NORTH Down can justly call itself the carp capital of Ireland – just a few years after the species was introduced to still waters on this island.
The charity Northern Ireland Cross Community Angling has revealed that funding from Ards and North Down Borough Council has allowed it to carry out a stocking at the Beechhill Fishery in Loughries, just outside Newtownards.
A spokesman said,
“We wish to extend our gratitude and thanks to Tony Campbell, as well as the members of the Department of Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, who have assisted us throughout the whole process.”
The small mixed fishery can now add fish to its species list which includes trout, pike and other coarse species and brings the number of carp fisheries in the North Down area to five. The Northern Ireland Carp Anglers Society first introduced the species in 2000 and now has three fisheries. The Polehill fishery at Movilla, near Newtownards, also specialises in the growing sport of carp fishing. There are several species of carp and most can grow to enormous weights offering a unique challenge to specimen hunters. Most anglers use bait fishing tactics but carp have been known to take a lure presented with fly fishing tackle and are renowned as hard fighting.
Meanwhile the Irish record for a smooth hound shark has been broken by an angler in Wexford. The announcement was made in the Irish Specimen Fish Committee report for 2016 released earlier this week. The Irish Specimen Fish Committee, which is supported by Inland Fisheries Ireland, is an independent voluntary body which verifies and records the capture of large fish caught on rod by anglers in freshwater and marine waters in Ireland north and south. As well as the new record fish, detailed information on 485 specimen fish taken by anglers from venues throughout Ireland in 2016, comprising 41 different species, was presented in the report.
The main species were smooth hound (17%), spurdog (15%) and carp (10% of total). In total, 28 different marine species (including bass, common skate, gilthead bream, various species of mullet and several species of ray were taken by sea anglers and freshwater specimens accounted for the remainder. All fish were caught, weighed, measured and released. The Irish Specimen Fish Committee report is available on the ISFC website www.irish-trophy-fish.com or from the Inland Fisheries Ireland website http://www.fisheriesireland.ie/ The ISFC Awards Day, when anglers will be presented with their awards and certificates, will be held on Feb 18 in Dublin in conjunction with the Irish Angling Show weekend.
And finally the Atlantic Salmon Trust’s 50th Anniversary Online Auction offers a chance to secure an extra special sporting trip for 2017 and help support the conservation work of the AST. With more than 160 lots, ranging from salmon fishing, wild trout, grayling and fishing equipment, it is the largest auction of its kind. Bids range from £20 to £2,400 and include superb salmon fishing lots include prime beats on Norwegian, UK and Irish fisheries. For full details of lots and instructions on how to register your bid, visit auction.atlanticsalmontrust.org Bidding will close on February 14. Funds raised through the online auction go to support projects and research undertaken to protect and conserve wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout.