Stefan Martin reports for the Killybegs Mariners who fished their most recent competition last Friday…

Mariners SAC – Summer league (2nd leg)

Rossnowlagh was the venue for the second outing of the short 4-leg Summer league and, as fishing is generally a bit quieter in the summer months, it was to everyone’s surprise that huge numbers of fish were on the take from the first cast at 8pm.

The strong westerly breeze and driving rain of the first two hours of the session went almost unnoticed by the 15 anglers because the fish were so plentiful with flounders from 18 to 38cm, small turbot and weavers coming in on the double and triple.

38cm flounder for Johnny
38cm flounder for Johnny

It didn’t seem to matter what baits were being used – mackerel, fresh lug, black wrap, sandeel and squid were all scoring equally well and everyone had a decent count of fish by the halfway mark – with four anglers also lucky enough to land a sea trout each around this twilight time.

With the wind and rain abating and darkness falling at low tide at 10.30, the feeding frenzy seemed to grind to a halt and fishing got quiet, with just the occasional flounder, small coalies and a single dogfish coming ashore.

Sandhouse at night
Sandhouse at night

But as midnight arrived in a now calm and clear night under the floodlights of the Sandhouse Hotel, the last night in July will certainly be remembered as being one of the top fishing nights of the year with the 15 anglers recording an amazing 162 fish (all released) of eight different species.

And, after all of those fish, the final calculation results showed a very close points talley with Brian Smith taking first with a massive 490 pts from 21 fish, followed by Johnny Byrne on 473 and Daragh McGuinness (who also won longest flattie with a flounder of 36cm) on 470pts.

These results mean that at the halfway point of the Summer League, overall Brian Smith has taken the lead in the league with a slender 1.5pts over John Cunningham and, with each angler having to only count their best three outings out of the four outings, the next two sessions should throw up some interesting scores.

Callum with this huge ballan wrasse of 52cm
In the last couple of days there has been some good wrasse fishing from the rocks.

04 August: What a great catch for young Callum with this huge ballan wrasse of 52cm which would be around 5.5lb weight. Irish specimen fish committee now accept measurements on the mat and specimen length is 48cm and the fish was well over that. A fish of a lifetime and a young angler hooked for life. Great stuff and lovely to see. He has a great teacher in his uncle showing him the ropes who is also keen with the fishing.

Next outing

Next Mariners summer league outing (3/4) will take place this Friday evening 7th August on the northern side of Rossnowlagh beach this time. Fishing from 20.00pm – 00.00am.

As always new anglers are welcome to come along and join in. Guaranteed 3 different winners and all a bit of fun on a great beach.

Stefan Martin
Killybegs mariners SAC

Go fishing…

Mariners sea angling club Killybegs Co Donegal. The club runs a shore league and boat competitions and angling trips around Ireland doing the sport we love. Get in touch at