It was a wet and frosty few days over the Christmas break, and the fishing was tough. The heavy rain had the lakes and rivers back in flood, and very discoloured. Last Sunday December 28th Midland Pike Anglers hosted their last pike competition of the 2014 season. The venue was Boderg and some nice pike were caught in very frosty conditions. The lake was mirror calm, and the Curlew Mountains looked magical capped with snow. Also this week news on the Irish Specimen Fish reports, once again Ree and Derravaragh featured well in the coarse fish section. January Pike & Predator magazine had his the shelves, and its full steam ahead with Gadgets for anglers. Plus we were sent some lovely photographs from Australia with Mullingar Angler Frank Gilligan catching lovely Travelli, and Thumb fish.

MIDLAND PIKE ANGLERS. Last Sunday we teamed with Midland Pike Anglers for their last pike competition of 2014.The venue was Lough Boderg near Dromod, and even dough we had a huge nights frost on Saturday, the main roads were ok. Some members did not travel due to the road conditions, and the anglers that competed had a lovely day in calm crisp frosty conditions. Boderg is on the Shannon system and was very high and discolored after the heavy rain over Christmas. It’s a huge system of water and full of fish. On competition day you could see many fish topping on the surface in the calm. The pike were had to entice even with all the new colorful lures anglers got for Christmas. On the day Ollie Fallon of Newtowncashel latched onto a pike of 12lbs 4oz to take Top Rod.Mullingar Angler Barry Darby 2nd with 7lbs 13oz, Rooskey piker Pat Healy 3rd with 7lbs 8oz, and I had a 7lbs pike to take 4th place. Presentation took place back in Weirs Bar and Lounge Rooskey, and there was a roaring fire to greet us hardy anglers. Midland Pike Anglers will be back in action come February, and membership is open. Prior to the next competition I will publish contact numbers, if any pike anglers are interested in joining.

IRISH SPECIMEN FISH REPORT. I just had a look at the Irish Specimen Fish report for 2014, and once again some of the Midland Lakes featured well in the coarse fish section. Derravaragh produced quite a few Roach/Bream Hybrids, and some cracking bream were caught on Ree.The River Shannon at Rooskey only 45 minutes drive from Mullingar featured in the River pike specimen section. Mullingar angler Emmett Hope is listed in the sea section with his specimen Pouting. Hard copies of the report will be available free of charge from Inland Fisheries Ireland offices in Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24 in early January. For further information contact William Roche, ISFC Sec at 01-8842600.The awards presentation will take place on Saturday 21st February in the Bewleys Airport Hotel, the same weekend as the Ireland Angling 2015 Show takes place. We will keep you posted on the specimen awards and Ireland Angling show in the coming weeks.

FISHFINDER ON YOUR PHONE. The Pike & Predator January Magazine has hit the shelves, and some new gadgets are available for preadator anglers. Savage Gear has the Water Wolf HD Underwater camera out now. This underwater camera can be used for trolling, casting, or float fishing. I have watched some of the footage from this bit of kit and its certainly eye catching. Also out are two new fish finders. One is the Smart fish finder for Android & iOS plus Luckylaker WiFi fishfinder. The Smart Fish finder is compatible wit most mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones. It incredible what’s out their for anglers on the gadget scene, and its only beginning.

FINALY GREETING FROM AUSTRALIA. Franky Gilligan sends Angling Focus greeting from Brisbane in Australia. Franky left Mullingar 7 years back, and loved his fly fishing here in Mullingar.Now he is catching some wonderful species of fish in Australia including Travelli and Thumb fish we are told, and is also enjoying some fantastic salt water fly fishing. Unfortunally In every sport over the years we have lost some great anglers due to the recession in Ireland, and the difficulty in getting work here at home. If you have any angling pals or relations working abroad, give them our contact details, and we will keep on line with them. It’s a small world now with twitter and facebook, and its nice to keep in touch.

THAT’S IT. All that’s left is to wish you a Happy New Year and tight Lines for the 2015 season. Next week all going well news on the first rod caught salmon, the season kicks off on January 1st.We have the Water Wolf Underwater camera, and its being tested as you read this weeks Angling Focus.

CONTACT. Mick Flanagan

Angling correspondent and photographer.

Mobile: 087-2797270

E mail mick@midlandangling.com