A river thought to be well past its best is being hailed as Europe’s greatest roach fishery after it produced a series of huge catches to over 100lb.
Closed-season restrictions don’t apply in Northern Ireland, where the upper River Bann has seen an incredible silverfish revival.
The waterway was a major attraction to UK anglers during the 1980s, but then the giant shoals of roach almost disappeared.
Now the glory days have returned, with UK match fishing star Klaus Fix cashing in on the recent resurgence.
On the Shillington stretch of the Bann at Portadown he enjoyed fish-a-chuck action, ending the day with this massive net of prime roach.
“I’ve been lucky enough to fish some of the best silverfish waters in Europe, and the action here is well up there with anything I’ve ever experienced,” he said.
“I used pole to hand for more than 500 roach in a session. It’s easy to see why the Bann is drawing back the anglers just like in the glory days.”
Local expert Phil Jackson was on hand to witness the catch, and insists that the achievement was far from just sheer luck.
He told Angling Times: “In its heyday 100lb catches of roach were nothing to rave about, and it looks like we could be getting to that point again.
“I’ve heard of loads of catches over 70lb in the last few weeks with several into triple figures.
“Anglers used to travel to Northern Ireland to experience what the Bann had to offer, and its recent form proves that they wouldn’t be wasting their time if they made the journey over now.”