Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013 Pike Angling Competition - Views on the event

A Non Fisherman's View

A man once said to me that “You are not mad unless you show it”. This weekend shows that there were 123 of them at Doon Shore in Boyle.

I travelled down early on Saturday to be greeted by a bitter breeze coming in from the lake. My attire, being a non-fisherman was not suitable to the elements and within minutes I couldn’t feel my toes. This inclement weather, however did not deter these 123 hardy souls, who seemed quite content dressed up in their best fishing regalia.

Nothing much changes every year when I team up with the Boyle and District Angling Club. The silence of the dawn is always broken firstly by Eamon Conroy with his dulcet tones and then by John Keenahan, who seems to be the best man in the world at delegating work.  The wonderful Ann and team keep us warm with hot tea and breakfast rolls, whilst not doing my diabetes any good, taste magnificent. Jordan, as usual looks like he has been on a 10 day bender, but he assures me he was on the dry on Good Friday. I nod knowing that the little fella is lying.

Onto the fishing. Over 50 boats tackled the rough lake at 11AM. Fishing was slow on Day 1 but with some fine big fish being caught. Over the 2 days there were 45 fish weighed with 18 of them being over 10lbs. The average weight of the fish was over 9lbs, quite impressive, and the best average weight in the last 8 years. (I can’t go back more than that as we weren’t computerised before that).

The day drifted on with tales of rough seas and bitter wind. The way some people spoke I envisaged a Tsumnai on its way. It never materialised.

At the end of the day, 123 weary, tired and emotional fishermen and women trudged home for some well needed respite. Liam Conroy was one of those. Despite actually catching a fish this year, it didn’t take away from the fact that he was missing his little friend from last year, Stewart, who decided to get married this year and dump poor Liam. Part of me actually felt sorry for him. Part of me didn’t.

Day 2. All refreshed. I envisaged that numbers would be well down on Saturdays due to weather. How wrong I was. Out they came, mad as ever, and like a troop of Napolean’s best and went to war with the elements.

The chirpy Peter Noone was, as ever, full of Scouse wit and positivity. One or two others were not. You know who you are!!!!

The day passed without much incident despite the fact that Jordan left poor Ann to fend for herself as he either forgot to put his clock forward or went on the beer. From the state of the lad, it was the beer what brought him down. Ann, as ever took it in her stride and once again everyone was fed and nobody went hungry. Jordan, I think the P45 is coming!!!!
We finished at 5PM and once I had done the necessary on the computer, the winners were announced.
Juniors – Tomas McDermott with a fish weighing 15lbs 8oz
Ladies – Lucy Egan with a fish weighing 7lb 8oz
Club Member – Declan Conroy with a fish weighing 18lb 2oz

The main prizes were won as follows
3rd Place – Barry Darby – 18lbs 14oz
2nd Place – Marc O’Regan – 20lbs 6oz
1st Place and overall Winner – Michael Bannon from Ballyconnell with a fish weighing in at 23lbs 9oz
Many congratulations to all the winners and participants.
Once Billy Reid had presided over the presentations and had thanked the Sponsors and Participants, I packed up my little suitcase and shuffled off into the night with those same words coming to the fore of my brain “You are not mad unless you show it”. Never forget that!!!!

Kevin (I’m not afraid to put my name to this) Hickey  \m/ \m/

A Fisherman's View

A great competition, like the title its more like a festival and the atmosphere is very congenial with the Boyle anglers hosting this event the organisation is top notch. From the moment you arrive the 'quad boys' are after your boat and its in the water. Car parked,  gear ready on the boat and its off to register and breakfast. The marquee is set up and the rashers smell good, ok I will go for the full breakfast to keep me going till the stew is ready later ! Home made soda bread ? Who can resist with a cup of tea to wash it down. 
Right the boat is inspected, rules studied and the bait is hooked up time to go along with another 50 boats or so, the anticipation builds and the hooter sounds - we are off. The boats disperse quickly to our favourite spots where our imagination tells us the big one is waiting, soon to be disappointed as the expected take is not forthcoming. Shallow or deep ? unwind or downwind ? mouth of the river or the bays ? No lets try the Islands, now where is that deadbait the lure is not doing the business many variables.
Yes finally a take, first fish onboard , now where is the nearest weigh station ? Stag Island just a few minutes  away and the fish is weighed by the fisheries man and signed for, 13lb not big enough is the feeling but plenty of time yet. Still another day to go.
Sunday brings a colder and blustery day without any sun so first call is to see Ann, Doreen and Joyce in the marquee, extra rashers issued today due to the weather, looking challenging out there especially as there is a 23 lb fish on the leader board. Going to be a tough one today. Think we will go for those islands and hide round the back and hope the pike are thinking the same.
In for a bowl of warming stew and washed down with tea and home-made chocolate cake, slip a tenner in the charity box for the food - well worh it. Wonder if a couple of those baked spuds  down the waders will keep the nether parts warm ?
Out on the water we battle with white horses, well ok ponies then, its nice to see the safety boat out on patrol just in case that spark plug plays up again.
All too soon the competition is over and sadly I am not called to the podium to collect a prize but there is always next year and I hear Easter is later so will look for a new pair of shorts in anticipation for I will surely return, God willing, to the fishing.

Mark Tracey - Rush Fishing Club

Committee Members View
Phew ! Another successful competition completed. I understand it has been running for some 21 years now way before my time in the club and what an exciting but exhausting time it is for us.

We would like to thank firstly all the brave anglers who supported our competition this year given the  difficult weather conditions we are experiencing. Three degrees and a stiff south  easterly  are not ideal but fair play to you all for turning out in good spirits and uplifting the event and us the organisers. Whats a bit of bad weather for such hardy determined souls as you surely are. Many thanks to you, the colour you add to the festival is vibrant.

The hard working committee would like thank all our sponsors who unfailingly give their support in such a generous way, its good to see such support from local businesses in these tough recessionary times. Without this support we would not be able to sustain this event.

Thanks to the Fisheries Board volunteers who gave up their Easter weekend to be whisked of to a remote uninhabited (the goats have gone) island to weigh and ensure the safety and welfare of the fish. It was difficult for them to keep warm but the fallen wood was soon collected and heat ensued. 

New this year was home made soda bread and cakes, sadly its only crumbs and the memory of rocky roads, lemon drizzles and chocolate marbles left. Special thanks to Martina Scanlon and Beth Eagan to their efforts in the kitchen and undoubted baking skills . No greater praise can we heap upon the ladies who kept us fed and topped up with lovely warming food, tea and coffees over the competition, to you Ann, Doreen and Joyce many many thanks and please join us again next year. Finally to the tireless Jane without whom us lads would not stand a chance, multitasking is what she excels at and we all thank you from all us (mono minded) fishermen.

Billy Reid, Derrick Winter and John Gallagher (Chair.Vice Chair and Treasurer) 
Boyle and District Angling Club.

See you all again next year.........   



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