The lakelands of Northern Ireland boast some of the best fishing waters in the world and one of the most successful fresh water angling competitions.
GV: Northern Ireland lakeland, County Fermanagh. (3 shots)
GV TILT DOWN FROM trees to anglers at water's edge. (3 shots)
GV PAN FROM: Watergate, Lough Erne, TO anglers at water's edge.
CU: Maggots' in bucket (used as bait)
SV: Bream being caught and placed in keep net.
SV AND CU: Kevin Ashurst, Festival winner, catching fish. (3 shots)
SV: John McCarthy, who finished fourth, catching fish (3 shots)
SV: fishing tackle PAN TO Man fishing.
SV: Golden Peg commemorative board. Ian Heaps broke world five hour fishing haul record of 166 Lbs IIoz. in 1975.
GV: Ian Heaps, former world champion, fishing.
CU: Bill Reade, throwing feed into water and immediately catching fish. Reade finished third.
SV AND CU: McCarthy's fish being weighed. (4 shots)
SV: McCarthy's keep net being lifted from river and poured into weighing basket. (5 shots)
SV: fish being emptied back into river and being stunned for a minute.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The lakelands of Northern Ireland boast some of the best fishing waters in the world and one of the most successful fresh water angling competitions.
SYNOPSIS: The news from Northern Ireland is rarely pleasant. For the last ten years bulletins from Belfast and Londonderry have given the globe a glimpse of a troubled society. But it's not all bombs and outbreaks of anger. Although the lakes of County Fermanagh are only 90 minutes drive from Belfast, you could be in a different world.
The Watergate castle at the small town of Enniskillen on Lough Erne isn't manned by soldiers. They don't have terrorists here-just anglers. From all over the over the world they come and once each year Lough Erne hosts a fishing festival.
This year's tournament was won by Kevin Ashurst-one of Britain's top competition anglers. In 15 hours fishing he finished with an amazing 332 pounds of roach and bream. And his haul wasn't a fluke.
John McCarthy, who finished fourth, caught 257 pounds of fish. McCarthy said later that 20 pounds a day would win him most competitions-yet here he was catching five times that amount some days and finishing outside the first three. One angler caught 166 pounds of fish in five hours, and even that feat wasn't enough to give him victory.
The world record for coarse fishing was set here by former world champion Ian Heaps in 1975. He was just three ounces short of 167 pounds.
This year Heaps was way down the field but his Stockport friend Bill Reade finished third.
They say there is 18 feet of fish to every 20 feet of water in Lough Erne. These anglers fish only in competitions, they are in it for money, but hundreds more come just for fun. Anglers from Germany and Belgium say they can find nowhere like this elsewhere in Europe. It's not only roach and bream either. At different parts of the lough there is a plentiful supply of trout, salmon and pike. The only problem is keeping roach off your line long enough to catch the bigger fish. The local folk say it's the absence of pollution in their lakes that encourages the fish to breed and helps them survive so long. But of course there is one other important point in favour of the fish.
While there is no coarse fishing season in Northern Ireland, and the local housewives fish for the family supper, all fish caught by competition anglers go straight back-stunned but alive.