Ballinasloe Coarse Angling Festivals 1980's 1990's

Hillswood46

Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
27
I'm originally from that part of Ireland, many years in Dublin now but in the late 1980s I used to fish the juniors in the festival. It was held for a week in May on the river Suck and attracted loads of U.K anglers to Ballinasloe for the fishing and the craic.

I would be interested in any knowledge members may have of that era of the draw in Haydens Hotel (now gone), fishing as I recall Dalysgrove, Culliagh Boathouse, Correen Ford. There would have been a gala dinner on the final night where prizes were awarded I vaguely recall receiving a junior prize one year. I have read on some forums that renowned UK match anglers now sadly passed Syd Meads and Bryan Lakey used to fish it but as its so long ago I cannot recall much of the details but remember the great fun that was had by all in those days. I do recall local angler Arthur Judge was a winner one year but it appeared to fizzle out in early 2000's to be replaced later by a large Pike competition and sadly there is no big match festival that Im aware of held in Ballinasloe these days.

I suppose times changed and indeed the river as the dredged the Suck from Shannonbridge to Ballinasloe to facilitate the "boat people".

Does anyone have a list of winners or any other memories of the festival?

thanks

Ray
 

Ken the Pacman

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 24, 2015
Messages
3,454
I can remember the festival but never fished it we used to stay in Athlone and travel to the Suck either to the Boathouse stretch or Ballyforan where there was a bridge.Both were good fishing and I remember catching 7lb Bream at the Boathouse and some good Pike at Ballyforan along with 80lb catches of Rudd.
After we stopped going to the South because the fishing in the North was so much better I heard that peat farming was slowly ruining the Suck and I have not heard of people fishing there since amongst the Anglers who fish mostly in the South still.
 

Hillswood46

Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
27
Thanks Ken. I have not fished at Ballyforan in many years but recall some nice Bream catches on the big bends there. I was just curious about the festival and why the UK anglers stopped coming but as you say the Erne system is good fishing. I believe the Suck is still a good river with huge pike but catching the Bream is trickier. I dont know if the peat impacted it but thats been phased out now due to EU rules etc. I hope to fish it plenty in next year and can report back on how I do and if I meet any uk anglers along the way.
 

NoCarpPlease

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
4,102
There are a number of Ivan Marks articles about the bAllinalsoe festival that were reprinted in “Ivan Marks, the people’s champion”. They were originally from his weekly column in the angling times. iirc they were mainly around the late 60s and early 70s. Rudd were mentioned as well as the bream.
 

G0zzer2

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
4,067
@G0zzer2 .....Mac, Can you help this Gentleman above?......I know you knew Syd and Bryan......:)(y)

I can't be of much help. I didn't fish the Ballinasloe - I tended to fish the Classic and, later, at Portumna.
But Bryan Lakey, Syd Meads Snr and Syd Meads Jnr dominated that Festival, winning several times.

In fact Syd won so much match fishing that the Tax Man said he must pay tax on his winnings, as he should be classed as a 'professional' because he won so much. Syd paid for a solicitor to represent him at the appeals and Syd eventually won. It cost him thousands of pounds, but took the view that he was battling for all matchmen. The Tax Man argued that he couldn't put losses against the winnings, as if he lost he was an amateur, and if he won he was a professional. That was nothing short of bullying, and in Syd he took on the wrong opponent!

Sorry I can't be of more help.
 

Hillswood46

Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
27
I can't be of much help. I didn't fish the Ballinasloe - I tended to fish the Classic and, later, at Portumna.
But Bryan Lakey, Syd Meads Snr and Syd Meads Jnr dominated that Festival, winning several times.

In fact Syd won so much match fishing that the Tax Man said he must pay tax on his winnings, as he should be classed as a 'professional' because he won so much. Syd paid for a solicitor to represent him at the appeals and Syd eventually won. It cost him thousands of pounds, but took the view that he was battling for all matchmen. The Tax Man argued that he couldn't put losses against the winnings, as if he lost he was an amateur, and if he won he was a professional. That was nothing short of bullying, and in Syd he took on the wrong opponent!

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Thanks thats very interesting fair play to him to take on the Inland Revenue.
 

Hillswood46

Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
27
There are a number of Ivan Marks articles about the bAllinalsoe festival that were reprinted in “Ivan Marks, the people’s champion”. They were originally from his weekly column in the angling times. iirc they were mainly around the late 60s and early 70s. Rudd were mentioned as well as the bream.

Thank you I will check out the volume
 
Top