Riverfest success on River Bann

Department of Culture Arts and Leisure Inland Fisheries (D.C.A.L) in association with Waterways Ireland, Coleraine Borough Council, held their 5th annual Coarse Fishing Angling competition on the Saturday 11th August 2012 as part of the River Bann festival “Riverfest”.

The event was organized by Teddy Roughan DCAL Northern Area Fisheries officer and held at Movanagher Canal on the River Bann near Kilrea.

There were over £200 of Prizes in subs and angling vouchers donated by the anglers and Riverfest sponsors.

20 competitors assembled for a draw at 9am to allocate pegs. This ensured there was plenty of time for the anglers to move gear to their pegs and set up tackle ready for “lines in” at 11am.

As always this event was well supported by the Ulster Coarse Fish federation members along with the East Belfast Coarse Angling Club and the Lower Bann Coarse Angling Assoc. The all important draw for pegs took place shortly after 9am with the draw historically favouring pegs 14 and over

The competition started at 11am with all anglers having large supplies of worms and maggots in position eager to start.

Being a relatively small fraternity the coarse anglers all knew now each other well with good banter. However the all important ground bait ingredients were still closely guarded secret. All anglers knew that the tough summer fishing conditions meant that the competition was likely to be won with a very modest catch.

Even after recent rainfall the canal water level was still low making fishing conditions difficult.

Most of the anglers fished poles and floats. Catches of Roach were poor but Perch were more plentiful.

The bulk of fish were confined to the upper pegs 10-16 with no anglers catching significant weights. The upper section of the canal was very quiet but all anglers new one large fish, perhaps a bream of around 1kg could possibly still win the competition.

It was apparent from early in the day that all the anglers had very low catch rates.

Ian Knowles fished well against the difficult angling conditions and finished runner up for the second year in a row with 450 g of Perch. Ian fished a 10m pole, 3g float, size 16 hook and used worm and maggot bait. Ground bait was cupped into the swim.

The eventual winner Johnny Keefe caught 940g of Perch using a12m pole 2gm float size 14 hook with maggot and worm bait also.

Johnny who has fished this event for the last 5years used was delighted with his first win.

Johnny explained

“Under summer conditions the most important aspect was to draw a reasonably competitive peg and then fishing tactics can come into play as some very experienced anglers caught little or nothing on the lower pegs. I finally got a bit of luck”