Yep no shortage of water on our Lakes and Rivers as we look forward to the opening day for trout on the Western Lakes. Some of us Midlanders are planning a trip to Lough Mask on Saturday February 15th for opening day, hopefully the high winds will settle and we will get a few days fishing. The high water is also effecting the early salmon fishing, and to date no fish have being recorded from the Blackwater.Ian Powell tells us the River is so high no Anglers have ventured out. Mind you the River Drowes is producing a few nice salmon in story conditions. Here on the local scene it was hard going to locate the Perch on Ennell, and we had to settle for catching small jack pike on a variety of colorful Lures. It’s incredible what size lure a small pike will take, and they are getting very aggressive as it’s coming near spawning time. Speaking of pike John Chambers reported that some huge pike were banked from the Grand Canal during the recent National Pike Championships. Sixty-one Anglers competed with Tom Conlon producing a huge Specimen canal pike of 21lbs 6oz.Its A.G.M. time this Friday for Lough Bane Anglers, and it’s an 8pm Sharp start in Moylagh Community Centre. Also news in this week of huge funding for salmon Conservation, and also a further 50,000 is available for the Midland Fisheries Fund. Local clubs would be advised to check this out.

COUNT DOWN TO FEBUARY 15TH. All the talk this week will conditions be ok for opening day on Mask, Conn, and Corrib.These fantastic fisheries open two weeks earlier for trout fishing than our Midlands Lakes. The Western lakes are a Hot Spot for many of our Midland Anglers and its always nice to check out new Fisheries.Unfortunally the high water levels may cause us some problems, but hopefully some reports next week of Westmeath Anglers enjoying a day out in the west.

HIGH WATER LEVELS. Last week I spend a few days on Ennell, Derravaragh, and lashed a few “Hairy Killers” out across a very swollen River Inny.Yep the Hairy Killer by Abu Garcia is some strange looking Lure, but it has caught the attention of the Midland Pike. I met Mullingar Angler Stephen Duffy out on Ennell last week and he has produced some huge pike on this colorful Lure last season. I gave it a run on the River Inny and Derravaragh and had some lovely pike in the 6-8lbs bracket. I reckon the Hairy Killer will catch some monster pike in the coming weeks, when the water levels eventually settle. Naturally the lakes and rivers are in full flood, and I just about got under Float Bridge last week while boating up the Inny.Plus as darkness fell on Derravaragh last week I caught the Sunset.You could say calm before the storm. Keep an eye on water levels; I reckon some cracking pike will come on line as the River Inny water level settles.

AGGRESSIVE LITTLE PIKE. Its coming near spawning time for pike, and the little Jack pike have moved into shallow water in search of some female company. A well I suppose it’s coming near Valentines Day, and maybe the pike are feeling romantic. Mind you they are very aggressive and lashing at some very big and colorful lures. Stephen Duffy fished a very colorful Bulldog in 2-3ft of water on Ennell, and it was hammered by small pike. Speaking of Valentines Day David o, Malley has some lovely Lures and Flies in stock, as does Brian Conlon in Anglers World. Flowers will wither, cards will be recycled, but Lures and Flies will last, and every time your loving Angling partner catches a fish on these lures or flies he will think of you. Now who said us Anglers are not romantic.

GRAND PIKE FROM CANAL. John Chambers reported from the recent National Pike Championships fished on the Grand Canal. The Royal Canal and Grand Canal are quite fishable in the high water, and they do produce cracking pike. John reported that sixty-one Anglers fished a stretch of the Grand Canal and some huge pike were banked. Tom Conlon had the best pike a cracking Specimen of 21lbs 8oz. If interested in checking out coming National Pike Championship qualifiers check www.angling-in-ireland.com

FUNDING FOR FISHERIES. Minister Fergus O, Dowd has announced funding to support fisheries, and we have some details and contacts for any local club who would be interested in applying for funds to develop their Fishery. The 2014 Salmon Conservation Fund(SCF), the Midland Fisheries Fund(MFF) and the new Co-op Funds are now open for applications, Minister Fergus O’ Dowd has announced. In total €410,000 is available to conserve and develop the inland fisheries resource. The Midland Fisheries Fund, which ran as a pilot scheme in 2013, has seen 9 projects undertaken in the midland area developing angling resources, supporting scientific research and conserving fisheries habitat. A further €50,000 is available under this scheme for 2014. Full details and application forms are available on www.fisheriesireland.ie.

LOUGH BANE A.G.M. Laugh Bane Angling Association will hold their Annual General Meeting on Friday next February 14th with an 8pm sharp start. Once again the venue is Moylagh Community Centre, and all members are asked to attend. One of the highlights of the A.G.M. is the Clubman Of The Year award. Lough Bane will not open for trout until March 1st, and their first competition is penciled in for Sunday March 30th, and top prize is the Dromone Engineering Cup.

THAT’S IT. Yep all out of Ink. Next week news from opening day down the west. Plus we hope to look back at the Specimen Awards, which will take place this Saturday in Bewleys Airport Hotel. Also next weekend the Ireland 2014 Angling Show takes place in the National Show Centre. Opening times Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm.Admission-Adults 10 Euro, family 2 Adults& 2 Children 25 Euro, OAP and Under 15 is 5 Euro. Under 5 years free.


CONTACT. Mick Flanagan

Angling correspondent and photographer.

Mobile: 087-2797270

E mail mick@midlandangling.com