Malone is delighted to score £2k top prize
Vic Thomas with your weekly look at who’s making a big splash in the angling world
Former Irish League player and manager Colin Malone netted the top prize at the Waterways Ireland Erne Pike Classic.
Boat fishing with his son Dale, Malone landed a super pike of 22lb 6oz to bank the £2,000 prize for the heaviest fish of the competition.
He finished in front of an international line-up of 90 anglers from all over Europe in the biggest pike fishing competition on the continent.
Malone, who managed Glenavon, Dungannon Swifts and Lurgan Celtic,said: "The competition took a lot of winning. I got a decent pike of 11lb 8oz on day one but was lying in 18th going into the final day, 10lb 8oz behind Pat Healy."
That was all to change when Malone hooked the big one. He said: "Fishing is a real passion of mine, it gets you away from it all. It was fantastic to bank the top prize in a sport that I love."
Pat Healy's 22lb fish was enough for him to finish runner-up, with Eddie Roofe third with a pike of 21lb 4oz.
Mark Brown landed the bank match honours, collecting £1,000 with a pike of 14lb 4oz. Second was Jimmy Rodgers with 11lb 15oz and third was Hugh Malone with 11lb.
The second match in the East Belfast Winter League proved difficult. After storms Ophelia and Brian, the Lower Bann was in an angry state. Mark Strahan made the best of Peg 45, which had a nice slack, and fished a five metre whip with a 10g float to net 6.9kg of roach for a clear win.
On Peg 48, Mark Alcock fished his favoured feeder technique to nail second place with 5.86kg, while Paul Hutchman alternated between whip and feeder on Peg 88 for a third-place weight of 5.67kg.
John Taggart has taken an early lead in the league on eight points and 15.32kg, ahead of Hutchman (10pts, 14.77kg)and Ron Jordan (10pts, 14.04kg).
The trout didn't play ball at times at the Craigmore Fishery, Randalstown. Barry Stanton was the top rod, landing 31 fish on lures. Matthew Laffin grassed 30 to 6lb on similar patterns and Ivan McCaughy and Jason Black both banked 25 to almost 6lb, also on lures.
Irish youth international Aaron Galbraith took the honours in the latest round of the Lower Bann Winter League.
Galbraith weighed in with 21.24kg, with Michael Cormican second with 19.57kg and Gary Cummings third with 18.56kg.
The eighth and final match of Loughside Angling Club's league was held on Lough Muckno at Yellow Island.
David McCreanor top weighted with 8lb 15oz, second was Shaun Keenan with 8lb 10oz and third was Chris Simpson with 5lb 15oz. Simpson's third place was enough for him to bank the overall league title.