The Benelux King of Clubs match, which attracts competitors from Holland and Belgium to Ireland, was fished on the Shannon at Portumna over four days last week from Monday May 6-9.
This competition was initiated back in 1993 to stimulate the promotion of Irish angling in the Benelux countries right down to the club angler. All Benelux angling clubs stage at least one major angling competition annually, the winner of which gets a free trip to Ireland to fish in the grand final. The winner is crowned the Benelux King of Clubs.
This year’s event was fished by 116 anglers and for the third year in succession took place over a six-mile stretch of the River Shannon between Portumna and Meelick in Co Galway.
The Shannon Regional Fisheries Board prepared the venues and assisted all week. Other sponsors were Bord Failte, Shannon Development, Ireland West Tourism, Town and Country Homes, Daihatsu, Irish Farmhouse Holidays, Sensas and Beet Magasine.
The match was a great success and broke its own match record. In total over 6,909kg( 15,201lb) of fish were weighed in and some sections averaged over 100lb per man.
The top weight was 85.330kg, recorded by Antoine Van Berkel on Day 4, followed closely by Leo Koot with 84.550kg on Day 2 and Jan van Schendle with 79.520kg on Day 3.
The most productive section was at Rogers Island downstream of Portumna, where 15 anglers caught 776.2kg (1708lb) of fish on Day 2, an average of 114lb per angler.