2023 Dunmore East Small Boats Festival
Hosted By Rinnashark SAC
The weekend of the 20th and 21st of May was the date for the 2023 Dunmore East small boats held by Rinnashark SAC. Sixteen boats had entered prior to the competition with one having to pull out before the weekend, fifteen boats containing over 40 anglers fished the weekend.
The weather forecast in the days running up to the weekend looked promising and after two bad days of restricted fishing in 2022 we were due some good luck. The weekend arrived and the best two days of the year so far, the sea was like glass on the Saturday and Sunday. This made for comfortable fishing and easy and fast travel, we could not have asked for better. The fishing was unrestricted on both days meaning anglers could travel anywhere, this increased the chances of a big species count.
Day 1: Saturday morning entry took place in front of the sailing club in Dunmore East at the top of the slip. All boats signed in and a day card provided to each boat, also a goodie bag was supplied to all anglers. The radio check was completed at 07:55am and at 8:00am all boats were given the green light to go. Boats raced off in all directions to get to their chosen marks. Day ones hours were 08:00 to 18:00. All boats had to sign in and register their catch back on the dock after 1800.
With the scores totted up, Joe Mc Peake and his crew on board screaming reels 2 was in the lead with a very impressive 25 species. This included a rare one and a first for the festival blue whiting. In second place again with a very impressive tally for a day’s fishing was Brian O Neill and his crew aboard Here Fishy Fishy with 21 species, which included some nice spur dogfish. 3rd was a three way split between Fin Chaser, Katie and Team rinnashark. After day 1 things were very tight outside the top two, a review of the catches and plans were put in place Saturday night by all boat, day one showed the species were there.
Day 1 results:
Day 2: Sunday Morning again sign in was between 0700 and 0800, weather was the same as Saturday glass like seas. Radio check completed at 0755 and boats all set off at 0800, with an earlier finish time of 1700 to allow time for prize giving. Boats again went off in all directions, boats that went out on Saturday stayed in Sunday and vice versa. With large tallies on day one picking up new species was going to be tough. The nine hours seemed to go faster the Sunday and story seemed to be the same with most boats with big numbers of fish caught but species hard to come by. Five came around very fast and boats were back to the harbour and back to check in to register their catches. The usual bustle and chat around the check in to see who caught what and everyone doing the maths in their head.
Joe on screaming reels added 3 to put them to 28, Here fishy fishy did well and added 6 but just fell shy to finish on 27. Adding 12 was Martin and his crew on Shamrock tackle to push them into 3rd with 26 species. Dave and the crew of fin chaser did very well and added 8 to take 4th with 25 species. Eddie on shock waves had an impressive day being the best boat on day two added 15 species to bring them to a tie with Fin Chaser and finish a place behind on length tie breaker.
The prize giving took place in the Haven Hotel at 8 PM and was great to see all boat and anglers mixing and having the chat. An impressive prize table which is kindly sponsored by Akios\Inova Tackle, Waterford out door and angling centre, O Neill and Cunningham builders, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), Suir electrical. Without these the running and prize table would not be possible.
The overall results:
Over the two days there was 43 different species caught, also taken into account that all Blennies are classed as blennies and all gobies are classed as gobies.
The species were:
3 B Rockling