A great event with a bright future was the feedback from the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI). The second annual Upper Lough Erne Region Predator Challenge was won by Tony Brennan of Co. Longford with his 16lb 4oz Pike.

This year 88 anglers and 50 boats participated over 2 days in glorious sunshine on Upper Lough Erne. The starting point was the Watermill Fishing Lodge at Kilmore Quay just outside Lisnaskea with a fishing area taking in a large area on the Upper Lough from Derryadd up to Nann Island.

16lb 0oz pike
Robert Storey of Antrim who placed 2nd with his catch of 16lb 0oz.

DCAL Inland Fisheries were on hand providing seven weighing stations, four land based and three on mobile on the water and enforced the strict catch and release policy. As well as £6000 in prize money the event also included a fantastic prize of a weekends accommodation and angling on bass boat sponsored by the Watermill Fishing Lodge for the heaviest bag won by the Father & Son duo of Sean & Michael Murray of county Leitrim. Other winners included the man who claimed top spot last year, Robert Storey of Antrim who placed 2nd with a catch of 16lb 0oz, his wife Lorraine took 14th place with a 11lb 8oz Pike. Third place was John McDonagh of county Dublin who placed 3rd with a catch of 15lb 10oz.

Terry Brennan
– Paul McAleavey from Inland Fisheries presents a trophy to Terry Brennan of Longford who placed 1st with a catch of 16lb 4oz along with Barry Flanagan of the Upper Lough Erne Region. Donnie Phair Photography.

The Watermill Fishing Lodge & Restaurant proved to be the ideal venue with the competing anglers giving excellent feedback about the organisation, staff and food which included complimentary breakfasts and dinner on the restaurant terrace for the prize giving on Suday. The event was organised by the Upper Lough Erne Region, community tourism group with sponsorship and assistance from DCAL Inland Fisheries, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland and Waterways Ireland which showcased the fabulous fishing on the Upper Lough.

 Barry Flanagan
Dawn Livingstone from Waterways Ireland presents a trophy to John McDonagh of Dublin who placed 3rd with a catch of 15 lb 10 oz along with Barry Flanagan of the Upper Lough Erne Region.

The community tourism group, Upper Lough Erne Region, were very pleased with how the event ran this year make the event a great success. ‘The quality of Pike angling in the Upper Lough is second to none, many of the Anglers return to the Lough throughout the year. Events like this only help to highlight the quality of hospitality on offer when they do return. We aim to build on the event with some new and exciting developments in the pipeline for next year.’

Colin Rutherford
Colin Rutherford of the NCFFI Predator Club and Predator Team Ireland Boats with his catch.