Tuesday, November 26, 2013

World Boat Team Qualifying Competition 2013

The National Fish-Offs were once again held in Cork Harbour over the October Bank Holiday weekend. This was the 5th year on the trot that this competition to pick the Irish Team for the World Boat Angling Championships has been held in the harbour. The Irish team next year will be competing in Weymouth, England.

This year was going to be more of a challenge. First of all the tides were the smallest of the month; this can have a big impact on the fishing.  Secondly, the forecast was not the greatest. In fact, the storm that eventually did so much damage along the south coast of England passed through the region over the Saturday and Sunday. Winds on both days came upto force 9 at times with gusts in excess of force 10. This coupled with the occasional downpours made the conditions extremely difficult for anglers. In the height of the tempest anglers struggled. One unlucky angler threw his catch forward to a steward to be measured and recorded only for the wind to catch the fish and carry it dozens of yards from the boat. Crazy!!!

Despite the tough conditions over a thousand fish were caught and recorded on day 1 and on the day 2 this was upped to over 1,200. Now that wasn't too bad; although, it pales in comparison to the numbers of fish caught in previous years, but given the conditions and the tide it was a good results. Once again, the mainstay of the catch were whiting and dab. Just as in previous year's there were many good dabs with some coming close to specimen size!

Well done to the anglers, whose exceptional angling skills resulted in good numbers of fish in such testing conditions. Especially.....well done to the top five anglers, Pat Swan, Michael Barry, Heiko Dreier, Padraig Clear, and Brian Whelan who now join this year's Master Angler, Liam O'Callaghan, on the National Boat Angling Team.

Well done especially to Paddy Swan who won the competition outright. Paddy Swan has been knocking on the door now for the past few years. Paddy qualified in some style this time around!Well done to also to Brian Whelan who fished his socks off on the Sunday. Coming into Sunday Brian was in 32nd spot but his exploits on Sunday catapulted him right into 5th place!

Well done lads and the best of luck in Weymouth next year!!!

For the full results the final scorecard is reproduced below.

Many thanks to the skippers from the Cork Harbour Angling Hub who always ensure that their guests stay on the fish. This weekend they included Donie Geary of the John Boy, Vince & John Geary of the Lee Star, Ger Keohane of the Naomh Cartha, and Alan Kennedy of the Lagosta II. Also many thanks to the stewards from Cobh SAC who had a busy weekend measuring fish and recording them. They included Pat Wright, Danny Kane, John O'Reilly, Sean Og McShane, and yours truly. Thanks also to Geary Angling Services and especially Mary Geary who organised the boats, bait & the stewards and without whom this event would not run so smoothly.

Watch out for the Fundraiser for the National Team which will also be held in Cork Harbour on the 28th December!!!

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