Irish Sport Fishing – Fishing in Ireland
This years Daiwa Irish Pairs competition was, as usual, a great week for all involved. Each year you can tell that the competition is drawing closer as the banter steps-up a gear on sites such as Facebook, and you find yourself thinking about the coming week at every other opportunity. The year seems to drag-on slowly at first, but once September comes ‘round we find ourselves back on the Dingle Peninsula once again before we know it. Unfortunately the week goes all too quick, and the familiar feeling of packing the car for the journey home (usually in the rain and with a sore head from presentation night) signals the end of another year.
Day 1 – Ventry & Cappaclough
The weather this year was mixed, as usual. I can’t imagine a Pairs without wind and rain, and lots of it. Strong winds had dumped a fair amount of weed on Cappa, but there were a few fish to be caught for those able to fish out over it. This beach really highlights the importance of being an adaptable match angler, as the winners over the last number of years have achieved success using many different methods. On any given day the angler must be prepared for Dogs, Flounders, Garfish and Wrasse – and not forgetting the Bull-Huss, Stingray, Mullet, Eels and numerous other species that also regularly turn up. Gordon Thornes and Paul Molyneux were the zone winners on Cappa on the day.
There is generally a bit more predictability about Ventry. Dogfish had been showing in good numbers in the run-up to the week, and so they appeared for many anglers on their first cast. They were caught steadily until the bottom of the tide when things slowed down for most. A quick change of tactics for Dave Roe ensured that he kept catching while others struggled, and he was able to fill his card with a bag of lower-scoring but more plentiful Pollock and Coalies to win his zone. Colin Carey is another angler who has fared well on Ventry in recent years, and this year was no exception as he won the other zone.
Day 2 – Rossbeigh & Banna
Rossbeigh fished quite well with some decent bags of fish. Unfortunately there wasn’t really a proper surf on the day – the sea had a good chop on it rather than nice tables rolling in. The area around ‘the wreck’ was once again the place to be as Bill Lindfield won his zone with 17 fish. Darren Bond was the other zone winner.
A special mention must go to Tony Royall who had the misfortune of having a big mullet (estimated at around 8lb) come off at his feet in the surf, and escape through his legs as he tried to wrestle it ashore. Never mind Tony, you provided much entertainment for those watching!
There were two stories to be told on Banna. The first was of the weed which made the zone to the right of the beach extremely difficult to fish. Anglers resorted to casting out and holding their rod high while standing in the surf, as the weed caused havoc for much of the five hours. It was a long, hard day for most in this zone, but it was worth the effort for Gary Lawson who came out on top.
The second story was of the Painted Rays that appeared in good numbers for those drawn in the lower pegs. These bonus fish were essential in order to place well in the zone, as the length-to-weight conversion system saw them wipe out any bags of flounders. Sandeel cast no more than sixty-yards produced the bulk of the fish, and the biggest of the day fell to John Williams with a ray of 58cm.
Paul Molyneux made the most of his end peg to win his zone, and this added to his zone win on day 1 put him in a commanding position individually going into the final day. His partner in the pairs event, Dave Roe, had also fared well over in Rossbeigh with a 3rd place, and only a cock-up of biblical proportions could take the title away from them on the last day – although stranger things have happened!
Day 3 – Ventry (Round 2)
Inch was once again unfishable, and there was a surf event on all week on Gowlane/Stradbally. The only option was to put everyone back on Ventry. The zone to the left of the river was very scratchy, but there was a sprinkling of flounders and bass to keep anglers interested. Jim Gross managed to tempt a few fish ashore to win his zone. JP Molloy also found a few fish to win the next zone to the right of the river.
A few dogs were being caught in the other two zones with Ged Stevens finding one on his first cast. Darren Bond was an easy winner of his zone with a bag of dogs and a small pollock. Ashley Sampson had a slow start, but eventually found the fish at range during a purple-patch midway through the match that even included a couple of double-shots! He won his zone comfortably, while Bill Lindfield found three bass in the last twenty minutes to take him from nowhere to 2nd in the zone.
With all the scores in, word filtered around that Paul Molyneux and Dave Roe both caught fish and had done enough to take the 2012 Daiwa Pairs title. Unfortunately for Paul he conceded the individual title to Dave on the last day but managed to hang on to 3rd place overall, with Gary Lawson in 2nd. The four man team event was won by Colin Carey, Darren Bond, Paul Stevens and Jason Wellfare.
So that was the 2012 Daiwa Pairs in short, or at least the pegged matches. The specimen days between matches provided a recovery day for some and an opportunity to sample some of the excellent fishing on the Dingle Peninsula for others. Specimen fish of the week was a huge 50cm Flounder for Dave Falk. Roll on 2013!
Some other fish caught during the week are below.