Belfast Telegraph

Exciting new angling initiative set to give Ulster tourism a boost

Rod and Line

By Vic Thomas

The Loughs Agency has announced a new development in 2017 for the Foyle and Carlingford areas - which could increase tourism numbers.

Angling licences will be issued electronically for the first time, meaning overseas anglers can obtain a licence before they travel.

Loughs Agency Chief Executive John Pollock said: "Licences can now be purchased on-line at home, which is great for overseas anglers who can buy before they travel."

The new system will keep the Loughs Agency in line with two other rod licensing bodies, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Inland Fisheries Group who have recently moved to an electronic system.

Angling Manager Lionel Knobbs said: "We have looked at electronic licensing systems in England, America, Canada, New Zealand and developed an on-line platform that meets the needs of the angler."

John McCartney, Director of Conservation and Protection, said: "This new system will make it easy for the angler to make their catch return."

Oliver McGauley, Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation, said: "The system has a lot of benefits - catch returns can also be recorded on line."

For further information visit www.loughs-agency.org

*The final round of the Newry Canal Winter League was a hard-fought affair with Philip Jackson emerging victorious.

Going into the fourth and final hour, only two anglers had caught fish but with just 40 minutes to go to the all out signal, Philip let his bait trot alongside a boat to his right and hooked his first fish, a 1oz perch. A few more bites followed and he finished the match with 12 perch for 2lb 8ozs, enough for a section and a match win.

This gave Philip a perfect score of four points from four matches and landed him the league title.

David Hamilton finished second overall with Johnny McKinley third and all the competitors would like to thank Geoff Quinn for running this highly successful league.

There were some great weights landed by members of Loughshore Angling Club during a recent match on Craigavon Lakes where Shaun Keenan top weighted with 29lb 9ozs. Gerard McGurgan was runner-up with 22lb 6ozs.

The annual Christmas competition at Straid Fishery, Ballynure, is on December 27.

Belfast Telegraph

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