Double triumph for anglers

Winning Lurgan Team, Jim Mcallister, Geoffrey McKinley, Kevin Maguire, David Herron, Philip Jackson, Dominic Wilson, Paul Heaney and Johnny McKinley.
Winning Lurgan Team, Jim Mcallister, Geoffrey McKinley, Kevin Maguire, David Herron, Philip Jackson, Dominic Wilson, Paul Heaney and Johnny McKinley.

In a double triumph, Lurgan Coarse Angling Club have won the first ever Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation Teams of Eight event on the Newry Canal and Lurgan’s Johnny McKinley also banked the top angler spot.

Forty match men in five teams competed in the event which was fished in mild fine conditions although the canal was coloured due to recent heavy rain.

Individual winner, Johnny McKinley, Lurgan CAC, caught over one hundred fish on the pole for 5.460Kgs from Basin Section peg 4. Runner up was Gordon Williams, Erne Anglers, with 5.070Kgs also caught on the pole. Gordon’s catch included a fine bream of 2.450Kgs taken late in the match.

In third place, fishing on the thirty peg main match length was Paul Eyers, Erne Anglers, with 3.990Kgs of pole caught fish at 13metres, with Philip Jackson, Lurgan, in fourth on peg 40 with 3.890Kgs.

The Lurgan lads won the team event with 17pts, Erne Anglers were runners up on 21pts beating East Belfast also on 21pts on total weight 19Kgs to 15kgs. Fourth were the Ireland U23 team on 23pts with Ireland’s U18 team in fifth place on 37pts.

It is hoped to run more of these team matches in the future with other affiliated NCFFI clubs asked to join in!

Further success came the local club’s way when Lurgan CAC angler Johnny Keith won the 2014 Bann Bonanza.

The recent heavy rains saw the Lower River Bann in full flow and as a result fishing was extremely difficult and catches during the five day match were low.

At the final all out, Lurgan’s Johnny Keith, had top weighted with 11.920Kgs with Mark Strahan, East Belfast CAC, a close second on 10.490Kgs. Third was Ron Jordan, Lower Bann CAA, 10.360Kgs; fourth Michael Cormican, East Belfast, 9.260Kgs and fifth, Derek Buckley, Bellaghy, 9.160Kgs.

In recognition of Tubertini Team Ireland Float who performed so well at the Championships in Croatia this year the same five man squad will represent Ireland in 2015.

This means that Lurgan CAC member Philip Walton has retained his place on the international team.

The full team is; Phillip Walton, Lurgan CAC; Bob Hulme, Kingfisher AC; Nick Howell, Erne Anglers; Vincent Walsh, Erne Anglers; Jason Ward, Ballyhaunnis AC and they will be joined by Tommy Dowd. Kingfisher AC, to fish the River Sava at Radece, Slovenia, between September 5 and 14.

NCFFI Senior International Manager Mark Theedom, said, “It has been a fantastic year for the International teams and I am delighted to take forward those anglers who fished the difficult conditions in Croatia, achieving ninth place and to welcome Tommy Dowd to the squad. I look forward to announcing the Celtic Cup, Home International and Fish O’Mania teams shortly”.

Minister for Sport and Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín has announced that there will be no increase in angling and commercial fishing licence fees for the 2015 fishing seasons.

However, angling permits for the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure Public Angling Estate will be subject to a minimal inflationary rise of 1.9%.

The Minister said: “I have decided to keep the inland fishing licence fees at 2014 levels for the sixth year in a row.

“I acknowledge the support I received from anglers and commercial fishermen when I introduced salmon conservation measures last year to protect stocks. This ‘catch and release’ policy is central to our conservation approach and it is important that anglers continue to provide catch and release data to my Department to assist with the future management of salmon rivers.

“The sport of angling delivers many benefits to individuals and local communities and I am committed to furthering the health and benefits of angling and in making the sport more accessible to young people and disadvantaged within our community.

“The commercial fishing sector, particularly around Lough Neagh and Lough Erne, also plays an important part in the socio-economic life of local communities. I am developing Fishery Management Plans for these waters to help realise their full potential and ensure their long term sustainability.”

The Department is encouraging all anglers and commercial fishermen to have the correct licence and permit. The Minister added: “It is important to realise that the Department must protect the fisheries and my Fisheries Officers will continue to educate and regulate to prevent illegal activity on all our waters.”

Fishing licences and permits can be purchased online from http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/fishing.