It was another fairly mild week for anglers as we approach the winter’s halfway mark. Though a bit wetter than we have enjoyed to date, the level of flooding we had last year has not yet been approached. There were some lovely sunny spells and magnificent moonrises and sunsets – great for those enjoying the scenery but the fish weren’t all that impressed unfortunately…

Some great coarse angling was enjoyed by the junior anglers of Killinarden Angling Initiative on Lough Ramor at the weekend. Lovely perch and silver fish were landed – good looking fish and not a bad size for December.  There was good news from the newly developed swims at upper Donamon on the Suck too. A competition set to test the success of the works turned out top marks for the new venue. Cathal Hughes won this Suck Valley Angling Hub match with 263 roach on the pole for 11.520kg. Commercial fisheries also had some decent bags of fish to report and at Craigavon Lakes, Loughside Angling Club saw their competition won with 29lb 9oz.

Ray Lynch
Catch of the Week goes to Ray Lynch for the fat pike he caught on Derravaragh last Friday.

Many pike angling clubs are busy with winter leagues and Christmas competitions at this time of year. There were a few clubs out on Sunday and all reported pleasant conditions marred only by what turned out to be tough fishing. At venues from the River Barrow to the Shannon and Mentrim Lake to Milltown Lake anglers fished in good humour but had to content themselves with modest enough catches of pike. One place where the mild spell has caused a stir amongst these top predators was Lough Derravaragh where Michael Flanagan had a family and friends day last Friday. A number of decent looking double figure fish were landed, but caution is advised to anyone considering a day on the lake as it is very low at present.

News in from the rainbow trout anglers is that the trout have responded better to the mild spell of weather than their other finny cousins. Both lakes in Waterford Fly fishing club are fishing very well. Some excellent catches were made on Knockaderry with several boats landing 10 or more trout for a day. It was a similar story at Annamoe in Wicklow where their winter league final saw 151 rainbows landed by 19 anglers.

Sea anglers reported excellent fishing over sand and from rocky marks in Co. Donegal. Rock marks continue to turn up pollack and wrasse on soft plastics despite Christmas being just around the corner. Some late season bassing was enjoyed in Wexford by anglers out with guide Sean Jordan. Both surface lures and soft plastics proved tempting to these silver spiked fish.

State Fisheries

The tender process for IFI State Fisheries for 2017 is now open. For lists of available fisheries, conditions of tender and application form, and End of Year Report forms for those who already hold fisheries please follow the link below.

Tenders will be accepted up until 30th December 2016; proof of postage on or before this date will be accepted.

The mild weather will continue but the dry conditions are not going to last. As we go to press there is a rainfall warning for Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford as 30mm to 50mm of rainfall is forecast for Thursday into Friday with a risk of spot flooding. The outlook is for a lot of dry bright weather over the weekend, but it will turn unsettled again for next week with periods of rain and there will be strong winds at times also. Fishing might improve a bit yet…

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

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

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Sea angling reports

Trout angling reports

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Late season pollack from the rocks along the Donegal coast
Late season pollack from the rocks along the Donegal coast