Irish Sport Fishing – Fishing in Ireland
Anglers are putting the finishing touches to their preparations for the Winter Beach Festival, on this week in Wexford. Those hoping to do well in the event have no doubt spent many hours over the last few weeks organising bait, making rigs and fine-tuning tackle. As they say, “Failure to prepare, is preparing to fail”.
Years ago the fishing was for bags of quality coalies, codling and whiting. A bucket of mussel, a few dozen crab and lug were the baits needed. However these days the fishing is mainly for flounders, dabs, whiting and rockling with lug/blacks, maddies and whites. As this competition has evolved over the years the techniques employed by anglers have also been refined, and like other sports match fishing in general has become more and more competitive. The fishing has changed, and with a large pool of anglers all capable of winning on their day, the challenge has become increasingly more difficult.
In the past anglers often needed heavy mainlines and stiff beachcasters to cope with the conditions and the rough ground venues (and also the quality fish!). Nowadays long quiver-tip rods paired with fixed-spools and light mainlines are used by the majority when targeting fish found close-in. This modern setup is more forgiving on delicate baits, allows better presentation of light tackle, and enables the angler to wind-in quicker meaning fish are beached faster. Hooks larger than a size 2 are rarely needed, with Kamasan B940M in size 4 being the most popular for presenting the delicate bunches of maddies and whites.
All three days matches are on in daylight hours – a change from previous years that many anglers are happy to see. At this time of year there generally isn’t any need to fish into darkness as there should be plenty of fish around, but with the competition being held over slack-tides and with this cold spell lingering for the rest of the week, who knows if the fish will play ball! All the beaches in the area are certainly capable of producing huge numbers of fish with bags of 40 or 50 not uncommon. Good luck to everyone competing!