Imbolc, or as the early Christians renamed it, St. Brigid’s Day – Lá Fhéile Bríde – is the traditional start of Spring in Ireland. While meteorological winter may not end for another few weeks, we’ll take any comfort we can and call it Spring for now! Early signs of life are returning already, snowdrops are in flower, birds are already starting to nest, and frogs are starting to spawn in ponds. This winter has been fairly dry for the most part, and the bit of rain we had this week wasn’t that significant.

A good few salmon rivers opened, including the Blackwater, where conditions were ideal, but no fresh salmon have been reported yet. Likewise Lough Currane proved fruitless for salmon anglers this week.

The Bundorragha River, part of the Delphi Fishery also opened, and the first salmon was reported there yesterday, a fine 8lbs spring fish caught by Jurgen Mantel. At the time of writing a second fish has just been reported, which we will report on next week. Jurgen’s fish makes our Catch of the Week.

Jurgen Mantel with the first Delphi fish of 2022, a beautiful 8bs spring fish taken from the Horseshoe Pool on a Willie Gunn fly.

The 33rd Irish Winter Beach Festival was held last week in Co. Wexford. AAlthough impacted by Covid, 88 anglers still made it to the start line and enjoyed 3 days of good fishing, friendly competition, and no doubt plenty of banter. The winner for the third year in a row was top competition angler Paul Whelan, an incredible feat given the standard of competition, with many international anglers in attendance.

Some charter boats are already back in the water (if they ever left it!) and catching fish offshore.Mark Gannon from Courtmacsherry Angling was back out on the waters off Courmacsherry where the reefs and wrecks have been fishing well. The inshore reefs are producing some good pollack, cod, coalfish, while the wrecks offshore are producing some good ling catches.


Pike fishing on the inland waters has been excellent at times of late. Ronan Murray from irishpikefishingguides reports on the pike fishing in the midlands over the month of January. Ronan had many customers out during the month and all were extremely happy with their trips and caught a lot of fish. Ronan says the the extremely mild weather has meant the fishing has been brilliant, with the fish taking a shine to the dead baits drifted under floats. 

A river venue also produced superb fishing for Newbridge & District Pike Anglers. On their most recent outing, 26 anglers managed to land 144 pike including two over the 20lb mark and seven doubles.

Other News

Charter skippers take note! The 2022 Tuna CHART programme will be open for applications from February 14th to 28th. Over 1,100 Atlantic Bluefin tuna, the ‘giant of the sea’, have been successfully tagged and released under this ‘citizen scientist’ partnership. For ore details on how to apply see here.

Atlantic Bluefin tuna
Atlantic Bluefin tuna. Photocredit: David Morrissey

And now the weather…

The weather has turned colder today, with blustery winds and wintry showers in places. Saturday looks set to be a rather cloudy and wet day with outbreaks of rain, most persistent in the west and north  with the best of any dry or bright interludes in the east and south. Maximum temperatures of 8 to 11 degrees in strong west or southwest winds along with gales on exposed coasts.

Sunday looks chilly and blustery, with temperatures of 6 to 9 degrees in fresh westerly winds. Monday is expected to be a mild and breezy day with plenty of cloud and some patches of drizzle. Maximum temperatures of 11 to 14 degrees in strong southwest winds.

Early indications suggest Tuesday will be another mild and breezy day. There will be lots of dry weather in most areas, but rain will affect some western and northern counties at times. Highest temperatures of 10 to 13 degrees in strong southwest winds.

Further outlook: Staying unsettled with rain or showers on most days.

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

Kevin Crowley
Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update, please send it to [email protected].

All the angling news

Pike Fishing Reports

Sea Angling Reports

    Coarse Angling Reports

    Salmon Fishing Reports