Erne and Paul are top of the class in coarse angling
The 2016 Waterways Ireland-Shakespeare Northern Ireland Schools Coarse Angling competition, organised by the Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation, took place on the Lower River Bann at Portglenone.
Conditions on the day were excellent with mild dry weather and the river at summer level with just a little flow. Weights were excellent, well up from last year with almost all the anglers catching fish such as roach, gudgeon, perch and a couple of small hybrids.
The top individual weight of 8.580Kgs was landed by Paul Cunningham of Coleraine Grammar School, fishing the pole to hand. Runner-up was Dominykas Kuklys of Erne Integrated School with 6.800Kgs and third was James O'Doherty also of Erne Integrated with 6.300Kgs.
With two of their team in the top three, it was no surprise, that Erne Integrated also banked the much coveted Ulster Schools team title with Cairan Murphy and Killian Maguire the other two members of the winning team. They each received a Shakespeare Agility feeder rod, a Gold medal and £30 tackle voucher with their School awarded a silver plate.
Second were Coleraine Grammar team, Paul Cunningham, Alex Hegarty, Connor Evans and Yani Racharov and third were Dromore High School, Josh Sloan, Tyler Graham, Taylor Orr and Richard Dickson. Section winners included, Section A, Darren Anderson, Breda Academy, 1.850Kgs; Section B, Jack Hunter, Bangor Academy, 2.300Kgs; Section C, Simon Anderson, Breda Academy, 2.050Kgs; Section D, Gareth Anderson, Breda Academy, 3.100Kgs.
The event was sponsored by Waterways Ireland, Shakespeare Tackle, Irish Bait and Tackle and Mid Ulster District Council and at the presentation, hosted by Council Vice-Chair, Cllr Sharon McAleer, all the winners received tackle prizes, vouchers, medals and trophies with a total value of over £1,500.
The 2017 competition will take place on Saturday, October 21 and registration will take place from May - contact email@example.com or call john Taggart on 07891 516677
The third anniversary competition at Birchwood Fishery, Drumquin, produced hard fishing with an easterly wind turning the fish off the feed at times but nevertheless, 137 trout were landed and at least double that number were hooked and lost.
On the Fly Lake, the top prize fell to the rod of Richie McCrudden with a great fish of 9.36lbs for which he received £80 and a trophy. Runner-up and receiving another £80, was Keith Kilburn with 11 trout and third was a tie between Mark Tierney and Cahir McGovern who each banked £50. Meanwhile, on the Bait Lake, the top prize for the heaviest five fish bag was landed by Robin McCallan with five for 9.83lbs.
Meanwhile, the final round of Lurgan Coarse Angling Club's Angler of the Year League was fished on the Coal Yard stretch of Newry Canal. Fishing proved tougher than expected but once competitors got to grips, lots of roach and perch on the pole and whip were landed.
Top three on the day were Philip Jackson with 9.800Kgs; second, Johnny Keith, 6.700Kgs and third, Johnny McKinley with 6.600Kgs which was enough for him to be crowned Club Angler of the Year with four points and a total League weight of 29.790Kgs!
In a very tight finish, the next three anglers were all tied on seven points so the places were decided on weight with Philip Jackson taking second with 33.750Kgs, Johnny Keith, third 31.690Kgs and Chris Simpson, fourth 18.245Kgs, with Geoff McKinley completing the top five on nine points and 24.220Kgs.
The second round of East Belfast CAC's Winter League, held on the Lower Bann at Portglenone, resulted in a second successive league victory for Paul Hutchman with his catch of 8.050Kgs.
Phil Hartin and John Taggart waged a fish for fish battle all day with Phil eventually ending up in second place.
- Vic Thomas with your weekly look at who’s making a big splash in the angling world. Contact us with your news at firstname.lastname@example.org