Yes, another few cracking fishy pics this week. Alan Murray from Collinstown is featured with a huge pike plus Mullingar angler Davie Blight was in the angling news again this week with some more fine pike. On the trout scene, I was on Owel last Saturday with Pat Marry of Rathconnell and it was tough going in high winds. Still, earlier in the week local anglers produced the goods from Owel. Also this week, great news with the Covid- 19 lifting of travel restrictions – now all our North Westmeath lakes are in range.

HUGE PIKE FOR ALAN MURRAY: I got a call from my pal in Collinstown Johnny Keating regarding a day of pike fishing with his pal Alan Murray. Johnny moved to Collinstown some years back from Mullingar and knows the North Westmeath waters quite well. The lads had a great day fishing and Alan Murray is only a few weeks into the sport of pike angling but it will be hard for him to beat this personal best pike. Johnny Keating measured the pike at well over 100cm and the beautiful fish was released after a quick photo. A great start to your pike angling Alan and keep us posted on more of your outstanding catches.

BLIGHT LANDS ANOTHER FINE PIKE: Last Sunday, Davie Blight and another one of Mullingar’s top anglers Pauric Martin teamed up for a day of pike fishing. The lads were drifting dead baits and working colourful lures when Davie latched onto a fine pike of 16lbs. These fish are in mint condition after the spawning season and I am sure more savage big pike will be caught in the coming weeks, especially now that we can travel to many more local lakes.

HIGH WINDS ON OWEL: Last Saturday I spent a day on Owel with Pat Marry of Rayhconnell and it was certainly tough going in choppy conditions. We trolled and did a lot of spinning up along the Portloman Shore and only managed one small pike for the day. There was a few Olives hatching but I only saw one feeding trout during the whole day. It’s amazing how the weather can have a knock on effect on the fishing. Earlier in the week Mullingar anglers Brian Butler and Darren had some lovely trout on the troll. Owel will come good again and quite a few more anglers will be out on Owel in the coming weeks.

WESTMEATH LAKES OPEN UP: Travel restrictions and the fact that of some lakes in North Westmeath were closed for angling since the end of March had anglers on hold for the past few weeks. Thankfully, now we can travel across Westmeath and the North Westmeath lakes are back in range for local anglers. Glore, Lene, Bane and the Whitelake are all back within the distance we can travel. Lene has been closed since the end of March, so let’s hope the fish are jumping into the boat in the coming days. Just before it closed I had some super rainbows with Thomas McMullan and Vice- Chairman Frank McKeown also had a few lovely Lene trout!

 ANGLING COMPETITIONS: There was a bit of excitement on the lakes last weekend as I spoke to local anglers who love the competitions, be it pike or trout events. The Covid-19 restrictions are lifting faster than expected and you never know, some of the late season competitions may take place, where social distancing can be in place. It is really only at entry time and presentation time that anglers actually gather and hopefully this can be easily sorted.

ENNELL ROACH/BREAM HYBRID. On May 21st last I featured the Bream Hybrid that I caught on Ennell on a Dry May Fly while fishing with Mullingar dentist Des Byrne. Willie Roach of The Irish Specimen Committee reckoned it was a Roach/ Bream Hybrid and Willie who I met over the years reckoned I made a mistake by not measuring the beautiful looking fish. Willie reckoned it was very likely to be an Irish Specimen, as it looked every bit of 50cm, which is the specimen length. A bit late now, as it was returned as soon as Des Byrne took the photograph. I suppose looking on the bright side, there must be more huge specimen species of fish out in Ennell waiting to be caught. You can be sure I will measure the next one I catch! I have a few Specimen fish to my credit over the years including two huge Corrib trout 11.33lbs caught on 7th June 2004 and another Ferox on 15th February on the opening day of the Corrib weighing 4.9kg over 10lbs. Would you believe I only came 3rd in the opening day competition with this fish? Local Brickeen anglers produced trout 15 & 16lbs in weight! I also had a huge Eel from Lough Lene on 17th June 2006 weighing 2.44kg. On 26th July down in Courtmacsherry I had a Coalfish of 9.48kg and way back on Ennell on March 3rd 2004 I had a pike of 30lbs 6oz. Yes, the Ennell Roach / Bream Hybrid Specimen Certificate would have being a nice one to get.

THAT’S IT: Yes all Westmeath Lakers and Rivers are in range for local anglers, and those working in Westmeath. It great news but remember to keep your social distance in mind. If you are back out on your local waters, send in a few fishy pics and your contact details and we will feature you in Angling Focus. Next week, a bit of news on the coarse-angling scene as I met a few local anglers enjoying the fine weather on the Royal Canal. Just a reminder, I have to do the angling piece on Sunday night or very early Monday morning, so lash in your pics as soon as possible. Tight Lines until next week.

Mick Flanagan

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