Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bella Vista - Tight Lines Bass Challenge 2010

Jim Clohessy, organiser of the Cork Small Boats Festival, reports on a unique bass angling festival which was organised through the Bella Vista House Hotel recently: "I got involved with the administration of this Festival, which was held from the 6th to the 11th of September. This was the inaugural event of what is planned to be a bigger event next year. It is organised by the Bella Vista Hotel and Tight Lines (a Dutch angling travel company). Basically twelve Dutch anglers arrived on the Saturday beforehand for seven nights and would have a bass fishing competition over four days. Twelve anglers is the max that can be accommodated comfortably in the self-drive fleet."
"The competition was fished on a catch, photo, and release basis. The winner would be determined by the best six fish in length over four days for each angler. Simple but effective!"
"The guys chilled out on arrival on Saturday evening and were chomping at the bit to get out Sunday. The plan was that some of us locals would go out for a few hours with the competitors to give them some pointers as to where they might catch some bass. We took a spin around and managed to catch some fine fish so things looked bright for the week ahead."
"The competitors decided they would book a charter for one of the non-competition days of the week. Looking at the forecast it was clear that Monday would be one of the poorer days in small boat terms so they took a charter and fished for a variety of species on Monday."
"The competition proper started proper on Tuesday and there was a good return of fish almost all succumbed to hard and soft plastics. Wednesday was a tough day in bass terms, strange considering the huge spring tides. The anglers had a superb day on Thursday. Friday tested the best with some inclement weather but the competition was on a knife edge. The competition was won by George de Bruyker with a fine total of 3480mm of bass, his best fish was a lovely bass of 660mm. the best fish of the week was a sturdy 730mm."

"The winner took home an all expenses paid trip back to Cobh next year with the others getting rods and reels and some splendid trophies. It is planned to run the event next year over a series of weekends to accommodate demand."

If you'd fancy fishing on one of the boats of the Bella Vista self drive fleet why not contact Kevin at

Congratulations must also go to Jim Clohessy and his crew aboard Skua who this week won the prestigious Small Boats Festival ( Hopefully Jim will give us a full report in the near future.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Skipper's Diaries - The John-Boy

The John-Boy was once again the top boat in the 2010 Cobh International Deep Sea Angling Festival. Skipper Donal Geary sent us on this report:

"The Cobh four day Festival once again proved a fantastic success. Eventhough, the entries were down in the low fifties, competition was very tense with anglers from Holland, Germany, Wales, England, Scotland and all parts of Ireland taking part.

On Monday morning the boats departed Kennedy Pier at 10am in excellent conditions to fish the Smiths area. Fishing was very slow with boats moving about in search of fish. Best of the day was Gerard Richardson with a hard earned 350 pts. Best on the John-Boy was 250 pts.

On Tuesday the fishing area was changed to east of Power Head. This proved to be the best move of the week for the John-Boy. Having dropped anchor at 11am we were fishing the last hour of the ebb. The fishing in that hour was slow with only 4 conger landed. We awaited anxiously for the tide to turn and an improvement in the fishing.

Suddenly, as if turning on a light, the conger came on the feed and all hell broke loose. The fish were coming over the gunwhales 3 and 4 at a time. With all fish needing to be netted, weighed onboard, and recorded yours truly was a spent force by the time the lines up call came at 4:45pm. We ended up with 67 conger to 12kg, a number of pollack, ling, cod, and dogs. The best on the boat and winner for the day was Danny Kane with 835 pts, followed closely by Frank Cronin with 800 pts, also onboard.

On Wednesday we had a well earned rest.

On Thursday morning we again headed east in search of the same stamp of fishing as Tuesday. Alas, as anybody in fishing will tell you, no two days are the same. Again after a slow start things improved by early afternoon. We managed to boat 42 conger with the most falling to local angler, Richie Fortune. This helped Richie to finish joint winner of the day with 555 pts.

On Friday the weather took a change for the worst. All boats were forced to fish nearer to Roches Point. Fishing was very slow all day with the best falling to another local angler, Paul Tennant, with 335 pts. Best on John-Boy was Paul Evans of Wales with 285 pts which was enough to give him 3rd place on the day.

A great evening was had by all in the Commodore Hotel later on with the presentation of prizes and dinner going well into Saturday morning. Worthy winner of the event was Danny Kane with 1830 pts. Best boat went to the John-Boy for the second successive year." (Pictured above left is Skipper Donie Geary with the prize).

If you'd fancy a day's fishing on the John-Boy why not contact Donie. Details are on his website here

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cobh International Deep Sea Angling Festival

In the week just gone Cobh SAC hosted a very successful deep sea angling festival out of Cork Harbour. This was the 44th year that this event has been run and, as per its usual format, the fishing was over four days. 50 anglers from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Holland, and Germany participated.

This year the fishing was excellent. Over 1,000 fish were landed over the 4 days. These included 468 conger, 312 pollack, 76 lesser spotted dogfish, 51 ling, 46 pouting, 35 cod, 22 grey gurnard, 11 cuckoo wrasse, 6 coalfish, 3 bullhuss, and 1 garfish. Biggest fish of the week was a 17kg conger, caught by Cork angler, Bob Crebor.

As per usual, the craic and banter during the week was excellent. Each evening the anglers retired to a suitable watering hole to chew the cud over the day's events. This proved especially popular with the foreign anglers!

The event was won by Danny Kane, from Donegal, with over 150kgs of fish. Points are awarded per kg of fish weighed. As well as the usual battery of trophies and crystal prizes, Danny also won €1,000 for first place. In second place was Paul Tennant of Cobh SAC, who won €400, and in third was Richie Fortune, also of Cobh SAC, who won €200. The Ireland B team won the team event and collected a cheque for €400.

A number of the boats from the Cork Harbour Angling Hub were used for the fishing and these included:

The John Boy, skippered by Donal Geary

Wreckhunter, skippered by Joe Lynch

Cuan Ban, skippered by John Barry

Lee Star, skippered by Aiden Kneeshaw

Entries are now been taken for the 2011 Festival. If you would like more information, contact Cobh SAC club secretary, Mary Geary, at


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Boat Angling Ireland Meet

Boat-Angling-Ireland held their annual shark meet out of Cobh this weekend . This is the second year on the trot that Cobh has been used as a base and by all accounts this year's meet was just as successful as last year's.
9 boats fished this meet, a combination of own boats and charters, and had great weather for the weekend. On the Saturday all boats headed out to that blue shark belt between 10 and 14 miles offshore and weren't disappointed. By all accounts the blues were in aggressive feeding mode. All boats had plenty of blues with an average of 5 per boat landed. Several of the blues were in excess of the 'ton' with the biggest going to 160lbs. That's some fish!
Celebrations went long into the night back on land. The lads had made the Commodore Hotel their base for the weekend and were not alone. There was another group of 24 lads there from the Dublin based Sheridan group fishing a competition for the weekend out of Cork Harbour. There were also a group of 8 Dutch lads over for the week fishing. As you imagine the craic and banter over fishing was mightly. As one local hack remarked ''d need a lifejacket and fishing rod just to get into the bar.'
To see the full reports on the weekend's fishing have a look here
If you are interested in using the Commodore Hotel for a base you can check out rates here

Jumbo Cod at the Kelp Beds

Donie Geary, skipper of the John Boy, had a great session recently targeting cod. Donie had a group of Welsh anglers with him and took them to the kelps beds off Power Head. Boy, did they have good fishing!!! They had several boxes of red cod with a good number of the fish in double figures. Best of the bunch was this 18lber.
Later as they motored their way back to the harbour the group set about filleting the catch. When they gutted the big fish a plastic object, about the size of a pencil battery, fell out onto the deck. Turns out it was a tagging device implanted many years ago by the Marine Institute. With it came a reward of €75 for the device and €25 for the fish. That wasn't the last; on filleting one of the 12lb fish the lads discovered two wire tags in the flesh of the fish. These also carried rewards of €100 each. What a day bumper fish and bonuses to boot!!!
These devices have been forwarded to the Marine Institute and they should give very interesting information asto the movement of the cod and their life history. Once we get that info we'll blog that here. Watch this space!
If you'd like a day out on the John Boy after these lunker cod, give Donie a shout through his website at

Wreckhunter down east....

Skipper Joe Lynch, of Wreckhunter II, reports that after a number of disappointing sessions on the Ling Rocks he decided to venture down east on the grounds off Power Head and the Pollack Rock. He was rewarded as his party had some good ling to 9lbs and some fine cod to 11lb 12oz. Some lively conger were also caught and there were plenty of pollack to 8lbs falling to ragworm. Mackeral were easily caught for a change but what was less welcome were the hoardes of small coalfish that mobbed every bait put in the water. Still a great day was had by all and the weather, as can be seen by the photos, was superb.

If you'd fancy a day onboard Wreckhunter, contact Joe through his website at

Angelsea SAC competition....

Angelsea SAC member and Cobh SAC member, Martin O' Leary reports on a great competition held by Angelsea SAC out of Crosshaven. Fishing onboard Alan Kennedy's boat, Lagosta II, the group had superb fishing with the best edible fish this fine ling, on the photo over, which came in just over 20lb. Ling of this size are rare on the reefs these days which made this catch so special.

There were also plenty of cod to double figures, including this one pictured over.

Plenty of the usual suspects, such as conger, pollack, coalies, etc.,.... were caught. All in all it was a great day out!

If you'd fancy a day's fishing onboard Lagosta II, why not contact Alan at

Festival bait session....

Last Thursday a group of Cobh SAC anglers were dispatched with instructions to catch enough mackeral for bait for the upcoming Deep Sea Angling Festival ( An order was given for 1,000 mackeral!!! That would give each competing angler a bag of 5 mackeral for each day's fishing.

However, Cobh SAC member, Timmy Leahy, just wasn't paying heed to the task at hand. He just kept catching cod....and good ones at that!

All joking aside, cod turned up in great numbers. All were of the stamp shown in the photo. As you can see from Timmy' smile, he wasn't complaining.

There was as many cod caught as there were mackeral and, although, the quota wasn't reached there were a couple of fine boxes of fish allround. All Cork Harbour skippers are now reporting that a bigger stamp of cod are turning up than the small codling that were in plague proportions earlier in the year. These cod are showing up on all the usual reef marks and in good numbers too. Hopefully, this is a sign of even better cod fishing to come. As regards the mackeral, the Cobh SAC anglers can always top up on mackeral the next day!

The Yanks are coming....

Well they've actually been, and gone....but they had a great day's fishing while they were here all thanks to Cork Harbour bass guide, Richie Ryan. The group were under a tight schedule as they had to be back for midday. Nevertheless, Richie made sure thay had fish.

Fishing at first at the Harbour mouth, the group had plenty of mackeral and codling. The Yanks would have been content at that but Richie brought them to one his favourite bass marks and despite the neap tides and less than favourable conditions he managed to winkle out a nice plump 3lber for one of the group.

Later during the week, Richie came up trumps again. This time he had renowned bass angling guru, Jim Hendrick, and French bass specialist, Jean Louis Max, in his company. Details of the catch, methods, and marks have been kept secret. There may be an angling magazine article to come from this one? Well done, Richie!

If you'd fancy a trip out with Richie, why not contact him through his website at