Tralee Bay SAC report:

One of the most eagerly awaited competitions on the club calendar is our Christmas competition. Traditionally it is a two part competition with the first half being contested on Fenit’s famous pier between the anglers and the second being contested in the Greyhound bar among Aidan’s legendary hospitality, family and friends.

Not enough can be said about the long relationship between Tralee Bay SAC and The Greyhound Bar. Aidan is always there with a welcoming smile and a kiss for the ladies and one thing is for sure you will always be made welcome when you cross the threshold of The Greyhound.

The forecast for the pier was for a stiff westerly wind gusting from force 3-5. Heavy showers were also forecast which meant all the anglers were well wrapped up against the elements before the off. A full house of 35 anglers lined the pier in anticipation of a hectic competition. The extreme low tide at the start of the competition signalled a slow start for the anglers which I’m glad to say contained the largest amount of juvenile anglers this year.

Tralee Bay SAC - Christmas Competition winner
Tralee Bay SAC - Christmas Competition winner

Two o’ clock rang clear and lines were cast both towards the lighthouse and into the bay depending on where anglers decided the advantage – and more importantly the fish – lay. Alas, a lot of casts were retrieved bare which suggested the crabs were eating out tonight. Luke M O’Sullivan landed a double shot of Hermit crab which were rapidly peeled and returned in search of a Bass. Chris O’Sullivan was seen anxiously eyeing his rod tip as reports filtered through that Mr Adam Doyle had landed an under size Dab to take the lead in the Junior section. Patience paid off for Chris and a plump winter Flounder of 37 cm was swung onto the Pier.

While all anglers young and old were slogging it out in search of The fish the arrival of Master Angler elect Aidan O’Sullivan – a full 45 minutes late – was greeted with gentle ribbing especially considering that he himself had sent the reminder text to all the members about the 2 pm start. The late start did him no apparent harm and a 24 cm Coal fish got him started, rapidly followed by two of the finest Dab seen on the Pier this year at 31 and 28 cm. Colm McDaid on the hotspot peg 35 had found the Rocking and set about filling his card.

As the competition moved on all anglers looked forward to the Darkness and hopefully the fish it would bring on the feed. It didn’t disappoint and the majority of the 77 fish caught were landed during the hour of darkness. Allen Griffin Jr continued his fine run of form on the pier to surge ahead with Adam Doyle finding some sizeable fish to stay on his coat tails. Indeed as the darkness took over it became increasingly hard to decipher between actual fish and fisher man’s tales being spread in equal number along the Pier.

Again it seemed as though the low and high numbers on the pier would yield a winner. Although the low numbers seemed shrouded in secrecy as very little information of any validity filtered down. Sean Fitzgerald, Conor Dwyer and Jack Lacy had all put fish on their cards. Richie Kelter used his many years of experience to pull out one of the smallest fish of the day at 10 cm. It was great to have the pier full again and the banter more than made up for the lack of action.

It is reported that a little dance accompanied David O’Sullivan’s first fish of the evening and at 19 cm the rocking was most welcome. Meanwhile our chairman (sporting some questionable attire) was as he put it “giving us all a chance” and blanking which was most unusual considering he was in the hotspot. Luke’s perseverance paid off when his Flounder walk produced a Goalie of 22 cm swiftly followed by Mom Deirdre taking a fat Rocking of 23 cm to add to her earlier one. As the competition drew to a close the fishing became frantic. John Sheehan landed a flurry of whiting as did Allen Griffin Sr. but Pier specialist Anne Keller was waiting in the long grass. Expertly, she landed Rocking, Dab, Coal fish and Whiting throughout the Day and in such a covert manner that only those in close proximity knew the winner was among them. As 6 o’ Clock drew near mother nature reminded us who was Boss by throwing some serious wind and rain combos in our direction. Colm collected the cards gear was stowed wet gear removed and the fishing was over for another year! The Greyhound beckoned……

With clothes changed and the anglers dried off we were made welcome to The Greyhound by Aidan and his excellent staff. Chips and treats were happily received and devoured by the hungry anglers. When Colm had finished the results with the aid of David we were ready for the prizes. Thankfully Eugene had discarded his teletext suit and was ready for action, while Aidan took time off from the busy bar to present the prizes. First up was the Junior section. Once again the perseverance of the juniors was outstanding with all making it to the final whistle even with the deteriorating conditions meant some seniors ran for cover early. We won’t name them here though but only because it’s Christmas!

In third place was local lad Harry Vieux, second place went to a real up and coming angler and last week’s winner Adam Doyle. The winner on the day was pier pro Allen Griffin Jar. His haul of six fish put many of the seniors to shame once again. In the senior category Allen Griffin Sr thanks to a storming finish got third, Colm McDaid and his ten Rocking came second and not for the first time on the pier Anne Kelter ran away with first place! Anne’s achievement was all the more memorable when it was revealed that she had spent much of the week in bed with a bad case of flu and had only risen to thrash the rest of the competition before returning to her sick bed!

All that was left were the pools…. Aidan O’Sullivan with a Dab of 31 cm was second in the flat fish pool together with Chris O’Sullivan. Getting top spot with a Flounder of 37 cm. Jack Lacy was 2nd in the round fish pool with a Coal fish of 26 cm while top rod Anne Kelter added to her haul with the best round fish, A 27 cm Coalfish. Once again thanks to Aidan O Connor, Rose and Flash from The Greyhound Bar for the care they took of the hungry, thirsty anglers.

With the competitions over for the year we would like to offer a happy Christmas and a prosperous new year to all our members, friends and sponsors!

Compliments of:

Tralee Bay Sea Angling Club