Mickey McKenna of Angling-in-Ireland.com reports on the recent junior Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs Junior All Ireland qualifier…

What a day we had yesterday as we hosted an Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs Junior All Ireland qualifier. The young anglers came from near and far – from Keady, Newry and Lusk in Co. Dublin. The weather was roasting but the breeze across the lake was more than welcome. Check in took place and the juniors were all given some traces and snap tackle made by Club secretary Brian Donnelly to help them in their quest. Lots of senior members came along on the day to help pass on their wisdom and spread the anglers out to ensure that everyone had the best chance possible to catch a pike.

It wasn’t long until word started to spread around that lake that a few fish were being caught.  Jake Fisher was leading the way with a 4lb 6oz fish! Conor McCabe from Newry, while his father Brendan was there for help, said that it was the words of wisdom he received from 2009 All Ireland Champion, Uncle Tucker McCabe, that helped him land two fish! Tiernan McMullen, under the guidance of Jerome Fisher, also got in on the act. Dylan McKenna and Francie McCaughey were the next to catch so things were going well.

Clíodhna McKenna with her catch
Clíodhna McKenna with her catch

The action died for a bit, so Pauric Donnelly decided it was time to have his lunch. Sandwiches out, drink poured and a pike wanted some lunch too and gobbled his float fished roach. Once weighed and returned, Pauric tucked back to his lunch again! Walter B Wood then secured his place in the final and had a smile from ear to ear to prove it. Four year old Clíodhna McKenna, fishing in her first qualifier then got the fright of her life as she caught a pike that could win awards for tail walking!! She was heard to say ‘it was very hard to get in’!

Time soon came round to get back to the check in where Brian Donnelly had made a start on the BBQ with loads of burgers and sausages creating a lovely smell for the hungry mouths. A massive thank you to Lenny McNally from Raffles Bakery in Armagh for the kind donation of the food on the day. Anyone in the Shambles area of Armagh please go in and show your support. Results were tallied and recounted, just to be on the safe side.

While some young anglers were left disappointed on the day, twenty two secured a place in next years final, a brillant result for the juniors and the hard work of the seniors on the day. While those who qualified on the day were all winners, IFPAC had donated prizes for the top three in each section. They were as follows:

The prize winners
The prize winners

Under 13 section Jake Fisher came first, Clíodhna McKenna came second and Tiernan McMullen came third. Other’s to qualify were Grace McKenna; Kate McKenna; Pauric Donnelly; James McClelland; Conor McIlroy; Conor McCabe; Ryan Swift; M Nugent and F Mallon

Under 18 winners were Dylan McKenna in first place, Francie McCaughey came second and Walter B Wood came in third. Others to qualify were Lewis Lappin; Patrick Swift; Harry McCooey; Sean McCooey; Jordan McGleenon; Mikey Tomany & Conor Nugent

Massive thank you to all the seniors who helped on the day and to Brian for all his running about all week and cooking the BBQ. Struggling at the minute to get a few snaps up but between Tony; Brian and meself we’ll get s few up in next few days.
Mickey McKenna