24 March 2005
Posted - 03 August 2012 : 4:42:47 PM
By Simon Young – www.talkangling.co.uk – 3rd August 2012
Everyone who is fishing the World Pairs Open this September in Ireland (10th to 14th) can rest assured you have a very large number of talented and dedicated people working on this match to make sure it is a success. This match sponsored by Lakelands & Inland Waterways and is going to go down in history for sure!
There are still a handful of tickets left for this years match so if you have been sitting on the fence waiting to see if this match is going to be as good as promised then now is the time to grab a partner and start dreaming of standing on the stage collecting a cheque for £30,000.
I was invited by the match organiser Kevin Locke to come over to take a look a how things are shaping up for this historic event. Everyone realises that never has a match been run on this scale in Ireland and Northern Ireland and a great deal of organisation and co-operation is required, obviously we are all hoping it will become a fixture in the match fishing calendar for years to come attracting thousands of returning anglers to the Emerald Isle.
This is set to be the richest course fishing match in history, some may say there are matches with bigger first prizes but those you need to qualify for the final – the World Pairs sponsored by Lakelands & Inland Waterways is an ‘open competition’ and anyone can enter this big money final with a prize pool approaching £100,000 with 18th place in the pairs receiving £1,000!
Most of the best fishing sections in the North and South are being used and being pegged by the local anglers to ensure the best sport possible, it is anyone’s guess what weight will win the match – at this early stage I am going to put my stake in the ground at around the 170 Kilo mark but I can see it being a very close run contest, a lot depends on the weather conditions and water levels.
During my two day trip I met loads of friendly faces - everyone from stewards to the match referee Mr Dick Caplice (Ex Ireland Manager) along with Damien owner of the Hamills B&B and Gabriel Owen who owns the tackle shop in Ballinamore, I couldn’t have had a warmer welcome and I am still recovering from having drank a cup of tea everywhere we went! A special mention needs to go to Eddie McGovern of Enniskillen Borough Council who has given loads of help and advice and also Alan Perry and Helen Rainsford of www.WorldPairsAngling.com who have along with Kevin Locke driven and motivated everyone involved with their massive enthusiasm.
On the proceeding Saturday and Sunday there are practice opens being run over the match sections – the meetings this week highlighted the fact that we needed to make all the areas individual open matches on the Saturday and Sunday as there is no way to have a central draw point. So as from the 17th of August entry will be open to anglers wishing to phone up and book onto these opens on a strictly first come first served basis – this gives you a chance to practice a section that you may not have seen before or simply book onto the match that is nearest to where you are staying to cut down the driving. The opens and the main match will now have draw times 8am – 9am with fishing 11.30am to 4.30pm. To book onto the opens you need to phone Fishing Tackle and Bait in Enniskillen on 02866 322008 – only those pre booked onto the opens can fish so please don’t think you can turn up on the day.
I did also manage to have a little time for one of the best fillet steaks I have ever eaten at the Anglers Rest hotel in Ballyconnell – The owner and Irish anger Francis McGoldrick having just come back from fishing ran straight into the kitchens to start his shift as the head chef, trust me it was well worth the wait and is highly recommended for a visit while you are over. Obviously it would have been rude not to let a few pints of the black stuff disappear while chatting to the anglers that were staying in the hotel and later on a few photographs were taken so lets hope we don’t end up on the front of some tourist brochure!
Lastly let me give a few links to other websites and organisations involved with the competition, I met many senior representatives from all these organisations during my meetings and everyone who fishes the match will have them to thank.
Competition sponsors : Lakelands & Inland Waterways
Waterways Ireland along with Fáilte Ireland, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism, Tourism Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Shannon Development have joined together to develop a marketing and product development initiative for the lakelands and waterways. This initiative which links Belleek in Co. Fermanagh with Limerick, encompasses the Erne System, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation and is a unique collaboration between Waterways Ireland and the various promotional and tourism agencies along the waterways both North and South. More information: www.waterwaysireland.org/
Failte Ireland - www.failteireland.ie/
Discover Ireland - www.discoverireland.ie/
Decal - www.nidirect.gov.uk/angling
IFI Fisheries - www.fisheriesireland.ie/
Tourism Ireland - www.tourismireland.com/
Bookings : Kevin Locke – 07736 129 627