English pair break Irish hold on world pairs as Bangor goes under

 

ENGLISH pairing Adam Wakelin and Rob Wootton broke the Irish hold on the third edition of the Lakelands and Inland Waterways World Pairs Angling Championships, fished on venues throughout Ireland.

Day one saw Wootton beat the entire field with 28.70kgs of skimmers from Bunerky Lake. On days two and three, Wakelin followed up with 25.60kgs of feeder-caught skimmers from Garadice Lake and then 27.90kgs of roach and hybrids at Killadeas on Lower Lough Erne.

With two daily wins plus a lake second and third placing, Wakelin was also out in front of the Daiwa Cup individual event. Long-range feeder tactics, long and short pole for small fish, and long distance waggler work on the final day showed the Mansfield angler’s mastery of many methods.

“We only decided to enter at the last minute, because we had a good idea of the methods needed after winning the team gold medal in the World Champs on Inniscarra Lake in July,” he said.

At the awards ceremony in the Slieve Russell Hotel, the Malaysian entrant Tengku Izzudin and the first ever women’s entrant Fiona Beeby both received a warm welcome. Daiwa UK General Manager Robin Morley, said: “Ireland has some of the best natural waters in Europe and despite the unusually warm and still weather conditions, the fishing was brilliant.”

The prize fund was €15,000 from Lakelands and Inland Waterways, topped up with valuable contributions from Fermanagh Council, Leitrim Tourism, Cavan Tourism and Ireland Travel Plus.

For the first time, a bait sponsor came on board. Bait-Tech provided bags of Pro Natural groundbait for the 138 competitors as well as T-shirts and caps.

Farewell to Bangor

Treasurer Stanley McCartney (78), is the last founding member. The former seaman fished for big game fish all around the world before retiring.

“When I joined the club in 1948 the sea around Bangor Pier was thick with fish in summer. Nowadays it is common for a boat with 10 rods to come back empty-handed,” he said.

“The decision has been taken to wind up the club and give the assets to charity. It’s very sad.” he added.

The BSAC held its first meetings in the Iona Café on the seafront in 1948 and fished from the town’s north pier before purchasing three rowing boats. In its heyday it bought a decommissioned lifeboat and its last vessel Sunbeam III cost £30,000.

“I think my first membership fee was two shillings and sixpence and I still have the first trophy I won for catching two flatfish off the pier,” said Stanley.

“There was a weekly competition. Cod and whiting were plentiful. We didn’t have to go very far to be sure of a good catch but lately we have been fishing for pollack off the Antrim coast.”

The club’s finest hour came in 1953 when there were more than 40 members, one of whom landed a 128lb skate just offshore at Luke’s Point.

Westmeath Hospice

Conditions on the day were reasonable with slack winds but this did not deter a catch of big rainbows and brown trout. Anglers were permitted to weigh-in just one fish. Kevin Keogh (pictured left) from Multyfarnham won the day with a huge wild brown trout of 6lb 7oz (2.92kg).

Fishing with boating partner Frank Brennan from Crookedwood, Kevin caught his fish close to Smith’s Island on a Green Peter. “It ran for 80 yards and took 40 minutes to land,” he said. The big fish was weighed at the water’s edge and returned to fight another day.

Club chairman Tommy Fagan was delighted with the turnout and thanked sponsors.

On the line

Gormanston

angling@irishtimes.com

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