West Cork and District Sea Angling Club held their final competition of the year over the weekend, and regular contributor Pete Davis has written up another great report.
Saturday evening saw the last outing of the year for West Cork and District SAC. The match was originally scheduled for Garrylucas beach but given predicted high winds and a really strong possibility of weed from recent storms the decision was made to move the match instead to Broad Strand just outside Courtmacsherry. A smaller crew than usual on the evening but it promised to be highly competitive with both the Master Angler title and qualification for next years shore masters at stake for those in the running. The Master Angler title was going to be a straight shoot out between Stephen O’Donovan 2020 winner and JP Molloy with several in the chasing pack in the hunt for the 2 remaining slots for next years Masters.
Arriving to Broad Strand on a damp evening, it looked a lot fishier than it actually performed. The barest gentle roll of swell coming in and coloured water had all the makings of a small fish fest but that’s not how it panned out. Differing tactics were selected at lines in, and there were a few surprises as the comp moved through the first hour or two. Numbers of dogfish on the higher pegs were coming to tiny baits fished in close with standard doggie tactics yielding very little. Lee Meiklejohn, Ken Hogan and Liam Davis all getting stuck in whilst the rest of the field struggled. Sandwiched between Lee and Liam in the last 3 pegs on the beach, the comp was nearly halfway through before I managed to find the range and start picking up the high scoring dogfish, turns out they were a hell of a lot closer in than you might have imagined.
With the top half of the beach fishing reasonably well and the bottom half with some of the main protagonists in it not really fishing at all it was clear where the winner was coming from. After a great start, Ken, Lee and Liam went off the fish in the latter half of the match with only an occasional counter hitting the cards, JP Molloy scraped and scrapped his way to 7 fish with Stephen O’Donovan managing 4. Tom Collins put in a late surge with a nice thornback ray on his last cast, ending with 7 fish to move him up the rankings. I was fortunate enough, having found the fish, to stay on them, with fish every cast in the latter half of the competition, a mixed bag of 12 including dogfish, strap congers, flounder and whiting.
9pm rolled around quickly enough and a damp bunch of anglers gathered in the small carpark to see how things had gone.
Results on the night as follows:
1st Pete Davis, 12 fish for 437pts
2nd Tom Collins 7 fish for 284 pts
3rd Lee Meiklejohn 5 fish for 179 points
Longest flat went to Tom Collins for a ray of 53cm with the longest roundfish going to Pete Davis for a Strap conger of 55cm.
In the Junior section Liam Davis prevailed with Evan Collins in 2nd place.
Master Angler JP
In the shootout between Stephen and JP, JP prevailed on the night and this year it was JP Molloys turn to take the West Cork and District SAC Master Angler title. Hearty congratulations to JP and hard lines to Stephen, there wasn’t a whole pile in it at all over the year and it could well have been either of them at the finish. The top 4 in the club at the end of the season with automatic qualification for next years Master Angler were as follows:
1st JP Molloy 44 points
2nd Stephen O’Donovan 41 points
3rd Pete Davis 37 points
4th Jason Convery 36 points
The kids are alright!
Liam Davis took the Juvenile Master angler title and was the first recipient of our newly commissioned James O’Donohue memorial shield, a perpetual trophy in memory of a sadly, no longer with us, former member. Evan Collins finished close behind in second place. I have mentioned it before on previous reports but its worth noting once again, just how well these kids have been fishing over the course of the year. It’s been a difficult fishing year, with tides and conditions not being conducive to large catches but these 2 in particular have stuck gamely at it with consistent results over the year that have left many a senior angler trailing in their wake. I have never seen either of their heads drop at any stage even when things haven’t gone so well, they have represented themselves very well.
All in all, whilst on occasion the fishing hadn’t been special it had been a thoroughly enjoyable series. We got off to a late start due to Covid restrictions but once we were up and running there was a lot of fun along the way. Its only my second season with West Cork and District and for anyone thinking of joining and having a go, I can only recommend it. A friendly, helpful bunch of folks with competitive fixtures fished in a pleasant atmosphere. There are some top anglers in the club with many a title to their name to learn from and help is at hand for anyone should they need it.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the lads in the background who all dig in to ensure smooth running of these things, in particular, SOD, Sully, Barry, JP and Tom who look after the bulk of the admin, pegging, FB updating, bean counting end of things. Our fixture list will be published shortly, we are out on Garrylucas on January 23rd, 5-9pm for the first of the 2022 season. If you have any inklings or interest in joining, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our Facebook page for more info, we would be delighted to have you.