World Pairs champs


‘THE FISHING that has taken place over the last five days will be a significant turning point in how angling in Ireland is viewed the world over,” said Colm Breheny of Fáilte Ireland at the conclusion of the Lakelands and Inland Waterways World Pairs Coarse Angling Championships in Counties Monaghan, Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh.

Phil Jackson and Cathal Hughes scooped the coveted title and a cheque for £30,000 (€37,531) and Daiwa tackle with a fantastic catch of 117.560kg over the five-day event. In true north-south spirit and co-operation, Jackson hails from Craigavon in Northern Ireland and Hughes from Galway.

The margin of success was remarkably tight, with Derek Willan and Mark Pollard close behind on 112.990kg yet still way ahead of the remaining 130 pairs and with sufficient weight to receive a cheque for £10,000 (€12,513).

Overall individual winner Francis McGoldrick, from Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, enjoyed his five-days’ fishing with a catch of 74.490kg and a take-home prize of Daiwa tackle worth over £1,500 (€1,877). Prizes were awarded to the top 18 pairs from the UK, Europe and beyond.

A full listing is available on The world pairs’ event was sponsored by Lakeland Inland Waterways, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Fermanagh Tourism, NITB and Shannon Development. The organisers thanked DCAL, Inland Fisheries Northern Ireland and Inland Fisheries Ireland in facilitating the event.

For the third time in the last four years an Irish boat has won the Rosslare Small Boats Festival. With 24 distinct species, Screaming Reels, from Rosie’s SAC in Cork, again won the competition beating 28 boats from the UK.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), Fáilte Ireland and Sea Angler Magazine, the event, now in its 27th year, attracted 85 anglers from the Isle of Wight, Southport, Liverpool, Wales and Ireland.

The weather proved challenging with strong southwesterlies, however, as the week progressed, conditions improved and competitors managed to fish the four-day competition in three by launching boats from Rosslare and Kilmore Quay and fishing restricted areas.

Three specimens showed up among the 30 species recorded including a triggerfish of 2.32kg (very close to the Irish record of 2.54kg) by Gordon Thornes, a ballan wrasse of 3.16kg for Neville Murphy and a smoothound of 3.78kg for well-known Dundalk angler Seirt Shults.

The heaviest round fish, a conger of 8.18kg, earned Leslie Trish from Liverpool the IFI Perpetual Trophy, while the best flat fish, a plaice of 0.80kg, fell to John Meaning from the Isle of Wight. Lewis Radcliffe (15), from Wigan, won best junior. Lewis fished with his dad and grandad to finish fifth with 19 species.

Suzanne Campion, IFI’s director of business development, says: “I thank you for coming to Ireland to fish this fantastic competition. The festival is very important not only to promote the great sea fishing on the east coast, but also the investment it brings to the local economy each year.” Next year’s event will take place from September 14th-21st.

A car-boot-style boat jumble sale will be held in aid of Wicklow RNLI at the Beach House Car Park, Greystones, Co Wicklow, this Sunday from 11am-6pm (gates open 9am). The day will include live entertainment and BBQ in the Beach House bar and restaurant.

The Vintners Federation of Ireland held its annual two-day competition on Lough Mask last week, with 120 anglers competing for the top prize. The weather was excellent with fresh westerly winds on both days.

Malcolm Naughton (Loughrea) finished on top with seven trout for 4.21kg. The winning team of four were: Malcolm Naughton, Tom Mulvey, Michael Polin and John Rochford with 15 trout. Second place winner Nigel Greene had the heaviest fish of 3.42kg (7.5lb).

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