The winter pike fishing is in full swing, and despite the huge volume of floodwater some cracking pike are being caught on lures. Last Sunday on Ree the lake was a bit discolored and the pike were reluctant to come on the feed. Still it took a 10lbs fish to make the winning enclosure. Earlier in the week Barry Darby had some super fish from Ree fishing with pal Des Powell.Derravaragh and Ennell also produced the goods, and Henk Versteeg of Holland had a beauty from Ennell as did Marty Smith over from England. It certainly looking good for the coming weeks on the pike scene, and now is the time to get out on our Lakes and Rivers. Also this week I photographed local farmers moving their cattle in from Inishcleraun Island on Ree, better known to anglers as Quaker Island. They had a nice smooth crossing and now will enjoy a few months in shore. I got an very interesting e- mail from Oughterard anglers on their on going hatchery work on Corrib.Last year the hatchery produced 3000,000 trout fry for Corrib.

MIDLAND PIKE ANGLERS. Last Sunday Midland Pike Anglers hosted a club competition on Lough Ree.All boats fished out of Barley Harbour, and it was tough going as Ree is very high after all the recent rain. Certain parts of Ree were very discolored with floodwater, and the pike were reluctant to take our lures. Still you needed a pike up on 10lbs to get into the prizes. I teamed up with Marty Smith from England who is over on one of his regular angling adventures here in Westmeath. We trolled quite a selection of colorful Lures, and eventually Marty got stuck into a nice pike of 10lbs 12oz to take Top Rod.Athlone angler Eamon Craven was 2nd with 10lbs 5oz, and Joe McDermott 3rd with 10lbs.The “Bug” Tommy Buggy was up from Kilkenny and could not get a handle on the Ree pike. Barry Darby was very unlucky on the competition day, and lost a good fish estimated at 17-18lbs as it came near the boat. Barry was fishing with Des Powel land the lads had a great day on Ree last week with pike to 27lbs in weight.

DUTCH OF CLASS. Henk Versteeg was over last week from Nahrden in Holland and done a few days piking on Ennell.Henk teamed up with son Matt who works here in Ireland with IBM and lives in Clara Co.Offaly.The Versteeg lads had some lovely pike on lures made by Henk who is a carpenter by trade. Henk is back over all going well next April and will have some new homemade lures to test on our Predator fish.

MACKLESFIELD MAGICAN. “O THE PAIN OF IT”. It was a hard pill to swallow last Sunday as my good pal Marty Smith dropped over from England and hammered us local pike experts on our own waters. Marty was in cracking form and had some lovely perch and pike on Ennell earlier in the week. As mentioned above he also done the business on Ree during the Midland Pike Anglers competition. Marty has fished in many Countries, but has a real soft spot for Mullingar, and loves the fishing game.

CATTLE ON THE MOVE. It’s a fact you just never know what you will see happening on our waterways. As we trolled out from Inishcleraun Island on Ree, which is better known to anglers as Quaker Island I watched a strange barge type vessel crossing the lake. As it came closer I could see it was local farmers moving cattle from the Island back onto the mainland. The cattle really seemed to enjoy their boat trip, and its not two often I get the chance to photograph cattle being moved from the Islands on Ree.

OUGHTERARD TROUT HATCHERY. Midland trout anglers might be a little bit interested with what’s happening in the West Of Ireland. It hard to believe we are already thinking about Febuary 15th when the Western lakes open for trout fishing. We got a lovely e- mail from Kevin Prundy of Oughterard Anglers letting us know what’s happening with their on going hatchery work. It includes some super photographs of trout being stripped, and the fertilized ova are already in the incubation unit, and in the coming months the fry will hatch. Kevin told us Local parents and children where present to see this unique process, which is an educational experience for the public taking place. If any of our trout anglers or local clubs would like to check this out have a look at

THAT’S IT. Yes another week has drifted by in the Angling World.I am cutting it tight the last few weeks, but if you have any angling news items pics etc last them in overt the weekend ,as early Monday morning is our deadline for angling related news for Angling Focus.Tight Lines till next week.

CONTACT. Mick Flanagan

Angling correspondent and photographer.

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