The annual Clones Angling Festival took place over the bank holiday weekend fishing the popular County Monaghan waters. All the venues fished very differently to last year and were as unpredictable as the weather which ranged from 22′ sunshine to torrential downpours.

Drumlona lough produced some large catches dominated by Hybrids and Drumlona produced some fine Tench. Annaghmekerrig Lake also fished well but the coloured water at Mullinary made it the weak section for this year’s match.

Winners at Creighton Hotel, Clones Bas Smith, Andy Chapman, Phil Jackson
Winners at Creighton Hotel, Clones Bas Smith, Andy Chapman, Phil Jackson

This year an optional rotation draw was introduced to allow anglers to compete for the best weight in their rotation. This proved successful for Team Ireland’s Paul Leese who didn’t make the top 5 but won his rotation the weakest of the three with those in his group starting the four days at Drumlona which traditionally fishes better day by day. Other section winners were A Mike Stone, D Phil Jackson and B Andy Jackson who all had the best weight for their rotation.

Bas Smith 60lbs Drumlona Lough
Bas Smith 60lbs Drumlona Lough

A total of €3,870 was paid out in prize money with 75% of the anglers picking up a Section or Daily Overall win. Andy Chapman had this years top weight of 118lbs 14oz over the four days and was ecstatic with his win. Andy has proved successful at Clones before when he had a massive 142lbs of mostly Bream from Annaghmekerrig lake giving him a festival win back in the late 90’s.
In second place was Bas Smith who had the largest weight of the festival with 60lbs of 102lbs 14oz. Cathal Hughes, last years winner came in third with a total weight of 99lbs 2oz, Mike Stone was in fourth with 95lbs 4oz and Phil Jackson 5th with 92lbs 6oz. Mike celebrated his very first catch of Tench in Ireland!

Mike Stone and his very first Tench catch in Ireland!
Mike Stone and his very first Tench catch in Ireland!

Clones Coarse Anglers are were delighted to see old and new faces at this years festival and welcomed those who made their annual trip from the UK to compete. Aside to those who took part thanks goes to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for the use of Annaghmekerrig lake and the landowners at Mullinary, Drumlona and Bairds Shore who welcomed the anglers. Special thanks to our hosts for the competition, the Creighton Hotel and to Willie Wheeler’s Angling Centre for coming on site with supplies of fresh bait produced by Irish Bait & Tackle Ltd.

www.clonescoarseanglers.net and www.facebook.com/clonescoarseanglers