Anglers from around the world to attend ‘biggest ever International Pike Festival’ on Lough Ree

The official launch for Roscommon’s new ‘King of the Lake International Pike Festival’, sponsored by Lough Ree Angling Hub, took place recently. Pic: Melissa O’Donoghue

Anglers from around the world (including the island of Ireland) will be flocking to Roscommon on September 8th, 9th, and 10th, with Fáilte Ireland and Roscommon County Council backing a new tourism initiative with a French angling market focus.

It has been announced that the 2023 Lough Ree International Pike angling festival is to be extended to the full body of the lake for the very first time with an additional prize fund added to make it one of the most lucrative events in Europe this year for pike anglers. The event, previously known as the Pike Classic, is also to be rebranded as the ‘King of the Lake International Pike Festival’, after supports from Failte Ireland, Roscommon County Council and Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The festival will open with a new exhibition and angling show in Ballyleague on Friday, September 8th, to be followed by two days of competitive fishing on the entire lake of Lough Ree between the Bypass Bridge in Athlone and the lock at Tarmonbarry in County Roscommon as the search for the ‘King of the Lake’ begins.

The prize fund has also been extended to over 11,500 euro with ten new sponsors coming on board, more cash prizes and the opportunity for one lucky angler to head to one of the busiest fishing trade shows in France next year. Lough Ree Angling is also teaming up with Failte Ireland to bring a team of angling journalists and presenters to the region during the festival in September.

“We are delighted with the new structure for the competition,” said Chris Scally (Vice Chair of the Lough Ree Angling hub).

“This is what pike anglers have been looking for. It’s a vast lake from Athlone town to Tarmonbarry but hundreds of anglers from all over Ireland and abroad want to come here and compete, so from now on there will be no frontiers”.

The Lough Ree Angling hub has also paid tribute to Failte Ireland for their additional support for the festival this year: “We have been supported to promote the festival at one of the largest events in Europe at Clermont Ferrand,” Chris said.

“And now we hope to bring some of the top angling journalists and presenters in France here to the Hidden Heartlands to see for themselves how good the fishing is on our lake”.

Chris also thanked the new festival sponsors this year: Denniston’s of Longford, Wild Total outdoors, Wild Hunter, Failte Ireland, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Visit Roscommon, Roscommon County Council, and Inland Fisheries Ireland.