The 2013 Waterways Ireland Classic Fishing Festival came to a close on Friday 4th May, after a week of extremes. The two hundred and sixteen anglers shivered in the cold on Monday, got sunburn on Tuesday and put the waterproofs on again for Friday.

Second day winner Peter Vasey, from Stoke Newington in London, won the competition with a total weight of 39kgs 510gms, netting him the top prize of £5,000, a Crystal Chalice and a Diawa rod and reel. His final day’s catch of 4kgs 660gms from the changeable Trory section was enough to capture the overall honours. Pete, who fishes with Team Sensas Oakwood Angling, has been coming to Fermanagh to enjoy the fishing and the hospitality for twelve years.

Second overall was Kevin Rowles from Devizes, whose total catch of 32kgs 250gms earned him £2,000, a Crystal Trophy, and a Diawa tackle prize.  In third place was another Classic regular, Stephen Priestly from Manchester £1,500 and a Crystal Trophy for his total catch of 28kgs 280gms.

In addition to the individual prizes, the very popular four-man team event was also held throughout the three days of the Waterways Ireland Classic.  The winning team, Dads & Lads, amassed a total catch of 74kgs 510gms, landing them cash prizes and trophies.

Local anglers fared better than they did last year.  Nick Seddon from Enniskillen was top of the local league in 5th place overall, with previous Classic winner, John Potters from Lisbellaw in 8th place.  Gareth Williams from Lisbellaw finished in 25th place.

In the weeks leading up to the Waterways Ireland Classic, the continuing cold weather gave the organisers something of a headache when considering the selection of sections.  Two sections at Crom on Upper Lough Erne were brought in to play, which produced consistently good weights throughout the week.

The Classic is sponsored for the tenth year by Waterways Ireland and is organised by Fermanagh District Council, in conjunction with Inland Fisheries Group, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

For information contact Katrina McGirr, Waterways Ireland on +353 (0) 71 96 50560 or Eddie McGovern, Fermanagh District Council on +44 (0) 28 6632 5050.