The National Fish Offs were held over the recent Bank Holiday weekend in Cork Harbour. This was the culmination of the process to select a boat angling team to represent Ireland in the World Championships in 2011. Thirty two anglers participated, twelve of these qualifying through the Boat Masters and the remaining anglers coming from the pool of top twenty anglers who qualified from last year's event.
The weather over the event was glorious, particularly on the Sunday with blue skies, calm seas and mild temperatures. Not that it would have mattered in any event as the competition is held entirely within the confines of the harbour targeting the hoardes of whiting and codling. As it turned out the codling didn't oblige but the whiting certainly did, as did the dabs, pouting, and other species. On the first day over 2,000 fish were caught but this was eclipsed on the Sunday when a massive 4,000 fish were caught. Over the two days the breakdown of fish caught were 3,229 whiting, 1,777 dabs, 573 poor cod, 89 codling, 33 lsd, 14 coalfish, 66 scad, 38 tub gurnard, 23 grey gurnard, 70 plaice, 5 dragonet, 91 pouting, 1 weever fish, 3 flounder, 2 scorpion fish, 1 turbot and 1 thornback ray.
Well done to Dave Jolly who won the competition outright. In the placings behind him, and joining him on the National team are Terry Boyle, Myles Howell, and Pio Enright. Brian Whelan qualifies for the team automatically having won the Boat Masters. Bian also finished in the top 20 which qualifies him for the panel next year.
The event was hosted by local club Cobh SAC and they used the following four charter boats of the Cork Harbour Angling Hub fleet:
The John Boy (http://www.sea-fishing-ireland.com/)
Lee Star (http://www.anglingcharters.eu/)
Noamh Cartha (http://www.corkanglingcharters.com/)
Lagosta II (email@example.com)
Cobh SAC are now organising light line competitions for the winter months. These competitions have been hugely popular and are confined to the harbour targeting the same stamp of fish. More codling will be expected to show as there will be no bait restrictions, and anglers armed with lugworm and codling should do very well. In contrast in the fish-offs bait was supplied and was restricted to mackeral, squid, and ragworm. The first of these competitions will be held on Sunday 7th November and the second on Sunday 5th December. For more information contact Cobh SAC secretary on 021-4812167.
There will also be a similar competition on 28th December to raise funds for the Irish Team. This is being organised by the Irish Team themselves and promises over €2,000 in prizes. A similar competition was held last year which proved very successful. Contact Dave Jolly at 086-2536389.