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Muckno: Mallinson takes Garda Open, Harwood IADA Open, July Festival underway

July 19th, 2017 | by

It’s a busy time of year for festival anglers on Muckno. Dick Caplice of IADA has all the news…

Of the 100 anglers assembled at the Old Coach Inn on Sunday morning 90 fished our IADA one day national open while the other 10 took the opportunity to walk the sections and set up last minute rigs in preparation for our 5 day July Festival starting Monday morning the 17th July 2017.

All Ireland Garda Open

Indeed our Saturday pre open match, formerly known as the All Ireland Garda Open attracted 80 anglers, 20 of which decided, due to exceptionally windy weather conditions, to also walk the sections and pick up some tips from the assembled top lineout which included several of the English National team entourage.

On Saturday in terrible windy conditions the Co manager of the UK national team Steve Sanders pipped our own Cathal Hughes for 4th place and the top three were taken up by Steve Harwood in 3rd, Mick Smith in Second and the winner was the ever reliable Neil Mallinson on almost 11kgs in poor conditions.

IADA One Day National Open

Sunday saw an improvement in conditions reflected slightly in catches but still somewhat under par for this great venue. With 90 anglers lining out all but the Black Island section was used and it was reserved for ad hoc anglers wishing to fish off match, which many chose to do.

The lineup was truly top class from at home and abroad with that man Steve Harwood prevailing once again by one full Kg from home favourite and international angler of the highest quality anywhere, Shane Dunne. Steve is becoming very hard to beat on this venue which he call his own at this stage due to his uncanny interaction with the place, simply winning off all sections, believing their less favoured reputations.

Would one bet against him winning yet another festival next week, given his almost unbeatable pedigree on this venue at this time.A large selection of top anglers already assembled in Castleblayney however over the past few days, will have other ideas.


Steve Harwood

Steve Harwood

Overall results list from Todays IADA Irish Open which of course was again topped by Mr Harwood, who between them (6) they shared a fine prizefund of over €3000, are as follows.

  • 1st Steve Harwood
  • 2nd Shane Dunne
  • 3rd Rory O Neill
  • 4th Craig Ellis
  • 5th Ray O’ Sullivan 
  • 6th Brenton Sweeney

July Festival

Day 1

Slightly disappointing 45 man entry to our much anticipated July Festival but more disappointing is to see a number anglers having arrived at the draw, leave when they had weighed up the opposition, thus reducing our plus fifty entry somewhat. To say a class field dipped for pegs at 9am is an understatement, with the cream of the UK crop lined up to do battle over 5 days, on a venue that has it all, not least the finest access, parking, facilities, organisation and convenience to pegs, to be found at any wild coarse venue home or abroad.

Craig Ellis

Craig Ellis

With a star studded field lined up, all eyes were on the merest hint of an advantage when pegs came out and early days the big list of prematch favourites were seen to come through the first hurdle unscathed with no disasters at least.On favoured pegs were Mallinson, Ellis and Cadwalader going to White, while O’ Neill O’ Sullivan and Winters looked good going to Concra upper. Simon Wilsmore on a strong peg at concra lower would surely threaten but reliables Hopkins, Steffen, Darren Davis and John Freeborne were all on productive Yellow Island which would surely yield top placings on day one.

Fishing was better on Monday

Fishing was better on Monday

Concra middle as the draw unfolded was termed the section of death with a host of stars pitched against each other and of these it was expected that Les Thompson Johnny Jowett , M Wainwright and that man again Harwood would figure prominently and so it turned out to be.

With the venue returning to form and the weather if anything a little too good, too sunny and too warm, battle commenced at 12 midday with five full sections of 9, going for it in earnest.

Some complaints of net setting by a survey team on the water might be a little overstated and while it is unlikely that this protracted incident had much affect on day one results we are in ongoing contact with the operators with a view to minimal disturbance.

While naturally no conclusions can be drawn from the day one results, it is significant that all of the prematch favourites are up there, on fine opening day weights.

  • Thompson 13.325kgs
  • Wainwright 11.5kgs
  • Ellis 10.5 kgs
  • Willsmore 11.5kgs
  • K Johnson 9kgs
  • J Jowett on 10 kgs
  • Mallinson 10.5kgs
  • Cadwallader 10.6kgs
  • Hopkins 10.5kgs
  • and that man again; Steve Harwood on 12kgs.

Day 2

Stormy conditions on Muckno on Tuesday - but tee shirts and pole still possible

Stormy conditions on Muckno on Tuesday – but tee shirts and pole still possible

Stormy waters on lough Muckno today failed to dampen spirits with top anglers prevailing despite seriously disruptive winds on White and Yellow Islands. Mere mortals would have yielded to the elements but todays squally conditions on two exposed sections saw the best anglers around make the necessary changes that saw fish just keep on coming. Unusual it was to see Neil Mallinson and beside him Craig Ellis throw small feeders into the teeth of a forceful wind but adapt they did to great effect. This was replicated on White Island where Rory ‘O Neills moaning was barely audible over the sound of wind and crashing waves. Here also some serious skill was displayed resulting in only slightly reduced weights from the fine showing of yesterday. Credit to a fine field of top anglers who are even at this early stage viewing the rotation for any hint of a chink in competitors armour or some slightest benefit that might accrue due to weather changes on the way, that might leave some sections difficult and challenging.

Likewise some are seeing the move to three days on sheltered Concra as a possible game changer when their closest challengers have to deal with open squally waters elsewhere on this great lough. We shall see!!!!!
The who’s who in Coarse angling hold onto the top ten placings with an awsome lineup all just within 4kgs after day two.

Neil Mallinson held on in the wind today from a grafting Darren Davis who again returned 10kgs. Kevin Johnson made somewhat of a move today on 11kgs and will now challenge seriously as will the ever consistent Mark Wainwrtight who also returned 10kgs. Spare a thought for Craig Ellis who adapted and grafted on stormy yellow island for a great weight just short of 11kgs. John Freebourne again showed his class with just under 12kgs for a move into the top five. Just over 2kgs off the lead in 4th place Tony Hopkins today improved his day two weight to return a magnificent 12kgs. Top three still crowd each other at the head of affairs, in the form of Muckno expert Simon Wilsmore who had a sparkling day weighing in over 11kgs and enjoying himself to boot. Les Thompson many peoples favourite grafted hard today for over 9kgs to add to his winning weight of day one, now finding himself in a fine second place going into day three. We said that he was going to be hard to beat and so it is, from any peg, this man just gets better and better, semingly in complete control of the peg, the section, the venue and even the elements.

Results after 2 days

Results after 2 days

Barring something unforseen this man Steve Harwood is moving inexorably into the favourites position to take this Festival again, having today scaled a great weight, of just inder 13kgs from what most regard as a modest peg.
Top ten listed below will do well to hang on with a host of stars following closely, in the clear and certain knowledge that if the draw bag gods favour them, then this Festival result is not a foregone conclusuion, by a long shot.

Report Courtesy of Dick Caplice at https://www.facebook.com/Lough-Muckno-393107817429399/

This post is in: Co. Monaghan, Coarse angling reports, Lough Muckno