The annual Northern Ireland Schools Coarse Angling Competition, organised by the Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation and sponsored by Waterways Ireland, Shakespeare/Mitchell Tackle, Irish Bait and Tackle, and Mid Ulster Council was held, on the Lower River Bann at Mid Ulster Council’s superb Coarse Angling facility in Portglenone recently.
And it proved to be a very successful competition for the Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen as they not only returned home with the top team prize but also had Dominykas Kuklys and Corey Agnew placed first and second respectively in the individual section.  
The anglers arrived for the draw in anticipation and excitement of what was to come with teams arriving from large distances across the province to compete for the coveted title of 2017 Schools Coarse Angling Competition Winners. 
However, after a week of changeable weather that saw Storm Ophelia batter the province and then the threat of Storm Brian, the competitors were met with a coloured and high River Bann which wasn’t going to make the fishing easy. 
Whilst the day started brightly weather-wise the rain eventually arrived to make for difficult fishing conditions.
 A panel of UCFF coaches and officials were on the bank side to help the less experienced along, and this together with ample supplies of swim-feeders and hooks supplied by Tony Burke and Shakespeare respectively, ensured that all the anglers were well prepared.
The fishing proved to be difficult. 
Feeder tactics was the method of choice for most on the day with some of the more experienced anglers fishing the pole. 
Fish were caught on both methods and whilst weights were down on previous years almost all the anglers did catch fish, given the inexperience of many of the competitors, roach, gudgeon, perch and a couple of small hybrids were weighed in and hopefully catching a fish or two might release the angling bug in a few more juniors. 
The best recorded weight on the day was 1.870 kg by Dominykas Kuklys, using pole tactics, from Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen
At the presentation after the match, held in the Parochial Hall, Bellaghy and hosted by Mid Ulster District Council with Chairperson Kim Aston present, the winners received tackle prizes, medals and trophies totalling more than £1,500. 
Prizes were distributed on a default basis with members of the top three teams unable to claim a section prize resulting in 17 anglers receiving prizes on the day. 
Each team also received a goodie bag courtesy of DAERA Inland Fisheries.
School Team Results:
1st team    - Erne Integrated College
 2nd team - Dromore High School 
 3rd team- Coleraine Grammar School 
The Erne Integrated College team consisted of Dominykas Kuklys, Ciaran Murphy, Corey Agnew and Killian Maguire and each member of the team received a Shakespeare Sigma feeder rod and a Gold medal. The school received a silver plate.
Individual Winners
1st - Dominykas Kuklys, Erne Integrated College - 1.870kg
2nd  - Corey Agnew, Erne Integrated College - 1.300kg
3rd - Imogen Johnston, Dromore High School - 1.250kg        
Winner Dominykas Kuklys received a Shakespeare triple hard case holdall and the Individual Winners Trophy for his superb efforts. 
Second placed Corey Agnew and third placed Imogen Johnston each received a Shakespeare Agility ground bait bowl.
The UCFF, The Ulster Provincial Council of the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland and the NGB for coarse and Predator angling would like to thank all the sponsors for this event encouraging the promotion of angling as a sport and pastime in Northern Ireland but also to the coaches, parents and teachers who were on hand to assist. 
All our members work on a voluntary basis to introduce juniors to their sport.