Youth anglers net 25,000 fish at World Championships on Inniscarra.

Junior anglers net and release over 25,000 wild coarse fish weighing more than 2 tonnes on Inniscarra Lake for the World Youth Angling Championships!

The event consisting of three individual competitions was hosted by the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland who in conjunction with their members locally have developed this World Class fishery over recent years.

Local dignitaries, community partners and sponsors came together with Fédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive en Eau Douce, FIPS-ed and the world’s largest authority in Sport Fishing to celebrate the opening of the event in Coachford, County Cork on Thursday 10th August.  Cllr Declan Hurley, Mayor of County Cork welcomed hundreds of enthusiastic fishing girls and boys to the county after they proudly paraded through the streets of Coachford accompanied by the Ballingeary Pipe Band and members of the Coachford Camogie and Foróige groups.

Jerry O’Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive of the ESB Group, fishery owner and event sponsor, reviewed the history of the reservoir.  In welcoming anglers from the 14 Nations he highlighted the growth of angling tourism in the local area and the economic benefit of to the local community. President of the NCFFI, Oliver McGauley reiterated the benefit angling can bring to rural communities whilst promoting fair play and good companionship in our sport. Dr Ciarán Byrne complimented the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland on the successful bid to host the event, the second such championships on Inniscarra Lake.

Olympic Gold medallist, Oliver Loughnane representing the High-Performance Unit of Sport Ireland came along to wish the young athletes the very best in the competition whilst Seamus Heany of Cork Convention Bureau supported the potential tourism aspect of the Greenway.

The President of FIPS-ed confirmed that our sport was still alive, as he addressed the sea of anglers under the age of 25 in front of him, before declaring the championships open. The young girls from O’Sullivan’s dancing school then enthralled the European youths with an exhibition of traditional Irish dancing to the tune of the Comhaltas musicians before it was back to base to prepare for the next day’s fishing.

Aghbullogue GAA Hall was also the venue for the daily draw and Captains meeting and was a give of activity from 6am each morning of the competition with the Managers drawing the pegs and collecting bait for the juniors.  The Under 15 competition took place on the ‘Garden Centre’ stretch at Dripsey where the youngest of the anglers fished in four sections of 10.  2km of the Coachford Greenway was occupied by the Under 20 and 25 categories with 102 anglers fishing in eight sections of 13.  The multi-purpose amenity was a hive of activity with supporting families & friends on the bank along with an estimated 8000 number of spectators throughout the weekend.

Hands up to the 100 anglers from across Ireland and members of the local community who volunteered to support the event working as traffic marshalls, weigh-men, fish counters and general stewards throughout the weekend.

The fishing which set off with a slow start for the anglers arriving to the area early soon picked up with the swims being fed and magnificent catches were soon recorded in the training days prior to the competition.  2164,000 kg of fish were netted, weighed and released safely back to the water during the two days of the championships alone.  It was a fish a chuck with the anglers fishing the pole for roach, skimmers and hybrids achieving a slightly better stamp of fish using the slider. France’s U25 Alexandre Caudin averaged a fish every 80seconds which gave him the Gold Medal position and individual World Champion of 2017.

It was another angling first for Inniscarra as France were triumphant winning all three events Under 15, Under 20 and Under 25; the first country ever to do so.  The skills of the European juniors were exceptional and saw Poland, Germany and England take the Silver and Bronze positions.  In the Individual categories the Czech Republic and Belgium also collected medals for their positions against the 14 nations.

Team Ireland didn’t fare out so well finishing 9th in the U25, 8th in the U20 and 7th in the U15.  County Fermanagh Under 20 James O’Doherty, Ireland’s favourite for a medal just missed the podium finishing with 5 points but missing out to 4th/5th position by weight ending up in sixth position.  County Monaghan’s Eion Rogers also finished in 6th position overall a magnificent achievement for this 12-year-old at his first World Championships. Team Ireland presented some of the youngest anglers on the bank, many of whom were new to International angling but whose skills at such a young age were the envy of coaches and Managers on the bank; they have all enjoyed the experience, learnt a lot and have a bright future.

The competition ended with Claudio Matteioli and the FIPS-ed delegation and President of the NCFFI presenting the winners with their trophies and medals before all the teams came together in a display of colour at the Oriel House Hotel for a celebratory dinner to complete the event.

Facts & Figures

Under 25’s  
Team France Belgium Poland
Position 1st 2nd 3rd
Points 24 37 38
Weight 102.628 85.641 88.600
Individual France Belgium Poland
Name Alexandre Caudin Koen Wackenier Marcin Kurzepa
Position 1st 2nd 3rd
Points 2 2 3
Weight 34.535 27.028 20.886
Under 20’s
Team France Poland Germany
Position 1st 2nd 3rd
Points 22 26 44
Weight 83.068 86.236 70.469
Individual Poland England France
Position 1st 2nd 3rd
Name Jakub Derlaga Samuel Collett Thomas Monsigny
Points 2 4 4
Weight 24.035 23.300 20.876
Under 15’s      
Team France Poland England
Position 1st 2nd 3rd
Points 19 34 34
Weight 50.833 42.505 40.838
Individual France Czech Republic France
Position 1st 2nd 3rd
Name Maxence Bonvalet Lukas Doricak Hugo Breillot
Points 2 3 4
Weight 14.625 11.682 14.388

The event has an brought an estimated €2million euro benefit to the local area and Inniscarra Lake and County Cork has well and truly proven itself a world class angling destination and will surely be host to more championships in the future.  The NCFFI would like to thank all those involved for their support.

A gallery of images from the event available can be viewed here