The Irish boat ‘Screaming Reels’ has won the Rosslare Small Boats festival for the fourth year in a row. In the best competition seen in many years, the boat from Rosie’s sea angling club in Cork have created a new record for the competition with 32 different species of fish caught beating 35 other boats from Britain and Ireland. This is a new record for the festival and ‘Screaming Reels’ have raised the bar yet again in the small boat fishing scene in Ireland and Britain, making it one of the best small boat fishing competitions in Europe.

Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Failte Ireland, DAIWA Sports UK, Lowrance and Sea Angler magazine, the event, now in its 29th year attracted more than 110 anglers from the Isle of Wight, Southport, Liverpool, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. For the first time in many years persistent high pressure over Ireland meant that competitors were blessed with sunshine and very light winds resulting in flat calm seas. This gave them a great chance as they could launch their boats from Kilmore Quay every day enabling them to target all species. There were seven new boats to the competition from Wales, Cornwall and Scotland which is a great increase especially during challenging economic times.

Eddie Butler from Kilkenny with a specimen black bream of 1.00 kgEddie Butler from Kilkenny with a specimen black bream of 1.00 kg

The competition was fierce with boats recording up to 18 species on the first day and 16 on the days thereafter.  With Mediteranean like weather conditions continuing all week and a very tight leader board the finale of the competition was very exciting with 41 different types of fish species recorded. The overall results demonstrated this with first place going to ‘Screaming Reels’ (Martyn Rayner, Seirt Shults, Neville Murphy from Rosie’s Sea Angling Club in Cork) with 32 species for 26.10 kilos. They were followed closely in second place by ‘Sea Witch’ (Rob Shefford, G. Prothergoe and Paul O’Connor) from Penally in Wales with 29 species for 15.60 kilos. In third place was ‘Nirvana’ (Richie Stead and Keith Pemberton) from the Wirral boat angling club with 28 species for 18.35 kilos.

Of the 41 species a number of streaked gurnard were caught making it a new species for the competition. Other unusual fish caught were tadpole fish, black goby, black bream and painted ray. The huge variety of species caught demonstrates the quality of the fishing in Wexford and indeed the very high standard of the competitors. There were 5 specimen fish caught during the week (4 in the competition). A specimen red mullet, close to the Irish record weighing 0.80kgs was caught by Phil Dawson on board the boat ‘Seeker’ from Liverpool which won him specimen of the week. Other specimen fish included a Ballan Wrasse of 2.3kg caught by David Jones from Wales, a Black Bream of 1 kilo caught by Eddie Butler from Kilkenny and a Cuckoo Wrasse of 0.56 kilos by Bert Williams from the Wirral in England. A Pollack weighing 5.5 kg was caught by Gavin Parker. (All specimen fish have to be verified by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee). The heaviest round fish was a conger of 8.65 kg caught by Keith Gray from Liverpool on board the boat ‘Seeker’ and he was also awarded a perpetual trophy sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland for the biggest fish caught of the week. The heaviest flat fish was a turbot of 0.70kilos caught by Richie Stead from ‘Nirvana’. James Cherry aged 16, from Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath aboard the Irish boat ‘Fin Chaser’, won the best juvenile of the competition who had 18 species for 18.20 kilos.

 1st place prizewinners of the Rosslare small boats festival1st place prizewinners of the Rosslare small boats festival:
Top row – Left to right: Ralph Barclay, Brian Beckett (Director, Inland Fisheries Ireland), Josie Mahon (Inland Fisheries Ireland) , John Belger (UK organiser)
Bottom row – left to right: Neville Murphy, Martyn Rayner and Seirt Shults

Redmond’s The Bay’ in Rosslare Strand hosted the prizegiving ceremony which was a great success, the hospitality of John Redmond and his staff were outstanding. Other sponsors included Wigeon’s Rest Tackle shop in Rosslare Strand, Shamrock Tackle, Kilmore Quay Harbour office. Over €1,000 was raised for the Oncology Unit at Wexford General Hospital and a presentation was made to them on behalf of the festival. The total prize fund for the competition was €12,000 including fishing equipment and substantial monetary prizes and engraved trophies. The prizes were presented by Brian Beckett, Director, Inland Fisheries Ireland who congratulated all competitors and thanked them for visiting Wexford, for the invaluable contribution to the Irish economy that they make which is estimated to be in the region of €100,000.

Next year’s event will take place from the 5th – 12st September 2015. Inland Fisheries Ireland would like to invite all small boat anglers to take part.

Further information is available from Ms. Josie Mahon, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Tel: 01 8842 600 or email: [email protected] or John Belger, 98 Dunbar Road, Southport PR8 4RL, UK. Phone: 00441704566195 or email: [email protected].


Notes to Editor

Contacts: Ms. Josie Mahon, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Tel: 01 8842 600 or email: [email protected]

About Inland Fisheries Ireland: Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. IFI aims to promote, support, facilitate and advise the Minister on, the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling and develop and advise the Minister on policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling

See Rosslare Small Boats Festival page ‘here’