Irish Sport Fishing – Fishing in Ireland
You know those annoying anglers who are able to catch whatever’s around no matter what conditions or circumstances are thrown at them? While you’ve left those garfish floats at home the guy next to you has managed to bag up using them. Or while you may have brought your light-line rigs, it turns out they aren’t quite light enough for those mini-corkwing wrasse that have unexpectedly shown up in front of you, and once again the guy next to you proceeds to bag up from under your nose. Well Colin Carey is that annoying angler pegged next to you!
Colin has been match fishing week-in week-out for years, and this consistent approach to the sport has resulted in a great knowledge and understanding of venues, baits, and all species of fish found in our waters. Colin has converted this knowledge into countless match wins in the past, and he regularly takes home coin from around the UK and Ireland. The day I caught up with him was no different. While dogfish were the expected target on Ventry they didn’t show on the day, but after a quick change of tactics Colin went from blanking to zone prize winner in one cast with a double shot of flounders.
A recurring preference amongst match anglers is for a match where lots of fish are caught, and Colin echoes these sentiments. ‘I don’t care how big or small the fish are or what species they may be, I just love fast and furious fishing’. Indeed one of what Colin considers to be his best results was winning the Penn Final on Cefn Sidan in South Wales, where the action came thick and fast. ‘I’ve never experienced surf fishing like it, it was incredible. You needed over 30 fish just to come anywhere in the zone and the flounders were huge’.
Colin’s favourite venues include Pevensey Bay, Chesil Beach, and Hythe. A typical summer match could see Colin fishing for anything from mackerel, scad, garfish, mullet, black bream, bass, flounders, plaice, sole, smoothounds, rays, and dogs. Winter is mainly dominated by whiting, with codling, flounders and rockling also appearing in numbers at times.
As you’ll agree, this wide range of target species requires the angler to be skilled in many areas, and adaptable in order to do well. Colin’s results have not gone unrecognised and he has represented England at the World Championships in Portugal and France, and also fished the World Club Champs’ with Prime Angling in Belgium.
Ventry is normally won with dogs, and for this sort of fishing or when after bigger fish like rays or smoothounds Colin has a pair of Zziplex M4 Hi Flex M’s and a pair of old T-Zero’s. These are matched with Penn 515 mags or various Abu 6500’s. For scratching Colin likes the Vercelli Spyra – an incredibly light rod with stacks of power. He pairs this with an Abu 6500 or a Fox Big Pit fixed-spool.
For mainline Colin likes Ultima Power Carp, and for shockleaders and heavy rig bodies he uses Ultima PowerFlex – two lines he has full confidence in. Light rig bodies and snoods are normally made from Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon or Amnesia. Colin says, ‘The fluorocarbon is fairly stiff and doesn’t tangle as easily as some lines. Amnesia is softer and is great for bigger fish such as cod, rays and hounds. I use both depending on the situation.’
Kamasan B940M are one of Colin’s favourite match hooks. ‘These are a great hook when small fish are expected, and I generally use them in either a size 2 or 4. I use them for everything from whiting and rockling in winter, to bream and small bass in summer.’ Colin also uses the heavier B940S and standard B940 for bigger fish. Mustad 496BB are sometimes used when fishing crab baits, and Kamasan B541’s are used when garfish are the target. These hooks are wicked sharp!
It was evident from looking at Colin’s tackle box that it had just experienced a long weeks fishing in Ireland. While rig wallets were present, there appeared to be more rigs outside of said wallets than in – a clear sign of a busy box! Apparently they are easier to find this way!
One neat trick I noticed was the storage of snoods on winders. Each snood was numbered and slotted into a separate groove cut into the foam. This way you can easily identify the next snood to un-roll, and avoid any tangles in the process.
Colin was prepared for everything. This competition allowed for as many rods to be set up as the angler wanted, and Colin made the most of this. ‘A piece of advise I would give to any budding match anglers is to always fish for what’s there, not what you want to be there.’ It’s easy not to bother setting up your spare rods, but in a match when every second counts it is wise to make the effort and have all your bases covered. This led on to another piece of advise from Colin, ‘Like many things you only get out what you put into match fishing.’ Persistence pays off and those who make the effort will be rewarded eventually.
Fair play to Colin for letting me poke around his tackle and hopefully you can take something away from it. I think Colin’s box was actually neater after I had finished with it!