The 57th edition of the All Ireland Championships took place yesterday based around the rural County Monaghan town of Ballybay. 89 anglers representing the four provinces including competitors who travelled from as far as Cork checked in at the Wetlands Centre ahead of the five-hour match.
Six sections were fished from the shores of White Lake and Loughs Egish and Sillan with the average match weight 5.13kg per angler overall. Different conditions were experienced cross the venues with squally weather and bright spells throughout the day. Lough Egish known for its large roach and Sheila’s Shore was the draw of choice having produced the 2016 Champion, but it was not to be with just the end pegs fishing. The shallower waters although be-set by the dreaded pond weed produced the finest nets of quality fish the area is known for. Bream Rock on White Lake fished particularly well delivering the top 5 winners.
Chris Simpson, MAP Fishing of Moira Co. Armagh’s efforts at clearing his swim from weed and his decision to fish the feeder paid off with a 4.750kg bag of quality hybrids and a specimen bream to win the match. Chris whose name will now be firmly on the historical cup received his trophy and €500 prize money from Oliver McGauley President of the NCFFI. Runner-up Gary Drew of Enniskillen was beside Chris at Bream Rock where his end peg produced 23.180kg for him. Neil Mazurek, Tony Green and Cathal Hughes finished 3rd, 4th and 5th respectably from the same venue. Other notable weights came from Shamie Winters 9.400kg at Caravan Park, Sillan; Irish Youth International James O ‘Doherty 9.64kg at Bairds Shore and Johnny Keith 12.900kg at Lough Egish.
A full pay-out of all entry with 5 peg sections and the top five followed the match at the Welcome Inn, Mena Martins. A special presentation was made to Youth International Roisin Bohan, the only female to enter this match this year but whose efforts were to be commended. Roisin had a difficult day on Sheila’s Shore for a handful of fish, catching when other senior anglers didn’t weigh.
Cllr Seamus Coyle, Chair of the Clones Ballybay Municipal Council welcomed the anglers and organisers to the area. He commended the recent road improvements at Bairds Shore funded though the IFI NASD programme and delivered by the Council and pledged more improvements to support local angling. He wished the Youth Team members well for the upcoming Championships and the organisers with the running of the event whilst stressing the importance of the promotion of angling in Ireland.
The NCFFI would like to thank all those who attended the long running national championships and to all those who took part in the organisation. Special thanks go to the landowners in the region who provide access to the anglers with goodwill and even transported the angler’s equipment to the shore. Sitting on the Dromore system just outside Ballybay the Wetlands Centre provided a prefect venue for a draw of this size with all facilities, room for parking and the on-site net-dip and bait sales from Irish Bait & Tackle Ltd. Thank you to Patricia and the girls from the Soda Barrell who made sure everyone was fed and watered before heading off to their peg.
The 2018 and 58th edition of the championships which will take place on Sunday 29th July. Next up is the Junior version of the same where we welcome those new to fishing to competition angling along with sections for the U15’s, U20’s and U25’s. The event takes place on local lakes to Killeshandra, Co. Cavan and is sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland.