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 2020
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 2021 Competition Programme is available here. – Click Here to download
Angler of the Year 2020
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.
To view the full table of winners of the Angler of the Year award from 1975 to 2020. – Click Here