Oaklands Fishery near New Ross where he won with 48 lb. of mainly carp on the tip from peg 2.

brown trout
Des O’Rourke had a 52cm trout from the Nire on opening day – a great fish that wins him Catch of the Week

An Australian guest at Carton House near Maynooth caught a fine pike while fishing with angling guide Rob Love on Carton Lake.  Pike fishing was a little slower this week on Lough Derg and anglers jerk baiting from boats had it tougher as most fish were spawning in the shallows.  Angling guide Kevin Lyons reported that his anglers staying at Melview Lodge had a great week in tough conditions landing pike up to 20 lb. mainly on popped up deadbaits from boat and shore.

It is still quiet on many salmon fisheries in the general Cork Kerry area with only a few salmon reported from the lakes and nearby rivers at Killarney.  Salmon fishing has also improved on Lough Currane with steady fishing and a best fish of 11.5 lb. reported.  A few nice salmon were reported from the Delphi in the tough cold conditions that prevailed last week.  Fishing has improved on the Munster Blackwater and Ian Powell from Blackwater Lodge reported three spring salmon from the river yesterday.  There were some lovely salmon up to 12 lb. reported this week from the River Drowes and a couple of fish from nearby Lough Melvin. 9 springers to about 15lb were landed and a few more fish were reported yesterday.

There were plenty of good rainbow trout recorded at the Carrigavantry Cup competition on Sunday last with Robert Crichton winning the day with 15 trout.  Andrew Ryan reported that the start to the fly fishing season on the Nire went very well and local angler Des O’Rourke caught and released a smashing big trout of 52 cms fishing a jig head nymph and wins our Catch of the Week.  It was a cold week on Lough Sheelin but the trout fishing was quite good for the anglers who persevered in the tough conditions and some excellent trout to 7 lb. were recorded.

It is great to report that the first mullet on fly was captured by redoubtable angling guide Richie Ryan in Cork Harbour this week.   Tomasz Ekert from “Sea Bass Hunting” reported catching a few bass while fishing from the shore in Kerry on lures. The Rinnashark SAC from Waterford held a boat competition on Sunday last and while codling were very scarce, whiting, dabs and some good flounders were taken on the day with Conor Purcell winning the day. Fionn O’Connell from Fermoy went afloat in Youghal and fished a small wreck and was rewarded with fine pollack.  13 members of the West Cork and District SAC fished a competition at Ballybrannigan beach in each Cork and flounders and turbot showed in the first casts but fishing was slow in the tough conditions.  Danny Wyse won the day with 11 fish.  Patrick Fagan from Dublin produced the goods in the annual Kerry v Dublin specimen showdown competition with a couple of specimen three bearded Rockling.

With warmer day time temperatures this week, the prospect of better fishing for more anglers looks very inviting to us anglers venturing out on our great Irish waterways. Met Eireann tells us tomorrow will start misty and mostly cloudy with some patches of drizzle. By the afternoon it will have brightened considerably. The outlook is for mainly dry weather over the weekend but then turning unsettled with rain on Monday clearing to showers on Tuesday. Winds remain mostly light. Water temperatures are still low so please make sure to be warm and wear appropriate life jackets and good layers of clothing as it is still cool out there.

Tight lines especially in Ireland,

Paul Bourke

Catch, Photo, Release

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The Drowes- Corner of the Blackwater.
The Drowes- Corner of the Blackwater.