The Tralee Bay Anglers Association report:

25/11/2012: The night before the re-scheduled Bolger Fabrication sponsored competition the mercury hit minus 2 degrees. It pretty much stayed at that figure until the 26 participants in this much anticipated competition met up in the clubhouse on Fenit Pier to book-in. It was only then that weak autumn sunshine took a small bit of chill off the air.

Alas, the sun came too late for the intrepid anglers who got up early on Sunday morning to dig their bait. Thankfully the rain which had been forecast made no appearance and a slight North-Easterly breeze was all the anglers had to contend with – though the temperature dropped off again with the onset of darkness.

Fenit Pier on a cold November evening
Fenit Pier on a cold November evening

Fenit pier is a fickle venue which can fish as well as anywhere in Ireland on a good day and on others it can be a miserable spot which reluctantly gives up the fish swimming below the viaduct. From the outset it was clear that today was to be one of those better days. It was clear also that there would be a lot of small fish landed on this occasion with Dab, Whiting, Flounder and Coalfish all being swung ashore in the first 15mins. Lugworm tipped with Mackerel seemed to be doing the damage with Allen Griffin Jnr showing a lot of seniors the way with a number of double shots of Whiting and Coalfish. Ciara Sheehan making her competitive debut on the pier raced into the lead with a quick flurry of Dab and Whiting to leave her Dad scratching his head as to why he couldn’t locate the feeding fish.

As the competition progressed it became clear that the low and high peg numbers were the ones that seemed to be in contact with the bigger fish and the better numbers. The middle numbers seemed to have a lot of small fish attacking the bait but were finding it hard to hook up. A clear pattern emerged and a small group broke away from the main pack. Aidan O’Sullivan,Vincent Tierney, Pa Egan, Chris O’Sullivan, Colm McDaid, Allen Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan clearly had the measure of the Pier with all catching steadily which was sure to make for a tense finish as darkness fell. Sure enough the quotas of undersize fish filled up fast as the darkness brought the small fish on the feed with a lot of small Pouting showed up. Luke O’Sullivan managed to pull out two counters of 22 and 20cm respectively to force his way to the head of the pack. With under an hour to go John Sheehan (formerly John the Blank after recent displays) stepped out of his daughter’s shadow to finally find the fish on the first peg. As soon as he did the card started to fill rapidly, Whiting to 34cm Dab to 26cm helped John on his march up the leader board at an exceptional pace.

The Battle for the Junior title became a battle for 2nd and 3rd as Allen Griffin Jnr continued the hot streak which left Craig Corbett and Adam Doyle in his wake. The fishing came right down to the wire but in the end 18 fish were good enough for Pa Egan to claim 3rd, 21fish for Luke O’Sullivan who took 2nd spot and an exceptional last hour display was good enough to land 22 fish and land himself the Bolger Fabrication Cup for John Sheehan.

The junior places also changed hands a number of times before Adam Doyle finally managed 3rd place from an unfavourable peg while Craig Corbett took 2nd and Allen Griffin jnr won 1st prize convincingly. After the competition the partially frozen anglers retired to the wonderful West End where a roaring fire welcomed us and many rear ends were warmed by the fireside. As the scores were totted up Brian’s stock really soared when the hot food appeared and disappeared just as quickly – indeed it was noted that it was the quietest some anglers have ever been. The pools, under their new format ended up with Allen Griffin Snr 2nd in the flatfish pool with a Flounder of 27cm and Pa Egan 1st with a 32cm Flounder. The round fish pool saw Chris O’Sullivan get 2nd with a fine 31cm Whiting and John Sheehan cap off a memorable night with an impressive Whiting of 34cm. In total the 26 competitors landed and released 258 fish – it really had been one of Fenit’s better days.

A massive thanks goes out to Bolger Fabrication for their annual sponsorship and to Brian O’Keefe and the staff of the West End for their warm welcome, generosity and hospitality. Don’t forget to support our sponsors wherever possible!! Next competition is on Rossbeigh Strand from 1800-2200 Saturday Night 1-12-12 check in from 1630-1730 Make sure the headlights are packed as it will be dark for the entire competition.

Compliments of:

Tralee Bay Sea Angling Club