Dave Stewart winner of Killeshandra Festival 2018
Pike fishing news:

The pike fishing season has begun with local anglers reporting good catches of pike, big and small, fishing from the bank and the boat.

Bellyboat fishing news and advice:

BELLYBOAT ANGLING is now becoming popular, as water levels at this time of year (Jan/Feb), can be unusually high after a wet winter making access to pike fishing water quite challenging. Also, it is very versatile method where a fishing boat is not an option. For those who have never attempted bellyboat-fishing or know nothing about it, the basic equipment is (1) a bellyboat: an inflatable ring (larger than a lifebelt), that holds you afloat in the water above waist height and also has compartments for various small angling bits and (2) a wet suit, essential for cold water and (3) flippers for your feet to enable you to swim fast and change direction and (4) a strong casting rod and line with various lures for pike. French and Belgian anglers have been using this method in Ireland for at least ten years with great success.

NB: Words of caution especially for first timers. (A) Never go out alone in a bellyboat, always have someone close by in case you need help and it goes without saying that you should be a good swimmer. (B) Never borrow a bellyboat, use a new one for practice sessions and stay close to a clean shore. (C) Always store your bellyboat away from sharp objects even when putting it into your car or van. (D) Think safety always and the enjoyment comes afterwards.  Information given by a bellyboat angler.