No matter which category of fish you give your number one vote to, the Ireland Angling Expo had something for everyone last weekend. Lures and flies lit up the show like the colours of the rainbow and anglers treated themselves to late Christmas presents, filling those empty spaces in their tackle boxes. Over at the Clayton hotel it was great to see lots of young anglers take awards at the annual Irish Specimen Fish Committee awards day. Old experts shared their hints with others and delighted new comers rubbed their hands with glee as if they had just inherited granny’s secret recipe!
A quiet Lough Melvin left plenty of action for the anglers who ventured out. John Flanagan of Garrison caught the first salmon of the season on Thursday last. The 8lb 8oz fish was caught while trolling in Flanagan’s Bay. As water levels fell to a better height, the Drowes saw Richard Todd with a 7lb salmon on a black flying c and Johnny B put a gold bodied Willie Gunn size 8 double to great use when he caught the first fly caught fish weighing 8.5lbs.
A windy wet Currane saw no salmon this week and it was a similar situation on the river Bandon apart from a few kelts. Over on the Munster Blackwater, Glenda Powell reported the first springer of the season caught at lower Kilmurry. Water levels are coming back to normal now so we would hope to see many more in the coming week.
Persistent rain and strong winds made fishing difficult at Rathcon rainbow fishery in Co. Wicklow. 20 anglers fished their winter league with 38 fish landed. Biggest fish of 58cm went to Roger Fowler and Alan Lawless took first place with 4 fish. Last Saturday’s weather didn’t deter Killinarden Angling Initiative anglers as they headed off to Cavan. This determined group did well with Anthony Byrne catching and releasing a lovely marked 6lb brown trout. Well done Anto, you’re our ‘Catch of the Week’ winner.
Not content with trout fishing, KAI anglers tried a spot of coarse fishing too at Lough Ramor. The Tallaght group had some whip training, compliments of the whips they received from NCFFI. One little lady called Andrea caught over 40 fish. She and her companions thoroughly enjoyed the day and no doubt we will hear much more from them.
Lough Oughter was the destination for two fishing buddies from Dublin. Adrian Bebetos and his friend Dragos had an early start as they headed out pike fishing on the lake. Imagine their surprise when Adrian caught a cracking 16½lb pike. As his friend reached out to help bring the fish into the boat, Mr pike himself decided to assist the anglers by jumping into the boat ! Now that’s fishing made easy ! A quick photo and off he swam again.
Monaghan pike was the choice of David Cunningham. He caught an 18lb 6oz beauty which put up some fight. It was taken on a dead bait as was a 19lb fish reported at Virginia in Cavan. At Melview Lodge Belgian clients had a slow start to the week, but that all changed when they clocked up some nice pike using both dead baits, lures and soft baits. While the Leinster Pike crew had grand young jacks at their invitational day.
The next Cork Harbour Winter League is on 28th of February. Last week’s Light Lines competition winner was Dave Jolly. Brendan O’Dwyer came in 2nd and Gavin O’Connor a close 3rd. Bannow SAC in Wexford will fish their competition on the 28th Feb also in Carne. Check in is at 1.45pm and fishing is 3 to 7pm. Up the north at Red Bay, skipper Hamish Currie reported a specimen skate, one of three caught in deep waters weighing 161lb as well as congers plus spur dogs.
March will see a lot more rivers and lakes starting their season. Anglers are encouraged to visit their local tackle shops, where you will get the local knowledge and hear the angling gossip. Check out the IFI website for a list in each county.
Tackle shop owners, guides, charterboat skippers and clubs are reminded that sponsorship is available from IFI and Local Enterprise Boards among other places; again we have details on our site at Sponsorship, funds, grants etc.
Weather-wise the weekend is set to be cold with severe frost and ice. Overall it will be dry with light northeast breezes and a risk of some snow showers over Munster. Saturday’s temperatures will be well below normal, with highest temperatures of just 5 to 8 degrees Celsius, in light to moderate northeast breezes. Sunday again will be bitterly cold but temperatures should rise a little as the week progresses but winterly showers will occur.
Safety warning, if you see someone down on one knee on Monday February 29th please be careful as it might not be a lure or a fly they are looking for in the tackle box! Remember the old tradition; it’s the day for a proposal.
Safe fishing to all and tight lines, especially here in Ireland.
Catch, Photo, Release
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