The Tralee Bay Anglers Association report:

01/12/12: The venue for our last night competition was Rossbeigh Strand. As we all know Rossbeigh on its day can compete with any venue in Ireland and will show up on the favorites list of many anglers both local and foreign. The main species to be caught from Rossbeigh are Bass, Coalfish, Thornback Ray, Dogfish and Mr dependable the Flounder. The day was a reasonable one with it being overcast and around 4 degrees. The wind was non existent on the way to the venue with smoke rising vertically from chimneys along the route, but when the surf forecast gave 100% chance of rain and 9-11ft sea swells we knew we would have to be careful fishing the storm beach by night.

When we arrived at the venue it quickly became apparent that the forecast had misplaced the giant swell and a gentle rolling surf was all that greeted us. The Hope of a good night’s Bass fishing disappeared and was replaced with the thoughts of Coalies, Flounder and Dogfish. As darkness fell the headlights of the 13 anglers that made the journey sprang up along the shore and they could be made out busying themselves before the start of the match even through the slight mist that had started to fall. Sure enough six o’ clock arrived and all manner of rigs were sent skyward in the hopes of luring a few fish to the shoreline. With 45mins of the coming tide still to go we were perched along the high water mark waiting anxiously when a familiar bell rang out and had Anne Kelter keeping a closer eye than most on her line, 10 mins in and after another series of bells a 24cm Coalfish was marked present and correct on her scorecard. The fishing was not as hectic over high water as everybody had hoped specially Chris Nelms, The Welshman preparing no fewer than 6 rigs in anticipation of a rip-roaring start!! Philip O’Sullivans tactics seemed to be spot on as from the lower pegs he managed to measure 3 fish in quick succession which gave him a commanding lead. The slow start called for a few changes of tactics and Colm McDaid led the charge with a fat Dogfish that had him yearning for the days of weighed fish. Chris O’Sullivan managed an 18cm Rockling from the suds on peg 4 but overall fishing was slow with reports with only Aidan O’Sullivan managing a plump winter flounder from the high pegs. Fishing was tense with all anglers sensing that there would not be a lot of fish caught and that every fish would be very valuable in the hunt for the prizes and the much coveted master angler points. Juvenile angler Adam Doyle decided to go in search of the fish and flicked a cast shorter than the usual which produced an undersized rockling that not only saved the blank but drew jealous glances from David O’Sullivan who was finding it hard to locate the fish but was gathering seaweed in man sized batches with aplomb. His patience was rewarded shortly afterwards though when his Mackerel bait tempted a Dogfish from distance to push him up the leader board. A band of weed seemed to settle approx 50 yards out which was very thick and swamped any line that was left fall into it, this lead to a very frustrating time for the anglers from pegs 3-7 with large rafts being gathered on the retrieve. With over half the match elapsed Philip O’Sullivan led the charge with Colm 2nd and David O’Sullivan 3rd. Adam Doyle was head of the pack in the junior section but local lad Craig Corbett was always looking dangerous.

Rossbeigh Strand as darkness falls
Rossbeigh Strand as darkness falls

A 19cm Coalfish for Chris O’Sullivan was very welcome but reports that Aidan had found the flounder had another change of tactics on the cards his total rising to 3. Vince Tierney got himself in on the action with 3 quickfire flounder a Dogfish for Chris, a second for Colm and the fishing was hotting up! David O’Sullivan was fishing hard in an effort to overhaul the competition when a flash of Silver in another monstrous ball of weed had the heart racing…. yet again David had done what no other competitor has been able to do so consistently on Rossbeigh and landed a beautifully marked Sea Trout. Expletives followed and the Trout was released unharmed for David to catch another day. As time drew to an end a last salvo of Flounder was landed taking Aidan O’Sullivan to 5 fish and saving Phil Ord the blank.

In all the fishing did not live up to expectations with perfect conditions for dogfish only producing 4 in total. Honours on the night went to Colm McDaid (2 fish) 3rd Chris O’Sullivan (3 fish) 2nd and Aidan O’Sullivan (5 fish) 1st. The Juvenile crown went to Adam Doyle with Craig Corbett 2nd. Species caught included Coalfish, Rockling, Flounder and Bass. See you all at Inch next weekend fishing 3-7 don’t forget your headlight and warm clothes!!

Compliments of:

Tralee Bay Sea Angling Club