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A four-day shark festival with a €250,000 prize fund is set to put Ballycotton on the sea angling map later this year.

In his latest Angling Notes for The Irish Times, Derek Evans says the Ballycotton Big Fish from 12-15 September will be the biggest festival of its kind in Europe.

The event is the brainchild of Ballycotton-born Pearse Flynn, an experienced deep-sea angler who was determined to attract the world’s top competitors to an East Cork town already renowned for its big fish records.

Prizes are set to be awarded for biggest shark landed, as well as for the boat that lands the greater number of sharks ever the course of the tournament.

But only big spending anglers need apply, as the entry fee is a whopping €5,000 per head.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for inland fisheries, has welcomed the success of Newport Sea Angling Club in Co Mayo in securing fishing equipment for junior anglers in the community.

Along with many others around Ireland, including the Finglas Youth Resource Centre in north Dublin, the club received funding from Inland Fisheries Ireland’s National Strategy for Angling Development to help support the recruitment of novices to the pursuit of angling.

Minister Canney said: “Newport Sea Angling Club has a strong junior membership hosting multiple events for young anglers every year. The club provides novice anglers with equipment, tackle, rods and life jackets during junior events.

“This helps in promoting angling to a new generation and also ensures that parents do not have to invest in any equipment until children have tried angling a number of times.

“I am happy to see Inland Fisheries Ireland stand behind the Newport club’s excellent initiative and I am confident their efforts will bring new participants into this healthy outdoor pastime.”

The club’s youth outreach initiatives attract many junior anglers with up to 60 juniors attending their National Junior Competition every year.

This new equipment will assist the club in training novice anglers in sea angling skills. In addition to fishing equipment, the club will also purchase a projector and screen for the club which will be used to assist them in theoretical training sessions.

Declan Moran of Newport Sea Angling Club said: “We hope that we can remove any pressure on parents or guardians to purchase angling equipment at the outset until their child has tried the pursuit and intends to continue with it. We believe this is one of the reasons why the club is so successful in introducing many young novice anglers to sea fishing each year.

“At Newport Sea Angling Club, we are committed to helping the next generation of anglers by passing on the necessary angling skills and introducing them to the pursuit in a safe and friendly environment.”

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “Newport Sea Angling Club has a long history of supporting junior anglers with a number of popular junior events held in Newport every year. We are delighted to support the club through the National Strategy for Angling Development fund to enable the purchase of more fishing equipment.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on their work to date in recruiting new junior members and we look forward to seeing even more growth in sea angling in Newport and the surrounds in years to come! By increasing participating in angling among the next generation, we are securing the future of our precious and valuable natural resource.”

Published in Angling

#Missing - The search continued today (Tuesday 19 September) for a sea angler who was swept into the sea from a popular but treacherous fishing spot near Doonbeg in Co Clare at the weekend.

According to TheJournal.ie, the missing man and a friend, both Russian nationals, had been fishing at Pulleen Bay around 6.30am on Saturday morning (16 September) when he went into the water.

When his friend’s attempt at a rescue was unsuccessful, he is believed to have panicked and driven 60km way to Limerick to raise the alarm.

“This has happened in the past in Clare where non-Irish nationals fishing in very dangerous areas, who have little English or no English … panic and have driven miles upon miles, passed Garda stations and people on the road to raise the alarm,” said local journalist Pat Flynn.

Naval Service divers and local diving clubs have joined a number of Irish Coast Guard units from the area in the search, which has been hampered by poor visibility due to heavy coastal fog.

Meanwhile, as the Clare Herald reports, coastguard search teams expressed their dismay over the weekend as several groups of anglers continued to climb out to the rocky head where the missing man was swept away.

Published in News Update

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 - Sea anglers have been warned over the use of head torches for night fishing over reports of several near-misses involving boat skippers dazzled by the blinding light.

As the Irish Mirror reports, dozens of angling enthusiasts wearing the long-range lamps – some of them as strong as 1,000 watts – have become a nuisance to shipping in and out of Shoreham Harbour in West Sussex, with a number of vessels narrowly avoiding collisions.

And harbour master Julian Seaman says its only a matter of time before a more serious accident occurs.

The Irish Mirror has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling
Tagged under

#Angling - Connacht hopes to encourage more women sea anglers to compete for the province at All-Ireland level, as the Mayo Advertiser reports.

The Connaught Council of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers (IFSA) wants to field a full team for the All-Ireland Ladies Interprovincial Shore Angling Championships in February.

To this end, it plans to provide greater support and resources for female anglers in the west, and is open to welcoming women of all levels and experience into the fold.

“If you are not already part of a club, the first step is to become a member, said Connaught Council team manager Brian Reidy. "These clubs are social, fun, and provide great support for novice anglers."

The Mayo Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has appointed Tourism Development International (TDI) to undertake a Socio-Economic Survey of Recreational Angling in Ireland.

The overall objective of the survey, which will run over the course of 2012, is to establish the current volume and value of domestic and overseas recreational angling in the country.

Pike, coarse fish, bass, salmon, sea trout, brown trout and sea anglers will all be invited to participate in what is described as Ireland's most comprehensive angling survey undertaken in decades.

The survey will inform IFI and its tourism partners in relation to the business of angling in Ireland and also enable improved strategic planning and decision-making in terms of product development and marketing.

"Anglers are the key to this survey," commented Minister of State for Natural Resources Fergus O'Dowd. "They know the resource and they understand the importance of sustainability. What anglers contribute to Ireland’s economy is unknown but I am certain that it is significant.

"Angling takes place in every river and lake in Ireland and all around our coastline. There is no town or village in Ireland that doesn’t have anglers."

He added: "It is imperative that the inland fisheries and sea angling resources are managed in the best way possible to ensure enjoyment for our local and visiting anglers, sustainable jobs in rural communities and maximising its potential to add to Ireland’s economy.

"Getting the right information from those most involved will greatly assist in improving the angling product."

The survey comprises two parts: a household survey and a survey of recreational anglers which will commence in April. Anglers will be met at fishing locations throughout Ireland and invited to participate there and then, or later by phone or online. IFI says that every effort will be made to accommodate participation.

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - Hooked Live!, Ireland’s premier angling and fishing show, is returning to the CityWest Hotel and Lakes this weekend 10-11 March for the third year running.

Spey caster and innovator Ian Gordon is the latest star to join the already confirmed visitor favorites Paul Young, Henry Gilbey, Scott MacKenzie, Andrew Ryan and AGPAI Ireland, who will bring world-class casting demonstrations, talks and personal one-to-one sessions designed to improve and empower visitors to become better anglers.

Bringing the best in Irish angling water sports, with new tackle, venues and angling techniques, Hooked Live! also caters for the fly-fishing enthusiast with fly-tying and casting lessons.

And that's not to mention fly-fishing on our fully stocked lake, where both trout and perch will readily take a fly. Indeed, there are many top prizes to be won in the Lakes Fishing Challenge.

Sea anglers are also catered for and welcome at Hooked Live! and for the coarse fisher, there will be top class exhibits with great tackle and equipment available and a range of venues which will produce results.

Popular seminars will also cover some of the new and successful tackle and techniques which are now being used to catch more fish.

Also returning to Hooked Live! will be the Sporting Gun Show. Taking advantage of the synergy between shooting and fishing, visitors will be able to pick up bargains on end-of-shooting-season stock.

Tickets for Hooked Live! 2012 are priced from just €10 and are available now from tickets.ie. For more details visit the official website at www.hooked.ie

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - An "eagle-eyed" angler in Co Cork received a free eye test after his remarkable find of a wedding ring in the water last week.

Seventy-five-year-old Pat O'Flaherty spotted the €400 gold band - complete with its red box - in the River Lee, garnering him a front-page story in the Irish Examiner and a free eye test from Specsavers.

They put me in the chair and did all the tests and told me I have 20:20 vision," he said.

The owner of the ring has yet to be traced, despite much speculation as to how it ended up in the Lee in the first place. If unclaimed, O'Flaherty intends to auction the ring for charity.

In other angling news, West Cork's Courtmacsherry Angling Centre hosted members of the Bradford Sea Angling Club in the UK last weekend.

Poor weather meant that the group was restricted to inshore fishing on the Friday and Saturday, but the Sunday saw a catch of ling up to 23lbs as well as pollack, coalfish, cod, haddock and whiting.

Published in Angling
The Angling Council of Ireland (ACI) elected its first president at an event in Dublin recently.
The Irish Times reports that Hugh O'Rourke, who has served as ACI secretary since its inception in 2002, was elected unanimously as head of Ireland's governing body for sea, coarse, pike, trout, salmon and sea trout angling.
The ACI's constitution was also ratified at the meeting at Sport HQ in Park West, at which some disappointment was expressed at the council's failure to gain a place on the board of Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Later, an awards ceremony in the afternoon saw John O'Brien presented with a plaque for winning individual silver and team gold at the 2010 World Championship of Shore Angling in South Africa.

The Angling Council of Ireland (ACI) elected its first president at an event in Dublin recently.

The Irish Times reports that Hugh O'Rourke, who has served as ACI secretary since its inception in 2002, was elected unanimously as head of Ireland's governing body for sea, coarse, pike, trout, salmon and sea trout angling.

The ACI's constitution was also ratified at the meeting in Sport HQ in Park West, at which some disappointment was expressed at the council's failure to gain a place on the board of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Later, an awards ceremony in the afternoon saw John O'Brien presented with a plaque for winning individual silver and team gold at the 2010 World Championship of Shore Angling in South Africa.

Published in Angling

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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