We had a bit of everything from the weather gods over the last seven days with sleet, snow, hail, storms, severe frost and mild conditions  all making an appearance at some stage. A number of salmon rivers opened on Monday and already some of them are reporting fish caught. There were some great pike caught too and we have reports from Cork to Monaghan. The windy conditions made for tough shore fishing but again there was good fishing when conditions suited…

It was a week of firsts for salmon anglers as the Delphi Fishery, River Lee and Munster Blackwater all reported their first fish since opening on Monday. Delphi was first off the mark with their fish, a fresh 6lb salmon, caught on a tube cascade on Monday morning. Rory McCarthy had the River Lee’s first fish on Wednesday from the Lee Salmon Anglers waters. Fortwilliam on the Munster Blackwater opened the account for that river earlier today. Both these fish were caught on spinners.

Peter Flatley, Mohill with his 27lb fish which wins Catch of the Week

The second round of the Fishmaniak Winter Pike League took place at Lough Egish on Sunday. Some lovely fish were caught and released and the anglers also did a litter pick along the bank. The final round of the NICCA Adult Pike League took place on Sunday at Beechhill Fishery in Newtownards. The anglers did well given the conditions but the catches were modest enough. Ian Burton was fishing Shepperton Lake in west Cork on Sunday testing out some new soft plastics. He had a super fish which was a contender for Fish of the Week. It was Peter Flatley on Lough Rowan who wins that distinction this week. Peter had 27lb pike on deadbait on this productive fishery. Meanwhile over Cavan, Darren Fagan also had a good fish on deadbait with a lovely, well proportioned fish of 21lb.

Round 2 of the Leinster Pairs was fished on the Grand Canal at Daigean / Tullamore. Pat Bartley and Conor Browne were first with 5lb 4.5ozs. Fishing was tough on Sunday at Annaghierin Lake, Shercock for the 22 anglers who turned up to fish the Ballybay Anglers Association match. Robertas Zilaitis was the winner with 2.000kgs. Congratulations go to the Irish anglers selected to fish on the Garbolino Team Ireland Feeder squad who will travel to the World Championships in Serbia this June.

A small break in the weather yesterday gave members of the Killybegs Mariners a chance to wet a line. In the shelter of a small cove they had great fishing with turbot and flounders keeping them busy. The EFSA Winter Shore Angling Festival 2016 was fished by over 100 anglers in Balinoulart beach, Clones, Courtown and Ballinesker. Fishing on the first and last days was tough going but the middle day saw some great catches with anglers getting bites from the “all in”. This year’s individual title went to Irish International Angler Harry McKee Jr who put in some great performances over the three days. The Ulster Provincial Council of IFSA held its annual “Open Gold Championship”  on Waterfoot beach in Co Antrim at the weekend. Raymond McCann was the winner on day that saw flounders, codling, coalies and even a few bass landed.

Members of Awol Results club had good fishing at Laois angling Centre where some great rainbows were caught in snowy conditions.

The windy weather continues and as we go to press there is a gale warning in place as south to southwest winds will increase to gale force tonight on coasts from Mizen Head to Slyne Head to Malin Head and there is a small craft warning from  Malin Head to Wicklow Head to Mizen Head. Tomorrow will be wet with some sleet or hill snow in the west. Saturday looks like a windy blustery day with widespread rain in the afternoon and evening. More of the same on Sunday and staying unsettled for Monday with further rain or showers and the danger of severe winds for a time. Beyond this not as windy but still unsettled and remaining a bit on the cold side.

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

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

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Donegal Bay
Donegal Bay where some great flattie fishing can be had at this time of year