This annual event, organised by the Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation, sponsored by Waterways Ireland and Shakespeare Tackle, and assisted by Irish Bait Services and Mid Ulster District Council was held, courtesy of Bann Systems Ltd, on the Lower River Bann at Mid Ulster District Council’s coarse angling facility near Portglenone on the 10th October. Fifteen teams of 4 entered the event from as far apart as Enniskillen, Coleraine and Belfast.  Conditions on the day were very good for the match with mild dry weather and just a little flow on the river to assist the angling.


James O’Doherty displays his catch for Councillor Kim Ashton
James O’Doherty displays his catch for Councillor Kim Ashton

A panel of Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation coaches and officials were on the bank side to help the less experienced along and this together with ample supplies of swim-feeders, hooks and bit and pieces supplied by Shakespeare tackle ensured that all of the competitors caught fish.

Some weights were reasonable, and well up from last year, given the inexperience of many of the competitors and the conditions, roach, gudgeon, perch and a couple of small skimmer bream were weighed in.  We are hoping that catching a fish or two might release the angling bug in a few more juniors.

Councillor Kim Ashton with School champions Coleraine Grammar
Councillor Kim Ashton with School champions Coleraine Grammar

Tactics were largely determined by the experience of the anglers present!  Those juniors with some experience and tackle fished the pole while others used feeder tactics. Fish were caught on both methods and the best recorded weight was 8.700 kg by James O’Doherty from Erne Integrated College, Fermanagh who fished 12m on the pole giving a small ball of bait every 1 to 3 fish and caught steady to finish up with 110 fish.  Single caster boosted his weight at the end of the match when some bigger fish came in leaving James to take the Individual title for the section year running.  A superb performance by the members of Coleraine Grammar School secured them a win and title of Schools Coarse Angling champions of 2015.  Well done Coleraine!

At the presentation after the match, held in the Parochial Hall, Bellaghy and hosted by Mid Ulster District Council, Vice-Chairperson Cllr Kim Ashton assisted with the prize giving as the winners received a selection of tackle prizes, tackle vouchers, medals and trophies totalling over £1,500


  • 1st team Coleraine Grammar School,
    Each competitor received a Shakespeare Agility feeder rod – a Gold medal and a tackle voucher valued at £30. The school received a silver plate.
  • 2nd team Erne Integrated College
    Each competitor received a Shakespeare Rod Holdall, a Silver medal and a tackle voucher valued at £20.
  • 3rd team Bangor Acadamy,
    Each competitor received a Shakespeare Agility reel, a Bronze medal and a tackle voucher valued at £15.

Section winners

  • Individual Winner    James O’Doherty        Erne Integrated College,        8.700 kg
  • Section A                  Paul Cunningham       Coleraine Grammar                   2.400 kg
  • Section B                  Aaron Galbraith          Coleraine Grammar                   4.600 kg
  • Section C                  James Cunningham    Coleraine Grammar                   7.750 kg
  • Section D                  Ryan Hargy (by default) Coleraine Grammar               0.370 kg