Great turnout for 2024 AGM to celebrate Gerry’s 4th Angler of the Year Win!

37 of us attended this years AGM last Friday 26th January at the Spa hotel. It was an opportunity to catch up with club mates and friends, to celebrate the angling and winners of the previous season’s competitions and to look forward to the season ahead. This was the highest turnout for an AGM since 2017 which is very encouraging. Pictured below are Sean Goulding and Noel Ross.

Outgoing DTAA President Gerry Heaslip chaired the meeting with DTAA Honorary Secretary Cathal McDonnell taking us through the agenda, previous minutes, motions and nominations for committee members and officers for then coming year. As Gerry has served his term as President, Fran Nugent was selected as incoming President. We thanked Gerry for his commitment to DTAA and his outstanding leadership as President.

Brian Coghlan, (Research Officer with the IFI National Barriers Programme) gave a very informative presentation on the topic of artificial barriers in Irish rivers and their negative impact on the river ecosystems and the fish in particular. This presentation is available here.

DTAA Competitions Secretary Tom Hipwell was unable to attend the meeting and Gary Coakley very ably delivered a short address on behalf of Tom, recognising the value and importance of the DTAA competition calendar to the social life of the association.

Having taken on the position during the AGM, DTAA President Fran Nugent awarded the trophies to those DTAA anglers who won the competitions during the year as well as the honours of angler of the year, best juvenile angler and the Ronnie Miley trophy.

Gerry Heaslip was the angler of the year. This is Gerry’s 4th time winning the David Ring Cup and steps into 2nd place in DTAA folklore on his own now. Fran Nugent had an amazing 7 wins with Gary Coakley and Paul Dunne on 3 wins each. This competition has been running since 1985
and the first winner of this coveted trophy was the one and only
Noel Ross.

Full details of competition winners and other laureates can be found in the 2023 Annual Report here.

As we anticipate the opening of the season (March in most cases, but mid February for those brave souls who will head out on Conn), you might be interested in the DTAA fly tying group on Whatsapp which is busily sharing patterns and techniques and inspiring us to get the vice out and get the fly boxes stocked for our planned outings. If you are interested in fly tying be sure to reach out to Tom Smith or Tom Hipwell.

Christmas Outing 2023

DTAA had our annual Christmas outing in Laois Angling Centre yesterday with 14 anglers catching and releasing 53 fish. The weather wasn’t too bad with only a small drizzle shower during the day. Our winner on the day was Brian Conway with a tremendous 15 fish, while Matt Clarke took the second spot with 11 fish and 3rd place for DTAA President Gerry Heaslip with 7 fish.

A big thank you to all who took part to make it a very enjoyable day. Also a big thank you to John at the angling centre for his prize voucher which was won by Alan Doherty in 4th place.
Looking forward to seeing you all in the new season tight lines for 2024  Gerry

Fran looking very comfortable in this last picture while John works on tempting the fish.

Boating Safety

For Biosecurity information and guidance please see this article:

Boating Safety

The most important advice we can give is that you should know the lake you are going out on.  Do not boat on a lake if you are unfamiliar with the area you are going to. Always take a person with knowledge of the lake with you before you set out.

Secondly, try to avoid emergency situations before they can occur by acting sensibly.  Once an emergency occurs on the water it can quickly become very serious and life-threatening.  Bad weather is a major contributor to boat accidents, do not go out in bad weather or if bad weather is forecasted.

Always be prepared for engine failure. If you would not be able to control the boat on the oars, then it is not suitable to go out.

The main dangers:

  1. Man overboard: This is a serious emergency; it is almost impossible to retrieve a fully clothed adult into the boat without the danger of capsizing.  A person who has been in the water is in serious danger of hypothermia.  Once the person is saved, leave the lake and seek medical treatment as soon as possible, no matter how minor you think the situation is.
  2. Capsizing: Will normally result in a man overboard situation as well as putting the boat out of action – this is extremely serious and the best advice is to avoid situations where a capsize is even remotely possible (bad weather, falling over when moving in the boat, overloaded boat, collisions etc.)
  3. Collision with submerged objects (rocks mainly): Can cause serious injury to occupants or capsize the boat.
  4. Hypothermia: leave the water if any occupant is shivering from the cold or becomes wet.
  5. Propeller injury:  Engine propellers are deadly, do no cruise around persons in the water!  The only safe engine is one that’s switched off.

Before you go on the water:

  1. Make sure that you consult the weather forecast, especially the wind strength.  Be aware of weather warnings that may be active. Check inland lakes forecast on .
  2. Check water conditions before you launch – definitely do not go out if you see spray being blown off the waves, but do not wait until conditions get this extreme.  Met Eireann issues a small-craft warnings for Beaufort Scales 5 and above (wind greater than 30km/hr) and it is recommended that club members exercise extreme care well before the weather even approaches these conditions.
  3. Ensure that you are warmly dressed and that you wear appropriate footwear
  4. Make sure that someone knows where you plan to go and how long you will be on the water
  5. Make sure you have some means of communication (mobile phone), it is charged and waterproofed.
  6. Ensure your engine is properly serviced in good running order
  7. Ensure that your engine is securely attached to the boat and that you have used a safety chain.
  8. Make sure that the engine kill-switch is attached to the helmsman.
  9. Make sure you have sufficient petrol, and it is of the correct type (e.g. 2-stroke oil), make sure that your fuel tank bleed valve is open.
  10. Essential boat equipment:
    1. Set of oars
    1. Bailing bucket
    1. Length of rope (preferably a floating rope )
  11. Bail out the boat and remove any slime from the floor of the boat to prevent slipping
  12. Make sure that there is no rope trailing from the boat which may catch in the propeller. Use rope secured to the bow of the boat that is no longer than the boat so it can not catch in the propeller.
  13. Pack things neatly in the boat to avoid tripping over your equipment
  14. Make sure your boat partner knows how to use your engine; you may need them to take over in an emergency.

As you go on the water perform the following initial checks:

  1. Ensure that your engine is working correctly, if you suspect any issues with your engine return to shore.
  2. Observe that engine cooling water flow from the impeller is working.
  3. After a few minutes, recheck the engine clamps just in case engine vibrations may have loosened the clamps.
  4. Make sure that you have read water conditions correctly from shore and return to shore if it is worse than you first thought.
  5. Ensure boatman and partner keep the boat trim, particularly when motoring the boat in heavy weather.

General boating advice:

  1. Do not overload the boat, generally we should not have more than two anglers in the boat.
  2. Do not stand up in the boat unnecessarily.  When moving in the boat, keep your centre of gravity low.  Warn your partner if you intend to move or lean over the side of the boat so they can counterbalance if necessary.  It is best to bend over and make sure you are holding onto the boat with both your hands and then only move one of your four limbs at a time when moving in the boat.
  3. Ensure weight is distributed evenly in the boat.  Avoid too much weight on one side of the boat as well as having weight too far forward or too far back.
  4. Travel slowly, particularly in areas you are not familiar with or when approaching shore. ‘If you think you are travelling slow enough – slow down!’
  5. In high waves, try to travel into the waves, and do not travel along the waves.
  6. Take care when you are travelling downwind in heavy waves as the waves may cause the boat to broach (turn sideways) and capsize.
  7. Adjust your speed when in heavy weather do not go too fast or too slow, concentrate on meeting each wave at the correct angle, speed and under the correct power.
  8. If stopping on shore for a short while, make sure that your boat is properly secured, particularly if the wind is blowing away from the shore.
  9. When underway, make sure that you are on constant lookout for other boats or markers indicating underwater hazards, a good way to do this is to move the boat slightly from port to starboard and back as you travel as this allows you to scan the water ahead.
  10. When possible, always approach a shoreline from the leeward side of an island or a point.

When you get back to shore:

  1. Secure the boat properly:
    1. Make sure that you have pulled it up sufficiently
    1. Ensure that the boat is securely tethered
    1. Support the sides of the boat with tyres and ensure that the boat cannot bash against other boats.
    1. Ensure that the boat and oars are securely locked and the keys stowed
  2. Remove all your belongings, litter and discarded fishing line.

Beaufort Scale – Water Conditions

Wind ForceStateAppearance on the Water (Lake Conditions)Wind km/hrWind Knots
0CalmWater surface smooth and mirror-likeLess than 2Less than 1
1Light AirScaly ripples, no foam crests3-61-3
2Light BreezeSmall wavelets, crests glassy, no breaking7-114-6
3Gentle BreezeLarge wavelets, crests begin to break, scattered whitecaps12-197-10
4Moderate BreezeSmall waves 25cm. becoming longer, numerous whitecaps20-3011-16
5Fresh BreezeModerate waves 35-50 cm taking longer form, many whitecaps, some spray31-3917-21
6Strong BreezeLarger waves 50-75cm, whitecaps common, more spray40-5022-27
7Near GaleWater heaps up, waves 1m, white foam streaks off breakers51-6128-33
8GaleModerately high >1m waves of greater length, edges of crests begin to break into spindrift, foam blown in streaks62-7434-40
9Strong GaleHigh waves 1.5m, water begins to roll, dense streaks of foam, spray may reduce visibility75-8741-47
10StormVery high waves (2m) with overhanging crests, sea white with densely blown foam, heavy rolling, lowered visibility88-10248-55
11Violent StormExceptionally high (>2m) waves, foam patches cover sea, visibility more reduced103-11756-63
12HurricaneAir filled with foam, waves over 2.5m, water completely white with driving spray, visibility greatly reducedGreater than 11864+

Please see these additional safety resources:


Guidance for members

Biosecurity prevents both the introduction and spread of diseases in the environment. We strongly recommend that all DTAA members familiarise with these Biosecurity guidelines and practice good Biosecurity when angling or enjoying our fisheries.

What is it?

Biosecurity is the prevention of disease-causing agents or invasive species entering or leaving any place where they can pose a risk to plants, animals or humans. Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are easily transferred from one watercourse to another from angling tackle, boats, protective gear and clothing. The main causes for concern are the unintentional introduction of disease, invasive species plant or animals, which could lead to the watercourse becoming infected with the spores from an invasive plant or animal pathogens. Both pose different implications and are hard to remediate and eradicate completely – thus dramatically changing an area that may become unsuitable for recreation activities, such as fishing.

Biosecurity in the field

Biosecurity is paramount when out in the natural environment, especially on our watercourses. The transfer of diseases or invasive species from one location to another can happen easily. For example, by an angler fishing on one watercourse who then moves on to a different watercourse without disinfecting his/her gear. The likelihood of cross-contamination is high.

How to protect our environment

Avoid touching your face or eating food when fishing. It is important to clean your hands properly after fishing activities and when around stagnant water for at least 20 seconds under warm, soapy water. If this is not possible on site, use anti-bacterial gel or hand sanitiser with at least 60-90% alcohol to be effective.

To ensure the non-transfer of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and harmful fish pathogens into our watercourses, please make sure to INSPECT all your angling equipment, wellies, waders, and boots for attached plant or animal material before you leave any inland watercourse. If found, REMOVE and safely DISPOSE of such matter and material. Always CLEAN and DISINFECT your equipemnt (e.g. 1% solution of Virkon® Aquatic or another proprietary disinfectant product) at the water’s edge or as soon as possible after leaving. If no disinfectant is available, make sure all your equipment and clothing dries fully for at least 24 hours before you return to a watercourse. The use of felt soles is discouraged because they are known to transport aquatic nuisance species between waterways. There is no way of disinfecting them properly due to the material with which they are made.

Following a biosecurity routine before and after your every visit shows good practice to other anglers and naturalists, who visit such natural places regularly.

Remember: always Inspect, Remove, Dispose, Clean and Disinfect before entering and exiting a watercourse.

Note: this post was copied from the IFI website from this address:

IFI provide excellent information and other resources. Please visit their website at

McCarron Cup 2023

29 DTAA anglers set out in good conditions on Lough Owel last Saturday for the final competition of the season.

Aside from a squally wind at time, conditions were near perfect and 25 anglers return fish. 34 fish were weighed in.

(the following map is from IFI at

We set out from Tullaghans with the south easterly wind giving the opportunity for several boats to drift down onto Srudarra. Fish were pitching and coming to the presented flies (predominantly wets) and some anglers caught here in the first hour. One or two boats moved into the bay inside of Srudarra Island while others continued to drift towards Dolan’s where there was a good showing of trout in the first half of the day. In fact, fish were caught all along the western shore down past the graveyard and into the corner at the Cornfields.

DTAA Honorary Secretary Cathal McDonnell won the day with 2 fish for 5.79 lbs, safely ahead of Brian Conway who measured 2 fish for 4.885 lbs who was just ahead of Tony McGrattan. Gary Coakley was in 4th place and Gerry Heaslip in 5th. Full results are in the table below:

The fishing was followed by the results and prize giving in the Greville Arms hotel in Mullingar with those who could attend staying on for the meal afterwards. The running order was different from last year with Ireland taking on South Africa in the Rugby World Cup in Paris from 8pm.

The hotel set us up for dinner in the main dining room where many of us where delighted to be sat in front of a big screen to enjoy Ireland’s nail biting and gruelling victory over the Spring Boks. Thanks to Martin McGorian and Brendan Murray for the use of their boats on Saturday and to Kilbride Angling Clubs for the use of boats throughout the season.

There was no upset in the Angler of the Year leaderboard, with DTAA President Gerry Heaslip successfully defending his advantage and achieving a stunning 14 point lead over closest rival Tom Hipwell.

Ryder Cup 2023

The Ryder cup was held on Bohernabreena Reservoirs on the 27th August. It proved to be a tough day with only a few rainbows weighed in along with some nice brown trout.

Gary Coakley made it 2 in a row with 2 nice brown trout; well done Gary in a tough day.

Dave canning was 2nd and John O’Neill third. Cathal McDonnell won the special weight.

With neither Gerry nor Tom earning any points the position at the top of the leaderboard remains unchanged as we head into the final competition of the season next weekend.

Hipwell has a chance of unseating El Presidente, Heaslip but he will have his work cut out for him. Tom will need a 9 point gain on Gerry. Technically it is possible, and stranger things have happened, but Gerry looks very safe this year and it would be a complete shocker if he was not crowned Angler of the Year 2023. The McCarron Cup will be fished on Owel next Saturday 23rd September from 10am weather permitting.

Great turnout for the Ryder Cup 2023

18 anglers turned out for this years Ryder Cup which was fished at Bohernabreena last weekend. Gary Coakley scored another 10 points having won recent Elvery Cup on Lough Lene.

Dave Canning came in next with John O’Neill in 3rd place. Full results below.

This competition did not upset the leaderboard status with Heaslip looking very comfortable with an 8 point lead over Hipwell. With just the McCarron Cup later in September it will be challenging for Tom to unseat Gerry. It’s technically possible, however, and stranger things have happened.

Elvery Cup 2023

The Elvery Cup was fished at the rescheduled date of Saturday 19th August at Lough Lene, Collinstown.

With storms affecting much of Ireland on Friday 18th there were some concerns that conditions may not suit but this concern was unwarranted. 24 anglers turned out for the day with 10 anglers weighing in their heaviest fish.

Gary Coakley weighed in the heaviest fish (of two that he caught) at 4.22 Lbs. Not quite the heaviest fish overall for the year, which remains with John O’Neill from the Pasker Cup (4.805)

Second place went to Almha O’Donnell with a fish of 3.695 Lbs (Ahem!, her father Cathal returned no fish)

Third place goes again to Jim Keeshan with a fish of 3.605 Lbs.

JP Johnson was the best Juvenile Angler with an excellent fish of 3.615 which would have placed him 3rd in the adult category if he was a few years older!

Special Weight prize went to Dermot Flynn for his fish of 2.62 Lbs.

The leaderboard is shaping up now with 5 of 7 club competitions completed at this point:

DTAA President Gerry Heaslip stretched his lead over Competitions Secretary Tom Hipwell. Technically only Tom and PJ and Jim Keeshan have any chance of knocking Gerry off the top spot at this stage. Either of Jim or PJ would need to win the next two competitions and Gerry would need to place outside of the top 10 in order for this upset to occur. More of a threat to Heaslip, however, comes from Hipwell who has an 8 point gap to bridge over the next two competitions. It’s possible but the bookies favourite has to be Heaslip for 2023.

Some pictures from the day.

Ian Rowand Cup

24 DTAA anglers braved the strong westerly winds last weekend on Owel to enjoy a great day out for the Ian Rowand Cup. It is fair to say that conditions were good, with decent cloud cover contributing to a respectable return of 18 fish for the 24 anglers, and many stories of missed and lost fish.

DTAA President Gerry Heaslip took the Honours with 2 fish for 4.31 lb – Competition secretary, Tom hipwell was in 2nd place with 2 fish for 3.715 lb while seasoned angler Jim Keeshan returned 2 fish for 3.525 lb

JP Johnson had a great fish of 2.6 lbs to win the junior section.

Richie Duggan pipped his boat partner, Paul Dunne, to the special weight prize! 

The results are as follows:

Gallery of pictures for the day.


Gerry Heaslip is leaping ahead following a number of excellent performances in recent competitions. Tom is nipping at his heels though so Gerry will need to stay on his toes for the upcoming Elvery Cup on Lene on the 12th

Next competition on Lough Lene 12th August.