So much of our fishing depends on the weather and, weather-wise, it has been a fairly quiet picture of late. January was mild, with temperatures and sunshine totals above their long term averages for the month. For the first week in February it was much drier than usual, with mean air and soil temperatures 2°C or 3°C higher than normal around the country. The coming seven days will continue in much the same vein, with rainfall amounts expected to be well below normal, air temperatures to be 2°C or 3°C higher than normal and soil temperatures on the rise.

With next week’s opening of the season for lough trout fishing, will the mild weather bring fish into the shallows on the feed, or early hatches of fly? Goodness knows, but what we do know is that if you are planning to head out next week after a trout but are unsure of the best tactics to tempt those early season fish, this week’s Ireland on the Fly podcast is a must listen. On the show this week is well known trout catcher Mike Keady and he will be discussing early season tactics for Corrib trout and the duckfly hatch that really kicks off the surface action.

While we await the opening of the trout fishing, the salmon fishing is well underway and while Lough Currane hasn’t given up any more of her precious spring salmon to the anglers in south Kerry, the anglers in south Donegal (or north Leitrim) did manage to break the duck on the Drowes. It was there that Ronnie McMorris scooped the Drowes Perpetual Cup for the first salmon of the 2023 season and also the Thomas Gallagher Conservation Cup for returning his fish to the water unharmed. Ronnie wins our fish of the week this week for his catch (and release). With the 2022 salmon season a distant memory, Andrew McGall brought some of his best 2022 memories back with some footage of his best takes from the season gone, well worth a watch.

Ronnie with the Drowes Perpetual Cup and the Thomas Gallagher Conservation Cup

The mild weather might also bring an early spawning period for the pike, but they are feeding well at the moment, with fish up to 109cm for Melview Lodge in Longford and over twenty fish landed by the members of the Limerick Pike Anglers who ventured up the country on a day trip. From toothy predators to spiky ones, and the first Barrow Perch Bonanza was held on the Barrow last weekend where, despite a drop in temperatures before the event, some super perch to 40cm were recorded.

Kevin Lyons with his 109 cm Melview pike

Munster Coarse Anglers had it tough in Tulla, where the seventh round of their Winter League took place and just over 4lbs was enough to win on the day. In Leitrim, the Lakeland’s Angling Club of Ballinamore have announced the dates for this year’s Ballinamore Festival and the event has nearly booked out already.

Tough in Tulla

To the tides now, where the Fiona Tee in Killybegs set forth on her first full day trip of the 2023 season. Lots of mackerel and herring kept the anglers busy in the harbour with some good pollock showing later in the day. Back on dry land, the Fishing Futures team assisted by members of South Shore SAC, have been spending some time introducing members of the Loughlinstown, Ballybrack and Shanganagh (LBS) Men’s Shed project to sea angling in recent weeks.

In other news…

After the success of the first Irish Spring Angling Fair in 2022, Ned Maher of Ardaire Springs Angling Centre, Mooncoin, County Kilkenny has just announced that he will once again host the IRISH SPRING ANGLING FAIR. Taking place on the May Bank Holiday Weekend, the Fair will open to angling enthusiasts on Saturday 29th April and Sunday the 30th of April 2023.

Inland Fisheries Ireland are currently recruiting Seasonal Fisheries Officers who will join teams over the summer months to help protect, conserve and develop fisheries resources working in and around Ireland’s lakes, rivers and coastlines.

Christine Meehan Fisheries Officer

Those interested in applying for a six-month Seasonal Fisheries Officer role can apply on-line at, before the deadline of Tuesday, 21st of February 2023.

And now the weather…

Cloudy on Friday with occasional sunny spells, dry for most areas, highs of 10°C to 12°C in moderate southwesterly winds.

Similar conditions this weekend, both days will be mainly dry and rather cloudy, with patchy drizzle at times and sunshine breaking through. Highs of 9°C or 10°C in light to moderate southerly breezes, between 3°C and 6°C overnight.

Monday looks like a sunnier day in the east and current indications suggest no significant change for the midweek period, perhaps a little breezier on Tuesday.

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

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