Cork Sea Anglers club, one of the county’s oldest clubs, held its AGM at the Blackrock GAA club last week.
The results from 14 shore angling competitions from Clonakilty in the west of the county to Monatrea in Waterford made for sombre reading. The total catch by keen anglers armed with the best of bait and the latest in angling tackle produced just 176 fish. The breakdown of the total catch was 16 cod, eight bass, five eels, 149 flounders, one rockling, 80 coal fish, 37 lesser spotted dogfish and one pollack.
One statistic that jumped out was how few bass were hooked, less than 10 in a whole season. Back in the 1960s and ’70s I often caught more in one angling trip. The poor catch of this wonderful sporting fish is now limited by law to two per angler per day, and clearly highlights why the commercial ban on the netting of Irish bass should not be lifted.
Ian Dowling, club chairman, also highlighted the reduced number of members. Another cause for concern were the tensions between pleasure and match anglers. Dowling said Cork SAC’s continuing insistence on maintaining a 25cm minimum size limit for all fish caught has caused match orientated anglers to leave and join other sea angling clubs.
It has been argued that as Master Angler, All-Ireland, provincial and international competitions are being won by small fish, under Cork SAC’s rules its match anglers are not getting the practise needed.
The Angler of the Year trophy was won by Alan O’Dowling, who also took home the Jack Murphy Trophy, Guinness and Garryvoe cups, inter-club and Christy Murphy trophies.
Eric Gosnell angler of the year runner-up and RNLI Trophy winner.
Roy Calnan won the Fred Gosnell and Club trophies and Club and Jack Barry cups. Mick Maher won the Corbett Trophy and longest flatfish prize. Sean O’Brien won the President’s Cup, Dan Lynch Trophy and PH Twomey Trophy. Barry O’Rourke won the Club Cup while Bryan O’Rourke won the TJ Looney Trophy.
Cork Sea Anglers kick off their season next Sunday at Pilmore Estuary, Youghal. Check in at 10am with fishing from 11am to 4pm. Prospective members can contact club secretary Eric Gosnell on 021 4358398.
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