The 2023 Classic Fishing Festival culminated in a thrilling finale last Friday on the picturesque shores of the Fermanagh Lakelands. 

Andrew Gregg, from Chesterfield, demonstrated an extraordinary display of skill, reeling in the top prize of 56.34kg over the three-day event, netting the winner’s cheque of £5,000 and the coveted Belleek Trophy.

Last year’s winner, Graham Jones, secured a remarkable second place, harnessing his angling prowess to reel in an impressive 42.10kg, followed hot on his heels by a close third, Paul Sanderson, with 41.62kg, while fourth spot went to Rüdiger Hansen with 40.15kg.

With so many visiting anglers, festival organisers were delighted to re-introduce the International Winner category this year, with Rüdiger, from Germany, taking the prize with 40.15kg.

The four-man team, Hot Dogs unleashed an unstoppable display of unity and skill, reeling in the hotly contested Masters Team event with 118.67kg.

Team Eurotrash earned themselves a commendable second place, their haul weighing in at an impressive 90.2kg.

Meanwhile, Gary’s Men Are Us displayed their fishing finesse, securing a well-deserved third place with a haul of 87.04kg.

All teams received a Fermanagh Fishing Classic Belleek Trophy and bragging rights for the year.

Presenting the prizes at the farewell gala and prizegiving ceremony in the Enniskillen Hotel on Friday night, Councillor Barry McElduff, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, congratulated all the winners.

“The Classic Fishing Festival, now in its 46th year, is one of the Council’s longest established events in Fermanagh.

“We have been delighted to welcome our local and visiting anglers to the area this past week and I have no doubt they have enjoyed the best of our local hospitality.

“The event is hugely important to the area in terms of direct spend and we thank all our anglers for contributing to that, but it is also an opportunity for us to showcase the area on a national and international platform.

“The long-continued success of the Classic is due to the partnership approach between Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, DAERA Inland Fisheries and the local community through Erne Anglers, making the Fermanagh Classic Fishing Festival one of the most anticipated premier showcase events of the match coarse fishing season calendar.

“This prestigious event welcomed more than 125 anglers from across Northern Ireland as well as the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain, Germany and Holland.”

George Bradshaw, Tourism Development Manager for the Council, said “We are spoiled in the Fermanagh and Omagh District to have such stunning natural heritage, and the quality of the Fermanagh Lakelands is what continues to draw so many international visitors to the area.

“We are delighted to see the return of so many visiting anglers, and we hope they continue to return again and again.”

For further event information, see