Irish call for all to fish its big matches

Ireland is set to host more ‘open-to-all’ competitions than ever before as anglers describe the quality of fishing as being ‘back to its best’.

It’s been announced that there are already over 40 major events planned for next year, which will not only attract some of the biggest names in angling, but will also be open to travelling UK pleasure anglers looking to fill their nets at a host of iconic fisheries.

Famous waterways such as the Rivers Shannon and Erne along with stillwaters like the prolific Loch Muckno - that hosts the prestigious World Pairs Angling Championships - will ensure top quality sport for those targeting the ever-growing shoals of bream, roach and hybrids.

The timing of the announcement couldn’t have been better as not only is the emerald isle going to be staging more competitions since the ‘glory years’ of the seventies, but anglers like former World Champion Tommy Pickering say that the fishing in Ireland is now better than ever.

“Up until a couple of years ago I hadn’t been over to Ireland for two decades, but I’ve fallen in love with the place all over again,” Tommy told Angling Times.

“I competed in the World Pairs Angling Championship this year and my partner and I averaged 30lb-per-man on five different venues. Even that was only good enough for 22nd place, which just shows how good the fishing is.

“I’ve booked up for 7 weeks fishing next year. I think it’s great news that all of these competitions have been organised and that anyone can go over to not only compete in some of the best events on the match calendar, but also sample some of the best coarse fishing in the world.”

The competitions are being organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland, which is confident that the new host of open competitions will reinvigorate the interest of anglers who have previously experienced the Irish match scene as well as creating a whole new generation of travelling fishermen.

“There’s no doubt that the coarse fishing here has been up and down for one reason or another, but now it’s better than ever,” said Paul Bourke angling information officer for Inland Fisheries Ireland.

“The buzz about next year’s calendar is amazing and is something that UK anglers shouldn’t miss out on.”