To mark International Women’s Day, Inland Fisheries Ireland is celebrating some of Ireland’s well known women anglers. Here Sue Tait, Sea Angler, tells us about her fishing journey.

Sue, from York in the UK, lives six months of the year in Ireland where she is based in Lower Aghada near Whitegate in Cork. She is the holder of two Irish records and has caught eight specimen fish in total.

Sue Tait with her specimen pollack

“My husband, Tony, always fished. He went on fishing trips with his brothers off the Yorkshire Coast but with two young children and our own business to run I never had an opportunity to go.

Then on a family holiday to Scotland in the early 90’s, we hired a small boat to go fishing. I remember asking Tony how I would know if I caught one? A strange shaking on the rod and that was my first fish. I can’t remember what it was…

After that, Tony bought a boat and when my parents could look after the children, we would go for a weekend away fishing, usually to Whitby in North Yorkshire. In 1996, we came over to Ireland and fished the Cork Small Boats Festival. It was our first time in Ireland and we fell in love with the area and the people.

The fishing in Cork Harbour and outside the harbour was amazing to us, the variety and amount of fish around was staggering. We caught Rays, Gurnards, Plaice, Dogfish, Cuckoo and Ballan wrasse, Garfish and many more species.

We started to come across every year to fish the competition and then for the summer holidays with the children. We went to Trabolgan and as they were teenagers at that stage, we could go off and do some fishing. We joined the local fishing club, Rosie’s Sea Angling Club, and began fishing many competitions with the club. Eventually we moved to Ireland and I now spilt my time between here and the UK.

In July 2008, I broke the Irish record for a Blue Mouth and in total I have caught eight specimen fish. The red mullet record which I broke in the summer of 2010 always stands out as my husband Tony had broken the record in the July in Kilmore but then we went back down to fish the Rosslare Small Boats Festival and I actually got a bigger one! It didn’t go down very well!

I enjoy tying rigs and trying to work out what’s going to catch them and what’s not going to work. When we fish competitions, it’s usually in a competition where you need to catch one of every species so you have to change your gear all the time. If you get a good day and the weather is calm, you can’t beat being out on the boat, just chilling and relaxing. But when it’s rough, it’s a bit more challenging!

I would like to see more women take up fishing. I think women are generally the main childminders while men tend to have their hobbies. So when children are young, women tend to not be able to go fishing unless the children are really into it.

I would say to anyone considering fishing to give it a go. Try to find somebody who has their own boat who can bring you out and just try it.”

Favourite Fishing Destination: Cork Harbour followed by Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry.