An­glers’ bumper haul dur­ing com­pe­ti­tion

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

The 2017 Wick­low Bay Sea An­gling Club’s Open Boat Com­pe­ti­tion once again proved that the waters around Wick­low hold some of the best sea fish­ing ac­tion in Ire­land.

Fif­teen an­glers from Wick­low, Bray, Arklow, and Mun­ster fished the six-hour com­pe­ti­tion and hauled in over 1,000 fish, all of which were safely re­turned to the sea.

Al­though the sea con­di­tions were fair to moder­ate, high tides meant the flow of water up the Ir­ish Sea re­quired weights of up 2lb just to hold on to bot­tom where the fish feed.

The aim of the com­pe­ti­tion is to col­lect as many ‘fish points’ as pos­si­ble, with dif­fer­ent species of fish car­ry­ing dif­fer­ent points ac­cord­ing to the rules laid down by the Ir­ish Fed­er­a­tion of Sea An­glers.

A com­mon species like Dog­fish car­ries two points, whereas a Ray will earn the an­gler 12 points. Try­ing to de­tect fish bites in be­tween the rock­ing of a small boat in swelled tide takes skill and con­cen­tra­tion. Bait qual­ity is also para­mount, most of the an­glers se­lect­ing strips of mack­erel, squid, and crab to catch as many fish as pos­si­ble.

Many an­glers aim for the Tope (which earns 25 points), a mem­ber of the shark fam­ily that can grow up to 70 Lb’s in Ir­ish waters. In all, this years WBSAC Open Boat com­pe­ti­tion saw 819 Dog­fish be­ing recorded.

There was also a huge haul of 84 Smooth Hounds in­clud­ing sev­eral spec­i­men size fish from this mem­ber of the shark fam­ily.

An­other spec­i­men of the day was a Tub Gurnard of 45cm landed by Gary Creighan from Arklow. In to­tal, 17 Tope were also caught and re­leased, as well as 16 Bull Huss, and 6 Thorn­back Rays.

An­glers with tired, aching limbs, and the odd patch sun burn as­sem­bled in Whistler’s Bar, Wick­low town to hear the news as the re­sults were cal­cu­lated.

This years win­ner of the Whistler’s Cup was pre­sented by Wick­low Bay Sea An­gling Club ex­ec­u­tives, Paddy Swan and Jerry Dixon to Liam O’Cal­laghan of the Bray Sea An­glers with 381 points. Sec­ond place was awarded to Wick­low Bay’s Paddy Swan.

Third place went to Mark Shortt of Bray Sea An­glers, forth to Ciaran Kenny of Wick­low Bay, and fifth place to spe­cial guest, John Den­nehy of the Car­ri­ga­line Sea An­gling Club in Cork.

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