MIDLAND PIKE ANGLERS: Last Sunday the Midland Pike Anglers club members hosted a boat competition on Lough Boderg. This is a popular, permit free venue for pike angling clubs and is on the Shannon system with access at Dromod in Co. Leitrim. It’s not a million miles away and you would easily get there from Mullingar within an hour while pulling the boat, and to top it off, there is splendid access for launching boats and parking spaces in Dromod Harbour. Conditions on the day were quite good with a slight breeze, but it was bitter cold for the first few hours of the competition. Fishing was from 11am-4:30pm and some nice pike were caught on the day, with the heaviest pike down the line taking the top three places. Joe McDermott from Longford had the best pike weighing 14lbs 15oz, 2nd was Newtowncashel piker Ollie Fallon with 13lbs 11oz and Moyvore angler Mick Dalton was 3rd with 7lbs 12oz.


We slapped the Berlingo fish mobile into top gear and met with Ballymote coarse anglers as they fished one of their winter leagues near Dromod in Co Leitrim. Ballymote anglers are based in Co. Sligo, but travel across Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo, fishing their winter and summer coarse angling matches. I also chatted to Alan Spencer, who was competition captain on the day and a real lover of fishing. The retired school teacher, originally from Liverpool, moved over to Ireland nine years back, having crossed the waters since the early seventies and fishing here in Ireland yearly. Last weekend’s match was won by Dave Rowkins of Stroakestown with 6lbs 13oz, 2nd was Alan Spencer with 5lbs 13oz and 3rd Ballyhaunis angler John Randall.

Also recently, Michael Diffley and his pal Darragh Healy of Rooskey fished the midland pike angler’s competition and I watched them net a fish not long into the competition. When chatting to the lads later, they told me that a 2lbs perch picked up one of their dead baits, so I reckon a day’s perch fishing on Boderg is on the cards soon.

DERRAVARAGH PIKE: We had a few unbelievably mild days last week and it really seems to have got the predator fish on the move. On Derravaragh, my younger brother J.J. had a few friends out pike fishing and I hooked – up with them for a few hours. Ray Lynch was in the thick of the action and had a cracking pike on a black, white and red Bulldawg. I also did a few hours with John McAlister and we boated up on five pike on a variety or colourful soft and hard lures. John also did a bit of jigging for perch and managed to pull a small pike up from 40ft of water on a small perch imitation rubber lure. Like many of our waterways, Derravaragh is brutally low for this time of year and it’s not easy launching your boat at Donore shore during these times, so take care if heading out in the coming weeks. The shallow rocky area near Cooloure Bay, right into the mouth of the Yellow River, should also be avoided.