Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fundraiser for the National Boat Team

Following hot on the heels of the latest Light Line competition is this fundraising competition for the Irish National Boat Angling Team. If you tend to go stir crazy or get a bit of cabin fever during the Xmas holidays then this is the chance to clear the head and gain back a bit of sanity.

This is normally a great day out. Its a fun competition and there are many different prizes for differing categories, so everyone's got a chance. Hopefully, the weather will play ball and the boats will be able to get outside the Harbour. If not, however, conditions are not right then fishing will be restricted to inside. This shouldn't be a worry, though, as recent competitions within the confines of the Harbour have produced huge numbers of fish. Shoals of codling have also put in an appearance, so if codling pull your strings make sure you bring your best cod trace.

If you'd fancy fishing this comp then contact Pat Condon on 086 - 3622044, Myles Howell on 087 - 2525162, or Padraic Clear on 087 - 9807685.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Light Line Comp - the results.....

The second of this winter's light line competitions got under way this Sunday just gone, early in the morning. For this one twenty one anglers gathered at Kennedy Pier at Cobh at 9:30am. By 10am the two boats, the Lagosta II and the Wreckhunter, got underway. The weather for this one wasn't as kind as previous outings. We normally seem to be blessed with good weather but not on this occasion. Having said that it wasn't too bad either, but it was very much a mixed bag. All week the south coast had been plagued by winter storms. By Sunday the wind was still blustery and squally at times. Heavy showers occasionally drenched the anglers during the day but towards the evening it calmed down completely and it became almost balmy.

The weather obviously had an impact on the fishing, which was tough enough going at times. This was in complete contrast to the previous week when Crosshaven SAC had some great fishing in their own light line competition. Numbers caught in that comp were similar to the last light line comp in Nov (The calm before the storm).

In total 793 fish were caught, giving an average of 38 fish per angler. The one positive, though, was that the general size of fish was bigger. Codling also made a welcome appearance. The breakdown of fish caught was 405 whiting, 194 dab, 84 doggies, 2 coalfish, 38 codling, 30 pouting, and 40 poor cod. Indeed, many anglers managed to bag six different species.

On the Lagosta there was tremendous competition as no less than five current and ex-internationals fought it out. Nevertheless, all eyes were on Martin Perryman and John Dennehy who last year jointly topped the league only for Martin to win out on a fish count back. The eyes were on the wrong boat, though, as it was on the Wreckhunter that the better fishing was had. Here Irish Home Nation Team International, Pat Wright, topped the score; well done Pat!!!

The full results are as follows:

 1. Pat Wright,                   55 fish,  810 pts,  100%
 2. Martin Kennedy,          49 fish,  739 pts,  100%
 3. Pat O'Shea,                   54 fish,  797 pts,  98.4%
 4. Sandra O'Shea,             49 fish,  736 pts,  90.9%
 5. Myles Howell,              43 fish,  649 pts,  87.8%
 6. John Dennehy,              41 fish,  604 pts,  81.7%
 7. Dave Ryland,                38 fish,  599 pts,  81.1%
 8. Martin Perryman,          38 fish,  597 pts,  80.8%
 9. John Fitz,                      43 fish,  651 pts,  80.4%
10. Dave Jolly,                   38 fish,  570 pts,  77.1%
11. Slywester Skowronski, 41 fish, 606 pts,  74.8%
12. Donnacha O'Connell,  38 fish,  576 pts,  71.1%
13. Tomasz Thrione,         40 fish,  572 pts,  70.6%
14. Dave Clancy,              35 fish,  543 pts,  67.0%
15. Pat Swan,                    32 fish,  492 pts,  66.6%
16. Pio Enright,                 30 fish,  476 pts,  64.4%
17. Danny Kane,              29 fish,  458 pts,  62.0%
18. Robert Fraczek,          33 fish,  496 pts,  61.2%
19. Cian Ryan,                 28 fish,  423 pts,  52.2%
20. Martin O'Leary,          21 fish,  316 pts,  39.0%
21. Marcin Kavankozski, 18 fish,  281 pts,  34.7%

If you'd like to look at the detailed scoresheets have a look here.
The Light Line league is now starting to take shape. As you'd probably guess, Martin Perryman and John Dennehy are up in the top spots....can they keep the momentum up? You can have a look at the league table here.

The next Light Line Competition is on Sunday 13th January. If you'd fancy fishing this then contact Danny Kane on 086-8161946 or Mary Geary on 021-4812167.

The next big competition in the Harbour is the fundraiser for the Irish Boat team. This competition is on next Saturday week 29th December. To enter contact Pat Condon on 086-3622044, Myles Howell on 087-2525162, or Padraic Clear on 087-9807685.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winter Light Line comp No. 2

Well the second competition of this winter's light line series is almost upon us. This competition will be fished next Sunday 16th December. If you'd like to fish this one, then contact Danny Kane on 086-8161946 or Mary Geary on 021-4812167 without delay.

As per usual, this comp will be fished using the scorecard from the IFSA National Fish-Offs. Fishing will be from 10:30am till 3:30pm. The boats will leave Kennedy Pier, Cobh at 10am and registration will be on the pier from 9:30am.

The usual rules apply and are kept to a minimum as it is a fun competition. The only stipulation is that your mainline would be a maximum of 15lb b.s. Have a look at our report of the last competition 'The calm before the storm....again!' to give you an idea of what the fishing was like. The cost for the day's fishing is €40....its great value!!!

We'll see you there, hopefully!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The calm before the storm....again!

We always seem to have a knack of doing it! I mean of course of getting good weather for the light line competitions, and so it was last Saturday. What a glorious day! Beautiful sunny, blue skies and light breezes, who could ask for more. We were lucky, though, for on Sunday a humdinger of a storm moved in and continued for two or three days. In fact, the weather since could be classified as positively manky and typical of winter fare!

Well enough about the weather and onto the fishing! The fishing was spectacular! We were hoping for something similar to the National Fish-Offs, which were held in mid-Oct; what we got was better. In the fish-offs there were 11,300 fish caught between 31 anglers over 12 hours of fishing. That equates to 30 fish per angler per hour. In last weekend's light line comp 3,378 fish were caught between 20 anglers over 5 hours. That's an average of 34 fish per angler per hour. Wow!!!

The breakdown of fish caught were as follow: 3,162 whiting, 185 dabs, 10 doggies, 17 codling, 3 dragonets, and 1 tub gurnard.

Once more the craic, banter, and slagging was mighty. Three boats from the hub were used; the John Boy, the Lee Star, and Lagosta II. All three boats opted to fish more or less the same ground; the drop-off into the channel from Curlane Bank, and were within a couple of hundred yards of each other. Having said that Lagosta II, which was the furthest south seemed to have the best of the fishing. Onboard Lagosta 1,465 fish were landed between 6 anglers. On the Lee Star 1,391 fish were landed between 8 anglers, and on the John Boy 522 fish were landed between 6 anglers. The Lee Star did opt to fish the eastern side of the channel, under Carlisle, for the last hour, but other than that the boats remained put for the whole day.

Martin Perryman, overall light line champion of 2011/12, was going to be under pressure this time round. Not only was he up against John Dennehy, captain of the Irish Home Nations team, who he had pipped by the narrowest margins for the crown, but he had also Irish Internationals Davy McCormick and Gordon Darker to contend with....and all on the same boat! It didn't end there. On the Lagosta there was also Heiko Drier and Pat Swan. Martin was upto the challenge, though, and won his boat, the Lee Star, to put himself in second spot and a creditable finish against the overall winner, Heiko Drier. Well done Martin and well done Heiko!!! The full results are as follows:

  1st  Heiko Drier,                350 fish,  4616 pts,  100.0%
  2nd Martin Perryman,        270 fish,  3582 pts,  100.0%
  3rd  David Clancy,             115 fish,  1576 pts,  100.0%
  4th  Silwester Skowronski, 107 fish,  1462 pts,    92.8%
  5th  Pat Swan,                    311 fish,  4104 pts,   88.9%
  6th  John Dennehy,             237 fish,  3137 pts,   87.6%
  7th  Gordon Darker,          236 fish,   3112 pts,   86.9%
  8th  Pat O'Shea,                229 fish,   3011 pts,   84.1%
  9th  Bobby Crebor,             96 fish,   1290 pts,   81.9%
10th  Sandra O'Shea,          221 fish,   2928 pts,   81.7%
11th  John Fitz,                    89 fish,    1257 pts,   79.8%

12th  Donnacha O'Connell,  84 fish,    1168 pts,   74.1%
13th  Danny Kane,             254 fish,    3328 pts,   72.1%
14th  Rob Miland,              219 fish,   2890 pts,   62.6%
15th  Fergal Madden,         177 fish,   2350 pts,   50.9%
16th  Evan McGovern,       154 fish,   2028 pts,   43.9%
17th  Timmy Leahy,            119 fish,  1573 pts,   43.9%
18th  Paul Maloney,             31 fish,    440 pts,   27.9%
19th  Martin Foy,                74 fish,     992 pts,   27.7%
20th  Davy McCormick,        5 fish,     76 pts,       2.1%

With such good fishing the next competition is eagerly awaited. If you fancy fishing this one its on in three weeks time, on Sunday 16th December. To book in give Danny Kane a buzz on 086-8161946 or Mary Geary on 021-4812167. C'mon you know its good for you!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Light Lines Comp - Important Notice!

For all those fishing the Light Lines Comp this Saturday.

Make sure to be at Kennedy Pier at 9:30am for the sign in.

Boats will be leaving at 10am sharp.

Fishing will be from 10:30am - 3:30pm.

Boats will be back at the Pier by 4pm.

Prize giving at Commodore Hotel at 5:30pm at the latest. Possibly earlier if results are ready. We're hoping to have a bit of finger food available her aswell.

Tight lines!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cod start to show.....

The winter cod season is starting to kick off. It had been slow with only a few reports coming in, but that changed this week with boat anglers running into nice sized fish!

Shore anglers are also start to pick up a few. Fish in the 40cm - 45cm range have been reported from a few shore venues, although, numbers are still a bit on the low side. Its a start, though!

Here are a few pics from recent sorties by the Bellavista small boat fleet and by angler and journalist, Jim Clohessy.

Cork Harbour angling guide James Macsweeney also reported some nice winter cod.

All fish were picked up on soft plastics while vertical jigging, and were in the range 5lb - 10lbs.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winter Light Line Competitions

Well it's that time of year again; the start of winter, which heralds the influx of codling, whiting and dabs into the harbour. So if you were thinking of mothballing your fishing gear for the winter, then DON'T!!!

Instead, head out fishing with Cobh SAC. The winter series of the ever popular Light Line competitions are starting again and will run right through the winter until next April. These competitions are for everyone; whether you're a seasoned angler or a raw beginner. In fact, if you are a novice its no better a place to cut your teeth in boat angling. These are fun competitions where everyone is quite willing to help out each other and you can get great advice. Not that there isn't a competitive side to these matches as well as some of top rods will be slogging it out to be the Light Line champion over the season.

The first of this winter's competitions is on next Saturday week, the 17th November (HT 07:25 4.3m). If you'd like to fish this one then book your place with either Danny Kane, on 086 - 8161946, or Mary Geary, on 021 - 4812167. Book early to avoid disappointment. These comps are very popular and can book up fairly early. Make sure to get your entry in before the close off next Weds evening at 6pm.

The remaining competitions will be on the following dates:

Sunday 16th December (HT 07:13am 4.4m)
Sunday 13th January (HT 06:13am 4.4m)
Sunday 24th February (HT 16:43pm 3.8m)
Sunday 24th March (HT 15:28pm 3.5m)
Sunday 14th April (HT 08:29am 3.9m)

The scorecard used is the same one that was used for the Boat Fish-Offs and the fishing will be broadly similar. However, the format is much simpler and the rules are kept simple. There will be no changing of positions in the boat but basic IFSA rules apply e.g. you are limited to three hooks. The only stipulation is that your main line is of 15lb b.s. or under. Shockleaders, main rig bodies, and snoods can be made of any breaking strain. There is no restrictions on bait. The rules are kept as simple as possible as it's meant to be a fun competition; a fun day out. In fairness the craic can be mighty and the slagging something to behold!!! Poor Danny!!!

You can fish one competition or you fish them all. If you fish every one then you'll be entered into the overall series. Your best scores from 5 comps will count (you can drop your worst score). Last year it was a very close run thing; Martin Perryman, Cobh SAC, and John Dennehy, captain of the Irish Home Nations Team, drew level at the top with the same number of points and could only be separated on a count back of their was that close!

Here's a few reports from a selection of previous comps to give you an idea what to expect:

C'mon give it a go; you know its good for you!!!    (It'll keep you sane over the winter!)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cork Small Boats Festival 2012

This year's Cork Small Boats Festival once again attracted some of the top match anglers from Ireland and the UK. Twenty three teams completed in all, which is on a par with the entry for the last few years and was in line with the organisers' expectation. Competition, as you would expect, was intense. 

The relatively good weather meant that all boats were able to fish outside the harbour for significant stretches and this was reflected in the quality of fishing. Over 36 different species of fish were caught with the winners 'Screaming Reels' chalking up an impressive tally of 31 species. Well done to Martyn Rayner and Seirt Shultz of team Screaming Reels who have come very close to claiming the top spot on a number of occasions in the past. However, this was their first win in 16 attempts. This now adds to their previous wins in the Rosslare Small Boats Festival. Previous winners, team Skua, ran Screeming Reels very close with a score of 30 species to give them the runners up spot.

There were some notable catches during the week including a fine specimen red gurnard. However, the most unusual specimen was a fine specimen mackeral of 1.08kg caught by well known Cork Harbour angler and journalist, Jim Clohessy. Jim was trying to pick up a garfish at the time when the mackeral scoffed the bait and took off like a steam train. Jim knew he hadn't a garfish and had wondered had he hooked a bass as he was close to the shore. However, Jim was well pleased when he landed this brute. Specimen mackeral are actually few and far between and don't feature often in the Irish Specimen Fish Reports. This one will, though! Well done Jim!!!

Team Skua also did well when targeting bass. On the first day they had a beauty, pictured above, thanks to Jim's expertise in soft plastic lure fishing.

Detailed results of the weeks fishing can be found on Cork Small Boat's Results.

The dates for 2013 are already set: 20th - 27th September, get 'em in your diaries!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

An Autumn Specimen Pollack.....

Specimen Pollack are not as plentiful now as they were years ago. However, Cork Harbour turns up a few every year. All of these are normally caught on the Ling Rocks, a historically renowned pollack mark a dozen or so miles off Roches Point.  That's what makes this one so unique!

This specimen was caught on a reef mark east of Power Head. The vast expanse of the Pollack Rock reef was certainly a prolific specimen pollack mark of yesteryear, but its be many years since a pollack of this size has been reported from this area. This particular beauty, weighing in at 12lbs 3oz, was caught by well known Cork Harbour angler and angling journalist, Jim Clohessy. Jim has specialised in soft plastic lure fishing over the last few years and it is certainly paying dividends. Whether it is pollack, cod, or bass the soft plastics do seem to winkle out the bigger fish. However, there is a certain skill in fishing the sp's just right....a skill that visiting French anglers display their expertise at. Jim will admit to being on a huge learning curve with regard to this style of fishing, but he'd certainly now give the best of the French lads a run for their money. Well done Jim, keep it up!!!

If you'd fancy a crack at the big pollack, now's the time to give it a go. Fish now are in great condition after fattening up over the summer months. This year we've found them solid and thick across the body from a very early stage; probably, a reflection of the quantities of sprat and small herring that have been apparent off the harbour this summer and autumn. From here to end of February, when the fish spawn, they are at their optimum weight. If its a specimen you're after, now's the time!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The National Boat Fish Offs - the results

What a weekend of fishing! Over 11,300 fish caught between 31 anglers over the two days!! Just phenomenal!!!
Fair play to the stewards for keeping up, most who would be forgiven for suffering post traumatic stress disorder after exposure to such multitude of numbers of whiting and dabs!!! Its hard to keep tabs when eight anglers are calling in 3 fish each all at the same time...everytime. Phew!!!

....but most of all, well done to the anglers, whose exceptional angling skills accounted for such dizzying numbers of fish. Especially.....well done to the top five anglers, Padraig Clear, Heiko Dreier, Myles Howell, Michael Barry, and Joseph Gough who now join this year's Master Angler, Pat Condon, on the National Boat Angling Team to represent Ireland at next year's World Boat Angling Championships in Portugal.

As the anglers gathered on the main pier in Cobh early on Saturday morning expectations were high that good numbers of fish would be recorded. This is the fourth year in succession that Cobh SAC has hosted such a prestigious competition and previous results gave good grounds for this optimism. During the 2010 event over 6,000 fish were recorded. However, this year was to be even more bountiful for on the first day alone some 5,983 fish were caught. Already, the make-up of the 2013 Irish team was taking shape; Heiko Dreier, Myles Howell, & Padraig Clear had one hand on a team place. For the remaining two places it was all still to play for, with 10 anglers in contention.

Weatherwise Sunday was a different day with a fresh & brisky south east breeze. That didn't affect the fishing, though, as it was just as hectic as the day before. Again, dabs and whiting were the mainstay of the catches. Some of the dabs landed were of a fine size, almost touching on specimen size. By day's end the make up of the 2013 team was clear. The top rods had all caught more than 400 fish each. Wow!!!

Well done lads and the best of luck in Portugal 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 Mark O'Reilly of the John Boy, 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 recorded them. They included Dave Drohan, Martin O'Leary, yours truly, and Sean Og McShane. Thanks also to Geary Angling Services who organised the boats, bait & stewards and without whom this event would not run so smoothly.

The next series of events to look forward to are the Light Line competitions. This is the 4th year that these competitions have been held by Cobh SAC in Cork Harbour. They almost replicate the type and style of fishing in the Fish-Offs and almost the same quantity and type of fishing can be expected. If you fancy a crack off these contact Mary Geary on 021-4812167 or Danny Kane on 086-8161946. The first competition is on in the middle of November.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fish-Offs Frenzy.....

The National Fish-Offs, to pick the Irish Boat Angling team to represent Ireland at the World Championships in Portugal next year, will be held in Cork Harbour this weekend. This is the fourth year in a row that the Fish-Offs have been held in Cork Harbour. At this time of year the fishing within the confines of Cork Harbour replicates as far as possible the fishing to be expected on the continent, in that most fish are small but there are plenty of them. To win a session an angler would need to have caught over 200 fish and by October the whiting in the harbour can be that obliging!

32 anglers will be pitting their skills against each other. 12 of these have come forward from the top positions in the National Master Angler competition. The remaining 20 anglers have come from the pool of anglers who automatically qualify on the basis that they finished in the top 20 places of last year's Fish-Offs. 4 places in the National Team are up for grabs. The winner of the National Master Angler automatically qualifies as the captain of the Irish Team. The honour this year was won by Pat Condon of Carrigaline SAC & Cobh SAC. Well done Pat!!!

For the remaining places in the team the competition is intense and many would say its already started. Many of the leading contenders have been out in the harbour over the last few weeks, fishing hard to hone their skills for the ultimate decider. Here are a few pics of some of these lads who've been hard at of luck lads!!!

(Please refer to John Griffin, of Caherciveen, for the most upto date odds)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Specimen congers abound.....

Small boat anglers had some fishing in the last week! Specimen congers are few and far between but to hear of two caught out of Cork Harbour within days of each other is almost unheard of. Well that was just the case for well known local anglers, Maurice Cott and Tony Tait. 

Maurice was the first into a leviathan eel with a fish of 49lbs. What a fish; well done Maurice!

A few days later Tony Tait landed another fine eel of 21.26kg or 46.9lbs. Just to give you an idea of the size of these fish, the latter one measured 176cm in length and was 54cm in girth. Wow, that's some monster!!!

Eventhough, only a few specimen fish are recorded each year, as per the Irish Specimen Fish Report, you'll find over the years that Cork Harbour does account for a fair share of them!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Protect our Bass.....

Unfortunately, just as we are reporting improved bass angling there are reports coming our way of possible illegal netting activity. These have yet to be verified, but it is most disappointing to hear.

Irish bass stocks are still in a fragile and vulnerable state. The actions of this minority are putting the recovery of this resource in jeopardy. They are also undermining the efforts and investment of our members who specialise in the bass recreational angling product.

We are working well with Inland Fisheries Ireland to stamp out this illegal activity but we do need the help of all anglers. I would urge readers of this blog to be vigilant, especially over the next few weeks and months as this is the time of year when most damage is done. If you come across illegal nets or suspected illegal netting activity in Cork Harbour or in the area from Ballycotton Island to the Old Head of Kinsale (or anywhere for that matter) make sure you report it. Contact us on or report it directly to Inland Fisheries Ireland on 1890 34 74 24.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shore marks come good.....

Its not just the boat anglers that are having all the luck lately, shore anglers are also getting in on the act. Both the harbour marks and the outer harbour areas are starting to produce good numbers of decent fish. Regular visitors from the UK, James, Ted, & Mike Molyneaux, were traversing through many of these marks last week and had some great results. The lads tried a whole range of lures but had the best action on surface lures. Despite the breezy conditions and large surf, the bass aggressively attacked what they had to offer, particularly Xorus Patchinko's. Pictured above is Mike Molyneaux with a nice fish just touching the 6lb mark. This was typical of the stamp of fish that they found during the week.

Cobh SAC angler, Timmy Leahy, has also reported some good success on shore marks. Here's a pic of one of Timmy's fish and again Timmy reports that the best action came to surface lures.

One of East Cork's best known anglers, Clinton Rachman, has also been targeting the bass. Clinton has one or two secret marks that are very infrequently visited and it is here that he is having some great success of late. Not for Clinton is the surface lures....instead, Clinton has been experimenting with soft plastic lures he's had shipped over from South Africa. They've really been doing the business. Here's a pic of one of these bass caught on an sp that most anglers will found hard to come by. It looks like Clinton will have the upper hand from here on in!!!

It just shows you that now is the time for some superb bass fishing and with the improved weather conditions of late the water clarity is now just spot on. Make the most of it for although autumn bassing can be superb the weather can also be fickle and what are ideal conditions today may not last indefinitely!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Autumn Bass - Bellavista style.....

With the improved weather of the last few weeks the bass fishing in the harbour has really kicked off. At last!!! There has been very little rainfall in September and this has resulted in a massive improvement in water quality. In some of the backwaters and creeks the water is back to the more usual emerald greeny-blue. That's a complete contrast to the middle of August when the water was a peaty brown. No wonder the bass fishing was tough back then!

Owner of the Bellavista fleet, Kevin Murphy, reports that his clients are having some great autumn bassing. Many of his guests in the last month have been from Holland and France and have been targeting the bass with a vast array of lures. The French lads, in particular, have concentrated on soft plastics, as you would expect. Their results have been excellent with many of the fish in the 60 - 70cm range, a very encouraging sign. Autumn fishing for bass is just great! The fish have piled on the weight over the summer months and, in a last splurge before the onset of winter, are always in a greedy mood, some would say even an angry mood! Lures, particularly surface lures, are attacked with venom! Oh, how you just can only but love the autumn!

Here are a few pics of some of Kevin's clients with recent fish. If you'd like to target the harbour bass why not hire one of Kevin's small hire-drive boats. Kevin has a range of Warrior 175's and Raider 19's to choose from. Contact Kevin on 00-353-86-6029168 or check out his website on