BLACK MOUTHED BASS: Our good pal Andy “The Nodger” Boyle has been back some weeks from his annual trip to Columbus Georgia. The Nodger is well known on the angling scene, not just in the Midlands but also right across the country. We meet regularly, be it on the town or the waterways, and always have a great chat about the angling scene. Naturally, when away on holidays the Nodger like most anglers, tries to get a days fishing done in new venues and tries fishing for new species. Andy had some lovely days on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus Georgia and caught cracking Big Mouthed Bass.

SUPER PIKE FOR GORDON: Our pal Gordon Davis was back out on the Midland lakes recently and boated some super pike well into the double figures. Gordon lives in Bray and loves fishing. The last time he was in Mullingar he spent a few hours on the Royal Canal in blustery conditions. He finished up early and dropped into Brian in Wild Total Outdoors. That day he picked up some super Shad Paddle Tail Lures and it was a wise move. The pike Gordon is holding this week was caught on a Herring Coloured Shad. If I remember rightly, I featured these lures some weeks back in Angling Focus and I must dig it out again and feature it once more. They are very colorful lures and realistic with brilliant movement.

ANGLING EVENTS: As mentioned, the competition scene has been hit hard as the Coronavirus has all large gatherings cancelled for the foreseeable future. The Lough Lene Cup penciled in for last Sunday March 15th took a hit, as did the St Patrick Day fundraising competition for Cancer Research on Lene which was also canceled. I spoke to Gerry Heaslip who was organizing the St Patrick Day event and he thanked us for giving it great publicity in the angling reports and on my angling site and Facebook page. Pat Brown, competition captain of Lene, was also in touch and both parties will keep us posted on these events when the restrictions from the Coronavirus are lifted.

ANGLING VISITORS: It was on the cards some weeks back, as the Coronavirus swept across Europe that our regular Italian anglers, who love pike fishing and their usual trip to Mullingar, have had to cancel. It’s a huge hit for angling tourism in Westmeath and indeed right across Ireland. Hopefully in the coming months all will be back on line, and we will have these fantastic anglers back in Mullingar. Some of the groups have been coming for years, staying in Kerrigan B&B and fishing the likes of Derravaragh, Ennell and the Inny River.

THAT’S IT: That’s it for this week and we can only hope that this Coronavirus drifts pass, sooner rather than later. I spoke to some anglers and they have self-isolated on the lakes. Some joked they are going back to the hermit times and are setting up camp on islands. I remember well the Hermit Huts on the shores of Ennell and in nearby forests. I actually slept in them as a young lad on Ennell, summer fishing almost 24 hours a day and overnight before the start of the duck shooting season. Tight Lines until next week.