As you would expect, this week saw pike and coarse anglers very busy. No spooks or goblins are going to chase these hardy fishers away from the rivers at this time of year. We will see a good number of events over the long weekend and in coming weeks. Even the most inexperienced angler stands a ghost of a chance…..
And if it’s experience you need, there is no better place to start than with the IADA where junior development is at the heart of their ethos. Saturday saw the Irish Open Junior Championship being fished at Lough Muckno. Novice, under 14, 18 and 25 age groups were well represented. All winners received tackle prizes. Shercock, Co Cavan was the venue for the last Carrickmacross Club Angler of the year competition. Father and son team, Eoin and Eamon Rogers fared well. Dad won on the day with over 11kg and was 2nd overall while Eoin took 1st place overall in the junior section.

Martin Bobka with his 4.75lb October tench
Martin Bobka with his 4.75lb October tench

A good tench of 4.75lb sent Martin Bobka into the lead at the first round of the Munster Anglers winter league which took place on Kilgory Lake, Co. Clare against a cold easterly wind. The next league match will be fished on 20th November. The Waterways Ireland-Shakespeare NI Schools Coarse Angling Competition went ahead on the Lower River Bann at the Mid Ulster District Council’s superb Coarse Angling facility in Portglenone last Sunday. The weather was good and the young anglers were given ample supplies of swim-feeders, hooks plus bit and pieces supplied by sponsors Shakespeare tackle. Weights were well up on last year. Erne Integrated college were the final winners. Individual winner was Paul Cunningham from Coleraine Grammar School.
Over to the heavy weight of the week, where pike anglers on Lough Derg didn’t mind the chill as good numbers of big pike were recorded. Pierre Monjarret had two lovely pike of 101cm and 105cm among the catch on Monday. Lough Ree was busy too but the pike reported were on a smaller scale. Claremorris Park lake saw a 17lb pike being caught by Mindė Aš using frozen roach and a frantic Pontoon 21 Cup Competition on Lough Gowna was kept active with over a hundred lure angler attending a catch, measure, release event.
The Irish Kayak Angling Club met at Lough Muckno in Monaghan. The winner of the final leg of their competition was Ian Burton. In Longford visiting French anglers using both lures and dead baits produced pike to 104cm at Melview Lodge.

Alan Ball with his fine Irish Specimen Spurdog of 19.75lb is our 'Catch of the Week' winner
Alan Ball with his fine Irish Specimen Spurdog of 19.75lb is our ‘Catch of the Week’ winner

The spurs are back on the Wicklow Coast and a recent trip by skipper Kit Dunne saw 12 and 25 Spurdogs from different marks. 5 Irish Specimen fish were taken on one day with a fine 19.75lb fish falling to Alan Ball who is our ‘Catch of the Week’ winner. Courtmacsherry’s catch is varying in tune with the weather and the easterlies lately though a few good pollack, ling, conger, cod and bass are still about. On a brighter note prospects are looking good for the holiday weekend with high pressure looking likely to dominate.
Dingle is seeing good number of bass but size isn’t great. Tullan strand in Bundoran was where the Carty Land and Sea Shore Competition took place. Flounder, turbot, coalies, seatrout, weeverfish and plaice were the species on the day. The next leg of their shore league takes place on November 6th on Mullaghmore beach, Co Sligo.
Anglers are reminded that anyone who has caught a specimen fish in 2016 should return their claim forms etc before 15th November to Irish Specimen Fish Committee, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, D24 CK66, Ireland. See more details at
The Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Capital Works Fund aims to improve access for angling. This fund, which has an overall value of €500,000, is now open until the 8th of November and applications are invited from groups and individuals including local development associations, tidy town committees, angling clubs, tourism groups and others looking to improve access to angling. The deadline for applications (Tuesday, 8th of November) is fast approaching so make sure you visit for further information and to apply.
The weather looks favourable this weekend. Saturday will be dry and cloudy and should continue mild with highs of 12 to 14 degrees. Towards late afternoon /evening outbreaks of rain will affect western coastal counties and the rain will become more widespread across Connacht, Ulster and west Munster overnight. Sunday will be a little wetter, but good dry periods as well especially across the east and midlands.
As we approach the long weekend anglers should remember a life jacket won’t work if you’re not wearing it. Have a good weekend and remember they wait hidden, ready to spring out and give you a fright. Your pulse and heart rate shooting through the roof. They’re not trick-or-treaters, they’re the fish !

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

Nancy Hearne

Catch, Photo, Release

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Tullan Beach, Bundoran. Photo: Sean Carty Land and Sea
Tullan Strand, Bundoran. Photo: Sean Carty Land and Sea