So far this year the weather has been pretty mild with no huge swings in either direction. Although it’s not rained a huge amount, there’s been plenty of cloud cover keeping frosts and colder temperatures at bay. It’s been a little unsettled at times and this has impacted on angling, but equally when the weather was good there were some great reports coming in…

Barry Darby
Barry Darby with his 107cm pike from Derravaragh

In pike angling news there were some great reports in from Lough Derg, the Erne system and across the midlands. Some lovely 100cm plus fish have been reported, with lakes doing best recently. Some of the news we’ve heard from the competition scene is that it’s not all plain sailing and there are plenty of jacks and smaller double figure fish to be worked through before the bigger fish are met.

A good catch from The Barrow system

Many coarse anglers are fishing all through the winter, especially those in clubs running winter leagues. The conditions have seen a bit of cold weather impact on the catches but there was decent fishing towards the end of January when the Barrow system, river and canal, produced some great weights for Naas and District anglers. Top weights exceeded 20lb. Great fishing at any time of year. Lough Muckno is also producing some decent fishing and the CM Lakelands club had catches to 10lb there.

41cm shore caught flounder from Donegal

Shore anglers have been getting some great fishing in recently. At venues from Kerry to Donegal catches have exceeded the expectations of many, with the added attraction of some lovely lure fishing to be had when conditions suited. Big pollack, big flounders, a few cod and some whiting and dabs are being reported. Charter boat fishing can take place all year round and though I didn’t hear of any fishing in the last week, back in January there was some incredible spurdog fishing had off Wicklow. Spurdogs over 5kg, or longer than 105cm are considered to be specimen sized – a fish of a lifetime for most anglers. But on one day alone the anglers fishing with Wicklow Boat Charters caught and released 15 specimens. 15 fish of a lifetime in a single afternoon. That’s over a thousand years angling in one day!

Balckwater Salmon Fishery
Having a cast at Blackwater Salmon Fishery

We had the first salmon of the season a couple of weeks ago and since that we’ve not heard of another fresh fish. Kevin O’Shea took his fish from the Butler’s Pool in Waterville. The national prize for the first salmon of the year caught and released remains to be claimed. In other salmon news, on the River Laune winter floods have damaged the northern bank about 500m downstream from Laune Bridge and anglers are advised that there is no access to the remainder of Beat 2 along the riverbank from that point.

In trout angling the International Bank Flyfishing Competition was fished at the Laois Angling Centre in County Laois. Teams from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales competed in this annual Home International event. England took the honours on the day as Ireland couldn’t maximise home advantage and came in 3rd.

Irish Specimen Fish Awards

The latest Irish Specimen Fish Committee report is available on the ISFC website Hard copies of the report are available from Inland Fisheries Ireland offices and will be also be available at the Ireland Angling Show in Swords on 15 and 16 February.


Applications for funding from the Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Sponsorship Programme are now invited from angling clubs, associations or any local group organising an angling initiative. The programme will remain open for funding applications until the 14th of February 2020 with applications for equipment, staff support and biosecurity assistance available throughout the year.

To find out more and to apply, visit

And now the weather…

As we go to press Storm Ciara is on her way. The weekend will be wild and wet with 20-40mm of rain expected on Saturday and again on Sunday. The worst of the winds will be on Saturday when southerly winds will strengthen during the day, reaching speeds of 65km/h with gusts hitting 90-110km/h.

Over the weekend the combination of Spring Tides and high seas as well as stormy conditions will result in an elevated risk of coastal flooding especially along southern, western and northwestern coasts.

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

Myles Kelly
Catch, Photo, Release

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