It has been a very dry week, with some parts of the south and southwest of the country experiencing no rainfall at all. The highest amount of rain (4.77mm for the week at Knock) is just 16% of average rainfall for the time of year. Despite the lack of rain, it has still been rather dull, with sunshine well below average. But the cloud cover has kept the frost at bay, and temperatures have been a degree or two above average in most places.

Winter piking is normally synonymous with clear, crisp mornings and the crunch of boots or waders on frosty grass. We’ve had little enough of that sort of weather so far this winter, and it seems to be showing in our angling reports, as we have far fewer pike reports than usual for the time of year. Lough Muckno is a lake that is always capable of throwing up a good pike or two, and Navan based angler John Doyle has been putting in the hours on it this year and has some impressive pike to show for it. Over in Longford, angling guide Kevin Lyons took his first guided trip of the year, and all the action seemed to come early in the day as most of the pike were caught in the first 40 mins of the session. Up in Cavan, a group of German anglers staying at Carafin Lodge had some fine fishing on the sprawling Lough Oughter system. With over 100 pike recorded for the week, they win this week’s Catch of the Week.

A lovely double for a visiting angler from Germany

The winter period is also the prime time to target flatties, and plenty of our shore angling experts were out on the beaches this week armed with beads & bling, looking for a flat or two. For those who are new to the game, Chris O’Sullivan, aka Inshore Angler, has put together a nice video as he targeted flats from the beach. Over in Galway Bay, members of Galway Bay SAC were also getting in on the act with flounders and ray close in, and plenty of coalies appearing after dark. Up in Donegal, flounder and coalies were also on the menu for Killybegs Mariners SAC, but with the added bonus of some nice turbot showing up.

Nice turbot from a Donegal beach.

Some charter boats were in action during the week too, with plenty of fish coming from the Courtmacsherry area. Mark Gannon of Courtmacsherry Sea Angling was out on his first trip of the new year and had some excellent pollack fishing off the wrecks. Meanwhile, Dave Edwards of West Cork Charters took a spur of the moment run out to the deeps and was rewarded with some great ling and pollack. Over on the east coast, Wicklow Boat Charters skipper Kit Dunne sent in an end of month report as he chased, and caught, plenty of specimen spurs.

Nice pollack off the wrecks for anglers with Courtmacsherry Sea Angling Centre

Coarse fishing was a bit of a struggle for the Munster Coarse Anglers who ventured out at Portumna last week. Fishing was very slow, and bites were few and far between, but at least there was a decent stamp of roach present. The guys from CM Lakelands fared a bit better as they fished both Muckno and Garadice in recent weeks. Of the two, Muckno fished the better, with plenty of 5+ kilo bags.

Four nice roach for 3lb 1oz won 3rd place at Portumna

Finally, last week saw the capture of the second salmon of the season on the River Drowes. Paul Cardy was the lucky angler, and the fish weighing a respectable 7lbs was caught on a banana fly.

Paul Cardy with the 2nd Drowes salmon of 2022

And now the weather…

Today Friday will be mild and breezy with patches of light rain and drizzle in places. The wind will strengthen through the night, becoming fresh to strong. These westerly winds will bring a band of rain over the country on Saturday morning as the winds increase, sometimes reaching gale force in the north of the country. The wind will lighten on Saturday night, and Sunday will start off dry, but a front will move in from the west during the day bringing rain to many areas. The weather will remain unsettled with fresh winds, clouds and rain forecast into the early days of next week.

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

Shane O’Reilly
Catch, Photo, Release

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