EUROPEAN SHORE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011
The 2011 EFSA European Shore Angling Championships were fished on the beaches of east Wexford in Ireland’s South East. The chosen venues are renowned for their suitability for match angling. In the weeks leading up to the event however the wind stubbornly came from the east and north without let up. As a norm in this part of the world these winds spell the death knell for match angling, for some unknown reason the fish refuse to feed. With this in mind and the experience of fewer fish being recorded in domestic events the organizers reduced the eligible fish size to 15cm.
The Headquarters was Seàn Òg’s Hotel & Holiday Home complex in Kilmuckridge. This tried & trusted venue saw the competitors convene on the evening of Wednesday April 26th. Six Sections were represented among the 57 competitors – England, Germany, Netherlands, Iceland, Wales & Ireland.
The categories of competition were Individual (open to all), Lady, Junior ( under 18), Senior (over 65), Life Member, International Teams of 5, Drawn teams of 2, 3 & 4. This was the first championship at which Juniors were competing. The organizers requested a dispensation to hold the full peg draw on the night of the check in as some juniors were seeking a double peg.
A finger food and wine reception preceded the zone & peg draw. This was very well received by all those present.
Proceedings were brought to order by EFSA Ireland Chairman George McCullough. He welcomed everybody to Ireland and made special reference to those who had travelled a long distance. The draws then proceeded under the direction of EFSA Secretary Warren Doyle, closely monitored by EFSA Shore Festival Officer Phil Lustig.
With the draw completed the anglers relaxed in the bar and made their entries to the various pools on offer. A lie-in was on the cards for next morning so many of the competitors had the bar staff earning their keep.
The venue for day 1 was Clones Strand. Bait was distributed at 1300 for a 1700 start which gave everyone ample time to get to their peg & prepare. The supplied bait was 1 pack of Mackerel, 1 pack of Sand Eel, 1 pack of Black Lug Wraps and 20 fresh King Rag.
Initially there were plenty of fish being recorded, reports were travelling the beach of catches of 6 to 8 fish in the first hour. Then it stopped, very few more fish were to be recorded until darkness fell. The last hour was as good as the first. Best catch on day 1 was for Steve Lewis from Wales with 19 fish. The other zone winners were Alan Cheswick (Wales), Shaun Tucker (Wales), Peadar Taite & Kieran Rice (both Ireland). Wales ‘B’ led the International Teams with Wales ‘A’ second & England in 3rd spot. Best round fish was a 37cm Smoothhound for England’s Gerry Knight. There was a 3 way tie for the longest flat at 31cm.
Day 2 was fished on Tinnebearna Strand. Further south this venue was chosen in the hope of recording some decent smoothhound. The session started very slowly, a few resident fish appeared in the first hour & then vey few until dusk. The wind was driving the surf & there was lots of weed. A few good bass were being reported along the beach but the smoothie onslaught did not materialize – until the death, a 79cm beauty was landed by Harry McKee. Best bag on the night was for Paul Scanlon (Ireland) with 13 fish. Other zone winners were Kenny Gainfort (Wales) joint with Harry McKee (Ireland), John Campbell (England), Dave Lovelock ( England) & Stephen Glynn (Ireland). Best flat fish was a 34cm flounder for England’s Gerry Knight (again!!!).
The International Teams saw Ireland ‘A’ shoot into first place followed by Wales ‘B’ & Wales ‘A’.
Day 3 had the anglers on Ballinoulart Beach for an earlier start at 1100. The venue was chosen as there is deeper water within reasonable distance for daylight angling. As on the previous night the wind was driving the surf and there was a mass of weed in the deep water. This forced the competitors to stay in the surf. Some fish were coming in but numbers were low. Word along the beach was not good & the northerly wind was driving sand along the beach making it very uncomfortable for the anglers. Some good bass were caught, Scott Brunton (Wales Junior) had a 54cm which was the best round fish & EFSA Ireland treasurer Christy Cloak took a 53cm fish. Germany’s Annette Poehler had the best flat fish at 30cm.The story of the day thought was going to be those blanks!!
Best result of the day was for England’s Paull Curtice with 5 fish. Gerry Knight (England), Dave Clark (England), Paul Tyndall (Ireland) & Annette Poehler (Germany) were the other zone winners.
The International Teams were turned on their head. England catapulted into the premier position followed by Ireland’A’ & Wales ‘A’.
The presentation of prizes, medals & pins took place in Seàn Òg’s after the anglers enjoyed a superb dinner.
The results were as follows:
Senior (over 65’s)
Junior. Inaugural Event.
Best Round Fish: Harry McKee (Ireland). Gold Medal.
E.F.S.A. Shore Champion of Europe (Individual)
In the end the Championship was a success. Although the fish were not plentiful the competition was intense and fought to the very last minute on day 3. The winners were deserving of their victories & joined the other competitors in celebration after the presentation. Sunday May 1st saw the competitors start their journeys home & wished one another good tidings until we meet again in Iceland in October 2012.
EFSA Ireland would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped in any way to make these Championships the success they were.
In particular Stephen Glynn who sponsored the junior prizes. Viking Tackle, Shamrock Tackle, Recreational Angling Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland, John & Deirdre O’Brien of Waterford Angling Centre, Waterford Glass, Wexford Tourism and John O’Toole who dug the ragworm each day.
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