Victory at the World Pairs for Festival Experts

Another thrilling week of the best fishing Ireland has to offer greeted the anglers participating in the Lakelands & Inland Waterways World Pairs Angling Championships. It ended with the 2016 runners-up Michael Buchwalder, (Preston Innovations) and Rod Scott (Sensas) scooping the prestigious title and the €10,000 prize.

The championships saw fifty-five angling pairs compete in this cross-border event staged over the counties Leitrim, Fermanagh and Cavan, showcasing some of the best wild fishing Ireland has to offer. The increased number of participants from Europe, with anglers from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, USA, UK and Ireland, all enjoyed a week full of hybrids, perch, roach and bream in Ireland’s north west.

Irish festival regulars Michael and Rod, having moved into the leading position on day two, held an impressive lead all week, showing some world class fishing skills. Rod, who was introduced to Irish match fishing at an early age by his father Mal, (who created a series of popular festivals in Northern Ireland) said there are just two matches for him: the Waterways Classic and the World Pairs. He added that it was ‘the best feeling ever’ to have won the latter. He complimented his partner Michael, as he described how it’s all the duo talk about, and they were ‘over the moon’ to have won the title having come so close last year.

Consistent fishing throughout the week from Dean Barlow, and then a top match weight of 29.500kg of bream and skimmers on the feeder from Steve Fleming, saw the Drennan-backed duo move into the top ten on day four. They held on to finish the competition as runners-up for the €5,000 prize. German regulars Thorsten Beil (Browning) and Rudiger Hansen (Browing) finished in third place and collected €2,500 in a sensational finish to the competition.

Fishing for a prize pot of €20.650, the annual competition is played out in the Lakelands region in a selected one-hour zone from Killadeas to the North on the Lower Lough Erne, following through to Lough Scur on the Shannon-Erne Waterway in Leitrim in the South. The five-day competition, which sees anglers fish a different venue every day, has renewed interest in the natural fishing available in Ireland by showcasing the challenging angling available among fabulous scenery. This has contributed to a reported increase in the numbers on the Irish match scene, through a massive social media following in Europe. This is wild angling and in order to reach the best the counties Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh have to offer, transport is provided to bring anglers to their pegs over rough terrain, or on boats seeking Island stretches in the mighty loughs. This all brings a real Irish angle to the competition, and some fun on the bank. Running the event across the border is an important feature of the competition for the sponsors Lakelands & Inland Waterways, the tourism brand owned by Failte Ireland and Waterways Ireland.

The event attracts the World’s elite pole and feeder anglers fishing in pairs, but it’s also a match for anglers of all abilities thanks to the inclusion of the Daiwa Cup and £10,000 sponsorship in tackle and vouchers from Daiwa Sports UK.   A competition for the individual, replicating the popular Irish match festivals, with a full pay-out on entry plus the Daiwa vouchers, supplements a full cash pay-out of section and county money.  This year’s holder of the DAIWA Cup is Michael Buchwalder, with a solo weight of 73.060kg over the five days; Michael takes home the prestigious Daiwa Cup along with £1,000 prize money and a tackle voucher to the value of £1,500.

To ensure everyone gets a look-in, a tackle voucher prize of €300 was awarded to those with the best weight by rotation, but who had not made the Top Ten of the DAIWA Cup. This helps to gives a good share of winnings all round.

World Pairs Result

1: Michael Buchwalder and Rod Scott, 142.900 kg

2: Steve Fleming and Dean Barlow 114.200 kg

3: Thorsten Beil and Rudiger Hansen, 104.825 kg

4: Steve Ringer and Phil Ringer, 103.425 kg

5: Adam Wakelin and Felix Scheuermann, 102.840 kg

6: Rob Wootton and Lee Kerry, 101.090 kg

7: Hadrian Whittle and Martin Greene, 99.255 kg

8: Will Freeman and Andy Leathers, 98.650 kg

9: Mark Pollard and Derek Willan, 96.975 kg

10: Jamie Harrison and Richie Hull, 96.870 kg


Daiwa Cup Individual Results

1: Michael Buchwalder, 73.060 kg

2: Rod Scott, 69.840 kg

3: Jamie Harrison, 67.320 kg

4: Steve Ringer, 64.000 kg

5: Dean Barlow, 59.690 kg

6: Hadrian Whittle, 59.320 kg

7: Rob Wootton, 58.990 kg

8: Tom Sexton, 56.520 kg

9: Will Freeman, 54.800 kg

10: Stephen McCaveny, 54.680 kg


Rotation Winners:

1: Steve Fleming, 54.510 kg

2: Felix Scheuermann, 51.940 kg

3: Lee Giles, 49.700 kg

4: Steve Wheeldon, 43.950 kg

5: Thorsten Beil, 54.270 kg


Staff from DAERA Inland Fisheries Group provided on-the-ground support throughout the competition, with Inland Fisheries, IFI assisting with the draws to help run the event at a high level of professionalism. This ensures that everything runs smoothly for the visiting angler. The event this year shared a buzz across the counties, with the opening taking place in Drumcoura City, Ballinamore, County Leitrim, and closing at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Ennsikillen, County Fermanagh.  

The organisers would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who took part, the Fisheries for their services throughout the week, Ballinamore Tourism Group who provided stewarding services on the Leitrim venues, Leitrim Council and Fermanagh & Omagh District Council for their sponsorship, and all the landowners who kindly give access to the water with support of the boat, tractor and quad drivers.  The event will take place from Monday 3th to Friday 7th September in 2018.  


More information and a full set of results is available at