The All-Ireland Open Shore competition for the Jimmy Smith and Maurice Dalton Cups was held on Benone beach, Co. Derry on Saturday, and saw a great turnout of over 100 anglers from every corner of Ireland compete for this prestigious title.

The Irish Federation of Sea Anglers have posted a great update of how the competition went, so without further ado, here’s the report:


When planning the premier national open competition you need to get it all right or there is certain to be back lash. With years of experience, local knowledge and a pinch of luck on the weather front Graeme Blair and his team from Ulster achieved just that.

104 anglers took to the beach on Benone in what was the most keenly contested All Ireland in many years. Indeed there was anglers from all corners of the island and 21 different clubs were represented. Are the glory days coming back? We certainly hope so.
As the remnants of Storm Agnes passed through it was quite obvious that the stir had done the fishing the world of good when fish were landed all along the match stretch in the first few casts. Flounders and turbot made up the majority of the fish but the anglers that gambled on dogs were also handsomely rewarded.
Unfortunately, the crab population were also out in force feasting on the thousands of Tube worm casings that had become dislodged. These became a real pain in the rear end for anglers as they stripped baits in minutes while any bait that survived got a fish. In the end though the cream always rises to the top and at 5pm the weary anglers headed for the presentation. Usually the winner is very apparent but even the rumour mill couldn’t get it right this time.
Top Junior angler on the day was Sally Gilvarry from Kilalla Bay who landed 5 sizeable fish for 130 points. Quite an achievement for any junior angler fishing a surf beach on a big spring tide. Well done Sally on winning the coveted Maurice Dalton All Ireland junior title.
Sally Gilvarry accepting the Maurice Dalton Cup
The ladies all Ireland title was won by Janet Snoddy from Glengormley and District with 6 fish for 142pts. An excellent performance from an unfavourable peg in the low numbers.
Janet Snoddy, winner of the Ladies Prize
Then after the dust had settled the men’s champion was clear for all to see. Nicholas McNeil continued his devastating form on Benone to win zone 3 with 20 fish for 366pts. A blistering start from Nicholas set the tone for the day and left him with an unassailable lead.
Congratulations to Nicholas who can not only call himself the All Ireland champion but can also look forward to captaining Team Ireland at the Home Nations in Scotland in 2024.
Nicholas McNeil accepts the Jimmy Smith trophy

All-Ireland Club Championship

This year saw a fantastic 14 teams compete for the revamped club championship which will now hopefully run in conjunction with the All Ireland Competitions in the future. A strong showing from the local clubs is almost expected but this strong of a showing was brilliant to see.

On the Day though the Castaways selection of Paddy O’Boyle,Drew Ferguson, Willie Weir and Sharon Blair were too strong for all challengers and held off a gallant try from Southshore A’s (3rd) 557pts and Galway Bay 608pts to claim the win with 652pts.


Junior Maurice Dalton placings
1st Sally Gilvarry 5 fish 130pts
2nd Nathan De Kleer 5 fish 109 (tie break)
3rd Kaitlyn De Kleer 4 fish 109
Ladies All Ireland placings
1st Janet Snoddy 5 fish 142pts
2nd Lisa Gormley 4 fish 137 pts
3rd Pamela Stewart 4 fish 100pts
A huge thank you to the Loughs Agency for their sponsorship of the Ladies and Junior prizes.
Jimmy Smith All Ireland
1st Nicholas McNeil 20 fish 366pts
2nd Willy Weir 13 fish 317pts
3rd Pete Davis 14 fish 316pts
Biggest round fish
Bobby Laughlin, Bass 62cm
Biggest flat fish
Lisa Gormley, Flounder 38cm
All Ireland Club Championship
1st Castaways 652pts
2nd Galwat Bay 608pts
3rd South Shore A 557pts
Nathan de Kleer, second in the Maurice Dalton
Kaitlyn de Kleer, third in the Maurice Dalton