The coarse fishing World Championships could finally be set for a return to the UK and Ireland with the completion of major improvements to Lough Muckno.
Previous access issues at the venue in Castleblaney, Monaghan have been resolved with the construction of 3,500m of road which is directly linked to 225 permanent pegs.
The move has seen it vetted as a possible location for both the World Feeder and World Police Championships.
At a massive 1,000 acres, Muckno recently hosted sections of the £50,000 Lakelands and Inland Waterways World Pairs Angling Championship as well as the European Police Championship, but now organisations in the country have bigger fish in their sights.
In a joint project between the Irish Angling Development Alliance (IADA), Inland Fisheries Ireland and Monaghan County Council, the venue has been revamped to meet the strict criteria required to host a world event.
Dick Caplice, former national team manager and the current chairman of the IADA said: “Every section now has seven or eight car parks so it’s easy to unload a lot of gear close to the pegs. Local hotels and guest houses are getting on board too, realising it is set to become an angling mecca.
“In both big events we’ve hosted recently we’ve had some great feedback from anglers all over Europe who think the set up, and fishing, is A-class.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s the best wild coarse venue in Europe. The next phase is to open up another stretch of this huge lough, to take the peg capacity up to around 350,” he added.
Former England international Mark Pollard won £10,000 for coming second in the World Pairs tournament, during which he caught almost 20lb of roach from Muckno.
“It’s a very picturesque place but at the same time it’s full of fish, especially roach, with bonus skimmers and hybrids too,” he said. “I think it’s so good because it’s so vast, the fish shoals just keep coming and they don’t get plundered. We don’t have anything on this scale in England for another “World Champs, Holme Pierrepont was full of roach but it’s faded away,” he added.