Following the weekend’s back to back storms it’s no surprise to hear that the last 7 days have been, to put it mildly, wet. There were no shortages of floods as even the driest parts of country got almost 200% more rain than normal. Not only that but there was some wind with it too, and a tornado in lovely Leitrim to boot. That’s right, a feckin’ tornado. As excuses for poor fishing conditions go, that’s pretty high up there. Now having said all that the temperatures were mild following the wild weather, and winds more settled, which can lead to good fishing. So with that here’s our weekly round up on what’s going on for anglers in Ireland…

Paul Bourke with a well conditioned Lough Derg pike

Pike anglers who could get out after the storms found fish to feeding well. It’s a time of year Lough Derg pike guide Paul Bourke really loves as the bigger females are feeding hard ahead of next spring’s spawning season. Congratulations to junior angler Ollie Whitely who’s 11lb pike with Newbridge and District Pike Anglers at the weekend saw him win the competition and emerge as the overall club Champion of 2023.

In coarse angling news, Velimer Mozart won the fourth round of the Oaklands winter league, Nick Howell won the 6th round of the Erne Anglers winter league at Enniskillen and Nigel Houldsworth won a CM Lakelands Feeder Club match on Lough Garadice.

Some of the English visitors in 1962. Note the smart dress and cane baskets!

In other coarse angling news we received a great email from Martin Strike, the editor of a newsletter for his local Newbury Angling Association in England. He shares a wonderful story from Keith Hallis who fished an Irish festival at Clones 60 years ago, of which he still holds very fond memories.

It’s not just coarse angling clubs that are busy over the winter. Many sea angling clubs are in the process of wrapping up their yearly league competitions at this time of year, and South Shore SAC had the final leg of their Master Angler at Dodds Rock over the weekend. Congratulations to Alby Allan was crowned  the Club Master Angler for 2023.  Chris Whyte landed a coley of 42cm from the shore in a Killybegs Mariners match, a new record for the club. Fishing was good on the day, with coalfish, turbot, flounders and sea trout all making an appearance.

In rainbow news, the final of Annamoe winter league was fished at the weekend. Stewart Mc Grane won the day, but the angler who caught the most fish through the league was Nicholas Madden. Meanwhile at Ardaire Springs anglers competed in the third round of the AWOL league. There were only 2 fish separating fifth and first place but it was Denis Goulding with a catch of 10 trout for 6280 points who won on the day.


Salmon anglers are looking forward to the start of the new season in 2024, especially those anglers that fish the Drowes. This iconic spring fishery will be open on January 1st, it’s not long away now. Meanwhile, for those anglers who couldn’t wait, Glenda Powell hosted an open day at the Blackwater Salmon Fishery where guests could dust down their salmon gear and get some instruction and advice on the season ahead. Today is the last day of the consultation on the draft Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2023. If you want your voice heard make your submission by 5.30 this evening.

Other news

The Irish Specimen Fish Committee have announced that the awards ceremony for the 2023 season will be held in the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown on the 17th of February 2024 at 14.30. It’s worth mentioning that the ISFC recently published Irish Specimen Fish Atlas would make a great stocking filler for that special angler this Christmas.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is launching its 2024 Sponsorship Programme today (Friday, December 15th). In 2024, the €30,000 fund will have a particular focus on promoting sustainable angling tourism in rural areas while also supporting initiatives aimed at beginners and young anglers. Angling clubs, groups and associations all over Ireland are being invited to apply for sponsorship funding before the January 19th deadline.

Stocking fillers 🎄🎁🧦

As promised last year we’re trying to post details of all the tackle shops, charter boats, guides and instructors offering Christmas vouchers and gift ideas for anglers this festive season.

And now the weather…

The outlook is for the weather to remain mild for the time of year. Generally cloudy with some rain or drizzle at times. Most places will be dry on Saturday, with patches of light rain or drizzle, mainly near coasts. Becoming breezier with a moderate to fresh southerly wind developing. Highest temperatures of 11 to 13°C. Sunday is likely to be cloudy and damp with outbreaks of rain or drizzle extending to most areas. Breezy at first with moderate to fresh southerly winds, becoming lighter as the day goes on. Mild again with highest temperatures of 11 to 13°C. It looks like Monday will be another generally cloudy day with scattered light rain or drizzle. Highest temperatures of 9 to 13°C in a light to moderate southwesterly wind. If you haven’t any presents left to buy get out and make the most of it…

Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland. If fishing in the sea, don’t forget to check the tides.

IFI Staff
Catch, Photo, Release

If you have an angling story to share with the Irish Angling Update please send it to [email protected] and don’t forget that all of our fishing reports are available on our dedicated Angling Ireland Facebook page.

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