THE Classic Fishing Festival in Fermanagh, Ulster’s largest international angling competition, will be held on the Erne system from May 8-12.
The 42nd annual festival is expected to attract more than 200 coarse anglers including former world champions from Ireland, the UK and Europe. The top prize is £5,000 and includes the Classic chalice trophy.
Past winners have included local fishers, English and German anglers. Lisnaskea’s Jordan Hall took the title last year with a total bag of 59.4kg but bags have included 104.2kg for Rod Scott of England in 2005 and 111.3kg for Gunter Imrock of Germany in 1992. Entry costs £105 for senior anglers and junior entrants, who must be under 18 on May 8, 2017, are eligible for a 50% reduction. You are required to register online at the Festival website. For enquiries contact Joanne Cunningham, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 0300 303 1777.
The Classic Fishing Festival is organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in conjunction with the Inland Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
Meanwhile Irish angling experts Ken Whelan and Jason O’Riordan have expanded their programme of courses for 2017 to include saltwater fishing for bass along the south coast. They are also running sea trout courses which will include estuarine fishing on the best beats of the Munster Blackwater. The Match the Hatch series will move to a private lake in Wicklow.
New courses yet to be announced will include the Atlantic Salmon Trust’s adopt-a-stream initiative – the Small Streams Characterisation System training programme. This is suited to club members interested in mapping, assessing and protecting their small feeder/spawning streams. Both O’Riordan and Whelan will be at the Northwest Angling Fair in Strabane on April 8-9. Email: email@example.com
And finally the clocks go forward this weekend bringing anglers some welcome extra hours of daylight in the evening. Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers all around the coast and on Loughs Erne and Derg are ready to save your life if you get into danger but advise all anglers to take sensible precautions before venturing onto the water. Outboard engines which have been unused all winter should be serviced and fuel which is more than six weeks old disposed of in an environmentally friendly fashion. Lifejackets and other safety equipment should be checked and made ready for the new season.