Sunday, July 14, 2013

Festival Round-Up....

Finally getting around to this, here is a quick roundup of how the Irish Bass Festival went this year. First of all we would like to thank the entrants for taking part and making the festival such a great success. The atmosphere in the shop all weekend was outstanding with everybody entering into the festive mood and the banter as always was great.

With regards prizes we were very lucky to have some incredibly generous sponsors that included Topwater lures, Costa del Mar, Fiiish, UK Bass and Active Angling Ireland. Among the prizes were some of the best rods on the market, top polarized sunglasses, lures and accessories and even a weeks fishing break to Ireland!!

So how was the fishing....   

The weather was what it was, blue skies bright sunshine with very little lift on the water making things a little more difficult for the anglers. As the saying goes "adapt or die" and the anglers who adapted to these conditions reaped the rewards. It was a bit deja vu with regards weather from the 2012 festival however confidence was high among the anglers who were waiting to register and get out fishing. We opened the doors at 5am to car loads of eager anglers ready to get out along the coast, by 10am we had almost 80 anglers signed in and out fishing. Soon, the messages start flying around of fish being caught and it was obvious it had been a successful morning for some anglers. Fish were taken during the early morning and throughout the day with some anglers having impressive numbers of fish on surface lures. Estuary marks were producing fish in the daylight hours and rock marks in low light conditions. After an 18 hour shift in the shop it was time for us to catch up on some sleep safe in the knowledge that anglers were out throwing all manner of hard and soft lures into gullies along the copper coast through the small hours of the morning.

Time for breakfast after a long night fishing...

                                          Taking a break from the summer sun...

It was another early start for us in the shop, as our main job during the festival seems to be ensuring there is a steady flow of coffee in the shop for tired anglers who pop in with updates. Saturday saw a small change in the weather with a slight SW picking up, again fish were caught throughout the day and the rumour mill was in full swing of high sixties and 70 plus cm fish being landed. Sunday morning came around very quickly and before we knew it we were registering fish from anglers who had been fishing hard all weekend. A big thanks to Fred and Sandra from Fiiish who spent the day in the shop on Sunday answering questions anglers had about their products and giving demos on rigging Fiiish black minnows. 
Overall there were good numbers of fish caught by entrants over the weekend (official numbers to follow) and those who put in the hard hours were rewarded with some nice catches over the weekend. Here are the official results.

1st - Jamie O' Rourke (71cm)
2nd - Eric Upton (70cm)
3rd - Jason Nash (69cm)
Best 3 combined - Eric Upton (193cm)
Best Visiting angler - Timothy Pound (67cm)
Juvenile Winner - Mark Kett (63cm)

Timothy Pound (best visiting angler)

Juvenile winner 2013 (Mark Kett)

With some nice fish caught and some monsters lost, plenty of sunburn, some falling in and epic fishathons this year's festival has some great stories that we will be hearing about until the next festival comes around, which we are already looking forward to. We have some big plans from next year festival to make it even bigger and better. Watch this space!

Jamie O' Rourke (Irish Bass Festival winner 2013)

Once again thanks to all the entrants who made this event possible and all the sponsors who provided outstanding prizes, Henry Gilbey who helped with prize giving and also the Grand hotel for looking after the visiting anglers and hosting the prize giving....see you all again next year.

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