Rod and line: Ireland make mark at world level with silver
Ireland have finally landed their first ever team medal at World Championship level, taking silver in the fourth World Feeder Championships at Inniscarra, Co Cork.
To crown a great competition for Ireland, the heaviest individual catch of 20.176Kgs was taken by the home team's Richard Pratt on day one.
A total of 125 anglers from 25 countries took part with England clear favourites though home advantage for the Irish and meticulous planning by the Dutch meant that they were also in the running.
In the end England secured an impressive victory that also saw team members Steve Ringer and Mick Vials collect individual gold and bronze respectively, with Germany's Felix Scheuermann taking the silver.
Ireland finished second, 6Kgs in front of the Dutch in third.
The Garbolino Team Ireland line-up of manager Brenton Sweeney, Cootehill; Tony Kersley, Enniskillen; Richard Pratt, Arvagh; Nigel Houldsworth, Gowna; Francis McGoldrick, Ballyconnell; Paul Leese, Cootehill; Ken Ince, Cork; and Roger Baker.
The Inniscarra Reservoir's newly developed match stretch cemented its reputation as a world class venue with a total catch of 16,236 fish for 1,463.563 Kgs – an average of 5.85Kgs per man landed each day!
Visiting anglers practising for upcoming events on Lough Muckno organised an open match on the Concra Wood stretch.
Daily section wins of over 20Kgs were common with large numbers of roach, perch, hybrids and skimmers showing on all sections.
Long pole, short line and whip fishing accounted for most section wins with some exceptional weights also falling to the established feeder tactics.
Kevin Johnson gave an exhibition of short pole angling over all five days in all conditions – from sunny and calm to windy and turbulent – to finish his week on almost 95Kgs for first place.
John Fletcher took second and Lurgan's Philip Jackson of Daiwa Bait Tech was third.
After this, the Irish Garda Open and the Irish Angling Development Alliance Irish Open, attended by over 100 anglers, was staged.
Jackson once again showed his class to win the Irish Open Championship, weighing in a terrific 24Kgs of fish.
Meanwhile the other half of the current World Pairs Champions, Cathal Hughes, captured the Irish Garda Open top prize with a similarly impressive 23Kgs catch.