Happy New Year to all our readers. There seems to be a break in the weather just now, but unfortunately more rain is forecast. The seemingly endless cycle of rain, floods, gales and high water has been making for very difficult angling conditions and at many venues angling is impossible. Nonetheless there are, as ever, a few places dotted about the country that provide an outlet for the angler when conditions are poor. Chief amongst these are canals and stocked fisheries, but there are many wild fisheries that continued to produce the goods too…

A 106 cm pike to start the year wins Pierre Montjarret ‘Catch of the Week.’

About 50 anglers marked the opening of the salmon season at the Drowes on New Year’s Day. The conditions were not great, as there was a strong flood coming through and no fish were caught. A few anglers were out each day since but there is still no sign of the first salmon of the year.

Coarse anglers had some good fishing on the Barrow and the Barrow line, particularly around Athy. Last week weights to 35.5lb were recorded in the NADA Fur and Feathers Match, and more recently, on Sunday, the Navan Coarse Anglers had catches to over 22lb at the Marina. There was good fishing reported by the Daingean Match Anglers on Sunday. The top 3 anglers had bags of around 100 roach each. Though these were smaller fish, it made for a busy session.

The 9th qualifier for the  National Pike Championships was held on Sunday at a venue near Lough Egish. Ken Smith had 6 pike for over 40lb to win, the biggest of these was 13lb 10oz. Midlands venues are also producing pike and the advice is to try colourful lures in the coloured water, but deadbaits are also worth a go. On Lough Derg some big fish have already been reported. Pike to 106 cm have been landed on a mix of crankbaits and other lures, making Pierre Montjarret our ‘Catch of the Week’ winner.

Although the Irish coast has taken a battering in the last number of weeks there are still small windows of opportunity for shore anglers. In the Waterford area Joe Byrne made the most of an opening to catch some great cod, including a smashing fish of more than 12lb.

Trout anglers need not be forlorn this time of year. There can be great sport at the rainbow trout fisheries as Saturday’s report from Southern County Fishing Resort shows. One angler had 18 fish to over 6lb. For those looking for something to whet the appetite for the coming season Brenda Montgomery has written a wonderfully evocative piece on the season just past on Sheelin, studded with beautiful photographs.

As we go to press there is a Gale Warning in operation. West to northwesterly winds will reach gale force at times today on all coasts and on the Irish Sea, occasionally reaching strong gale this morning on coasts from Fair Head to Belfast Lough to Carlingford Lough and for the north Irish Sea. Friday will be a cold and bright day, with scattered showers in southern and western coastal counties. There may be icy patches on roads this weekend, so if you are travelling to fish this weekend please take care.  Saturday will be rather cold and cloudy with a few coastal showers about, but many areas dry. Sunday is much the same and next week will turn colder with a northwesterly wind setting in. These will bring showers, some wintry, to northern and northwestern parts of the country. The rest of the week will be cold and showery.

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

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

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Kilsheelan Bridge
Kilsheelan Bridge – Flooding on the Suir reached incredible levels last week (Photo:John Flynn IFI)