It’s been changeable week weather-wise with temperatures a couple of degrees higher than average. But alongside that milder weather, we had some pretty strong winds and a lot of rain in places, with the south of the country getting the worst of it with twice the normal values for this time of year. As travel restrictions still applied, angling news was again limited this week, but some anglers still made it onto the water while others continue to keep us entertained with tips and tricks posted on their various social media platforms.

We have only one charter report in this week, coming from Donegal where the Fiona Tee managed to get a day on the water. Surprisingly mackeral were still pretty plentiful and there were also some herring about, and this led to some cod being landed, but the larger pollack were more difficult to tempt.

Cod from Fiona Tee

Meanwhile, back on dry land, pike anglers John Higgins and Bud Mander spent a day or two on a small lake in Westmeath. They kept their sessions short starting at midday and wrapping up at 4, but their tactics seemed to work, and they were rewarded with a couple of decent pike.

Nice pike for Bud

We got a message in this week from Sharphooks, an angling club founded by a group of passionate Lithuanian anglers. They are mainly predator anglers who practise strict catch and release and run an event called the Favourite Perch Challenge. They are open for new members to join for anyone who is looking for a predator club to become involved in.

Favourite Perch Challenge

For those of us who can’t make it out on the water due to travel restrictions, we have been lucky to have a plethora of interesting posts on various social media channels to keep us going through the lockdown. This week’s offerings are centred around Peter Driver of Piscari Fly, the well-known angler and fly tyer. First, we have an interview with Peter on the popular Youtube channel Gundog & Fly, where Peter gives a range of tips and tricks on angling and fly tying. Secondly, Peter has been running a series of live fly tying demonstrations on his Facebook page. His first session is on the Dry Fly while his second one focusses on Nymphing.

Over the past year or so, some of you sea anglers may have encountered IFI staff running a survey on various aspects of sea angling as part of the Irish Marine Recreational Angling Survey (IMREC) programme. Others may have participated in an online version of the survey, and we now have some preliminary findings from the data collected in that online survey. In total, 1230 sea anglers participated in the survey and the data sheds some light on questions such as why we fish, where we fish and what species we fish for.

IMREC Survey Findings

For those of us looking forward the next year already, we would like to remind anglers that the IFI permit shop is open for selling permits for fishing next season, and that gift cards are also available. Permits for rivers include Clare River, Lackacgh, Clady, Crolly, Eany, Eske, Gweebarra, Owenea as well as Laune and Kerry Blackwater. Permits also available for IFI’s South West stocked lakes, Midland Fisheries Group and Inniscarra and Carigadrohid reservoirs.

As per last week if you’re stuck for ideas but don’t want to let an angler down this Christmas don’t forget to look at our featured stocking fillers pages with plenty of gift ideas from Irish tackle dealers and angling service providers.

From today we are entering a period where travel between counties is allowed. While many of you may take advantage of this to dust off the cobwebs and spend some time on the water, we would urge you to follow government advice and make every effort to prevent further spread of Covid 19 over the Christmas period.

And now the weather…

This evening and tonight, bands of showers will spread eastwards across the country, some heavy with hail possible. Clear spells also. Lowest temperatures of 4 to 7 degrees with fresh, south to southwest winds.

Saturday will be cool and breezy with sunshine and widespread showers, many of them heavy or prolonged and some of hail. Highest temperatures of 8 to 10 degrees with fresh, gusty southwest winds.

Sunday will be cool and bright with sunny spells and scattered showers, some heavy or of hail.

The weather for the coming week will continue to be mixed with some dry spells interspersed with showers of rain, hail and sleet.

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

Shane O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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