Keith Coleman, Chairman Ballymote and District Angling Club, reports on the Ballymote Festival…

Despite bad weather and a horrendous forecast 19 anglers turned out to fish the 2nd Annual Ballymote Festival on 17th and 18th of August, sponsored kindly by the I.F.I. The Percival family are to be thanked to allowing anglers to access the lake shore by car as a walk with all that gear from the road would have been energy sapping to say the least.

The field was made up of National and International anglers among them was Cathal Hughes winner of last year’s festival and the Inland Fisheries Ireland Perpetual Trophy.

Cathal Hughes is also the holder of a World Individual Silver Medal and being one half of the 2013 world pairs winning duo. Brian Bohan who recently qualified for the 2014 Ireland Feeder Team accompanied by some of the top match Anglers in Ireland would
make the I.F.I, Ballymote & District Angling Club Two Day Open a very interesting Competition.

Overall winner Darren Greaney displays his catch from day two (143lbs 06 oz.)
Overall winner Darren Greaney displays his catch from day two (143lbs 06 oz.)

Templehouse Lake has been fishing very well this summer as members of the Ballymote and District Angling Club can testify to, with large shoals of bream obliging the anglers by taking their baits. Many attempts have been made this summer to equal Cathal Hughes’s impressive 112lbs 2oz tally on day 2 of last year’s competition. A number of bags of 100 lbs plus were recorded during the summer and this increased the anticipation that the 2013 festival could be even better than that of the previous year.

In order to fully enjoy the festival some anglers spent Friday night in Ballymote acclimatising to the area and trying to bribe locals in to giving away crucial secrets such as depth, optimum casting distances and best bait. All were made feel welcome and as the draw for pegs took place the next morning some were fresher than others. The competition was ran under the guidance of the I.A.D.A where a No Dip NO Draw policy was in place.

The peg draw over anglers went straight to their pegs and got set up and awaited the all in. There was a very strong wind blowing from left to right just to increase the difficulty level. All anglers fished the feeder with a variety of hook baits including maggot, corn, caster and worm. As the day progressed most pegs were just producing roach with the odd hybrid and only a few lucky pegs landing the elusive bream. The miserable weather was tolerated and lakeside banter allowed anglers to forget how bad the weather was at times. At the end of day 1 the top 5 weights were as follows Paul McGreivy 64lbs 7oz. Cathal Hughes 39lbs 08oz. Chris Ganley 37lbs 07oz. Darren Greaney 37lbs 02oz and fifth Arunas Mlecka 17lbs 14oz.

All the anglers had a feeling that improved weights were to be had on the start of day 2 due to the amount of ground bait already put out. The weather was a little bit kinder but heavy showers appeared throughout the day and the wind had slackened a little. Almost from the all in Darren Greaney, who had drawn the same peg for the second day, started to land big Bream. Anglers in nearby pegs could only manage roach and hybrids. Those fishing around Greaney could tell by the quality and quantity of what he was landing that he was going to be the one to beat. When Darren called for a second keep net in the late afternoon it was clear to most anglers that he was going to win by a considerable margin but nonetheless there were other places up for grabs and heads went back to angling until the all out was called.

At the all out the weigh in began and everybody was discussing the massive catch that Darren had made. When his 2 keep nets were weighed and totalled he had landed 143lbs 06oz of fish an exceptional catch for any natural water. This gave him a total of 180lbs 8oz over the 2 days to win the prize money and the I.F.I Perpetual Trophy. The other places were as follows 2nd Cathal Hughes 81lbs 0oz, 3rd Paul McGreivy 64lbs 7oz and 4th Arunas Mlecka 60lbs 8oz.

The anglers returned to John Doddys for the presentations and as they dispersed in all directions from Ballymote the question was what weight will the winner land on Day 2 of next year’s competition.

Ballymote and District Anglers wishes to congratulate all the anglers who took part and for your co-operation during the festival. We would also like to thank the Perceval Family for their kind permission to use the lake for the event and their ongoing assistance to the club. To Inland Fisheries Ireland & Shannon Tackle Jamestown for there continued sponsorships and support to our club.

Go fishing…

Templehouse LAke

Self Catering accommodation is also available at Templehouse for anglers who wish to stay local and avail of the fantastic Bream fishing on the lake just log on to www.templehouse.ie.

Ballymote and District Angling Club

Ballymote, situated 15 miles south of Sligo town, holds some of the most spectacular fishing waterways to be found in the north west of Ireland. For a list of all the hot spots to fish when visiting the Ballymote area visit www.ballymoteangling.com