MICK Mc CORMACK STRIKES AGAIN ON OWEL: Mick McCormack was recently crowned Leinster Champion on Owel and followed up last Sunday week by winning the O’Malley Cup. Mick had a trout of 1.06kg to take Top Rod. Johnny Plunkett, another of our top Mullingar fly anglers, finished 2nd with 0.89kg and 3rd was Keith Fleming who hails from the North of Ireland and is a member of Owel and Derravaragh. Stan McKeon told us it was tough going in light winds with bright sunshine. Still, 37 anglers competed and 12 anglers weighed–in fish. Lough Owel Trout Preservation Association would like to thank David and Johnny O’Malley for their sponsorship. David has all the top flies for the Midland lakes in stock as we head into the May Fly season in his Angling Center at 33 Dominick Street.

PRICELESS PIKE PICTURES: It’s nice when you get a bit of good feedback, as normally the vultures are waiting for you to make a mistake. Readers have been very impressed with some of our fishy photographs in recent weeks and it’s not always a big fish that takes the bait. Lilia Antonova and her husband Alexsander from Moscow in Russia were holidaying and staying in the Castlepollard area last week. They were keen to spend a little time walking the countryside and do a little bit of fishing. We had a priceless 2-3 hours walking the Inny through bog land and even managed to catch a few small pike. Lilia had quite good English and I had to try and teach her how to spin lures across the Inny. It was magical and I will never forget her face when a pike of 3-4lbs lashed at her lure and missed. Another visiting angler arrived last Saturday at Owen Egan’s splendid self- catering cottages near Carnakilla Point Portlick. Pierre Henneron and his wife Brigitte are regular visitors to Lough Ree. Pierre has been coming over since 1981 and has featured the last number of years in Angling Focus, we have fished the last 6-7 years together and have caught some super pike. Last Sunday we had 10-12 pike in perfect conditions on Ree. A nice bit of cloud cover and a steady breeze had some good pike moving, with the best pike measuring 93cm. Pierre and Brigitte are here for 2 weeks, so another few days are penciled in for Ree. Local pike anglers are also reeling in some super fish and young Jack Darby of Mullingar is on top of his game at the moment. Jack is the son of well-known predator and top pike competition angler Barry Darby and he got the better of his old man last weekend, landing a huge double figure pike. Jack is also a top junior competition angler and has done well at the recent Boyle & District Angling Club Festival on Lough Key.

ILLEGAL DUMPING: Some weeks back we mentioned the illegal dumping & published the photograph near Dysart Lakes that was reported by a concerned angler. It’s an ongoing problem right across Westmeath and last Sunday I photographed some mess near Portlick. It’s a stunning part of the countryside, but unfortunately, at one Lay-by some idiots dumped a fridge, television, kid’s toys and a few black bags of rubbish for good measure. It was between Carnakilla Point and the boat launching area at Portlick. Not a pretty sight for local or visiting anglers traveling along these beautiful woodlands.