Posts Tagged ‘EFSA’

EFSA Ireland, Winter Shore Angling Festival 2012, Co. Wexford.

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

The 24th Winter Shore Angling Festival was held on the east facing beaches of Co. Wexford over three days, from Thursday the 26th to Saturday the 28th January 2012. Organised by EFSA Ireland this event annually attracts the cream of sea match anglers from both the UK and Ireland, and with many thousands of euro in prize money up for grabs divided between individual, team, zone, and optional pools, competition is keen.

Top Irish match angler Ian Knight sports a Clone strand flounder.

Southerly gales battered the Wexford coastline right into the early hours of Wednesday morning resulting in some competitors being stranded in Pembrokeshire, South Wales due to the ferry not sailing. As luck would have it the prevailing winds abated and swung around to the west resulting in ideal conditions over the three match days. The lucky Welshmen boarded a later ferry, and although lacking in sleep pushed the numbers competing to sixty plus when the whistle blew for the opening joust.

Clone strand, day 2 of the EFSA Winter Festival 2012.

Sea match fishing drives shore angling technology and methods, of that there is no doubt. Specialist rods up to 16 feet in length, matched to fixed spool reels enable seriously long traces with snoods averaging 2.5 feet to be cast effectively. Strong forgiving tips both allow for bite detection and the casting of delicate soft baits, of which on this occasion lug wraps and maddies reigned supreme. Cast into the gutter or channels between banks on rigs constructed with micro beads, size 8 swivels, size 8 fine wire hooks, and weighted with plain leads the matchmen hunted for their fish, speed and accuracy being of the essence.

Courtown Angling Centers Joe Byrne who came second in the event.

Day one was fished on Ballinoulart, with Clone pencilled in for day two, and Ballinesker the beach which staged the memorable opening scene from “Saving Private Ryan” marked down for day three. The sun shone and competitors scratched, mainly flounder with a few dab, whiting, rockling, and school bass thrown in for good measure. At lines up on Saturday the winning result couldn’t have been tighter. Dave Roe won the overall event for the second year in succession, with Courtowns Joe Byrne taking second (one place better than last year), and Ballybracks Ian Knight in third.

Welsh angler Shane Tucker casting on Ballinoulart strand, Co. Wexford.

It would appear that the English dominance of this event has for now been broken. To put icing on the cake both Dave and Joe won the two man team prize and also were members of the winning four man team. A feature of the results which reflects our depleted oceans is the respective size of the longest round and flat fish, a school bass of 37 cms and a flounder of 36 cms. That said the competition was well run, and other than the north end zone on Clone strand (day 2), fish appeared to be evenly spread along the various match stretches over the three days. EFSA Ireland’s Warren Doyle and his team deserve a pat on the back for their organisation, as do the weather Gods for the light winds and blue skies. Roll on next year….

For further reading click on: EFSA Irish Winter Shore Angling Festival 2011.

EFSA Irish Winter Shore Angling Festival 2011.

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

The 23rd EFSA Ireland Winter Shore Angling Festival took place on the east facing beaches of north County Wexford from Thursday 27th – Saturday 29th January 2011. Fifty match men from the United Kingdom and Ireland competed for a prize fund of €8340.00 over three days of intense competition. Bright, bitterly cold conditions, the result of a north east airstream, made fish hard to come by on the chosen venues of  Morriscastle, Clones, and Ballinaulart. However the competitors employed scratching techniques coupled with years of experience to winkle out match winning bags of predominantly flounder with a few dabs, codling, and school bass thrown in for good measure.

EFSA Winter Beach Festival 2011, Ballinaulart, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Against tough seasoned opposition Ireland’s Dave Roe on the back of three section wins took first place with England International Chris Clarke a close second and Courtown SAC’s Joe Byrne a well merited third. Dave and Joe also claimed the two man team prize while Courtown SAC had cause for further celebration with club members Ben Colliton and Clive Ivory winning the longest round and flatfish pools respectively. Make no mistake this competition attracts serious sea match talent, the cream from these islands, winning in this company is a major feather in the cap.

Dave Roe, winner of the EFSA Winter Beach Festival 2011.

Sea match fishing drives modern tackle technology and fishing techniques. A walk along the pegs is an education in how to tie rigs, types of bait to use, and fishing methods, the top anglers leave nothing to chance. On this occasion three hook traces utilizing long snoods, size 2 hooks baited with gutted aged black lugworm tipped with maddies (small harbour ragworm) fished at short range proved to be the winning combination.

A trio of flounder for Courtown SAC's Joe Byrne while fishing Clones strand during the EFSA Winter Festival 2011.

Sea angling will slow down over the coming months as we enter the spawning season, however spring is on the way and before too long County Wexford will be hosting another major event, this time the EFSA European Shore Championships 2011. Scheduled to run from the 27th – 30th April the event promises interesting fishing with bass, smooth hounds, and dogfish added to the mix of species currently on offer. Bring it on…..

For further reading click on: EFSA Ireland Winter Beach Fishing Festival 2012.