Lurgan angler makes history at World Feeder Championships

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A Lurgan man has become the first angler from across the island of Ireland to win gold at both the Club World Championships and the Feeder Fishing World Championships.

Johnny Mckinley was part of the five-man team representing Ireland to claim first place at the World Feeder Championships in Merida, Spain, winning the gold last week for the first time in Ireland’s history.

His coarse fishing teammates were James O’Doherty (Enniskillen), Rory Dunne (Galway), Michael Buchwalder (Milton Keynes, who qualifies through his mother) and Charlie Richards (Leitrim). The anglers were managed by Brenton Sweeney.

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Speaking to the Lurgan Mail, Johnny said: “We were up against 20 other countries. You get five days practising and then on the days of competition, you fish for five hours with what you catch being weighed at the end. We were catching carp and carassio.

Johnny Mckinley (left) alongside Ireland team manager, Brenton Sweeney. (Pic: Contributed).Johnny Mckinley (left) alongside Ireland team manager, Brenton Sweeney. (Pic: Contributed).
Johnny Mckinley (left) alongside Ireland team manager, Brenton Sweeney. (Pic: Contributed).

"After the first day we were behind Germany, but at the end of the event, we’d moved to first, with Lithuania second and Germany third. On the Sunday we’d 43kg of fish. It was a brilliant location to fish. I’d been to Serbia and you maybe got three or four kilograms, so it just shows how much can be caught in Merida.

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"It’s a fantastic achievement for Ireland to win the nations. We were up against some teams made up of professional anglers. It’s their day job and they have so much more resources than us. We’re a group of working people who enjoy fishing. We won the team gold and Michael won the individual discipline as well, so it really was a memorable competition.”

The success this month follows Johnny’s victory in April 2023, when his club, Lurgan Coarse Angling Club, won Ireland’s first team gold medal in the Club World Championships.

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Johnny added: “We won the club championships at Lough Muckno in Co Monaghan. I was part of the winning team and the only member to go on to represent Ireland, giving me an historic double. We head to Portugal on May 25 in a bid to defend our title.

"We’re trying to get more venues in the Lurgan area for anglers and hopefully these wins will help raise the sport’s profile, open up discussions for venues and attract young members.”

For more information, check out the Lurgan Coarse Angling Club Facebook page.

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