Agents being contacted, tapping up, Facebook wild with rumour, this wasn’t the football’s transfer deadline day, it was the horse trading being done for the East Coast Raiders SAC 3 Man Team Open on 31 August.

For the past month or so, anglers have been contacting one another to try make up the strongest team possible in an attempt to secure one of the Cash Prizes on offer in the popular annual event. On the day, 13 teams of three turned up to fish the popular match venues of Kilgorman & Courtown. The format is simple, the team is split across venues – one team member in each of the three zones, 20 points for a win, 19 for second and so on. Finally, the combined team score counts toward the overall prizes.

Clive Ivory (left) (Secretary East Coast Raiders SAC) presenting Paddy Barnwell with the winning teams prize
Clive Ivory (left) (Secretary East Coast Raiders SAC) presenting Paddy Barnwell with the winning teams prize

The fishing was difficult on both Kilgorman (Zone A & B) and Courtown (Zone C). Bright sunshine, flat calm, clear seas and a small tide all conspired to make this a challenge, but match anglers are a resourceful bunch, and with refined tackle, flatfish & gurnards began to be landed along both stretches in daylight to a variety of baits. This “light” approach however did have one casualty, with John Kane losing a fine bass on his first cast in Courtown when his size 6 hook was straightened by a powerful fish!

As usual in competition fishing, Chinese whispers began along the beaches telling anglers who was catching. Clive Ivory was setting the early pace in Zone A with a treble of counting flatfish on his first cast. John Murphy was the pace setter in Zone B, with a flurry of early flounders & the word from Courtown was it was extremely slow with only a few fish being landed in daylight. Match anglers are generally optimists in nature and the hope was for a flurry of fish to come on the feed in Darkness, particularly the smooth hounds, (which score very highly due to their length) could put an angler right back in the hunt if landing a couple.

Unfortunately the invasion of mini sharks didn’t materialise – but a biblical shoal of whiting did turn up savaging anything edible in its path, but unfortunately very few of them were above the 18cm minimum size limit. A few wily anglers did increase their hooks & bait size to avoid the smaller whiting, and they were well rewarded for their efforts with some high scoring dogfish that changed the positions massively over the last hour of the competition.

The winning team, of Paddy Barnwell, Conor Walsh & Joe Duggan had a brilliant score of 58 points, with Paddy winning his zone, Conor & Joe both being runners-up in theirs. Conor was a very capable last minute replacement for James Ryan who picked up a sporting injury on the morning of the competition, very much a case of salt to the wound!

The competition had also been registered with Sea Angler Magazine to qualify for very prestigious Penn Points, so all zone winners will get their points allocated in due course.

The overall result for individuals & teams is below. A big thank you must go to our Sponsors – Southside Angling & Dublin Angling, who were most generous in their sponsorship of prizes.

Overall Teams:

  • 1st – Paddy Barnwell, Conor Walsh & Joe Duggan
  • 2nd – JP Molloy, Alan Mulcahy & Paul Coady
  • 3rd – Paul Heffernan, Karl Whelan & Ronnie McWilliams

Zone A Individuals:

  • 1st – John Hughes
  • 2nd – Joe Duggan
  • 3rd – Joe Canning

Zone B Individuals:

  • 1st – Paddy Barnwell
  • 2nd – Ian Daly
  • 3rd – John Murphy

Zone C Individuals:

  • 1st – Ronnie McWilliams
  • 2nd – Conor Walsh
  • 3rd – Stephen Glynn