We’ve had a fair bit of wind and rain since last week and many rivers across the southern end of the country are high, some in flood. The rains didn’t impact much to the north and many Donegal rivers are still in good nick. The winds limited opportunities for anglers to put to sea but those fishing from the shore did alright. The big news though, was from the salmon angling fraternity…

The wait is over! Just after publishing the Irish Angling Update last week we got word from Careysville on the Munster Blackwater that they had a contender for the first salmon of the year. The fish was checked out and being of clean gills and sound vent was declared to be the official first salmon of the year. Well done to the luck angler Ronan O’Connor who tempted the 7lb fish with a Flying C from a high, but fishable Munster Blackwater. Ronan wins Catch of the Week for this important milestone in the salmon angling calendar. The river is still running high but depending on visibility may be worth a cast over the weekend.

first salmon 2017
The first salmon of the year, a 7lb fish from Careysville. Caught by Ronan O’Connor who also wins Catch of the Week

If the winds on Lough Currane ever eased there should a salmon for the taking there and it can’t be much longer before the wait is over on the Drowes in Donegal too.

Pike anglers fishing midlands venues have had some good fish to 18lb and 22lb. Perch of a respectable size are also in the predator anglers’ catches from the area. On Lough Allua the water temperature seems to indicate the spawning might happen early there this year. The lake is fishing well at the moment.

The canal in Athlone produced big bags for the Madcap anglers again at the weekend. Despite a very cold start to the day over 200lb was amassed by the 13 anglers fishing their league final. The newly developed stretch and Emlagh near Donamon on the River Suck continues to prove the value of the work there as all swims produced good returns of mostly roach with the odd hybrid thrown in for the Connacht Match Anglers.

Shore anglers have been very busy in the last week and we have reports from Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Galway and Donegal. Menapia Anglers fished Knocknasilogue through the night and had 6 species including codling to 42cm. The top anglers had between 20 and 30 fish each. The Bannow Bay Anglers fished Cheekpoint on a beautiful spring day catching mostly flounders and whiting. Whiting, coalies and flats made up the catches for the West Cork and District anglers fishing in the dark on Broad Strand. The catches were said to be that good that anglers didn’t notice their gear freezing about them!  Tralee Bay SAC put Fenit Pier to the test for the John Lacey Memorial. Catches weren’t great but some good coalfish and flounders helped keep interest going. Galway Bay SAC reports that the fishing is really picking up there as shoals of coalies along with flounder, dogfish and rockling are patrolling the surf. Donegal Bay is producing the goods for the Killybegs Mariners – good flounder fishing and some fine sea trout just under the rod tips too…

I’m going to finish this update with a reminder. An especially important one for any parents of junior anglers and of course for young anglers themselves.  Inland Fisheries Ireland will be running its very successful Family Zone at the Ireland Angling Expo in the National Show Centre Swords on February 18th and 19th. After last year’s big success there we are going to set up the aquariums, indoor casting challenge and more at the Inland Fisheries Ireland Family Zone. Junior anglers will have a chance to pit their casting skills against each other and the winners will take home a rod and reel combo. More importantly – and this is well worth the price of admission alone – every child who takes part will get a free Midland Fisheries Group Permit. Of course there will be more at the show than just us – there are over 80 exhibitors taking part and this popular event will attract over 10000 visitors over the 2 days. We look forward to meeting you at the Ireland Angling Expo next month don’t forget to put those dates in your diary – 18th and 19th of February!

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

Myles Kelly

Catch, Photo, Release

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


Salmon angling reports

Pike angling reports

Coarse angling reports

Sea angling reports

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Killybegs Mariners
Killybegs Mariners