Good catches – and a bone to pick with Waterways Ireland

The recent pike match held on Lough Ree was a very dour affair with few fish being landed. As I pointed out in one of my past articles this is not a good time of the year for pike fishing and the results of this particular match certainly emphasised my point.    It proved to be a great day however for 12-year-old Danny Griffin, fishing out of the boat owned by Andy Kirk. Andy, a lorry driver for a local quarry is one of the more enthusiastic anglers when it comes to introducing our youngsters to the sport. This day proved that if you are in the right place at the right time, the novice angler can beat all the local experts.    Danny trolled a yellow bull dog lure to land a fish weighing 13lbs 9oz and pick up the €1500 first prize. The lad skillfully played the fish to the boat, to be netted by his father Noel. It was a close result however with Brendan Griffith coming in a close second with a fish weighing 13lbs 2oz and prizemoney of €800. The rest of the results are as follows: 3rd place, Sean Devine 10lbs 15oz (€500). 4th Tom Fallon, 8lbs 4oz (€200). 5th David Clyne, 7lbs 2oz.   The recent spell of mild weather saw an upturn in other facets of the sport with good returns for anglers seeking to catch our quality silver fish such as roach and hybrids. The few visiting anglers that I have spoken to all reported moderate to good catches of small roach/bream hybrids and roach, some almost a pound in weight.    One local Roscommon angler who fared even better was retired legal executive John Astell. John for once ventured outside the county and fished the Woodford River near Ballyconnell. Employing straight-forward waggler float tactics to a size 14 hook baited with either two or three red maggots John landed a succession of quality roach and then decided to change bait to a small red worm. After introducing several small balls of crumb ground bait laced with a spicy additive he sat back a little to wait for a bigger fish. He didn’t to have to wait too long however as his float slowly slid under. After a hectic struggle John landed the first of three quality bream, a fish more often caught in spring and summer.    Yours truly hasn’t visited the river bank as often as one would have liked in recent weeks owing to problems with my knee. Last year saw the building on my house extension come to almost a complete halt. The knee is now almost as good as new and a little pressure from the boss (my wife Christine) saw me back in harness laying concrete and preparing the conservatory ready for double-glazing.    What fishing I did manage was quite rewarding. A 56 fish haul, mainly roach to long pole and red maggot came at Tarmonbarry and a trip to Leitrim Village provided me with a 61 fish catch on a 7 metre whip. I fished a 2 Gramm float, size 16 hook accompanied by two red maggots.   On a more sour note