Quoile Angling Club Support Cancer Research UK

Quoile Angling Club and friends fish Ballydugan Lake in support of Cancer Research UK Downpatrick Branch

The sun shone down on the pike anglers at Ballydugan Lake near Downpatrick as the members, friends and supporters of the Quoile Angling Club (QAC) hooked up to support Cancer Research UK (Downpatrick Branch).

The Ballydugan Lake is a popular piking venue and the preparations by Eamon McGrath, QAC chairman, for this competition all went well with a number of anglers all lining the bank.

Eamonn McGrath said: “This year because of the terrible floods which affected Downpatrick we did not ask the local businesses for sponsorship. We collected what we could among ourselves.

Downpatrick anglers and friends have raised £1420.00 for the Downpatrick Branch of Cancer Research UK by running a pike angling competition at Ballydugan Lake.

“Over the past couple of years the anglers have been very supportive of the Cancer Research UK charity as cancer touches every family sadly and they all know the devastating impact it has.

“Cancer Research UK Downpatrick Branch was set up in 1959 and Denise Higgins is one of the oldest serving members. I joined the group myself in 2015 and have supported it ever since.

“Recently our treasurer estimated that we have raised an approximate figure of £300,000 since our first day which reflects the tremendous support from the people and businesses of Downpatrick.

(l-r) Eamonn McGrath, Chair of the Quoile Angling Club, pictured with Margaret Ferguson, owner of the Lakeside Inn, presenting the winning trophy to Liam Quinn, centre. Also receiving prizes were John Corry, second, and Chris Quinn, third.

“Today has not been a great day for catching pike. Last year we had caught 35 in total which was quite a serious days angling – and weighing.

“This time round we only banked four pike with a total weight of 14 pounds which was a bit disappointing – but that’s angling for you.

“Liam Quinn aced with a brace of pike to put him in the lead receiving the £100 first prize, and second placed runner-up was John Corry with a 4 1/2 pounder with a £75 prize and just beating Chris Quinn into third place with a 4 pounder for the £50 prize).”

Pike anglers patiently wait for a bite.

The angling event ran from 9am after a draw for pegs at 8am unto 2pm with the prize awards at The Lakeside Inn at 3pm.

The anglers presented a cheque for £1420.00 to Denise Higgins of Cancer Research UK Downpatrick Branch.

On the day the anglers had to contend with difficult piking conditions – a bright sky, flat calm water on the lake, and a number of very tentative takes as pike didn’t engage fully with the bait. But the breathtaking local scenery made up for all of that!

A glorious Spring day and Downpatrick anglers line the bank at Ballydugan Lake.

Electronic bait alarms were going off from time to time but generally the pike were lifting the bait and dropping it again without getting properly hooked with the semi-barbless treble hooks fastened to the deadbaits being used.

Popular baits of the day was red smelt, with mackerel tail and roach also being used.

Overall, the anglers enjoyed their day angling at Ballydugan Lake and they enjoyed the craic.

Tickets to fish the Lake can be purchased at The Lakeside Inn or at the St Patrick Centre in Downpatrick.

But if you are fishing for pike, please ensure you adhere to the fish safety rules to protect the fish from damage and read my Down News archived articles – links below!


All smiles: Young Thomas Donaldson pictured with a 4 1/2 pound pike at the Ballydugan Lake which was returned to the lake safely.


Check out the article links on Down News below.