Around 60+ anglers turned up to sign in at Sean Ógs in Klmuckridge, Co. Wexford for the start of the 25th Irish Winter Shore Angling Festival which got under way this morning. Although overcast and grey the conditions at Ballinoulart in Co. Wexford could only be described as near perfect for the time of year. Although cold, it wasn’t freezing but yet nippy enough to bring a tear to the eye when facing into the light southerly breeze, a milky hue to the water, not a heavy run on the tide and little or no dirt and weed in suspension.

The Idyllic Angling Location at Ballinoulart Beach, Co Wexford Today

Fishing was to take place from 12 noon until 5pm and with the “all in” called at twelve a number of anglers got off to a flying start. However, it did not take long for the fishing to settle into a pattern and anglers soon realised that there was a tough day ahead. Michael Quinn has a nice 36cm flounder early on and Sean Ivory had five fish to 25cm in quick succession. Richard Burrow from Manchester in the UK also had flounder to 25cm. Early on Martin Howlin had five fish but only one of them was a counter. Kevin Lewis from Dundee in Scotland who was fishing the event for the second time had a number of flounder between 18 and 24cm. Up near the northern end pegs Dave Roe had 2 fish when Martin Howlin landed a nice 34 cm flounder. Dublin angler Tony Minto from Blanchardstown had two nice flounder of 31 and 34cm on lug and maddies. Anglers achieving success were constantly changing tactics, fishing short, then long with regular bait changes and timing changes. Billy Buckley from Glasgow had 4 fish to 28cms early on including a double. Paul Heffenan from Loughlinstown had 6 fish early on two of which were keepers and then had a double at 2.15pm. Joe Byrne was up to 4 fish by 2.30pm. Dave Luvlock from Wiltshire in the UK who has fished 22 out of the 25 festivals had 4 fish at 2.30 ranging from 18 to 24cms.

The Beach Today at Balinoulart lined with Anglers

At the half way mark 2.30pm with half of the field covered Karl Whelan from Ballybrack in Dublin had five fish to 22cm with 4 undersized fish as well. The angler at the next peg was also on 5 fish. It was obvious that a real battle was on the cards and it was still could be anyone’s day. No round fish had been encountered yet and the only species being taken was flounder. By this stage the wind had picked up and conditions grew progressively worse. The sea became heavier and the run on the tide grew stronger. The dreaded weed started to appear which made fishing even more difficult. Force 2 southerly had now grown to a 3 or a 4. By 2.45 Gordon Thorns had 3 fish and had also had a number of undersized fish as well. At 2.50pm John O’Connor from Wales had just landed his first fish. Richard Yates from the UK had 4 fish to 28cm by 2.55pm. Joe Gough from Blanchardstown in Dublin had a nice flounder to 28cm. By 3.05 John Watchorn from Wexford and Bannow Bay Sea Anglers had 6 fish to 27cm. Now well into the second half of the day JP Mulloy from Clonakilty had 7 fish to 26cm. Chris Clark from the New Forest in the UK had 8 fish to 24cm at 3.30pm with an hour and a half to go on Day 1. Paul Tyndall from Bray had recorded 11 fish to 24cm at peg D5, but had actually caught around 25 fish at 3.33pm. It was first time at the event for Jerry Knight from Eastbourne in the UK who was also doing well with 8 fish to 29cm. Kevin Barber had 6 fish to 22cms and Eugene Andrews from Newry had 2 flounder to 25cms and a sea trout of about 3lbs. It was now 4pm and local angler Clive Ivory from Gorey had 6 fish to 25cm and on the end peg Roy Shipway from the UK had 7 fish to 27cms. It looked like it was all to play for going into the last hour and anticipation was high that a few round fish would be taken as the light faded.

Josie Mahon IFI with Martin Howlin and a Nice 34cm Flounder Today at Ballinoulart

With the “all out” called at 5pm it was back to Sean Ógs t sort out the placing’s for Day 1.

Results from Day 1 are as follows

Best long round fish went to Billy Buckley from Scotland with a 39cm coalfish. Longest flatfish was taken by Michael Quinn with a 36cm flounder.

Zone winners were Kevin Lewis from Scotland with 15 fish 396pts, Chris Clark, England, 14 fish 360pts, Leigh Chapman, England, 9 fish 236pts and Peadar Taite, Ireland, 8 fish 212pts.

Pools, 36cm flounder Michael Quinn, 39 cm coalie Billy Buckley,

Teams 4 Man Leader: Peadar Taite, Ian Knight, Jack Keegan, Paul Tyndall.

Pairs Leader: Leigh Chapman and Chris Clark.

Individual: Decending order, Kevin Lewis, Chris Clark, Leigh Chapman, Peadar Taite and Paul Tyndall

A Nice Double for this Angler at Ballnoulart Today
A Section of Anglers Lining Up in Sean Ogs in Kilmuckridge To Regster for Todays Event
More Success at Ballinoulart Today