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Tag a Cod Shore Angling Competition

AFBI, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute is appealing for help from anglers and recreational fishermen and women who may catch codlings from rocky shores, beaches and angling boats this summer.

ABFI want to tag these cod and release them back into the sea. They are also sponsoring a recreational angling shore competition on 28th April on the East Antrim coast, to both tag cod and raise awareness of the Irish Sea Cod Tagging Project which AFBI are currently managing.

The Irish Sea Cod Tagging Project is a collaborative project between AFBI, the Marine Institute in the Republic of Ireland and CEFAS in the UK, funded by the European Commission. Thousands of cod have already been tagged in the Irish Sea in a project studying their movements and causes of mortality.

Most of the cod have been tagged on commercial vessels or charters at sea over the last two years, but now AFBI are appealing for help from the recreational angling community in a bid to increase tagging numbers and to tag small cod not caught on commercial vessels.

AFBI Project Lead Victoria Poppleton commented:  

‘Since October last year we have been working with the local angling community and they have been very engaged and enthusiastic about this project. We are hosting, along with East Antrim Surfcasters Sea Angling Club a “Tag a Cod” shore competition in late April which has around 60 anglers signed up so far.”

Engagement from both the commercial fishing industry and the recreational angling community is key to this project’s success and so we need anyone who catches young cod over the coming months to get in touch with us via for more details.

For more information on the “Tag a Cod” competition or project, please visit:

Pictured from AFBI are Andrew Rea and Irish Sea Cod Tagging Project Lead Victoria Poppleton who are appealing for help from anglers and recreational fishermen this summer.
April 17, 2018 / by / in
Remember those catch returns by John Dory
THE Loughs Agency and DAERA have reminded game anglers to make their annual catch returns promptly this year now that the season has come to a close. The information is increasingly important for the management of trout and salmon stocks after another difficult year which brought many new challenges for both anglers, conservationists and the scientists. Huge floods in the north west may have damaged important spawning areas and saw the escape of thousands of farmed rainbow trout into the Foyle system. The appearance of Pacific pink salmon in Irish rivers is also a phenomenon which will require careful monitoring and may pose a new threat to the native wild Atlantic fish which remains in sustained decline in many areas in the north and west.
Rainbow trout fisheries will continue to provide quality fly fishing for anglers who are not afraid to brave the winter cold though many places will reduce opening hours after the clocks went back last weekend. Some offer winter competitions which give an added edge to a cold day’s sport. Just 20 places are available at the charity trout fishing tournament at Turnaface fishery, near Moneymore in Co Derry, on December 2. The £20 entry fee will help support the Buddy Bear Trust for children with cerebral palsy. First prize is £150.
Winter is peak time for predator fishing and big pike remain plentiful in waters throught the province. For the past few years anglers have come close to beating the Irish record of 42lbs which was set in 2004. Remember to bring certified scales to be sure of your fish meeting official standards at the weigh-in.
The Tronixpro Irish Winter Shore Sea Angling Festival will take place in Wexford on January 25 and 26 next year and is expected to have a prize pot of more than 17,000 euro plus more than 3,000 euro in tackle. There will be both individual and team competitions. The entry fee of 160 euro covers a place at the prize winners’ dinner. Contact Warren Doyle at
Meanwhile the Northern Ireland Environment Agency is hosting a one-day conference on working in partnership to deliver the Water Framework Directive. It will be held at the CAFRE Greenmount Campus in Antrim on Saturday November 25. There will be a series of talks from DAERA, Northern Ireland Water, Donegal Catchment Care, Queen’s University and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute. Booking through Eventbrite is essential to secure a place.
Autumn gold: a good day at Lough Navar in Fermanagh but don’t forget to make your annual catch returns.
November 2, 2017 / by / in
Agency expands hi-tech helper by John Dory
THE Loughs Agency has re-launched its angling website giving it a new look and some extra features. The new site contains more information for both local and visiting anglers. In addition to essential advice, rules and regulations it also provides access to purchase a Loughs Agency rod e-licence. Interactive maps of each river in the Foyle and Carlingford catchments allow the web user to see where the best spots are to park to access the river and where the nearest tackle shops can be found.

Angling club boundaries are also clearly marked with details on how to buy a day or season ticket. If there is a river gauge or camera these are also clearly marked so the angler can see what the conditions are from a smartphone, tablet of computer. Each lough that is open to the public, as well as stocked lakes, are also included with details on opening times, contact details and permissible methods.

Anglers can refer to tide tables, lunar phases, sunrise/sunset times and weather forecasts for both the Carlingford and Foyle catchments to help plan their trip. More real-time data will be available in the future to provide the angler with river level, water temperature, turbidity and rainfall information.
The information within the website will expand and change as more surveys are carried out, said a spokesman.

“The Loughs Agency is also committed to providing an e-permit solution for its stakeholders. This will allow the visiting angler to purchase a day or season ticket without the need to visit a distributor in person, or react to conditions and purchase permits to fish alternate beats from the riverbank.”

If you have any content you would like added to the uFish Ireland website or want to provide feedback contact the agency using the email address or call David Spencer on 028 7134 2100.
Salmon angling on the Reelan river in Donegal. Anglers will be able to check water levels on a smartphone.
November 2, 2017 / by / in
Children get hooked by John Dory
THE annual Northern Ireland Schools coarse fishing competition will take place this saturday, October 21. The established event has this year attracted over 60 youngsters who will tackle up along the Lower Bann at Portglenone in teams.

Young people have been attracted to the sport in bigger numbers in the past three years because of the availability of qualified coaches and the encouragement of progressive schools. However Ireland’s youngsters have a long way to go to catch the French and the Polish who dominated the medals at the World Youth Angling Championships held in Cork in August.
The Northern Ireland schools event is supported by volunteers from east Belfast and the lower Bann clubs who would be grateful for assistance on the day from people who are suitably qualified. Please contact John Taggart at or call 07891 516677 if you can assist.

East Belfast Coarse Angling Club reports good catches of roach on the lower Bann and if you are interested in fishing this year’s Bann Bonanza festival in November please book in with Derek Buckley on 07725 404874 or visit the Facebook page at  Meanwhile anglers who caught specimen fish in 2017 are reminded to submit claim forms soon or miss out on recognition. Those with specimen claims for shad and cyprinids (roach, rudd and their hybrids) which require genetic analysis for positive identification are requested to submit their claims to the Irish Specimen Fish Committee by October 15. All other claims should be submitted by November 15. Email with any queries.

L-R: Ray McKeeman instructor, Susan Brown coach, Joe Stitt instructor and Madeleine Kelly coach were on hand for a Parent and Child and Woman’s Day of angling at Straid trout fishery in Co Antrim last weekend. The expert team holds regular events at the fishery in a bid to attract more women and young people into the sport.
October 23, 2017 / by / in
Casting back 80 years for Positive Futures by John Dory
BANGOR Angling Club held a competition and fundraising event  to celebrate its 80th anniversary last month. Prizewinners received their awards from chairman Raymond Telford. First was James Venning, second Brian Stanfield and third Marshall Tweed.

A spokesman said,

“As a club we encourage more people from different backgrounds to fish more often and over the past years we have welcomed a group of young adults supported by charity Positive Futures. The work of Positive Futures was the focus of our fundraising efforts which raised £765.”

Bangor Angling Club jointly manages the upper and lower Ballysallagh reservoirs at Craigantlet in partnership with DAERA. The members would like to thank local and national angling suppliers, AM Angling, Tight Lines, The Village Tackle Shop, Frozen North Fly Fishing Company and Wychwood Game for their generous prize donations.

Competitiors at the Bangor Angling Club’s 80th anniversary competition raised money for the charity Positive Futures.
October 6, 2017 / by / in