The recently published Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) report for 2018 makes for a great read as more and more anglers target the bigger fish in the many categories and, of course, that elusive search for a new record.
Up and running since 1955, this voluntary body has received over 30,000 claims since its inception and now boasts a formidable dataset, being one of the most valuable and long-running time-series of its type.
No doubt anglers, both at home and abroad, will be reading the report carefully to plan their angling trips in Ireland with the hope of catching the big fish during 2019.
Last year saw 420 claims processed of which 393 were ratified including four new records. A total of 11 were rejected for non-compliance with the rules and a further 16 require further scrutiny.
In his annual review, ISFC chairman Dr Rossell said the heatwave in the first half of the summer affected fish and angling in many ways. Freshwater fisheries suffered for a spell which necessitated fish rescue exercises triggered by a shortage of water in some salmonid streams.
Sea angling had a much better specimen season which included four new marine records.
Greystones in Co Wicklow came up trumps for Stephen Hanway from Dublin with an absolutely cracking tope of 34.02kg to smash the 39-year record set by Cyril Young of 30.2kg in Carlingford Lough in 1979.
Cork Harbour facilitated local anglers Noel Lane with a thin lipped mullet of 2.95kg in July and Stephen O’Neill followed in August with a golden grey mullet of 1.52kg.
The new record black sea bream of 1.45kg was actually caught in 2008 by Welsh angler Gordon Thornes at Kilmore Quay. Under ISFC 10-fish rules, the committee has waited for 10 specimens to be recorded before awarding the category to the largest fish to date.
In the ‘notable fish’ category, a blue runner (Caranx crysos), measuring 51.5cm was captured by Jos Breugelmans from Belgium in April from the shore at Brandon Bay, Co Kerry.
A schooling species, its current known distribution area includes the western coasts of Africa, western Mediterranean and western Atlantic coast extending from Nova Scotia to Argentina, including the Caribbean.
Copies of the report are available free of charge from IFI offices nationwide or to view at www.irish-trophy-fish.com.
Awards day was held in the Clayton Hotel, Dublin Airport, Swords, Co Dublin, at 2.30 pm on Saturday, 16th February 16th.
New agreement to improve Welsh rivers
A new agreement between Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Afonydd Cymru, the organisation which oversees the country’s six Rivers Trusts, will play a key role in improving Welsh rivers.
Last month, NRW’s Clare Pillman and Afonydd Cymru’s Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith OBE, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together to improve river catchments, fisheries and ecology.
The MoU will focus on protecting rivers, encourage people to enjoy angling, navigation and other recreational activities, and reduce the impact of climate change through environmental improvements.
Dr Marsh-Smith, said: “We are delighted that the work of Rivers Trusts in collaboration with NRW has been recognised in this way and set down formally. The rivers of Wales, their fisheries and wildlife are in urgent need of restoration and protection. This cannot be achieved solely by one group and we hope this new understanding heralds a turning point.”
Rathmullan Lough Swilly Charters
Rathmullan Lough Swilly Charters is now preparing angling bookings for the new season and sightseeing tours along the Wild Atlantic Way to Fanad Lighthouse. For bookings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 087-248 0132.