Martin McGowan of Ullcatch takes us through the very successful 2016 Winter Shore festival whcih was held in Wexford:
Just a quick take on the 3 days from my side, again it was a very well organized event, credit to all the organizers, have to give credit where credits due!
A big well done to Harry McKee Jnr becoming the 2016 champion. Great result and well done to all the anglers who received prizes, and to the main sponsor Tronix, again well done.
What a few days and what a turn out, one of the biggest in a longtime.
All really kicked off on Wednesday at the HQ in Sean Ogs www.seanogs.ie in Kilmuckridge Co Wexford.
When anglers started to arrive and thank fully too I’m sure, with the weather putting a lot of sailings from the UK in doubt, but all arrived safe and sound.
Unpacking began and the gartering in the bar commenced, and talks where on the way about rigs and weather and what has happened over the last while since meeting last.
The check-in officially opened at 8:30am. The peg draw got underway, and lots of goodies been handed out to anglers, which I have to say myself a very nice touch. Considering the challenges all the contestants were facing with the blow that was outside there was a great atmosphere going on. So I had my pegs and set for the next 3 days, so of to Ballinaulart we all went.
I was peg 8 with John Sheehan to my left and Harry Mc Kee Jnr to my right. Got the shelter up in good time, without it taking of across the sky’s like Mary Popping’s. Not long after setting up camp for the next 5 hours, the wind picked up and the sandstorm began. The beach fished peggy enough from reports after the competition, some of the big names finding it hard to find fish. Have to say was a pleasure to fish next to Harry (Overall winner 2016) for the 5 hours, and watch and learn too!
Day 2 peg 60 which was great, only had a 5 min walk to my peg, with Alan Mulcahy to my left and Keith Stafford pegged on my right, had my work cut out to keep up with these guys. Happy to say Alan went on a won our zone with 35 fish, great going indeed.
Day 3 peg 77 again had a handy walk to the peg and focus was to get something form today, and the venue was Ballinesker, Quite a bit of weed around and made life hard for many anglers. I managed 5 fish to count quite a few small fish around also.
Overall round up it was a fantastic 3 days, well worth the drive and all the bait digging, and rig making all part of these competitions. The final day was finished off with a gala dinner and the prize given, I was delight to get in amongst the zone prizes, and a few euros back in the pocket great!.
The quality of anglers this year was just amazing, with many World Champions taking part to be honest was great to fish alongside, not only that, to get great feedback on my Ullcatch Bait Weaver was really appreciated. Thanks guys!
Congratulations to all the competitors! It was a hard fought few days, and again congratulations to Harry Mc Kee Jnr
Also not to forget a great free raffle off between all the anglers at the end of the night, where some nice prizes did not make it home I’m sure, wink wink!
The European Federation of Sea Anglers (Ireland) is a superb run Federation:
This year it will host both the European Boat & Line Championships in September 2016 in Cobh, and the European Shore Angling Championships 2016 11th to 14th May with its HQ been Sean Ogs once again.