'Screaming Reels' in top form
The 30th year of the Rosslare Small Boats festival saw the Irish boat 'Screaming Reels' winning the competition for a record fifth year in a row. The crew from Rosie's Sea Angling Club in Cork beat 36 other boats from Britain and Ireland catching 29 species of fish. They also won a host of other prizes in the competition, making them a force to be reckoned with once again in the small boat fishing scene.
This festival started in 1985 with five boats fishing. The standard of the fishing and variety of species available in this rich part of the south east coast of Ireland, coupled with a very high standard from the competitors has meant that this competition has gone from strength to strength. With 38 different species of fish recorded during the competition, the quality and standard of fishing in Wexford creates huge revenue for tourist angling and the local economy contributing more than €300,000 per annum. This contributes to making the Rosslare Small Boats Competition the most prestigious small boat fishing festival in Europe - a fantastic celebration for the 30th year.
Sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, DAIWA, Lowrance, Sea Angler magazine, Failte Ireland, Wexford County Council, IPB Insurance and Mannings, the 30th festival attracted more than 115 anglers from Wales, Scotland, Isle of Wight, Ireland and many parts of the UK including Southport, Liverpool and Cornwall. Weather conditions were very good for the competition with settled conditions and light winds meaning boats could be launched from Kilmore Quay every day enabling them to target all species.
The competition was fierce with boats recording up to 20 species on the first day and on the following 17 days. The Irish boat 'Screaming Reels' proved its mettle once again taking first place with 29 species for 25.81 kg. This crew consisting of Martyn Rayner (skipper) Seirt Shults and Neville Murphy from Rosie's Sea Angling Club in Cork have continued to raise the bar of the Rosslare small boats fishing competition. Second place went to the boat 'Sandstorm' (Nathan James and Ian Jenkins) from Porthcawl in Wales with 27 species for 21.29 kg. In third place was 'Dunlin' (Andy Beresford, Lewis Radcliffe, Jonathan Roberts) from Southport boat angling club with 27 species for 14.02 kg.
For the first time Inland Fisheries Ireland introduced a marine fish tank for the purpose of keeping fish species alive that were caught during the competition. This innovative idea proved to be a great success, with anglers and staff from Inland Fisheries Ireland on hand to educate the public about the fish species on display at Kilmore Quay. The prizegiving ceremony took place at 'Redmond's The Bay which was a great success. A presentation was made to the Irish Heart Foundation for over €3,500 which was raised by anglers and a generous donation was made to the RNLI. The total prize fund for the competition was €20,000 including fishing equipment and substantial monetary prizes and engraved trophies.