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Irish Angling Update

06 January 2011

Editor: Paul Bourke, Angling Information Officer
email: Paul Bourke
Ph: 00 353 (0) 1 8842600
Fax: 00 353(0) 1 8360060

Salmon Angling

Trout Angling

Coarse Angling

Pike Angling

Sea Angling


Salmon Angling Update

Southern Region


Countdown to the opening of River Blackwater

Yes - there are now only 30 days left until the Opening Day of the new season on February 1st. Time to think about booking your fishing for the coming season, dusting down the tackle & maybe brushing up on your casting! Hopefully it won't be long after that that I can report our first spring salmon of 2011 being caught.

From today, I have once again started to update the page with the condition of the river in the run-up to the Opening Day on February 1st. Click here to go direct to the page.
Ian & Glenda Powell
Address: Blackwater Lodge & Salmon Fishery, Upper Ballyduff, Co. Waterford.
Tel: 00 353 58 60235     From UK: 0871 474 0135  (10p/min any time!)
Mobile: 00 353 87 235 21 20
E-mail: Website:

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Northern Region

Lindsey Clarke reports:


River Drowes

Photo: Ian Martin, with the first salmon of the season, is presented with the Perpetual Trophy by fishery owner Shane Gallagher.

The 2011 salmon season began in Earnest on the Drowse River on Saturday at 8.30am. Water conditions were lovely with the gauge reading just under 7 at the Four Masters Bridge and the day was mild with air temperatures reading from 7 to 9 degrees Celsius. Nigh on perfect conditions for the start of January! The fishery was fairly busy with some 110 visiting rods in attendance for the now famous opening day of the new season.

The first salmon of the season was caught in record time this season. At 8.40am, Ian Martin landed the first salmon of the season on only his third cast! Ian, from Tullyroan, Co. Armagh hooked and landed the fine 11½lb salmon at the top of ‘The Blackwater’ on the Lareen section of the river. The fish fell to a one inch Flame Thrower copper tube fly. This won Ian, the Thomas Gallagher Perpetual Trophy for the first salmon of the season which was presented to him by fishery owner Shane Gallagher and Brendan Faulkner of the Fox’s Lair Restaurant was on hand to accept the fish for the charity evening in the restaurant.

Later in the day, German angler, Michael Kruse caught and released a fish of about 7lbs on fly, also from the Blackwater. A 10lbs fish was foul hooked and returned at the Mill Pool. A number of fresh salmon were seen below Lennox’s during the afternoon but remained elusive. There were a number of rods fishing on Sunday but to date we have heard of no catches of fresh salmon.

On Friday evening, from 8.30pm onwards, there will be a first salmon of the season tasting session at the Fox’s Lair Restaurant, Bundoran. All funds raised over the evening will be donated to charity and a good night is assured for any wishing to attend.

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Loughs Agency area

Lionel Knobbs reports:

The salmon and sea trout fishing season is closed until 2011 but you can find out more about angling in this area here: salmon fishing in Loughs Agency waters.

Salmon spawning in the Loughs Agency

In the meantime i am out checking on how the Salmon spawning is going and i am pleased with what i have witnessed so far, on the waters i have visited show a visible increase in numbers.

A word of caution to others out watching salmon spawning, i was within a few feet today taking photos of Salmon without causing them any stress or disturbance, but many people walk over spawning beds trampling fish eggs and  disturbing fish in the act of reproduction extending the spawning time,this can cause fish many problems includeing exposing fish to extra Predators' .

So please if you want to have a look at fish spawning let us know and we will try our best to assist you and never go out at night with a lamp looking for spawning fish as this can be very disturbing to spawning fish.

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Trout Angling Update

Eastern Region

David Byrne reports:

The brown trout fishing is closed until Spring 2011.

But here is a list of put and take fisheries many of which open all year round.


Curragh Springs crackers

On the last day of the year I headed over to fish on the Curragh Springs Fishery in County Kildare. The day was dry and overcast with temperatures forecast to reach 7 C.  It was past 1pm when I arrived at the fishery. I met with the fishery owner Shaun who told me that the fishery had frozen over during the bad weather and it was fishing very well since the thaw arrived. He pointed out that there were fish rising readily to a small black midge type fly. With this in mind I set up a rod to fish dry a size sixteen Klinkhammer (black/olive).

rainbow trout
Photo: A handsome, well conditioned rainbow trout from Curragh Springs

I headed over to where I had seen some fish feeding at the surface and cast the Klinkhammer over them. On my third cast a fish rose and took the Klinkhammer. After a hard fight I soon landed a nice full finned Rainbow trout of over the four pound mark. A good start. I made my way around the lake covering the fish that were rising. I caught two more fish and i hooked and lost another two. A couple of hours passed and things went quiet with no fish coming to the surface so I decided to set up the other rod with a sinking line and a lure. While I was fishing with the sinking line, Shaun appeared and said he saw some fish moving in the shallows up ahead of me. I said he should have a go at them with the other rod as it was already set up and I would follow him when I was done. A few minutes passed and I heard Shaun call for the net as he was into a good fish. I made my way up with the net to see Shaun battle with a good fish which I eventually netted for him. The fish weighed in at the twelve pound mark, a fine fish indeed.  With darkness creeping in, I made my way back towards the car. As there were some fish still rising I decided to give it ”one last cast”. As the fly touched the surface a fish rose and took the fly. I lifted into the fish and it imediately took off stripping the line into the backing. Palming the reel I eventually turned the fish. After many more runs I had the fish in the net. A cracking fish of more than ten pounds weight. A great way to finish the year.

Junior fly tying classes

Matt Campbell from the Dundalk and District Brown Trout Anglers has informed us that the club will be running their Youth Fly Tying Classes on Janurary 8th 2011. Anyone wishing to participate can contact Matt at 087 6757550.


Fly fishing competitions and coming events

Start Time: 10.30 until 2.30

Prizes: 1st, 2nd  & 3rd  inn each event including a prize for the largest & smallest fish (excluding the winners).

After the 4 events there will be 2 prizes of tickets for fishing for 2 persons for Sea Trout on the Clohamon Beat, Bunclody  on the River Slaney ( use between 15th June &15th July 2011).

Winners will be decided by accumulative catch over 3 events.In the event of a tie the largest fish will count.

Entry Fee €20 per event

Entries to Brian Nally Mob. 086/2598563

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Southern Region

John Flynn reports:

The brown trout fishing is closed until Spring 2011.

But here is a list of put and take fisheries many of which open all year round.

Rainbows galore at Rathcon following thaw

Paul McLoone enjoyed good fishing last weekend at Rathcon. Following a slow start he eventually found the fish and landed 4 over 5lbs in quick succession with a buzzer in midwater. Other anglers enjoyed much more consistent fishing, particular with very slowly or static boobies on the bottom.

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Coarse Angling Update

no reports this week


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Pike Angling Update

Eastern Region

David Byrne reports:


Blessington a good bet for pike

Photo: This 17lb pike from Blessington is a new personal best for Josie.

Although most of the lakes in the NE are fishable at the moment, there has not been much pike fishing activity reported over the last week. However, Josie Mahon of IFI reports a very well conditioned pike which she caught on Blessington Lake recently. The fish weighed in at 17lbs (looks bigger) and is a new personal best for Josie. This premium fish was caught on a dead-bait and it put up a great fight before being returned safely to the lake.

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Northern Region

Lindsey Clarke reports:


Kingspan Kational Pike Championships qualifier

Photo: Pat O'Grady with an 18ln 8oz pike from the Annalee

36 anglers attended todays Kingspan Kational Pike Championships qualifier on the River Annalee. There was a pretty strong flow of water which made fishing difficult in the shallower faster flowing stretches.

Some nice pike were caught with Pat O`Gradys 18 lb 8 oz being the best. Paul Martin had a 15-01 and Joe Clarke a 11-15. There were a good few pike in the 6 to 8 lb range.

The top 5 anglers who go through to the Final are

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Sea Angling Update

South Western Region

Michael Hennessy reports:
E Mail:


Cork Harbour fishing well this week

Photo: A nice haddock for Pat O'Shea

On the first Monday of January 2011, eleven brave souls from both Cobh SAC and Crosshaven SAC departed from East Ferry Marina; Dasher Doyle, Sandra Anne, and Eva. Sandra Anne, with Cobh SAC Master Angler, Danny Kane, Club Treasurer, Pat O' Shea, and Ger Keohane headed straight for the Ling Rocks. The other two boats, Dasher Doyle and Eva, with Martin Perryman, Frank Burke, Martin's brother, Arthur Kavanagh, Ruud Boelhouwer, Gerard Richardson, Greg Manning, and Tony Maguire, opted for the Smiths instead.

It was bittingly cold with temperatures hardly getting above 4 degrees, but with very little wind it didn't feel that bad at all. In fact it was almost calm, which made the trip out to the Lings fairly comfortable compared to normal. As our expected quarry was expected to be bigger than the normal stamp of fish encountered in the light lines a concession was made; main line was to be no more than 15lb but rigs and snoods could be heavier.

On our boat, Sandra Anne, Ger Keohane got off to a great start. On a cliff-face mark north of the Lings themselves Ger started clocking up the species, bringing in pollack, whiting, and pouting in quick order. To put a stop to his gallop we moved onto the Lings proper!!! Here we were into a better stamp of fish; Ger and Danny fishing bottom rigs started bringing in ling. Both landed fish to 9lbs. The better fish seemed to fall for shads, though, and most were around the 6lb mark. To try for variety (and clock up species points) Danny dropped his hook and bait size. Soon enough, a number of ballan wrasse and cuckoo's were swung onboard. With the number of ling coming onboard Ger Keohane was convinced that a mark of his, east of the Smiths, would produce bigger fish. With an hour of daylight left we decided to give it a shot. It produced bigger fish alright, but not the expected ling; Pat managed a fine pollack of 9 1/2lbs...the biggest fish of the day.

A few ling were landed, but they were smaller than outside. We also had whiting, cod, haddock and lsd's. One of the haddock, a nice fish of 3 1/2lbs, had savage bites taken out of it....probably an attack from a big ling. Maybe there are big ling on Ger's mark after all! A call to the other boats soon confirmed that they had had similar fishing with plenty of whiting and haddock in particular. Many of the whiting were upto 3lbs with Frank Burke managed a fine one of specimen size. Heaviest fish between the other two boats was a fine 8lb cod for Arthur Kavanagh.

Wednesday, 05 January

Photo: A typical Cork Harbour dab.

After such a good day on Monday, and with the weather staying relatively calm, a plan was hatched to have a follow up. This time, though, the light line comp was to be a dab hunt.

Two boats headed out this time. First out was Dasher Doyle with Martin Perryman, Arthur Kavanagh, and George Stockley onboard, followed later by Sandra Anne with Danny Kane, Pat O' Shea, & Sandra Murphy onboard. The plan was to target the numerous dabs that have shown up over the last few months. There have been many quality dabs showing up of late and it was hoped that we might be lucky and get a specimen. Danny wasn't sticking to the plan, though. He wanted another cut off Ger Keohane's ling mark for just one hour! One hour turned into three. However, we couldn't complain as the fishing was alright. We had ling to 7lbs, cod to 5lbs, whiting to 3lbs, pouting to 2lbs, and numerous cuckoo wrasse.

With an hour and a half of light remaining we headed back into a harbour mark. Dasher Doyle had a great lead on us at this stage. They had fished Deep Hole at the start and then moved to mark outside the Harbour Rock. This proved fruitful with plenty of dabs, whiting to 2lbs, small codling (with a solitary 5lber), poor cod, and lsd's. Not to be outdone we headed to Deep Hole and in the last hour managed 32 whiting, 7 dabs, 7 codling, 7 poor cod, & 7 lsd. Again, not a bad return for a couple of hours fishing in January!

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Northern Ireland


Anglers happy to see plenty of juvenile skate off Red Bay

Photo: 130lb skate for Nicholas McAlorum.

With the tides slightly larger this week Predator moved 12 miles south into shallow water (70ft). Hiding from the tide I knew there wouldn’t be a great deal of fish taken due to the depth of water but low and behold this stunning 130lb male fish came right at the end of the day for Nicholas McAlorum from Bangor. The bait was a whole black mouth dogfish from the freezer.
Hamish Currie
Predator II
Red Bay Stormforce 9.1 Rib
Web: Email:
Telephone: 028 2177 1828   Boat: 07720440117

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