Well, after the turbulence of last week, this week’s weather has been much more of an easy ride as storm Barra paved the way for a spell of settled weather. It’s been a little bit warmer than average and a little bit drier than average, giving us a few calm and clear winter days to enjoy on the run-in to Christmas. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of anglers have begun the wind-down to Christmas already, as once again, angling reports are scarce on the ground this week. Maybe everyone is banking their time, looking forward to trying out a new rod, reel or lure after Santa pays a visit next week…?

We have a couple of sea angling reports in this week, one each from shore and boat. To shore angling first, and West Cork & District SAC held their final match of the year, with two anglers in the running to take the title of Master Angler 2021. Fishing was slow, and any fish were hard-earned, but in the end, JP Molloy just edged Stephen O’Donovan to the title. The junior Master Angler was equally hotly contested, and Liam Davis just pipped Evan Collins on the night.

JP Molloy (right) accepts the Master Angler trophy from Stephen O’Donovan

Some charter boats are still active around the coast whenever a weather window permits taking to sea. Anglers fishing with Killybegs Fishing Trips found such a window but had to deal with a massive swell which made boating and angling conditions tricky. But with some experienced anglers onboard, they were well rewarded for their perseverance and managed to catch a nice stamp of winter pollack. We don’t often see pollock of that quality at this time of year so it wins this week’s Catch of the Week.

We also have a couple of reports in from coarse anglers, as angling clubs fished their last winter league matches of the year. Up on the Erne, the bream were in biting mood (for some anglers anyway) as 29 anglers turned out for the final throw of the year. Mick Mahoney won the day with an impressive 10.280kg of bream. Fishing on Lough Muckno was a bit slower, as Seamus Winter topped the pile with a bag of 4.520kg as CM Lakelands Feeder Club had their last match of the year.

A lovely bag of Erne bream

Thomas Coyle is one of the many anglers who took up the sport for the first time during last year’s lockdown. Every cloud has a silver lining, and Thomas now knows he has a hobby for life and is earning his spurs by targeting pike in the midlands area.

Thomas Coyle with his Grand Canal pike

On the media side of things, we have another new angling book which is nicely timed for anybody looking for an angling themed stocking filler. In ‘Haunted by Waters’, journalist Daire Whelan recounts the stories of a year spent fly fishing on numerous rivers and lakes around Ireland where he meets and converses with like-minded souls.

book cover

And staying with angling media, well-known fly angler Peter Driver continues his live Facebook show this weekend as he hosts his Christmas special. This week’s focus is on dry flies, and with a couple of expert guests sharing their tips and tricks, it will be a show full of interest and entertainment.

And now the weather…

Tonight will be dry and cloudy, with a chance of some light frost in places. Tomorrow will remain predominantly dry, with a chance of some drizzle in the southern part of the country, and the highest temperatures between 6 and 10 degrees. This dry, mostly settled weather looks set to continue until the middle of next week as a high-pressure system dominates.

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

Shane 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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