After another wet and windy period, the past week has been much drier than average across the country, with less than 10mm of rain recorded in all Met Eireann stations – which for much of the country is 20% or less of the normal rainfall amounts. The outlook is for mainly dry and cold weather this coming week, with a chance of snow in some parts but with bright spells to push the evenings out that little bit more.

While our evening sunsets have been creeping later and later since the middle of December, it is only since last week that the sunrises have started to head in the opposite direction, inching earlier bit by bit. For the first time since the end of November, this weekend the length of day will officially breach the eight hour mark, giving the hardiest of winter anglers, like the pike hunters, those valuable extra minutes to try and land a monster…

There were one or two hardy pike anglers that made good use of the dry weather this week. Senan Stanley was one, and he braved the freezing conditions on Sunday to target pike and perch somewhere in the midlands. Also after a toothy predator was Stephen McDonagh, whose slow day deadbaiting turned into a frantic evening of personal bests. Steve wins our Catch of the Week for breaking an 18 year duck with a PB, only to break the new PB 10 minutes later.

Coarse angling reports were thin on the ground this week, though the ever ready CM Lakelands Feeder Club were avid enough to hit the lakeshores for their club match where fishing was slow. The Munster Coarse Anglers were also on the banks, taking a chance on a foggy Lough Derg for their match as the preferred venue was submerged. A freezing fog was a feature at Oaklands too for the Ger Hennessy Winter League match, but the carp didn’t seem to mind, as Andrei Pirchio landed over 25kgs of them. There were some big coarse fishing announcements too this week, as the NCFFI released the dates for their All-Ireland events for 2024 and the Ballinamore Festival Committee named the date for their 2024 festival.

Salmon anglers may be interested to read the 2023 fishery round-up from Screebe House – as will trout anglers, seeing as the fishery recorded some good slob trout as well as six browns of over 5lbs in weight during the season! Salmon anglers in the south will be interested to know that the draw for brown tags for the River Lee will take place on January 26th, with registration for the draw available online.

With a little over a month to wait until the opening of the wild brown trout season on some fisheries, trout anglers are still confined to the commercial fisheries, like Laois Angling Centre where rainbow trout have been very obliging for that man again, Senan Stanley. Over at Ardaire Springs, junior angler Anthony O’Neill (and his private guide) got stuck into some equally impressive rainbows on a cool and crisp day when a fly gifted to the young angler did the trick. One trout ‘fly’ that definitely does the trick but is seldom used in Ireland is the streamer. This week, Irish streamer fishing guru Ketih McDonnell features in the latest issue of the Fly Culture Podcast, where he shares his thought process on this method of fishing. For all things fly fishing and fly tying, the Piscari-Fly newsletter is back with the first edition for 2024 containing news, reviews, travel info and more.

rainbow trout

To the tides now, where West Cork Charters skipper Dave Edwards had a remarkable January fish – a porbeagle shark estimated to be 80lbs-100lbs. We are more used to seeing summertime reports for those, so well done Dave. Saoire Mara Charters also had a glorious winters day on the water for their first fishing trip of 2024, where pollack and coalies were plentiful on the offshore reefs. In the east, Wicklow Boat Charters continued where they left off in 2023 with the first four specimen spurs of 2024 while down south, the Cobh SAC had a charity fundraiser and a great day on the water.

In other news…

IFI and the ESB are working together to make fishing more accessible to anglers in Ireland. The wide range of permits to fish in ESB waters can now be purchased online.

Fisheries include:

In addition, permits for the Castleconnell Salmon Fishery on the River Shannon will be available shortly.

And now the weather..

Cold, calm and mostly dry Friday night with light rain along northern coasts overnight. Lows -2°C to +2°C. Dry in many areas at first on Saturday with a few bright spells, rain and drizzle moving southwards during the afternoon. Highs of 4°C to 8°C, in light breezes. Patchy light rain or drizzle will continue southwards overnight, with clear spells following in the north later. Cold and frosty with lows of -3°C to +2°C.

Brightening up through Sunday with sunny spells developing through the day and some isolated showers. Highs of 4°C to 7°C in light northerly winds becoming very cold overnight with widespread frost and wintry showers in northern areas. Lows of -3°C to +1°C. Most places will be dry and sunny on Monday but Tuesday will bring cloud and sleet or snow over the northern half of the country. 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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