It was a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire this week with storm Dennis following hot on the heels of storm Ciara and now another strong weather front is building in the Atlantic meaning storm Ellen may not be too far from landfall!

There seems to have been no let up from the wind or the rain this month and, with no respite forecast, it is going to be another soggy week. The fact that the north of the country was driest with over 150% of its average rainfall tells its own story, with other areas having up to 3 times their average amounts for the time of year.

With the land already sodden, the waterways out in the fields and the wind strong and gusty, this week’s outlook for the Irish angler is another poor one.

On a brighter note, there was some fishing done this past week and Nash Mc Daid from Ballybofey landed the first Drowes salmon at the “point of the meadow” at 2:45pm on February 14th. The salmon, which weighed approximately 12 pounds, was caught on a Red Flying C before being released.

Inland fisheries Ireland will award Nash a prize of €250 as the angler who caught and released the first salmon of 2020 in Ireland. Nash also wins a 1kg bar of silver and the Conservation Cup from the Drowes Fishery.

As salmon populations continue to face challenges across the northern hemisphere, Inland Fisheries Ireland is encouraging all anglers to make their own personal contribution to the conservation of this valued species by practising catch and release fishing at all times.

#CPRsavesfish
Nash Mc Daid on the Drowes with his 12lb salmon #CPRsavesfish

February 15th is the traditional opening day on Lough Corrib and those hardy Corrib anglers made sure that all of the annual rituals were performed this week come hell or high water. Fires were lit, boats were blessed, uisce beatha was sipped from hip flasks and, of course, bricín were mounted and trolled; although these days the ‘small trout’ from which the name bricín is derived are replaced by that large trout favourite – the minnow.

There were even a few fish landed to the bricín, the finest of which was Gerry Molloy’s 12lb trout which was caught and sportingly released.

Gerry Molloy #CPR

The Irish Federation of Sea Anglers were also braving the elements last week, Interprovincial/Home Nations Fish Offs were held at U16 and U21 levels as well as senior men’s and ladies. Conditions were atrocious and those anglers who managed to put points on the scoreboard deserved to qualify. Full results on the IFSA FaceBook page.

 

Rory O’Sullivan displays one of his fish at the IFSA U16 qualifiers at Curracloe

Tuna CHART

Tagged Bluefin Tuna, Donegal Bay 2019. Copyright Adrian Molloy
Tagged Bluefin Tuna, Donegal Bay 2019. Copyright Adrian Molloy

Applications for the 2020 blue fin tuna catch and release programme are now invited from skippers. Anglers will have an opportunity to participate in this fishery and contribute to this important scientific study by chartering and fishing from authorised vessels only. For more information and the skipper’s application form see: www.fisheriesireland.ie/bluefin

And now the weather

Met Eireann tells us that increasing cloud will see temperatures rise overnight on Thursday with rain arriving in the northwest and extending slowly southeastwards to cover the northern half of the country by dawn. Southwesterly winds will strengthen overnight with gales on Atlantic coasts. Temperatures falling to between 2°C and 5°C.

Windy in all parts Friday, rain over the northern half of the country gradually reaching all areas during the afternoon. Highs of 9°C to 11°C, in strong and gusty southwesterly winds, with gales on coasts.

Blustery on Saturday and mostly cloudy with widespread showers. Fresh to strong westerly winds with gales on northern coasts. Highs to 8°C in the north, 11°C in the south. Rain over much of the country for a time on Saturday night.

Mainly dry with sunny spells to start for Sunday, some passing showers with persistent rain arriving in the west before dark. Highs to 8°C in the north, 11°C in the south. Lighter winds on Sunday than in previous days. Patchy rain and drizzle will spread to all areas through Sunday evening with a band of heavier rain spreading from the west later in the night and southwesterly winds increasing with gales returning.

NEXT WEEK: Wet and windy to start on Monday, with rain clearing to showers and sunny spells through the day. Tuesday and Wednesday will be cool with strong westerly winds and widespread showers. Daytime temperatures to 7°C with widespread frosts by night.

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

Paul O’Reilly
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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