The match anglers were back in town again for the IFI Ballinamore Angling Festival this week.  The festival borne from the anglers competing in the World Pairs Angling Championship wiich highlighted the good fishing in the area has been resurrected to promote angling tourism in this part of County Leitrim .  The Ballinamore Angling & Tourism Association who are keen to intereact with the anglers once again and get them returning to an area spoilt with accessible lake venues to include parking behind your peg at Gardice Lake, several loughs known for specimen hunting and pike angling and the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Ballinamore-Ballyconnell Canal, sponsored the event by a massive €500. All accommodation in the town of Ballinamore and surrounding area is equipped for the angler.

Dara Finnegan Festival Winner
Dara Finnegan Festival Winner

This coarse angling match only in it’s second year was fished entirely on Garadice Lake for ease of all entrants.  A five day match with four rotating sections on both Haughton’s and Church Shore concluded with an open draw on the final day ensuring the end result was less easy to predict. The upper pegs at Haughton’s Shore and D section at Church produced the top weights of 26lb and 33lbs yet the catches were fairly consistent all round. The wet and windy conditions experienced all week made it difficult for the anglers who were mostly fishing the feeder with the pole only coming into play when the wind was low.  Nets were full of Hybrids, with a few quality Roach coming in on the pole and several anglers netting Bream.

Sam Merry
Sam Merry, Leicester, UK 5th place
Click for the full table of results

The festival was won by Roscommon angler Dara Finnegan, Ballyhaunis AC with 101lbs 07 oz.  In second place with 98lbs 2oz was Peter Jones, Cork fishing the match for the second year followed in third by Enniskillen angler Gary Drew with 91lbs 8oz. Brian Bohan, Mohill gained a very respectable 4th place with 90lbs 15oz followed by Sam Merry, Leicester, UK who was very happy with his fifth position and 86lbs 3oz.

Congratulations to Dara and thanks you to everyone involved

The match organisers, Ballinamore Tourism & Angling Association and all competitors would like to thank the IFI and local landowners for their cooperation with this event.  Please refer to or for details of the 2015 event which will be announced soon.