Banbridge Angling Club’s Competition Secretary Damian Murtagh and his Assistants Wilson Clinghan and Roger McClements continue to run a very sociable and vibrant Competition Programme each season for adult, juvenile and junior Club members. The emphasis is very much on sportsmanship, fun and with a little competitive spice thrown in for good measure. The competitions are primarily held on Corbet Lough and the River Bann. However in June the anglers travel to fish the famous Lough Melvin and then in August they venture up into the scenic Mourne Mountains to fish Spelga Dam. If you are competitive go along and hone your angling skills against some of the Club’s top anglers. Indeed if you are interested in competition fishing these Club competitions could open the door for you competing in interprovincial and international competitions. If you are not competitive just go along for the sportsmanship and the craic. You will enjoy the angling and I have no doubt it will help to improve your angling skills and catch rate.
Dinner Dance and Adult Prize Distribution Night
The highlight in the Club’s social calendar is the annual Dinner Dance and Adult Prize Distribution Night which is held on the last Friday in January. This is a great evening with great food, fantastic entertainment and an opportunity to socialise with friends and our riparian owners. Even if you are not a competition angler I am sure that you would thoroughly enjoy the evening. Tickets for this Dinner Dance usually go on sale around Christmas time or early in the new year.
Juvenile Competitions 2022
There are two categories of Juvenile Competitions. These are (i) Juvenile, for all juveniles members; and (ii) Junior for juveniles aged under 13 years. The competitions for Juvenile members will continue to run in parallel with the adult competitions. The competitions for Junior members will be held on different days. These competitions will be shorter ‘child friendly’ competitions lasting 3 hours with an emphasis on fun and tuition. Juniors, aged under 13 years may also fish in the main Juvenile competitions.
The 2022 Competition Programme is available here. – Click Here to download
Angler of the Year 2021
Damian Murtagh, Competition Secretary and his assistants worked hard to put together a full competition programme in 2021 which was fully compliant with the COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.
The competition programme attracted all the usual competition anglers and a few newcomers. Indeed by all accounts it was as competitive and enjoyable as ever. There was a good spread of individual competition winners with 2 or 3 anglers in the running for Angler of the Year right up to the final competition of the season. However in the end Roger McClements took the accolade of Adult Angler of the Year for the second consecutive year with his uncle Sam Grant who had another great season in the competitions finishing in a very close second. Indeed Sam lost a few great fish right at the net in the final competition and if any of these had been netted it could have been a different story. Roger is a great 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 fourth occasion that Roger has taken the prestigious accolade of Adult Angler of the Year. His previous successes were in 2014, 2017 and 2021. 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 2021 competition Imogen Johnston had a fantastic season. She deservedly took the Juvenile Angler of the Year 2021. Indeed in September 2021 Imogen also qualified on Lough Lene to fish for the Irish Youth International Team in 2022. Imogen is a great young angler who has been well mentored and tutored by Henry McKnight, John Johnston and Malcolm Wing. I am sure that Henry, John and Malcolm are all extremely proud of Imogen’s fishing achievements in 2021. This is the second occasion that Imogen has won the Club’s Juvenile Angler of the Year title. Her previous success was in 2018. In 2014 Imogen was the Club’s Junior Angler of the Year and she is still the only angler to have won both the Junior and Juvenile Angler of the Year titles.
The Club’s junior competitions were primarly fished over the summer months to enable more junior anglers to participate. In the end Elijah Parks took the accolade of Junior Angler of the Year 2021 for the second consecutive year. Elijah is only the second angler to win the Junior Angler of the Year title on 2 occasions and he has many more opportunities to get even more success.
Congratulations to Roger, Imogen and Elijah on their great success in 2021.
To view the full table of winners of the Angler of the Year award from 1975 to 2022. – Click Here