The 2008 Waterways Ireland Classic Fishing Festival got off to a flying start today with 257 anglers occupying fishing stands, islands and stretches of shoreline covering the length and breadth of Lough Erne.
The recent warmer weather seems to have encouraged the fish to feed and excellent catches were recorded on many of the traditional sections that have been used over the 33 years of the competition.
Today’s top weight of 37kg 420gms was caught on the Trory section by Bedworth angler Keith Winn, who also netted £500 for his efforts.
Second was Classic regular Gus Greaves with 37kg 270gms caught from peg 10 at the Ely Lodge section.
In third spot was Simon Young from Doncaster, a previous winner of this event, who netted 34kg 940gms from the Boa Island section.
Completing the top four was Nottingham angler Wayne Truman, who landed 34kg 600gms from the productive Ely Lodge section.
The action continues on Tuesday with the first day of the King of the Erne event and the next Classic fishing day is on Wednesday.
The weather is predicted to turn colder, leaving the match wide open.
Every angler will line up at the draw box on Wednesday in the hope that he can reel in the top prize of £5,000 and a Crystal Chalice or some of the many other cash prizes and trophies on offer.
The Classic is sponsored for the sixth year by Waterways Ireland and is organised by Fermanagh District Council in conjunction with the Inland Fisheries Division of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
For further information please contact Aoife Morrissy, Waterways Ireland on 00 353 71 965 0622 or Eddie McGovern, Fermanagh District Council on 028 6632 3110.