Yep it was a bit blustery to venture out on our bigger lakes last week, and pike Anglers took shelter along the town stretch of the Royal Canal. It’s a fantastic level for working lures and dead baits, and the long weed beds have died off. Plus it’s crystal clear in some stretches, and not a lot of Rubbish or Shopping Trolleys to avoid, thanks to the good work of waterways Ireland staff. It must be very dishearten when you clean the town stretch all week, and return back Monday Morning to find shopping bags full of rubbish, and a few new Trolleys bumped back into the Canal. Anyway the pike fishing was Top class and some huge doubles took the bait last weekend. We also got an e- mail from a freeman of the Angling World from Citywest in Dublin who is fishing around the Midlands this week. Plus I chatted to Sam Champ of Midland Pike Anglers. Sam works in Dennison’s Angling Center in Longford, and has some range of Predator Gear. Its count down to opening day for our Trout fishing, and many anglers are tacking up for Saturday March 1st.Lough Bane have a new Chairman John Smith for the coming season, and we wish his all the best in his new post.

SAVAGE PIKE. We certainly have some fantastic fishing on our doorstep, and just 10 minutes walk from my house, some huge pike were banked on the Royal Canal last weekend. I worked a variety of colorful Lures along the Royal Canal last week, and had some fantastic sport banking pike from 2-3lbs up to 10-12lbs in weight. The fish were in mint condition, and are wintering well on the huge numbers of shoal fish along the Canal. One of the best pike for some time caught on the Royal Canal was banked by Mullingar Angler Frank Cotter, and it hammered a Savage Eel Lure. Frank did not get a weight on his fantastic catch and after a quick photo it was released to fight another day. The Royal Canal is in great shape with all the recent rain, and is crystal clear in some stretch making lure fishing very exciting; as you can see the pike attack your bait. Waterways Ireland are doing a great job on keeping the Royal Canal free of shopping Trolleys and Rubbish, but unfortunally every weekend another batch of rubbish, and Trolleys are bumped into the Canal.

FREEMAN OF THE ANGLING WORLD. Since starting Midland Angling facebook page I have made some great contacts from the Angling scene. Last week we received a cracking photograph of Peter Freeman who had a surprise catch while pike fishing on Lough Ramour.Peter was dead baiting for pike and latched onto a lovely wild brown Trout on a small dead roach with red dye. See you learn something new every day in the Angling Game. It was a lovely looking trout, and was released as soon as Peter got a nice snap of his catch. Peter from Citywest has a lot of relations drifting around Ballymahon, and is planning a few pike trips in the coming weeks on the River Inny near Ballymahon, and a few of the lakes here in Westmeath and Longford.Keep us posted Peter on your Angling Adventures.

LURE MANIA. I dropped into Sam Champ of Dennison’s in Longford recently and they have some huge range of lures for pike, perch and trout fishing. I met Sam at some of the Midland Pike Anglers competitions, and he is on top of the pike scene at the moment. While we chatted he gave me some info on what’s working well for pike, and as you can see from one of my photographs this week the pike certainly like the Hairy Killer from Abu Garcia.

SMITH TAKES THE CHAIR ON BANE. At the recent Lough Bane A.G.M. John Smith took over the Chairman possession from Martin Augney and we wish him well on his promoation. On the night the Angler of the Year award also took place, and John Smith and Mick Hayden shared the spoils for 2013.Lough Bane opens for Trout fishing this coming Saturday March 1st.

SATURDAY IS T- DAY. Yes Anglers are really geared up for the coming Trout season here in the Midlands, and all our Lakes and Rivers will open next Saturday March 1st, excluding Mount Dalton, which is later in the year if I remember rightly. I hope to spend a few days on Lene next weekend, and all going well have some fishy photos from opening day. Owel will also attract a lot of Anglers opening day depending on weather conditions, and if you are Out & About on Owel let us know how you got on opening day. Don’t forget to wrap up well and wear a lifejacket, as it’s quite chilly on the Lakes especially if you are bring some of the younger anglers out for opening day.

THAT’S IT. I checked some of the colorful Tasmanian Lures in Anglers World and they will work well opening day on the Troll. Number 63 was a banker on hard days, and just might work. I got a few Trendex Minnow 5cm Soft Baits from an angling pal and cant wait to see what our Trout make of these wonderful looking lures. They have worked well on Perch, but the Eyes lose their grip after a few takes. Tight Lines till next week.

CONTACT. Mick Flanagan

Angling correspondent and photographer.

Mobile: 087-2797270

E mail mick@midlandangling.com

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