From Rosslare to Cork, Martyn Rayner of Boat Angling Ireland heads to the a second Small Boats competition and reports:

Thankfully we had an uneventful trip down to cork, and by the time we had settled in to our new digs for the week it was time to go to the competition briefing. Some new minimum sizes for the micros were announced along with thornback rays being added to the catch and verify list. We had a feeling the micros, would make this a close event.
In complete opposite to Rosslare, the weeks weather looked wonderful, with the only difficult decision to be made as to which day to have as a day off !! Having said that, we did get a restriction on day one due to a large swell and big tides making it a little lumpy !
So day one , this saw us make a decision to stay in the harbour to pick up the harbour species, as we have found in the past, this comp is won and lost on the harbour species. So we set off full of hope, but disaster, not sure if it was a hangover from the previous week, but nothing went right for us, and we ended up having a very frustrating day picking up only six species and ending up 2nd from last on day one !!! A reality check or what.
A post mortem was carried out, and when day two started we decided to take a risk and continue to go for harbour species even though it was a lovely day and unrestricted. Again we had a frustrating day, and only added 7 more species, though we did have a couple of tough ones in the bag, but at the end of the day we were 10 species behind the leaders Skua sitting on 24 !! A small mountain to climb, but we were confident that we could catch up as we had not ventured offshore.

Nevin with Bass
Nevin with Bass

Day three dawned another calm day, though rather foggy, and we headed offshore. Cut a long story short we had a cracking day and picked up 19 species adding 14 to our total, putting us in second place on 28 and Skua on 29, all to play for on the last day.
Now as I have mentioned before, the last day can throw up some surprises and this one was no exception, we had a target to get 2 or 3 species, which we thought might be enough to win, we managed 2 and ended up on 30 species, With Skua still needing a conger and a flounder on the last day we feared the worse that 2 would not be good enough.
At the weigh-in it became apparent that Jim had only added one, and another boat had added five, so three boats were sitting on 30 species, we watched the weigh –in with intensity, as firstly Beastmaster just fell short on weight, one down one to go, lastly to the scales came Skua with a conger, eel, and we had worked out that it had to be more than 7.65kg to win, Incredibly it was 7.60kg and it was apparent we had won by the narrowest of margins 0.05kg !!!! What a finish , and we were elated, as we had completed the Double Double !!!
It was a close finish with 6 boats in contention to the end, we have lost on many occasions due to low weight, so we know how Team Skua and Beastmaster must feel, the prize giving was held that night in Trabolgan, and celebrations carried late into the night .
Thanks to Jim for running the weeks competition, never easy when competing , the sponsors, plus thanks to all the unsung heroes, doing the weigh –in , scores ( available within an hour of weigh –in finishing, fantastic), retrieving of boats etc, a competition cannot run without that help.
Sorry not many pictures this year, was rather busy for most of it trying to keep one hand on the rod and one for balance !!

Read Martyn’s Rosslare adventure ‘Here’

Report courtesy of