In light of the COVID-19 restrictions the Club was not able to run its full competition programme in 2020. However when the restrictions were eased Damian Murtagh, Competition Secretary and his assistants worked to put together a shortened competition programme which was fully compliant with the COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.
In August 2020 it was great news for the competition anglers to get back to fishing and to get the competitions up and running again. Although it was a shortened competition programme with only eight individual competitions, fished primarily at the Corbet Lough, it was still as competitive and enjoyable as ever. There was a good spread of individual competition winners but in the end Roger McClements, who won a competition and also finished in the top 3 in most competitions, took the accolade of Adult Angler of the Year 2020 with 13 points. Martin Dynes and Wilson Clinghan were in joint 2nd place with 9 points. Roger is a committed and skilful Club competition angler who rarely misses a Club competition. He is also a perfectionist in studying the water and the conditions and he catches fish when other good anglers struggle. This is the third occasion that Roger has taken the prestigious accolade of Adult Angler of the Year. His previous successes were in 2014 and 2017. Roger was also the Club’s Juvenile Angler of the Year back in 1984 and 1987 and he is one of only a handful of anglers who have been both the Club’s Juvenile and the Adult Angler of the Year.
In the Juvenile Angler of the Year 2020 competition Sam Curran had a fantastic season. He deservedly took the Juvenile Angler of the Year 2020 title with 8 points finishing ahead of Patrick Curran, last year’s Angler of the Year, who had 6 points. Sam is a great young angler who has been well mentored by his father Derek. He is a very competent fly fisherman from both the boat and shore and he regularly catches fish at the Corbet Lough. This is Sam’s first Angler of the Year title and I am sure that he will go on to win many more competitions in the future.
The Club’s junior competitions which are normally fished over the early season and summer months were almost over before the competitions recommenced. However Damian added in a few new competitions and the young anglers came out and fished well getting some nice fish. It was great to see how keen they were and there were a couple of new faces this season. Hopefully we will see them back next season. In the end it was a very tight competition. Elijah Parks took the accolade of Junior Angler of the Year 2020 with 8 points just one point ahead of Jayden Smyth in second place. This is Elijah’s first Angler of the Year title.
Congratulations to Roger, Sam and Elijah on their great success in 2020.