The 56th National Coarse Angling Championships took place recently in Ballybay, Co Monaghan. The market town, situated on the shores of Lough Major, was chosen for its accessibility to a number of angling venues that has the Dromore system on its doorstep.
Recent wet weather dampened the spirits of some anglers, but 113 arrived to register in torrential rain at the Riverdale Hotel. This was to continue throughout the day; short sunny spells impacted on the weights of fish recorded.
Local venues selected included Lough Major, White Lake, Lough Egish, Corkeeran and Lough Sillan. To facilitate those travelling from afar, a car draw was introduced with the competitors provided with maps and driving directions.
The championships, held under the auspices of the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland, is open to everyone and attracts those from a range of clubs across Ireland. It is supplemented by UK anglers, juniors, festivalgoers and those out for a day’s fishing.
Most of the competitors adapted two main methods: feeder fishing at long-range, building up a swim at distance for bream; or alternating feeding bait into an inside swim with long pole and short line.
At most sections, small fish of mainly roach, some hybrids and perch formed the main bulk of catches, although the smaller Corkeeran Lough did produce a few bigger bream. After five hours, Vaidas Jagela from the Go & Catch Feeder club took the title with a great 20.300kg net of roach caught on 6m and 4m whips.
All venues fished well, with good nets of smaller fish. Competition was keen for the vital section wins. One feature of the match was that the winner from every five anglers earned a cash payout.
Competitors were treated afterwards to food and refreshments at the Riverdale Hotel, and the winners duly collected their trophies and cash. Great thanks were extended to Ballybay Angling Association, the Riverdale Hotel, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Irish Bait & Tackle Limited and Paul Bourke.
Note for the diary: The junior version of the All Ireland championships will be held in Killeshandra, Co Cavan on August 27th. To book, call Sean Ward on 086-8115526.
Fishing in Wild Atlantic stamps
Images of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way will soon be winging their way across the globe thanks to a colourful quartet of stamps produced by An Post and recently released.
The 2,500km route will be celebrated by the four-stamp set, which captures the wild beauty of the Way. Red&Grey Design produced the stamps which feature two domestic (72c) and two international (€1.10) stamps, as well as a first-day cover featuring the route and a beautiful prestige booklet.
The set shows fly fishing at Glenbeg Lough in C. Cork; horse riding at Grange, Co Sligo; cycling on the Aran Islands; and surfing at Inch, Co Kerry. The stamps are available at main post offices, from the philatelic counters at Dublin's GPO, and online at irishstamps.ie.
In a hi-tech twist, each stamp features augmented reality technology. When scanned using a smartphone or tablet with the CEE App installed, the user can access additional material on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Mask pulls in good catches
Lots of news as the good fishing continued at Mask last week . Wet flies pulled on intermediate lines produced most of the goods. Reports from anglers indicated that the average size of the trout is well up on previous years and fish are in super condition.
Denis Kelleher and good friend Larry Gibb had an excellent day last Sunday. The pair spent the day in the deep in very stormy conditions and finished with 14 trout.
Westport anglers Jonathan O'Grady and Ronan Gibbons also fished on Sunday and concentrated in the shallows, along Churchfield and Gortmore. Their day finished with 10 trout, of which two bordered 1.5kg.
Ballinrobe anglers Kevin Egan and Michael Vahey fished for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday and boated 14 trout (best 1kg and all returned).
Sheelin event reels ’em in
Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association hosted its annual catch and release McDonnell Cup Competition last weekend. Despite very windy conditions and the GAA quarter final, the event attracted a respectable number of anglers.
Results: 1, O McCormack, 1 fish (48cm); 2, J Egan; 3, P McAvinney; 4, B Harton.