Anglers from the UK, Germany, Belgium and as far afield as Malaysia came together at the Standing Stone Hotel in Ballinamore on Sunday night to register for the third Lakelands & Inland Waterways World Pairs Angling Championships where the chairman of Leitrim Council, Paddy O’Rourke welcomed the anglers to Ballinamore and wished them well in the competition.
The World Pairs competition now in its third year has been hugely successful in attracting new overseas anglers to Ireland by showcasing a selection of the natural wild angling available in the Lakelands & Inland Waterways region. Fishing over the period of a week the anglers fish a different venue each day. The World Pairs is the only cross-border competition featuring venues from an island on Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh to the shores of Lough Scur in County Leitrim. Lakelands & Inland waterways, a Waterways Ireland, Failte Ireland partnership, sponsors the guaranteed prize fund to €15,000 with additional funding from Cavan Tourism, Leitrim Tourism, Fermanagh District Council and the event organisers making it the richest coarse match in Ireland. It’s not just a match for the professionals who are keen to snatch the prestigious Pairs title from the reigning Irish champions, a cross-border partnership in Cathal Hughes from Galway and Philip Jackson from Craigavon, but additional sponsorship from tackle giants DAIWA to the tune of £8,500 funds the individual looking to win the DAIWA Cup.
Éanna Rowe, Co-Chair of Lakeland & Inland Waterways confirmed "the Lakeland & Inland Waterways World Pairs has shone a spotlight on the high quality and large quantity of wild fish challenging all anglers coming to Ireland's Lakelands. The competition has sparked a huge level of international interest and it is wonderful to see that reflected in the numbers from abroad for this year’s competition and the resulting tourist numbers coming into the Lakelands."
Keen to improve their skills members of championsteam.de from Germany had a practise session with one half of the reigning World Pairs Champions, Cathal Hughes on Garadice Lake ahead of the match. The group are staying at Riversdale Guesthouse are keen to know how to catch the fighting hybrids that were a common catch in the 2013 competition. This year ten Germans have travelled over to compete in the competition with the intention of sharing their experiences of the natural wild angling available in the region with fellow anglers back home.
If you would like to follow the competition as it unfolds day by day you can visit the website at www.worldpairsangling.com, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/worldpairs or on Twitter @worldpairs.