The 2015 World Championships for Predator Bank Fishing with Lures will take place at Craigavon Lakes in May.
News of the event coming to the borough was announced this week by the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI).
This highly prestigious sporting event will be held in partnership with Craigavon Borough Council and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL). Now in its 13th year, this event is expected to attract entrants from up to 20 nations with countries from as far away as Russia and South Africa taking part.
The 2014 Championships took place in Bulgaria with Slovakia taking the title and keen to retain their crown in Craigavon. The teams will comprise of six anglers along with team coaches, captains, officials and support staff. As well as being a real coup for the promotion of angling as a sport in Northern Ireland, it is also a fantastic boost for the local economy as it will bring an estimated 1000 ‘bed nights’ for the region. Teams will all arrive by Wednesday 20th May to take part in the two training days on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd May with the main event then taking place on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May 2015.Anglers will be fishing on the Craigavon Lakes, with both North and South lakes likely to be used. Competitors will be targeting the venues for pike, perch and stocked rainbow trout. All fish will be caught using barbless hooks, netted and returned immediately to the water, each fish caught scores one point therefore no weighing or measuring is required.
The NCFFI Predator club will be leading the selection of the Ireland Team for the event, with the selection qualifiers due to take place in March or April. The Craigavon Lakes are part of the public angling estate and fall under the direct remit of DCAL who will prepare and stock the venue as well as providing the NCFFI with stewarding assistance during the event.
Minister for the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín, commented, “I am thrilled the Craigavon Lakes have been selected to host this prestigious event and am particularly pleased that it will be happening at a venue which forms part of the public angling estate.”
Craigavon Borough Council, who have pledged support to the Championships are delighted to host the event that has the potential to bring in around 200 high value International competitors to County Armagh.
Mayor of Craigavon Councillor Colin McCusker, added, “This is excellent news. The picturesque Craigavon Lakes provide a wonderful setting for this world class championship and we will be delighted to welcome competitors from all over the world to our vibrant Borough.”
The NCFFI has organised two major FIPS-ed World Championships in the past two years. In October 2013, they hosted the World Championships for Boat Fishing with Lures in Enniskillen Co Fermanagh, attracting 14 nations. In July 2014, 25 nations attended the World Feeder Fishing Championships in Coachford Co Cork. The value of these two events has been worth over 8,000 bed nights to the economy.
Chairman Der Casey says, “NCFFI have developed a sterling reputation as hosting body for world championship events. This reputation is based on the quality of the partnerships we developed for each event. This year our partners are Craigavon Council and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. Their enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism from the outset made the decision to choose Craigavon Lakes an easy one for us.
“We can promise our visitors quality fishing and a warm welcome and with 75,000 anglers engaged with us on social media for the Coachford event, that is good news for tourism in the Craigavon area. I have just reviewed the figures for Coachford. As late as December the accommodation in the area was still heavily booked with UK, French and Irish anglers. The local club have now planned 58 Angling festivals days for 2015, a major economic boost to that area.
“Clearly there is a lot at stake for us, our visiting anglers, our partners and the local community. May 2015 will be a busy and exciting time for us all.”