Angling Notes: Impressive turnout for Autism charity day

Chris Simpson comes up trumps at 57th All-Ireland Coarse Championships

“Today’s Cast a Line for Autism fly fishing competition is by far the best so far with over 60 anglers in attendance and €4,440 raised for this worthy cause,” declared Dorrie Gibbons at the prizegiving in Lydon’s Lodge Hotel in Cong, Co Mayo.

Now in its fourth year, the event has raised an astounding €15,250 for a variety of organisations working alongside children with autism, including Galway Autism Partnership and Cong National School for development of their sensory garden.

This year’s fund will go to the Irish Guide Dogs to support their wonderful work in training Assistance Dogs for children with autism.

Accepting the donation, Angela Kyne from nearby Kilmaine with her guide dog Homer, sincerely thanked all those who help raise this amazing amount.


She went on to say it costs €38,000 to train a guide dog and while on average only two out of a litter of six make the top grade, those that fail their ‘leaving cert’ make ideal assistance dogs for children with autism.

As for the fishing, sunny conditions in the morning gave way to some cloud cover with the wind picking up to produce some fine sport. Overall, 49 fish made the weigh-in and although Mask produced most fish, once again it was Corrib that produced the heaviest bags.

Derek Madden from Tulsk took top honours with three fish including a beauty of 2.240kg.

“I caught my fish on a Green Dabbler on Corrib in the Salt House area,” he said.

The competition is the brainchild of international angler Gibbons from Cong and is widely supported by anglers from all parts of Ireland to assist this great cause and compete for the huge array of prizes.

“I would like to thank those that donated prizes including companies local to Corrib and Mask, angling clubs, companies throughout the country and those that made individual donations. A special ‘thank you’ to Lydons Lodge Hotel in Cong for sponsoring the prizegiving reception,” added Ms Gibbons.

Results: 1 Derek Madden, 3 fish, 3.325kg, 2 Basil Shields, 4f, 3.135kg; 3 Michael McDermott, 2f, 2.375kg. Best lady angler: Mary Miller, 1f, 1.155kg.

Twohig top man on Ballinrobe’s big day

Still with Mask, Ballinrobe and District Anglers held their annual club competition on Sunday with 62 anglers participating. First place went to Kanturk angler Michael Twohig with four fish for 6.85lbs. Ronan Cusack took second place, also with four, and Neil Foley finished third with three fish.

Denis Kelleher had the heaviest fish weighing 1.94lbs. There was also an inter-club competition between Kanturk and Ballinrobe on the day which was won this year by Kanturk.

Local anglers Neil Smith and Kevin Beatty had a good day in the shallows last week, finishing with four keepers, best fish, 1.5kg, all returned. Tom Haskett and Sean Dixon fished together out of Cushlough on Saturday and managed five trout.

Danger of silage operations

Farmers are being asked to remain vigilant during the summer months when harvesting silage and spreading slurry. Last year, 31 fish kills occurred across the country with eight of those directly attributable to agricultural activities, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

As agriculture was the largest attributing factor, farmers are reminded of the importance of managing silage operations correctly. These procedures are ongoing all summer and have the potential to cause devastating pollution in streams and rivers.

Silage effluent is a significant polluting substance, starving fish and invertebrate life of oxygen, resulting in potential massive fish kills if it enters a watercourse. With some rivers low during summertime with little dilution capacity, the effect of a small leak can cause huge damage.

Farmers are advised to follow a six-point plan to ensure good farmyard management: Use round bales; ensure pit is properly sealed; carry out spreading in dry weather; never spread close to a watercourse; do not clean tanks beside a watercourse and do not allow effluent to enter rainwater gully.

IFI manages a wide range of environmental issues which can affect the fisheries resource with over 22,000 environmental inspections carried out in 2016 across industrial, forestry, engineering, water treatment and wind farms sites. There were 1,553 inspections across farmyards to help identify any risks and prevent damage to the local aquatic habitat.

Simpson claims Coarse Championships

The 57th All-Ireland Coarse Championships took place last weekend at Ballybay, Co Monaghan at which 89 anglers representing the four provinces checked in at the Wetlands Centre ahead of the five-hour match.

Six sections were fished from the shores of White Lake and Loughs Egish and Sillan in squally weather and bright spells throughout the day.

Egish was the draw of choice having turned out the 2016 champion, but it was the shallower waters, although beset by pond weed, which produced the quality fish. Bream Rock on White Lake fished particularly well delivering the top five winners.

Chris Simpson (MAP Fishing of Moira, Co Armagh’s) efforts at clearing his swim from weed and his decision to fish the feeder paid off with a 4.750kg bag of quality hybrids and a specimen bream to win the match for which he received €500 and the perpetual cup from NCFFI president, Oliver McGauley.

Gary Drew took runner-up position with Neil Mazurek, Tony Green and Cathal Hughes finishing 3rd, 4th and 5th respectably from the same venue. Other notable weights came from Shamie Winters at Caravan Park, Sillan; Irish youth international, James O’Doherty at Bairds Shore and Johnny Keith at Egish.

A special presentation was made to youth international Roisín Bohan, the only female to enter this match but whose efforts were to be commended. Roisín had a difficult day on Sheila’s Shore for a handful of fish, catching when other senior anglers failed to weigh!

NCFFI would like to express special thanks to the landowners in the region who provided access with goodwill and even transported equipment to the shore. The 2018 championships will take place on Sunday, 29th July.

Next up is the junior version where we welcome those new to fishing along with sections for the U-15’s, U-20’s and U-25’s. The event takes place on local lakes at Killeshandra, Co Cavan.