The Lakes and Rivers are all over the shop with high water, and the spell of cold weather has really affected the feeding habits of our predator fish. Mind you last weekend the water temperature was just below 4-degree Celsius, which was actually warmer than the air temperature some early mornings on the lakes. Last Sunday I eventually made my way down to Lough Iron from Derravaragh, and had a few pike. Little did I know starting out from Donore that my angling pal Marty Smith would land one of the best pike from the River Inny in recent years. It was a “Reel” River Monster. We had the pleasure of meeting two Co. Offaly angling mad pals as they ventured along the Inny in their Kayaks. Also this week’s news of the Derravaragh Anglers Dinner, which once again will be held in Weirs Restaurant. Plus something a little different this week, with a photograph of a huge Skate which our Midland Sea anglers might be interested in checking out.

ENNELL. Ennel was a tough nut to crack last weekend, and on Saturday in bitter cold conditions it was next to impossible to locate the Perch. The water temperature was actually higher than air temperature early in the Morning, and this type of weather really seems to affect the feeding patterns of our Predator fish such as pike and perch. On the first few drifts over what would normally be a Hot Spot for Perch we managed only two takes, and that was it for the day. Pike anglers faired no better, and the lake failed to produce a pike for local anglers on Sunday. The lake is quite high and after the recent stormy weather, it would be advisable to check your boat if its still on the lake.

RIVER INNY MONSTER. I have being treating to venture down the River Inny through Lough Iron, and give it a go for a few pike. On Sunday morning when I arrived at Donore Shore a few anglers had already launched and were out on Derravaragh.The wind was blowing right into Donore Shore and it was a bitter cold wind. The plan was to head down the River Inny trolling lures and dead baits right down to Lough Iron. The River was in a huge flood, and the current had us down on Iron in little over an hour. I had teamed up with angling pal Marty Smith and on the way down the Inny River I got one small pike trolling. We knew with all the fresh floodwater, it was going to be hard going on the River. The pleasure of boat fishing along the River Inny is that you can anchor up, or bank the boat where the river is not heavily fished. Quite a few stretches of the River Inny is not fishable from the bank, especially this time of year when it’s in flood. Eventually I reached a favorite Hot Spot of mine on the Inny, and we banked the boat and starting spinning. The spinning proved fruitless, and decided to chuck out a few deadbaits. As they say the rest is History now. Marty got stuck into a huge River Inny Monster and it rattled the scales at 22lbs 1oz, it measured 95cm, and had a girth of 40cm.Its certainly one of the best River Inny Pike in years, and was in mint condition.

CHILLING OUT IN THEIR KAYAKS. Fishing from Kayaks has really taken off in recent times, and actually there is a Kayak Fishing Club in Ireland, and I have met some of their members on Lough Lene.Last Sunday I met Kayak angling pals Roy Cuthbertson from Edenderry, and Kenny Corcoran from Clonbullogue as they lashed lure across Lough Iron. The lads had launched at Ballinalack Bridge and ventured the whole way down to Iron in their Kayaks. Fantastic was to explore our Rivers and Lakes, especially where it’s not possible to bank fish, or launch you traditional 19ft lake boat.

DERRAVARAGH ANGLERS ANNUAL DINNER. On Friday night February 6th Lough Derravaragh Anglers will hold their Annual Dinner. Once again the award winning Weirs Bar & Restaurant in Multyfarnham will be the venue. Tickets are priced at 30 Euro per person.

SKATE ALMIGHTY. Some of our Midland Sea anglers might be interested in checking out what’s happening on the sea front up North. Hamish Currie is the Skipper of the Predator II in Red bay Co.Antrim.On his most recent angling adventure with clients, they boated huge Skate including a specimen of 209lbs for Steen Carson of Carrick-Specimen hunters. It’s a cracking photograph and the Skate seems to be smiling for the camera.

THAT’S IT. The shooting season will finish on January 31st and it will be all hands on deck from there on in. I hope to get a few hours on Derrymore Springs Rainbow fishery near Killucan later this week. Plus we might have a got at catching another Specimen pike from some of our fantastic fisheries. In the mean time tight lines till next week.

CONTACT. Mick Flanagan

Angling correspondent and photographer.

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