Most of the country has endured a wet week. Rainfall amounts generally ranged between 120% and 200% of average, though rainfall in the north and east was not so bad. Kerry had the worst of the rain with 55.5mm recorded at Valentia, Co. Kerry. Where there’s rain there’s normally wind, and those anglers who enjoy getting afloat had to contend with windy conditions, particularly over the last few days. It has been very mild though and temperatures were up to 5°C warmer than normal in some parts prompting thoughts to stray to later in the season. Locally we’re wondering if it will see the mayfly hatch kick-off earlier, globally the talk is of it being the warmest February on record…

Salmon reports are thin on the ground, with rains seeing many rivers running high. High water or not, anglers on the Flesk in Killarney are getting a few springers, but anglers on Currane have had less luck since catching their first salmon of the season last week.

The trout scene was quiet also last week. A good number of lakes and rivers are open now since 15 February, but there are not many reports in. We do have a video update from Knockaderry, a first class rainbow fishery in Waterford where over wintered stock is providing excellent sport. Staying with rainbow trout, there is a report on the AWOL winter league. There was some great fishing at two of the best rainbow venues in the country for what is possibly the best looking trophy in Irish angling. Congratulations to Shane Bird, the overall winner. In anticipation of the trout season to come, Dan O’Neill visited George McGrath for a behind the scenes tour of his YouTube studio and to tie one of his famous sparkle Duns. From the pod locker, this week the Ireland on the Fly team talk to Jimmy Tyrrell, the well-known fly dresser based outside Abbeyleix in Laois.

February tench from Athy, an unusual Catch of the Week for February

In coarse angling, Athy and District Anglers held a thrilling match at the Marina in Athy. There were some great catches but the competition was notable for the early tench and some fine perch that were landed. Meanwhile down at Oaklands Dan O’Neill and apprentice Anthony had some lovely carp on float, feeder and fly. Coarse anglers are being alerted that tickets for the qualifier rounds for the Van Den Eynde Irish Canal Masters are on sale now and they are selling fast. Competition dates, prizes and other details are listed here: VDE Irish Canal Masters tickets selling quick.

25lb PB for Darren Dunne

The Limerick County Pike Anglers Association stayed close to home for their latest club match. There were a decent number of smaller fish but with pike of 12lb+ and 9lb+ newcomer Paul Maloney took all the honours.  Bigger pike were had by members of the Newbridge District Pike Anglers at one of their favourite venues. A fabulous 25lb pike was caught by Darren Dunne, his PB and the competition winner. Meanwhile up around Athlone, YouTuber Senan Stanley and pike guide Paul Bourke were shown how it’s done Wildhunter style with Brian Connaughton. Fishing from a mightily impressive boat they catch equally impressive pike and it’s all on video. Kevin Lyons of Melview Fishing Lodge had a busy winter attending angling trade expos in different countries to attract new clients and promote Irish angling tourism. Kevin welcomed his first clients of 2024 this week and they did well on dead baits. For the lure addicts out there, Norbert Renaud of L’ile Verte Pike Fishing Lodge has the latest episode of his lure creating journey up on his YouTube channel – well worth a watch.

Big pollack!

Sea angling next and Galway Bay SAC held the first leg of their 2024 Winter League at Renvyle at the weekend. The sea was quite calm and fishing was a bit slow to start but as dark crept in it improved and it was dogfish that made the difference and gave the win to Kevin Crowley. Further out at sea and up in Donegal Killybegs Fishing Trips finally had their first trip of 2024. Bait was plentiful, and the first reef yielded good pollack. The next mark was even better and pollack to 4kg bent rods all round the boat. Advance notice of up coming competitions now. West Cork and District SAC’s new Midweek League is open to all IFSA anglers. Get your name in by next Sunday night the 25th of February to register for the first round. Tralee Bay SAC has announced the dates for their TAG A RAY competition. Mark your calendars for April 27th-28th because it’s going to be an epic adventure in the kingdom once again. To the airwaves now and podcaster Cormac Walsh of the Lure Fishing Podcast talks to angling legend Mike Ladle.

Other news…

Public consultation


The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has opened a public consultation on trawling activity inside the 6 nautical mile zone and the baselines. The briefing documents provided by the Department, which are available online, are very informative and should be read before making a submission. For more information see Public Consultation on Inshore Trawling – Make Your Submission

Podcast seminar

The Ireland on the Fly team are launching the first of a new monthly Masterclass webinar series on March 14th with Mike Keady on Early Season Buzzer Tactics – so don’t forget to sign up to that!

And now the weather…

Friday will be cold with sun and scattered showers, mainly in the west. Showers could be heavy with hail, and there’s a chance of sleet on high ground. Winds will be west to southwest, occasionally strong. Highs of 5 to 8°C. Showers continue at night, possibly turning wintry on high ground. Lows of -2 to +3°C, leading to frost and ice risk, especially in the north. Winds shift to the northwest overnight.

Saturday improves with dry and bright weather, though isolated rain showers are possible. Clouds increase in the southwest by evening. Highs of 6 to 10°C with a light to moderate northwesterly wind. Cold and frosty night, lows of -3 to +2°C, chance of icy patches. Mist and fog may form with light winds.

Sunday starts dry, chance of rain in the south. Scattered showers develop in the northwest, becoming isolated. Highs of 6 to 8°C, light to moderate north to northeast wind. Mostly dry and clear night, isolated showers possible. Lows of -1 to +3°C, light to moderate north to northwest wind.

Make sure to check the forecast before going afloat and if you’re going to sea, don’t forget to check the tides.

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] and don’t forget that all of our fishing reports are available on our dedicated Angling Ireland Facebook page.

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