While the romantic few among the angling congregation dream of gifts of rods and reels from their loved ones this Valentine’s weekend, the remaining multitude think of ways to escape to the water.  Chocolates and roses left on the table before they exit the door of course! Anglers had to contend with high water and storm Imogen this week, but still we had a few good fish caught and the further we get into the season the more the longings take hold and anglers shake off the cobwebs of a stagnant Winter and get fishing…

The Currane surprised us this week with two cracking salmon.  The first for Kildare angler Noel Clancy, who had a fine springer weighing 12lbs, while fish number two was 10lbs and was taken by local angler Robert Elson who was trolling with ghillie Brod O’Sullivan of Waterville.  Delphi also had some smiling faces as the second salmon of the season was landed.  A lovely sea liced fish of 11lbs 10ozs in the Waterfall pool on a Delphi Collie last Tuesday.  Michael Griffin who caught the fish was surrounded by snow-capped hills with hail and sleet keeping him company as he fished. Conditions on Melvin mirrored this and most boats were shore bound and anglers stayed home. On the Drowes, Enniskillen man Barry Smith had a super 13lbs sea liced fish which took a yellow belly devon. Unfortunately down at the Munster Blackwater, water levels were very high and anglers had to settle for some casting practice and no fish.

If it’s colour you want and some well-conditioned fish, there’s no better place than Ned Maher’s Ardaire Springs fishery in Mooncoin, Kilkenny. Ned made the headline this week in the Irish Examiner and it’s no wonder, a lot of work has gone into making this fishery one of the best.  Anglers throughout the week were delighted with some feisty rainbows and brownies.   MacKienzie PRO guide Jason O’Riordan will be giving a course on Stillwater tactics there on March 13th.

Craig Murphy with 17.5lbs pike
Craig with 17.5lb pike. One of the twins which wins him our ‘Catch of the Week’

It was twins for Craig Murphy. Two 17lb+ pike in very stormy conditions.  One at 17.5lbs and the other at 17.2lbs.  Craig’s twins win him “Catch of the Week”.  Fishmaniak newest group in Northern Ireland fished Lough Egish on Sunday.  Again the weather made fishing difficult.  17 brave contestants took part on this venue and managed to catch 32 pike all together.  The biggest was 81cms.

The Lithuanian Go&Catch group were at the Cavan lakes where they caught 84 pike in total. The prize for the biggest fish going to Deividas who landed an 87cm beauty.

A chilly Lough Namachree was the venue for the Go & Catch feeder team. Winner here being Robertas Zilaitis with 2.315 kg.  Round 5 of the Ballyhaunis Winter League took place on Albert’s Loch once again due to flooding everywhere. Mark Leonard came in first place with 4.740kg of roach.

Sea anglers were quiet but some clubs did hold shore competitions. Tramore/Waterford SAC had theirs in Woodstown on Sunday.  9 anglers caught 97 fish.  Up the other side of the country in Galway the SAC held the first leg of their Shore League at Renvyle.  Ed Kilroy of Corrane SAC came in ahead of the rest with 24 fish and 986 points.

Inland Fisheries Ireland has launched a stakeholder survey programme to help the organisation to understand the opinions and attitudes of its stakeholders and to provide an effective service that will meet their needs and expectations into the future. Everyone is encouraged to take part in this survey. It will only take a few minutes to complete and gives you a chance to give your opinion.  Details on https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IFISurvey_Communications

We also look forward to seeing you all at the Ireland Angling Show on 20 and 21 February. Apart from angling information and advice our staff will be running the Family Zone where kids will have a chance to get up close and personal with fish and the bugs and beetles that share their watery home. Budding anglers will have a chance to hone their skills and compete for some great prizes in our mini casting arena. Every child who takes part will win an annual Midland Fisheries Group permit and the top 3 anglers each day will win a rod and reel worth over €100!

Tonight will see frost and fog becoming fairly widespread which will clear early in the morning. Tomorrow will see top temperatures of 4 to 9 C., coldest in northern areas, in moderate southeasterly winds. Saturday will have outbreaks of rain across southern counties, possibly turning to snow at first but there’ll be a lot of dry and possibly sunny breaks further to the north and west.  Sunday again will be another cold day but should be drier.  Outlook for the week is for cold but dry weather.

So get out the thermals and get fishing !

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

Nancy Hearne

Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to [email protected].


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Salmon in motion, capturing the beauty. Photographer Patrick Power
Salmon in motion, capturing the beauty. Photographer Patrick Power