Well tomorrow I head to Birkenhead and across the Irish sea to Belfast, then up to Enniskillen and the first pint of the black stuff.

The Irish Waterways Classic fishing festival starts next Monday and has an entry this year of 255 anglers from all across Europe.

Past years the fishing hasn't been brilliant as the festival has traditionally been the second week in May and this has as a rule with global warming and all meant that the fish have spawned and this means very low weights as the fish head back out into the deep lough well away from the anglers....

This year they have bought the festival forward nearly two weeks which as it happens has meant that the fish havent arrived for spawning yet. It should mean that there will be much more consistant sport for everyone as the resident fish will be around - but this year it has been very cold (if you havent noticed) and the fish are a way from spawning just yet and still in the deep water.... so everyone will be looking to draw on the lower lough and land on a shoal of bream.

I anticipate a few very big weights this year as there are a few new sections out on islands which havent been in before and they are in areas where pleasure anglers have had 200lb+ bags of bream, thats not to say many anglers will hit a ton but got to fancy an end peg on one of these islands on day three of the festival once a bit of bait has gone in - the poor guys drawing them on day one are just prebaiting I'm afraid to say.

With the lakes being so very clear dark coloured crumb mixes are going to be the order of the day and the bream and roach in the erne do like a bit of sweetness in the mix this time of year.

Weights as I speak are beginning to pick up a little but in general it isn't good, but hey ho its a 250+ peg match and you are always going to need a couple of draws to win it, I was 5th last year so if I improve on that or become the first ever person to win it twice then that will do nicely as they say!

Hopefully report back on a successful festival in a couple of weeks once the hangover has subsided!