The Connacht Closed Shore Gold Medal competition was held over the weekend, based in the Killala area and hosted by Killala Boat Club. This competition was a 2-day format, with 3 sessions held over Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday morning competitors assembled bright and early at Enniscrone to be greeted by a big surf, with thankfully no sign of weed. The big surf resulted in a huge surge, which made fishing difficult, competitors having to wade out and cast long distance, trying to make it back ashore before the next big surge came in. Several anglers were caught out, with tackle boxes washed up the beach and tripods knocked over, but everyone  quickly learned how to cope!

The morning session ended with Mike Curtin and Yanto Jones both on 20 points with wins in their respective zones. Mike had 8 fish for 275 points, while Yanto had 9 fish for 171 points. Stephen O’Sullivan and Fiachra McKenna made up the places in Zone A, while Shane Gilvarry and Josie Barrett were 2nd and 3rd in Zone B.

The evening session was due to be fished in Killala, but due to heavy weed was moved back to Enniscrone. Fishing was good the first 2 hours as the tide dropped from high, but as the beach flattened on the lower part of the tide it died off a bit as darkness fell. Mike Varley took the 20 points in Zone A, with 8 fish for 207 points, followed by Ed Kilroy and Shane Gilvarry, while Fiachra McKenna took top honours in Zone B, also with 8 fish for 207 points. He was followed by Brian Reidy and Frank Rixon.

The third leg on Sunday morning was fished on Lacken beach, with a much smaller surf than Enniscrone, and only the odd bit of weed to contend with. Fishing was very good, with great numbers of fish recorded by some anglers.

Zone A was won by Mike Curtin, with an incredible 19 fish for 419 points. Shane Gilvarry took 2nd, with 17 fish for 375 points, and Jamie Devers was 3rd, with 10 fish for 322 points. Owen Gilvarry was top rod in Zone B, with 9 fish for 220 points, followed by Stephen O’Sullivan with 8 fish for 183 points, and Peter Atkins with 9 fish for 181 points.

All assembled back in Gilvarry’s pub in Killala to hear the results, and to great acclaim Shane Gilvarry from Newport SAC was declared the winner of the Gold Medal for 2012, with a total of 86 points, and he was presented with the Ray Toner Memorial Cup. The other 4 qualifiers for the 2013 Connacht Inter-Provincial Team were Mike Curtin (Galway Bay SAC) on 50 points, Fiachra McKenna (Corrane SAC) also on 50 points, Owen Gilvarry (Killala BC) on 44 points, and Peter Atkins (Galway Bay SAC) also on 44 points. The longest fish was caught by Kevin Crowley (Galway Bay), a flounder of 37cm.


The next outing for Connacht anglers (and open to all provinces) is the Connacht Open Shore Gold Medal, to be held on Enniscrone on Sunday October 14th from 10am-3pm. Check-in is from 8.30am. This competition is pre-entry only, details available from Peter Atkins at [email protected]