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!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter bass on lures.....

Tomasz Kujawa with a fine winter lure caught bass!!!

After a month of wet and windy weather, which suited more the surfcasting community targeting cod, the dedicated bunch of Cork Harbour lure anglers finally got the weather break they were looking for. Winds finally swung around to the North West quarter, the sea state flattened, and water clarity returned....and this all happened just as the tides just came right. Conditions were perfect!

Pat O'Shea's fine 64cm bass

Many of the seasoned bass anglers reported success over the weekend. Pat O'Shea fitted in two lure sessions before the Light Lines competition and had good success on soft plastics. On both sessions he had 4 fish with the best going 63cm and 64cm on both days. Clinton Rachman also managed 4 on an early morning session with all fish falling to Clinton's own brand of soft plastics, the 'Bass Bombs.' 

Andy Davies with his bass

Young Turk, Darragh McCarthy, also scored!

Robert Frazcek with a 64cm bass
Andy Davies and the young turk, Darragh McCarthy, went a bit further east of the harbour and also had success with fish falling to soft plastics. Robert Fraczek and Tomasz Kujawa squeezed in a session before also competing in the Light Line competition and both managed fish. Robert had the bigger of the two with a fine bass of 64cm weighing 2.8kg.

Clinton Rachman had these bass on Bass Bombs!!!

There will be more opportunities to pick up fish if this settled weather spell continues. Some years bass can be caught right up to Christmas on the Cork Harbour outer marks if conditions are right. Let's hope they stay right this year!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1st of the Winter season.....

Mick Barry with a superb Plaice

The Cork Harbour Light Lines series of competitions got off to a great start this Sunday. In the first competition of the season over 30 anglers, from as far away as Dublin, Wicklow, and Ulster, competed and what a great day they had!!! The weather was superb and the fishing was great!

On a crisp, bright and sunny morning the 30 anglers congregated on Cobh's Kennedy Pier for the oft. Four of the Angling Hub's charter boats were used for the day:- the John Boy, Lagosta II, Lee Star, and Naomh Cartha.

This year the boats had the option of fishing outside the harbour, albeit within a limit of one nautical mile of Roches Point. However, none of the skippers opted for this. Instead, all opted to fish Deep Hole once more. This spot has always been the favourite over the years holding hoards of whiting, dabs, and codling at times. 

Martin O'Leary with a Tub Gurnard
All manner of rigs and traces were dropped to the depths in search of fish; three hook pats, 2 ups 1 down, 3 hook legers, herme bay spreaders, and boomed traces. The variety of baits were also mind boggling...crab, razor, mussel, rag, lug, wraps and mack. However, it was lug and mack that were most successful, with frozen mack having the edge; plenty of fresh mack were caught but when used as bait were not producing to the same extent of the frozen stuff!

From the start fish were landed but not all boats were having the same success. The John Boy, Naomh Cartha, and Lee Star were in about 70 feet of water and catching good whiting and in numbers. The Lagosta was in shallower territory and not having the same luck. Onboard, was Cobh SAC angler, Pat O'Shea, '....we were getting whiting from the minute the anchor went down but not many were making the new minimum size of 20cm; what was frustrating was looking over at the anglers on the John Boy, which was just outside us, and we could see that they were getting good size whiting and they were all keepers.'

An unexpected catch - a Brill!!!
For the last hour before the 1/2 time changeover, skipper Alan Kennedy decided to try a new mark. He brought the Lagosta to a channel mark just off the Turbot Bank. It was an inspired move! As soon as the boat settled the anglers starting landing whiting in good numbers and of good size. Most fish were in excess of 30cm, with some clonkers over 2lbs....and they were coming in two's and three's!!!

Competition within the boat itself soon heated up but over the course of the day two international anglers, Mick Barry and Davy McCormick, slugged it out against each other for the top spot. Mick landed a superb plaice late in the afternoon of 46cm and this was to be the deciding fish between the two. 

On all the other boats it was the international anglers who were leading the pack. On John Boy, ex-Irish captain, Pat Condon won out with 160 fish; on Lee Star seasoned international, Dave Jolly led with 128 fish; and on Naomh Cartha, latest recruit to the Irish team, Pat Swan, triumphed with 186 fish. However, they didn't have it all their own way and many of the local anglers kept the pressure on right up to the end.

The full results are as follows:-

  1. Pat Swan,                 186 fish,    2557 pts, 100.0%
  2. Pat Condon,             160 fish,    2193 pts, 100.0%
  3. Mick Barry,              141 fish,    1895 pts, 100.0%
  4. Dave Jolly,                128 fish,   1711 pts, 100.0%
  5. Dave McCormick,     140 fish,  1878 pts,    99.1%
  6. Pat O'Shea,                119 fish,  1636 pts,    86.3%
  7. Dave Rylands,            123 fish, 1743 pts,    79.5%
  8. John Dennehy,           124 fish,  1696 pts,   77.3%
  9. Martin Perryman,       135 fish,  1884 pts,   73.7%
10. Joe Gough,                   89 fish,  1223 pts,   71.5%
11. Sean Og McShane,    110 fish,  1536 pts,   70.0%
12. Joe Byrne,                    84 fish,  1150 pts,   67.2%
13. Owen O'Brien,           122 fish,  1712pts,    67.0%
14. Sylwester Skowronski, 89 fish,  1242 pts,  65.5%
15. John Cronin,                 82 fish,  1111 pts,  64.9%
16. Tomasz Kujawa,        111 fish,  1559 pts,   61.0%
17. Sandra O'Shea,           109 fish,  1512 pts,  59.1%
18. Roy Kearney,             107 fish,  1493 pts,  58.4%
19. Brendan O'Dwyer,       79 fish,  1084 pts,  57.2%
20. Gavin O'Connor,          77 fish,  1063 pts,  56.1%
21. Conor Purcell,              75 fish,   1021 pts,  53.9%
22. Danny Kane,                65 fish,    875 pts,  51.1%
23. John Fitz,                      94 fish,  1290 pts,  50.4%
24. Bob Crebor,                  69 fish,   940 pts,  49.6%
25. Robert Fraczek,            78 fish,  1077 pts,  49.1%
26. Brian O'Neill,               59 fish,   816 pts,   47.7%
27. Dave Quirke,                74 fish,  1066 pts,  41.7%
28. Pat Tobin,                     48 fish,    684 pts,  31.2%
29. Frank Burke,                46 fish,    645 pts,  29.4%
30. Martin O'Leary,            42 fish,   420 pts,  24.5%

The total number of fish caught were 2965, giving an average of 99 fish per angler. These were made up of 2375 whiting, 504 dabs, 4 grey gurnard, 2 tub gurnard, 1 cod, 1 pouting, 18 poor cod, 6 plaice, 8 flounder,  and 46 scad.

What a great start! Roll on the next competition in the series. This will take place on Sunday 15th December. If you fancy giving this a shot then give Danny Kane a ring on 086 - 8161946.

For any anglers planning on staying overnight on either the Sat or Sun night we've worked out a great deal with the Commodore Hotel. Overnight B&B for €29pps. Now that's a great deal - contact Mary on 021 - 4811277 or by email on commodorehotel@eircom.net

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Winter Light Lines Competitions

Well it's that time of year again; the start of winter, which heralds the influx of codling, whiting and dabs into Cork 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 Sunday week, the 17th November 2013 (HT 17:10 4.1m). If you'd like to fish this one then book your place with Danny Kane, on 086 - 8161946. 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 full list of competitions are as follows:

Sunday 17th November (HT 17:10pm 4.1m)
Sunday 15th December (HT 16:00pm 3.9m)
Sunday 19th January (HT 19:23pm 3.9m)
Sunday 16th February (HT 18:27pm 4.0m)
Sunday 23rd March (HT 22:10pm 3.6m)
Sunday 13th April (HT 17:19am 3.8m)

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 only one change of positions in the boat; 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!!!

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, yet again, a very close run thing; Martin Perryman, Crosshaven SAC, and John Dennehy, captain of the 2012 Irish Home Nations Team, Pat Wright, 2013 Irish Home Nations Team, and Pat O'Shea, Cobh SAC, were all in the reckoning upto the last day....it was that close!

A full report of that final day can be read here http://bit.ly/17NA9AD

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!)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shark Fishing Cork Ireland 2013

Jim Clohessy targets the blues aboard Skua with Cork Small Boats team mate, Rob McClean.