There has been a certain amount of repetition in the opening paragraphs of recent angling updates, as each week, we face the challenge of talking about rain in new and novel ways… Alas, this week is no exception, as much of the country experienced double the amount of rainfall expected for this time of the year. And, after a relatively balmy autumn, temperatures have taken a turn for the worse, with most of the country experiencing relatively cool temperatures over the past week.

It’s rare to begin a mid-winter Angling Update talking about coarse angling. For many of us (me included), coarse angling is something we do during the warmer months of the year when long days and pleasant weather make sitting and watching a float or quiver tip a very relaxing way to spend a few hours. But, for the more committed coarse anglers, the fishing doesn’t stop at the first sign of cold weather; they just pile on the layers and, seemingly impervious to the cold, fish all the way through the coldest months of the year. Many coarse angling clubs run winter leagues at this time of year, and some of them got started on those leagues this week with some impressive results…

Starting in Munster, and the Munster Coarse Anglers headed to O’Briensbridge for the first time in a long time last week. Unfortunately, they discovered a venue that was the worse for wear due to the pegs being overgrown, and coupling that with high water and a strong current, they didn’t expect much on the fishing front. But the fishing gods were looking kindly on them, and some swims fished remarkably well with a few unexpected double-figure weights featuring.

A fine catch from O’Briensbridge

Anglers didn’t fare quite as well on Lough Muckno, where the C/M Lakeland Feeder Club kicked off their winter league in similar high water conditions. Thirty-four anglers turned out in total, and only the Yellow Island section fished with any consistency, as the top five weights came from that section. Meanwhile, the Romanian Catch & Release Angling Association also kicked off their winter league, albeit with far fewer numbers attending. Only six anglers turned up on the day, as the high water and generally inclement weather affected the turnout. But those six anglers were rewarded for their efforts, as catches far exceeded expectations, with some fine bags including 17kg+ for the winner, and all agreed it was one of the best ever days of winter fishing.

A better-than-expected bag for one of the lucky 6

To sea angling now, and similar to coarse angling, many clubs are holding winter league competitions at this time of year. In Cork, the Cork Sea Angling club were faced with strong surf at their latest event held at Long Strand, and it wreaked havoc on their session. A handful of flounder made up the bulk of their catches, with a decent sea trout being the only standout fish. Staying in Cork, 42 anglers turned out to fish the Cobh SAC Light Lines competition last weekend. The anglers spread out among five charter boats, and the fishing was pretty good on the day, with the top angler, Padraic Clear, managing a great score of 113 fish. That haul put him well Clear of the rest of the field and wins Padraic this week’s Catch of the Week.

Long Strand
Surf’s up on Long Strand

The Killybegs Mariners never let bad weather get in the way of fishing, and their recent trip to Mullaghmore saw 23 anglers line out on the beach. Despite several long-term members fishing on the evening, it was new member Janis Liseckis who topped the pile with some nice coalies and flounder. While the rest of us are enduring the damp chill of an Irish winter, the Irish Shore Angling team are enjoying some better weather as they compete in the Shore Angling World Championships in Tunisia. They are currently a bit off the pace as the host nation tops the standings, but they can improve their position in the next session.

A busy scene on the beach in Tunisia

It’s great to see more and more anglers contributing stories and ideas on social media these days, and for game anglers, it certainly shortens the closed season period when they can keep tuned into their sport over the winter months. Peter Driver of Piscari Fly continued his ever-popular series of fly-tying evenings last weekend with a discussion on pheasant tail nymphs, nymph rigs and feather care. Meanwhile, in his latest blog, Jackie Mahon discusses the attributes of one of the most popular lough-style flies in recent years: The Gorgeous George. In the latest issue of Ireland on the Fly podcast, well-known angler Denis Goulding gives a masterclass on tactics for targeting winter rainbow trout, which is well timed for encouraging us to head to our local ‘put and take’. Finally, Glenda Powell has just announced a number of angling courses to run in early 2023 designed to get you up and running for your salmon season in 2023. Set in the beautiful surroundings of Careysville House and Fishery, the courses will cover a wide range of topics, with something of interest for anglers of all levels of expertise.

Denis Goulding
Denis knows a thing or two about rainbow fishing

In Other News….

Public consultation is now open on the draft Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2022. These measures provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland from 1st January 2023. If you would like to make a submission, you can email  [email protected].

Inland Fisheries Ireland is working on a new Customer Charter and Action Plan for 2023 to 2025. Customer Charters are short statements, describing the level of service that you can expect from a State agency. We are now conducting a quality assurance review of our existing customer charter and we would welcome your feedback and suggestions – for more info, check out our corporate website.

And now the weather

Showers should die out in most areas by the afternoon, and sunny spells should break through, but winds will remain strong, particularly in the west of the country. More rain will push over the country on Friday night leading to a dull and damp start to Saturday. The rain may turn heavy at times towards Saturday evening before clearing overnight, with Sunday looking like a mostly dry day with some isolated showers in the west. The weather looks like continuing along this pattern of rain mixed with dry spells until the middle of next week.

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

IFI Staff
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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