Waterways Ireland Classic winner Reiner Jager with his trophy.
Four-time world champion Bob Nudd is our man on the bank in Ireland as he reports from the annual Waterways Classic…
After a massive first-day weight of more than 43kg, Reiner Jager (Germany) managed to hold on to his lead to finish well out in front with 57.340kg and collect the £5000 first prize in this year’s Waterways Classic.
Paul Clark (Birkenshaw) was second overall with 45.930kg after a strong second and third days, with Phil Bardell (Milton Keynes) third with 35.310kg.
The Classic is one of the largest angling festivals in Europe, held on the lakes and rivers in and around Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland , with 214 anglers competing.
I drew on Dolans Ring on the first day, catching on the pole in the first hour, toped up later by a few fish on the feeder to finish with under 3kg, Reiner Jager won the day from the Airport peg H9 with 43.250kg.
Day two saw me on another difficult peg - Cornagrade 25. It was a calm, warm day and I opted to fish the pole. It was really tough, but I was catching a few roach and perch, cupping in groundbait with chopped worms and casters and also loose feeding to draw some fish. I switched to the feeder for about 30 minutes during the match and caught a skimmer just over 400gm and at the weigh in I had just over 4kg which was enough for an easy section win. William Donaldson (Newtownabbey) won the day from peg A24 on Lough McNene with 21.670 kg.
The last day was the best for me. After drawing on the Castle Wall at Broadmeadow peg 5, I had a great start catching some quality roach on the pole at 11m, cupping in groundbait and casters and loose feeding maggots. The action slowed after two hours as I hooked a large pike but I kept some fish coming until the end to finish with 10.550kg which was enough to win my section. Darren Cloran (Heywood) won the day from section O10 catching 15 tench for 19.290 kg. My total weight of 17.580kg was enough to put me 38th overall which just shows what a difficult week it was for most anglers. For me, though, the Classic will always hold so many special memories. I’ll be back!