The angling season started on March 1 and, by the experience of past years, your best chance of catching a trout is to try on one of the hundreds of Put and Take fisheries all over the province.
These are usually stocked with trout from hatcheries, where they are reared for the market. Some of our rivers still hold a few wild brown trout, but I daren’t name them.
Put and Take can provide results and a few weeks ago I heard of an angler catching over 200 fish on a catch and release ticket. This has to be some kind of record!
The major fish kill on Brantry Lough last year has provided more questions than answers. But I hope to have some answers in the next few weeks as a survey was carried out by the fisheries authorities.
The opening of coarse fishing on Park Lake on two days per week has been a big, big success for those who patronise it for this purpose.
All my life in the weekly angling reports, I paid special attention to the young and disabled anglers and that was brought home to me in a very special way last year. I had always questioned why the lake was opened years ago as fly fishery as not all anglers fly-fish, and this applies more so to disabled sportsmen.
Before Christmas I provided a report and picture of blind angler Declan Ferran trying for coarse on Park Lake. For Declan it was like winning the lottery and his mum told me that she felt so proud for Declan.
Then in the last few weeks I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen and Michael Bartley when they were catching coarse fish at the Dungannon facility. Like Declan, these guys had and have their own problems and, talking to their mum, she was delighted as to the benefits of this for their future welfare. Both lads fish Park Lake twice a week and, as the picture shows, they are catching fish there.
They’ve taken out a permit for White Lake, ministry fishery, and also go to Put and Takes. I can understand why the future looks bright for the trio because, after well over half a century, I still feel the same today about fishing.