OWEL CRACKER FOR COYNE: Lough Owel produced some nice trout on opening day and I am told quite a few anglers ventured out and battled the elements. The water temperature was under 4 degrees celsius and the air temperature on the lakes was no better. The tail end of storm Jorge really tested angler’s thermal gear and fancy headgear. One of the best trout from Owel on opening day was caught by Kinnegad angler Kevin Coyne and rattled the scales at 3lbs 6oz. Kevin, who we feature regularly with his pals from the Kinnegad and Clonard area, is really fired up for the 2020 trout season. Owel will produce a few more lovely early season trout and I will be out on Owel later this week. The water level on the lake is quite high, so if you left your boat out at Tullaghan keep a good eye on the level of water on Owel.

LENE BROWNIES: Lough Lene was a hive of activity last Sunday for the opening day of the trout season and there was more bank anglers than boat anglers out on the lake. I had a lovely few hours with my pal Frank McKeon, Vice – Chairman of Lene, and had my first few trout of the 2020 season. It was not all plain sailing as we battled some rough water across Winters Point where I hit my first brownie of the season. The trout were in mint condition and feeding hard on sticklebacks.

LOUGH LENE CUP: On Sunday March 15th Lough Lene Angling Association will host their first trout competition of the 2020 season. Up for grabs is the Lough Lene Cup, which is all legal methods and trout only.  Fishing is from 11am-5pm start and finish at Fagan’s Point. The daily bag limit on Lene is 2 trout with a minimum size of 14inches.

CONG CRACKER: Mark Ryan, one of my good angling pals, won fish of the week recently on the Inland Fisheries Ireland weekly reports. Mark was on the Corrib near Cong and caught and released a huge trout of 7lbs. It actually looks bigger and Mark told me his scales was on the blink that day. Over the years, Mark and his relations from Tullamore have caught some cracking trout here in the Midlands and some years back caught a cracker on Lough Ennell. On the Corrib he was fishing with Robbie Conneely of Tullamore.

HERITAGE WEEK: Some readers might be interested in this news item sent in by our Community Water Officer Basil Mannion. Heritage week will take place from 15th August-23rd August and a free training day is coming up on Tuesday March 31st. The training day takes place in the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaois. If you are into your Heritage, contact heritageweek@heritagecouncil.ie for more details.