Exciting new moves are net gain for Ulster anglers
Angling chiefs have embraced the digital age - and it should make life a lot easier for those taking part in the sport in Northern Ireland.
From April, a paper rod licence, permit and day ticket will no longer be issued to anglers.
All anglers will continue to purchase their licence, permit or River Bush day ticket online or from an authorised distributor.
They will no longer be issued with paper documentation but an e-record will be created providing anglers with a unique reference number.
This takes away the requirement to carry documents with you when you go fishing.
The new system has been designed to work out what type of licence, permit and or day ticket is required using the information you key in. This makes the process easier and quicker and is still accessible through NI Direct, the Government services website.
A major advantage to the new system is the convenience for disabled anglers who will no longer need to go to Portadown to make their purchase, they will now be able to buy concessionary disabled licences and permits online and via DCAL authorised distributors.
Your method of purchase will determine the following:
When an angler purchases a licence, permit or day ticket online an email confirmation will be issued automatically containing your unique reference number which should be saved as you will not receive any further documentation.
Also, when purchasing a licence, permit or day ticket a receipt will be issued to the angler containing the unique reference number. If an email address is provided then an email confirmation will be sent to them.
DCAL Fishery Protection Officers will have access to all e-records, so when approached by a FPO all the angler needs to do is provide their name, date of birth and or Licence number.
The Irish Specimen Fish Committee has just ratified two new Irish record fish.
Dublin angler Tom Lynch has broken the Irish Twaite Shad record with a fish of 1.64Kgs wich he caught on the River Barrow at St Mullins on May 15, 2015. That same month on May 24, Garech Murphy landed a new record Smooth Hound weighing 8.62Kgs from Wicklow Bay.
WATER OF WEEK
Matt Crowl emerged as top rod in the first round of the South Armagh and District 2016 Winter League on the Hermitage stretch of the Newry Canal.
With two nights of frost beforehand, the match organisers were worried the fishing may be affected.
The match in fact produced the best weights from any Northern Ireland venue for some time with top rod Crowl weighing in a magnificent 46lb 15ozs.
Due to the bad weather the number of anglers fishing at the Birchwood Fishery, Drumquin, was lower than usual but they still banked a superb 437 trout over four days.
Keith Kilburn with 32 fish was the top rod and he was followed by Tomasz Grochowski with 22.
Parts of the lake at Craigmore Fishery, Randalstown were frozen and almost five inches of snow covered the ground but Martin Foster still enjoyed great sport landing 20 trout on lures including a beauty at 8lbs, and a brace at 6lbs.