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Displaying items by tag: Small Boats Festival

The Irish boat ‘Screaming Reels’ has won the Rosslare Small Boats Festival for the fifth year in a row. The boat, from Rosie’s Sea Angling Club in Cork, beat 36 other boats from across Britain and Ireland and caught 29 species of fish at the Festival which took place from 6th to 12th September.

The event, sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, DAIWA, Lowrance, Sea Angler magazine, Fáilte Ireland, Wexford County Council, IPB Insurance and Mannings, is now in its 30th year and this year attracted more than 115 anglers from Wales, Scotland, Isle of Wight, Ireland and many parts of England including Southport, Liverpool and Cornwall.

Having started in 1985 with only five boats fishing, the standard of the fishing and variety of species available in the rich waters off the south east coast of Ireland, coupled with a very high standard from the competitors, has meant that this competition has since grown every year. With 38 different species of fish recorded during the competition, the quality and standard of fishing in Wexford creates considerable revenue for tourist angling and the local economy, contributing more than €300,000 per annum and making the event the most prestigious small boat fishing festival in Europe.

The competition was fierce with boats recording up to 20 species on the first day and 17 on the days thereafter. This continued right throughout the week with many boats neck and neck, and one third of competitors catching 25 different types of fish species. Weather conditions were very good for the competition with settled conditions and light winds. Boats could be launched from Kilmore Quay every day enabling them to target all species.

The Irish boat ‘Screaming Reels’ proved their mettle once again taking first place with 29 species for 25.81kgs. This crew consisting of Martyn Rayner (skipper) Seirt Shults and Neville Murphy from Rosie’s Sea Angling Club in Cork have continued to raise the bar of the Rosslare small boats fishing competition. Second place went to the boat ‘Sandstorm’ (Nathan James and Ian Jenkins) from Porthcawl in Wales with 27 species for 21.29 kilos. In third place was ‘Dunlin’ (Andy Beresford, Lewis Radcliffe, Jonathan Roberts) from Southport boat angling club with 27 species for 14.02kgs.

For the first time Inland Fisheries Ireland introduced a marine fish tank for the purpose of displaying some of the fish species that were caught during the competition. This idea proved to be a great success, with anglers and staff from Inland Fisheries Ireland on hand to educate the public about the fish species on offer from Kilmore Quay.

People were able to see for the first time marine fish such as thornback ray, various wrasses, gurnards, bull huss and bass which were kept in the fish tank and released back into the sea alive. The educational benefits of the tank and practising catch and release for marine species are hugely beneficial in terms of conservation and creating public awareness of our sea fisheries resource. Two boats ‘Cod n Bass’ and Seeker’, both from Southport in the UK, won the prize for returning the most fish alive during the competition.

There were 3 specimen smooth-hounds caught, the largest of which was 4.3kg caught by John Belger on board the boat ‘Firefly’ and he was awarded for specimen of the week. The heaviest round fish was a bull huss of 5.62kgs caught by Martyn Rayner aboard the Irish boat ‘Screaming Reels’ and he was also awarded a perpetual trophy sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland for the biggest fish caught of the week. The heaviest flat fish was a flounder of 0.92 kilos caught by Seirt Shults from ‘Screaming Reels’. Ryan Andrews aged 17, from Wales aboard the boat ‘Provider’, won the best juvenile of the competition with 16 species for 12.92kgs.

‘Redmond’s The Bay’ in Rosslare Strand hosted the prize giving ceremony and a presentation was made to the Irish Heart Foundation for over €3,500 which was raised by anglers. The RNLI also received a generous donation. The total prize fund for the competition was €20,000 including fishing equipment and substantial monetary prizes and engraved trophies.

Suzanne Campion, Director of Business Development, Inland Fisheries Ireland presented the prizes and said: “I am delighted to be at the Rosslare Small Boats Festival again and to see so many dedicated anglers here to celebrate the 30th year of this fantastic event.

“I would like to congratulate all anglers for participating in this competition, I know that some have been coming here for many years. The people of Wexford welcome all visitors and we appreciate their continued support of this festival. The Festival generates over €300,000 for the local economy, bringing jobs and employment. I would particularly like to thank John Belger and his committee in the UK and Ireland for their hard work in organising this competition.”

Next year’s event will take place from the 10th to 17th September 2016, and Inland Fisheries Ireland is calling all small boat anglers to take part in next year’s Festival.

Further information is available from Ms. Josie Mahon, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Tel: 01 8842 600

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - For the third time in four years an Irish boat has won the Rosslare Small Boats Festival, which took place from 8-15 September.

In what was an extremely tight competition, Screaming Reels from Rosies Sea Angling Club in Cork won the competition with 24 different species of fish, beating 28 other boats from the UK.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), Fáilte Ireland and Sea Angler magazine, the event - now in its 27th year - attracted more than 85 anglers from the Isle of Wight, Southport, Liverpool, Wales and Ireland.  

This year’s event faced some challenges, most notably that prior to the competition going ahead the accommodation company Self Catering Ireland went bust in July, meaning the anglers had nowhere to stay. 

IFI and Fáilte Ireland came to the rescue by sponsoring the prizes to the tune of €3,000, with the original prize fund going to refinance accommodation for participants.

This generosity was replicated by local businesses who realised the importance and the value of this competition to Wexford, and many prizes were received. These included donations from Sea Angler magazine, Sefton Sea Anglers, Wirral Boat Angling Club in Liverpool, Kelly’s Resort Hotel and Spa, Redmond’s The Bay, Grangewood Holiday Homes, Grangecove Holiday Homes, Southside Angling, Kilmore Quay Harbour office and Widgeon’s Rest.

The weather conditions proved to be very challenging for the competition, with southwesterly winds making boat angling very difficult. 

However as the week wore on, conditions improved slightly and competitors managed to fish the normally four-day competition in three days by launching their boats once from Kilrane in Rosslare and twice from Kilmore Quay, and fishing restricted areas along the Wexford coast. 

A great variety of fish were recorded during the week with 30 different types of species including coalfish, dogfish, dab, flounder, pollack, bull huss and some unusual species such as sea scorpion, shanny and tadpole fish. 

There were also some fantastic specimen fish reeled in during the week including a triggerfish of 2.32kg caught by well known UK angler and writer Gordon Thornes from the boat Uptide Girl, which is very close to the Irish record of 2.54 kg. 

Two other specimens recorded include a fine ballan wrasse of 3.16kg caught by Neville Murphy from Cork and a smoothound of 3.78kg caught by Seirt Shults of Dundalk, both from the winning boat Screaming Reels. (All specimen fish are pending verification by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee.)

The competition was exciting from start to finish due to the close results each day, despite the changeable weather conditions. And the overall results demonstrated this, with first place going to Screaming Reels (Martyn Rayner, Seirt Shults, Neville Murphy) with 24 species for 23.12kg - followed closely in second place by Uptide Girl (Gordon Thornes, Mike Roberts and John Williams from Wallasey in the UK) with 22 species for 25.15kg. In third place was Nirvana (Richie Stead and Keith Pemberton from the Wirral Boat Angling Club in Liverpool) with 20 species for 13.78kg.

The heaviest round fish was a conger of 8.18kg caught by Leslie Trish of  Seeker V from Liverpool, who was also awarded a perpetual trophy sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland for the biggest fish caught. The heaviest flat fish was a plaice of 0.80kg caught by John Meaning from Joe 90 from the Isle of Wight. Fifteen-year-old Lewis Radcliffe from Wigan won best junior of the competition, fishing with his dad Simon and his grandfather on the boat Cod n Bas’ which came fifth with 19 species for a 13.04kg total.

Redmond's The Bay on Rosslare Strand hosted the prizegiving ceremony for the second year running. Prizes were presented by Suzanne Campion, director of business development at Inland Fisheries Ireland and Orla Woods, projects officer for destination development with Fáilte Ireland.

Campion commented that the festival "is very important not only to promote the great sea fishing we have on the east coast, and in particular the variety of species available, but also the investment it brings to the local businesses in the area each year."

She also thanked Phil Hallsworth, who has organised this festival for the last 12 years, for his "hard work, commitment and dedication" now that he is retiring from the event.

Next year’s Rosslare Small Boats Festival will take place on 14-21 September 2013, and IFI invites all small boat anglers to take part. Further information is available from Josie Mahon at 01 278 7022 or [email protected].

Published in Angling

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